Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ron Kaye Asks, "Is SLAP the Right Organization To Achieve Goals?" (As He Refers To SLAP In "Past Tense") IS IT OVER FOR Un-Focused, INDECISIVE GROUP?

Saving L.A. Project (SLAP) Winding Down?: Just got this email from the snobby, oh so classy crowd at SLAP (Saving L.A. Project). That Ron Kaye & Nina Royal activist group that decided to take on a ballot measure to cut council salaries in half as a solution to all the problems in the city. A group that likes to keep it's image "separate" from other activists, because the "leader" is trying to "do something different." I see in this agenda, no mention of the "50% Off council salary" ballot measure...so I guess all that time, discussion and energy about the "BIG THING" SLAP was gonna do was a BIG waste of time, and all those meetings from 6 months ago, are now a COMPLETE waste of time. Hi, Nina and the FINE, productive folks at SLAP!

Here's the new announcement:

Dear Friends:

The time has come to fulfill the goals we set out when the Saving LA Project was formed 18 months ago.

["Fulfill?" Right away, I knew it was the "final wrap it up, I've had enough of this nutfest memo," from Ron.]

Our goals were to become:

* a loose-knit coalition that would develop information resources about what is going on in LA and at City Hall;

* to educate the public about what we learn;

* to collaborate with community groups throughout the city and help organize others who are on the sidelines,

* and to help in advocating for the interests of the community.

[2 problems here..the word, "GOALS" (not "goal" - as in singular) and this sounds kinda complicated and wishy-washy. And you are using the term (goals) in PAST TENSE. "Our goals WERE," (He's DONE!) How about, "Our goal is to advocate for our neighborhoods through influence at City Hall, in the spirit that Neighborhood Councils were originally intended." (Or something like that.)

We have contributed a great deal individually and collectively to changes that are occurring in the way our city is run and to the outcomes of the elections on Measure B, City Attorney's race and CD2 race. [For the record, I LOVE the INDIVIDUALS of SLAP and NC, but collectively...I need to return to the Venice Beach boardwalk vendors for a dose of more sanity.]

But we have only made modest progress toward achieving our mission. I take full responsibility for that and believe we need to reach out to activist leaders in all parts of the city to create a dynamic board for SLAP and a leadership structure that will get us organized and tasked to achieve our goals. [Oh no...a "dynamic board...reaching out in all parts of the city...create a structure....get organized...OH NO...SEE YOU IN TWO YEARS. And adding a board will not make anyone be able to make a decision. RON, people look up to you and will follow you. JUST DECIDE ON ONE, SINGLE AND ACHIEVABLE TASK -- AND EVERYONE ELSE..STOP BEING A NUTTY CHIEF, FALL IN LINE...AND DO IT! Not an "action agenda" of eight things. SORRY PEOPLE. Ron has to be nice and kiss everyone's ass so they will show up...but you can't have your NIMBY, PET ISSUE MONOPOLIZE THE MEETING, EVERY TIME!]

We all juggle many commitments and have limited time but if SLAP is to be a more important part of the movement to save LA, we will have to move in new directions. I'm hoping we can put our heads together at Saturday's meeting and figure out how to do this. [OOPS. You said, "Put our heads together and figure out...." YOU CAN'T DO THAT. IT DOESN'T WORK FOR MTV...IT DOESN'T WORK FOR RADIO STATIONS...IT DOESN'T WORK FOR CITY COUNCIL...REALLY TOUGH TO PULL THAT OFF WITH MORE THAN THREE PEOPLE IN THE ROOM...EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT A BUNCH OF NUTTY NIMBY ACTIVISTS.]

The financial crisis LA faces and the failure of our city's leaders to deal effectively with our problems has created the need and opportunity for dramatic changes that will turn LA around, improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods and expand our economic and cultural opportunities. [So let's pick a host of multiple issues to go over, even though you couldn't make a decision between "plain" or "peanut" M&M's at the holiday party, if it were up for debate.]

The energy in the community is gaining strength and more people are getting involved. We are building on the success of the last year but the challenges are great. [Well, you just spent the entire first part of this letter saying this is not the situation.]

The questions I put to you to think about and discuss on Saturday is whether SLAP is the right organization to achieve what needs to be done. If so, how do we transform SLAP and what role do you have the commitment and time to play? [NO, it ISN'T the proper organization, because Ron does not want to take a leadership role in the group (by design, not laziness...he doesn't want to come of as the pushy power hungry guy, but more of a facilitator...SORRY...doesn't work in the human culture) -- and it was doomed from there. (Ask Ron how many times I called and told him, "YOU HAVE TO BE THE LEADER...you CANNOT leave leadership to an entire group of nutty wackos. NO DECISION WILL EVER BE MADE." So if you did anything Ron, I would say, "Hi, I'm Ron Kaye, here's what I think we should do, and if you want to help, please do." Otherwise, just save this memo for next year.]

Thanks as always,
Ron Kaye

SLAP AGENDA:

1. The Future of SLAP and How to Make It More Effective.

2. City Budget: Jack Humphreville has tabulated the city's operating deficit, pension liablity and indebtedness and estimated that LA faces $25 billion in costs it needs to fund in the next few years. In the short term, there's serious questions about just getting through this year financially and many financial expert believe that reorganization under bankruptcy law is all but inevitable within two years. The City Council is now grappling with these problems, the mayor has put out his budget survey and the Council Budget Committee will begin a round of community hearings later this month. What can Neighborhood Councils, homeowner and residents groups and others do to impact these decisions.

3. Water and Power: The DWP making far-ranging decisions on green energy and water supply and quality that will dramatically impact rates for years to come without significant community involvement. The mayor has made the DWP, along with the Harbor and Airports, the "economic engine" of his jobs creation effort. How do we get the information we need to make the basis of these decisions transparent and how do we impact what decisions are made?

3. LAUSD: The Parent Revolution which just played a critical role in getting legislation enacted that empowers parents to have a direct say in how schools are run, even to close them down. Can SLAP help parents and teachers to work together to take over running local schools under LAUSD's new failing school program and help bring community resources together to make them successful?

4. SOBER LIVING HOMES AND GRANNY FLATS: The Planning Department has initiated efforts to open up every neighborhood in the city to Granny Flats (ADUs) and Sober Living Homes with more than seven residents as a right of property ownership. Can SLAP mobilize community opposition and help define policies that would be limited and effective?

5.NEW and OLD ISSUES: A chance for everyone to provide updates on issues we've been following and introduce new issues of local and citywide importance.

[OH, is THAT ALL..just the overall future of SLAP, 3 OTHER (MASSIVE) issues...and NEW & OLD issues. (Is this a three-day weekend. YOU PEOPLE CAN"T DECIDE ON ONE THING!!! HAVE AN AGENDA WITH ONE ITEM! DO ONE THING! MAKE ONE DECISION! OMG! Rooooooooooon.]

ANYWAY...I can't make it to the meeting, but my vote would be to force council to take immediate action on the budget and have council explain how they plan to provide basic municipal services and maintain public safety over the next two years?( I would make sure EVERYONE IN THE ROOM watches CAO Miguel Santana's BUDGET REPORT to City Council. You can watch the video in the room together.) Push for elimination of Human Services and Pension reform to get the party started.

Imagine if SLAP lobbied for elimination of ONE SINGLE DEPARTMENT and it was eliminated!
Imagine if SLAP lobbied for PENSION REFORM, and it was reformed!

Two goals I think are easily achievable as activists in the first quarter of 2010.

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