Although I can't sit here and respond to every random comment on all the blogs across the internet all day long, one person was pretty persistent in their inquiry as to how I will work with City Councilmembers after I have been such a combative force against them over the past three years. And again, although I can't respond to every comment on every blog as though it were a newspaper or media request, it understand it IS a valid issue and the person seemed sincere in their interest, so here is the reply I sent:
You may know otherwise, but not all the councilmembers hate me as much as you may think. I'm not saying all of them like me, but it would be unfair to say i do not already have several CMs who actually like me and know what i stand for and admire me for my knowledge and integrity on the issues.
One CM told me he considers me to be a prophet. (I'm ferclempt)
Another CM, who has probably withstood more criticism by ZD than any CM over the past three years said to me, "You know you're a genius Zuma Dogg." And then there are the CMs who actually like me. And others will respect me for the leadership role I will assume.
REMEMBER, currently I am a homeless gadfly doing the job of an Xtreme Activist. When I am playing the role of Councilmember, I will not be forced to shout or fight with Eric for cutting me off for no reason.
I HAVE NO POWERS AS A GADFLY/ACTIVIST EXCEPT MY MOUTH!
But as Councilmember, I won't have to use that approach.
LOOK AT HOW PEOPLE RESPOND TO ME ALREADY. ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ROPES. You may know that people like me and talk to me that NEVER should like me or be speaking to me. It's because these people know I have heart and have some kind of guiding force of integrity. And it DOES come from a higher power that IS the community spirit. They have blessed me in this role I have carved out over the past three years and I really have changed just like Bill Murray in Scrooged and even Groundhog's Day.
The Deming 14 points stuff is a BIG help regarding management of the council district staff and I just know how to bring out the best in people and keep the staff's morale high, because I am always just a regular street guy. In my radio days, I would always leave the fancy VIP press box to go down onto the field for the show to be with the real people. AND THAT'S WHAT MAKES ME. IT'S THE SECRET. So enough warm and fuzzy. Back to the hardcore issue of how to work with a council who I have said so much stuff about.
Besides the stuff I said above...Secondly, too bad, they'll have to get over it, because I am not going to be a "bull in a china shop" combative guy. I will be a pleasure on most things. And I am secure enough in my own self that I would really be leaning on other CMs to guide me and I know which CMs to go to on which things.
So beyond not being a monster who is going to be making everyone nervous on pins and needles...here's how I plan to do it in my delusional mind:
Zuma Dogg stands up and starts talking "leader talk." Starts saying all the everyday common sense stuff people already like about me. But practical stuff. Not, "Extend public comment to three minutes," or "No money to Eric Garcetti's district for the next five years cause he's already sucked enough of it from across the city."
But just innovative, quality management and efficiency talk and whatever it is that people have been waiting for someone to say.
WELL YOU KNOW HOW IT IS...Janice Hahn will have to stand up and start jumping in, cause she can't let Zuma Dogg run away with the "People's Champ" talk. So then, Rosendahl hits his button to pile on, cause he's been waiting for this kind of thing, but couldn't say it on his own, but he can't let ZD and Janice run away with it, and Bill is passionate anyway. Then Dennis Zine will feel comfortable enough to chime in. Which makes Smith comfortable. And ZD and Parks are in agreement on many things that I'm sure he would like it, too. And all of the sudden, there is a shift.
So to sum it up, I blogged a little about my radio career and I am here to tell you ZD was know as the guy you brought in when the staff was on life support to turn it around. And magic always ensues. The harsher the critic on my way in the door, the bigger the supporter on the way out.
So between ZD really not being as bad as SOME people think; I have already proven people like me and feel comfortable sharing stuff with me and approaching me; and the fact that I'll just start being an innovative leader and it will up the level of competition with all the CMs and staff...people will start to lean on me for stuff and I'll be there to help inspire and motivate all the staffers and everyone's gonna love it, because they are going to be working with the most fun, creative, innovative force they have ever worked with and they will be buzzing about the experience for the next decade.
It's called being a trailblazer and you don't ask permission or worry about who is behind you. It's worked so far. Meanwhile, I don't have to worry about converting people who are unsure about Zuma Dogg. My main and only challenge is letting the people who already know ZD know that there is an election on Sept 22nd and that I am on the ballot.
It's like Springsteen at Dodgers Stadium. You either wanna go, or you don't wanna go. All Bruce has to do is let people know the date of the show. And that's my challenge.