[Pictured: You don't need your councilmember's permission to hand out toys you buy yourself, to kids in the broke-ass part of town.)
It's never good to count your chickens before they hatch, but as I think of things I could do if I had some REAL money, that will hopefully be coming ZD's way, soon, due to matters regarding my 1st Amendment issues with the City of Los Angeles; as I was thinking of some of the ideas I have to benefit the Venice community and communities throughout Los Angeles, I began to image the impact of MANY people, who could afford it, doing the same thing would have/impact on the community and city, as a whole?
ANSWER: You wouldn't have to rely on the Federal, State and local city government and programs and bureaucracy to create REAL change in the city.
HOUSING THE HOMELESS: If I had enough money (which MANY, MANY people EASILY already do), I would rent (or buy) an apartment until that I could use for an office -- and have a person, currently homeless, live there. The person can send out occasional faxes and do hourly Google searches for "Zuma Dogg" and they can sleep there, too. (Maybe even two people.)
I also like the idea of day-to-day and weekly rentals of very, very small units for people living on the streets. ZD, not having to be greedy, could charge lowest possible daily/weekly rate in a multi-unit building or existing local motel many property owners are trying to unload.
LAUSD: I think could buy a couple hundred used computers, really cheap. And probably go out there and get a lot of computers donated to ZD for this cause: Take the computers and set them up by renting some "for lease" space across the city. (There IS some available!) Kids could drop by after school and weekends to do work on the computer. (But ZD, being more Grinch-like in his elder years, would NOT allow facebook/schmasehbook or video games.)
FEEDING THE HOMELESS: It isn't that expensive to go to .99 cent store and buy a couple hundred dollars worth of food and give it to a certified food bank. (They have good screening programs to make sure the food goes to the intended people you are hoping to reach/feed.)
Also, ZD would probably take it to the further, next level, by preparing food and serving it in conjunction with an existing (non-shady) local non-profit.
OUT OF THE CLOSET: No, not breaking news on Prop 8. This thrift store (and others) have SO MUCH really good "previous worn" clothing, priced at $1.00 per article. Again, buy a couple hundred dollars worth (or more, for you MOCHA attendees) and give it to the proper non-profit to give out.
ZD NEEDS A PICK-UP TRUCK: This gift buying and giving time of year (December 26-January 4), when people get NEW computers, audio, TVs, furniture, etc., they throw the old stuff away -- a lot of times outside on the street alleys. IT KILLS ME WHEN I SEE PEOPLE PULL UP WITH TRUCKS AND CARRY IT AWAY THEMSELVES, when ZD wishes he had a truck to pull up with first, since I saw it first. THEN, it could be donate to the right people. Or have a non-profit sell it and they keep 100% of the money taken in.
AND THEN IMAGINE IF A LOT OF PEOPLE ACROSS THE CITY STARTED DOING THINGS LIKE THIS!
WARREN BUFFET & BILL GATES talk about "giving away" half of their wealth. I guess that's o.k., but after nearly five years of activism, my top concern is you REALLY have to be careful what non-profit (or who) you give your money to. So why not just take the money and start doing things, directly, yourself? TRUST ME...I know this post isn't intended for all/most of my readers. But many of you know you could be doing stuff like this, or perhaps you KNOW someone who can afford to be doing some of this stuff. Maybe you can hit 'em up. Many times, people with money would LIKE to be doing something like this, but don't think of it until someone gives them the idea and sells them on being the one to "take care of it and make it all happen, if you just have the financial backing."
DON'T WAIT FOR SOMEONE TO GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO START DOING THINGS, NOW...WHATEVER IT IS!