There's a Lack of Good (Political) News in Los Angeles

Los Angeles City Hall | Photo: channone/Flickr/Creative Commons License

Goodbye winter, hello spring. In Los Angeles the change of the seasons is often imperceptible. One day with a high in the high 60s or low 70s dissolves into another with little ado. But there is another climate that I talk about in these blog posts: the political climate.

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As I sat down to think about what to write about, almost all of the news seemed both predictable and discouraging. Let's take the local redistricting effort as but one example. Last week the Los Angeles City council approved a plan laying out new district lines. Almost all of the news articles about the new lines include words and phrases like, "corruption," "inside job," "lawsuit threats," "legal remedies," "joke,"
"pandering," "backroom deals," and "self-interest." That about describes too many redistricting efforts across the country -- particularly where an independent commission does not draw the lines. But the point is, there was little good news to write about on that topic.

The other big political story in Los Angeles this week seems to be about the Los Angeles Fire Department's (LAFD) problems regarding response times and how the department recently stopped providing the public with rescue response information. One of the more recent articles on this topic reports that Mayor Villaraigosa has asked the LAFD chief to disclose that information. That hardly seems like a happy tale.

We are headed into an election season, and one of the big challenges will be to get out the voters. With so little good news, but so much of it feeling predictable, some members of the electorate may feel less than motivated to go to the polls. (On the other hand, of course, such news can also be a motivating factor for many). One challenge for the new crop of candidates, particularly in the high profile mayoral race, will be to tell Angelenos why their victory will mean some good news for the city.

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