By Monica M. Alexenko

Van Nuys, CA

Wake-up Los Angeles, it’s time to start asking some questions, especially of our illustrious political leaders. For instance, just how much has that “sales tax” increase we’ve been saddled with off-set the budget shortfall? And of course, the “Re-Districting” process — what happened? And just how were those “Commissioners” selected? How and why did they vote the way they did? Let’s start with re-districting in the case of District 6.

Councilman Tony Cardenas selected Jose Cornejo, his former Chief of Staff, to be on the re-districting commission. Having attended virtually all of the hearings, it was clear that Mr. Cornejo was one of the chief architects of the original map released to the public — the map that morphed District 6 into a 73 percent Latino district. Hmmmm… re-districting is about voter fairness. Creating a district with 73 percent of any population just screams fairness, right? Wrong! It was also abundantly clear that many commissioners were kept “out of the loop” and those who were in “the loop” voted in lock-step — no matter what THE CITIZENS were saying. Curiously, an appointee of the mayor (who wasn’t in “lock-step”) became ill and was replaced by someone who never asked a single question, but instantaneously knew exactly how to vote in (“lock-step”) every instance.

We also saw disinterest by certain commissioners — especially Mr. Cornejo — who would lean back in his chair with eyes closed, unless he was texting or laughing during public comments. A few brave commissioners identified that “back-room deals” had clearly been made and that many commissioners agreed on how they would vote prior to even hearing anything from the PUBLIC. This is corruption and it is wrong! The up-shot of re-districting is that the LA City Council rushed a vote on 3-16 to pass the new district maps that will last for the next 10 years! Many say this was done to end public awareness and to protect councilmembers (like Tony Cardenas) running for a Congressional seat, as well as helping a former chief of staff easily snag the CD 6 council seat with a lop-sided population majority.

Time to clean house Los Angeles! Thousands of people came to the re-districting hearings — those engaged citizens VOTE, and most elected councilmen and congressman win with a very small number of VOTES, so every vote counts and You can make a difference. We need to elect people who truly want to be “servants of the people.” We cannot afford any more self-serving politicians. It’s time to bring Los Angeles back to a city that people want to live and work in, a city we can all afford to retire in. As for the sales tax increase helping our budget shortfall — this is rather difficult to do when spending is rampant and foolish. For example, about five years ago our city council and mayor passed a $250 million salary increase for government workers. That “political gift” was so well thought out that thousands wound up losing their jobs in the interim.

We also had some ridiculous motions from people like Tony Cardenas, who wanted to spend $200,000 on a “feasiblity study” to determine the feasibility for government offices being utilized for women nursing their children. Now, I think it’s pretty safe to say that most women who know how to make a baby can figure out the “feasibility of a location” and where to go for privacy to nurse their baby. Los Angeles is a great city and we need good people to lead our communities and our city. We need citizens who have no hidden agendas — people who are determined to improve the quality of life for all, not just their own “special interests.” The upcoming elections give us an opportunity. Let’s make sure we end the “lock-step nonsense” and get serious people to lead Los Angeles.

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