As my sickness the past two days has limited me to keyboard activism instead of actual canvassing, I do need to speak out on some of the elected offices up for stake here in the Valley.
My plan was to hit the streets again for Loraine Lundquist in Council District 12, who is the epitome of what our next generation of leaders need to be.
She’s environmentally conscious, grassroots knowledge of the issues and someone who wants to listen to solve everyone’s problems.
Current seat holder John Lee who won the special election also with dubious tactics is about as polar opposite as you can get and then some.
His best strategy at this point is to go hard on the negative because there isn’t much to point to.
Even Lee’s website quote (which has been the same before the first election) that “Nobody’s Done More for Our Valley Neighborhoods” doesn’t have a list accomplishments to back him.
Switching from Republican to non-party just in time for this election, this campaign has shown the definition of reaching rock bottom attacking Lundquist for being both too far right and left at the same time.
In 2020, you apparently can have it both ways
Candidates can throw up their hands claiming they didn’t have anything to do with these “outside” big money backed flyers, but when given the opportunity to condone them, you very rarely here an apologetic tone.
Lundquist is exactly what we need in office to send a message not just to the City, but the entire country that we have to start addressing solutions for the next generation now.
No, it’s not getting rid of everyone’s cars as these flyers falsely claim, but when you have no substance to speak of, the best some can do is to make it up on the other side.
My second biggest push is for Scott Schmerelson to be re-elected to the LAUSD school board.
Scott is the very definition of the word public servant and is a tireless worker to serve all.
He has been an educator on virtually every level for 35 years before running to represent a district covering most of the Valley and a leader on the board in this first term.
Could you ask for more endorsements for Scott Schmerelson?
On the other hand, his opponent Marilyn Koziatek has trace experience for this position and endorsements only in line from the charter school industry (re: Betsy DeVos crowd), claiming to be a staunch democrat having just switched for this election with no party endorsements to boot.
Comparing Scott’s backers versus hers shows a clear delineation in the depth of support Schmerelson has.
I’m hoping people are able to decipher her false pretenses, but when you’re overloaded by them with these dozens of flyers, it’s easy to lose context.
The “pro” Koziatek flyers never list any real qualifications while spaciously trying to suggest she has broad support, like the flyer she sent with a pic of her standing next Governor Gavin Newsom with the disclaimer “photo does not indicate endorsement”, and yes, he does not endorse her.
Koziatek deceivingly using Newsom as an endorsement while the real deal met up in support of UTLA candidates last week
If there’s any fault to Scott, it would be that is he’s too much of an educator and not the type of fundraiser to match the millions being spent by charter backers to unseat him and Jackie Goldberg (who is equally as valuable).
That shouldn’t be a requirement that our leaders need playing to the biggest dollar, but that’s the system the private dollars have been pushing for.
The next most contested seat in the Valley is for Council District 4 which covers a good portion south of Mulholland, but also Toluca Lake and Sherman Oaks.
Incumbent David Ryu doesn’t seem to have much of a record of accomplishing much, but somehow is garnering big donations from questionable sources.
He’s been absent at a few debates and seeing his performance first hand in Sherman Oaks, it’s clear to see why.
Candidates give various levels of commitment to #VisionZero in last night’s #CD4 debate:@bikethevote @StreetsblogLA https://t.co/hi028RPJ9H
— Zachary Rynew (@Ciclavalley) February 20, 2020
Even the moderator, well-known newsperson Phil Shuman, expressed disbelief (twice) in Ryu’s claim that his accomplishments speak for themselves.
At the same time, candidates Sarah Kate Levy and Nithya Raman dished out forward thinking answers addressing the many concerns from the audience.
We need solutions to address our housing, transportation and environmental issues and both have a realistic game plan over what Ryu has offered.
If I had a vote in that district, my lean would be towards Sarah Kate only because I know her better and she’s been spot on at everything thrown at her.
Nithya is also super well organized, so if somehow we can get a runoff between the two, that would be a dream come true.
Also a great sign of the times is seeing candidates like Cyndi Otteson (CD14), Aura Vasquez (CD8) and Bill Haller (CD6) pushing this agenda and check out Bike the Vote for even more endorsements.
We never had people like this running for office, so hopefully this wave will reach shore.
Unfortunately, our elections are not led by values, but the value stockpiled by these campaigns.
Please read between the lines and vote with dignity March 3rd.