LAMC41.18, Democratic Socialists, and the future of Los Angeles
The dust has finally settled from the 2022 election, the votes have been counted, and the county registrar has certified the results of the election. If you thought homelessness was the primary issue of this election, you’d be unpleasantly surprised at the results. Only two races upset the favored Democrat candidate: Dan O’Brien beat Alex Fisch for Culver City Council. And Traci Park beat Erin Darling in CD11 which represents West Los Angeles neighborhoods.
In the meantime, no good deed goes unpunished. Sheriff Villanueva, instrumental in cleaning up Venice Boardwalk, was voted out by Robert Luna. Mitch O’Farrell, who cleaned up Echo Park Lake, was voted out by DSA darling Hugo Soto-Martinez. Rick Caruso, who promised a new approach to cleaning up homeless camps, lost by nearly 10 points to Karen Bass, who represents the status quo.
Meanwhile, DSA activists have used bugged private conversations to force Nury Martinez (East San Fenando) to resign, while they continue to harass Kevin De Leon to resign as well. Last week witnessed one of their people (Jason Reedy) repeatedly headbutting him until he provoked their reaction. They also managed to get their candidate Eunisses Hernandez elected during the primary. And they got defunder Kenneth Mejia to defeat Paul Koretz for controller. Mejia is famous for his half-baked graphics showing how we need to defund the police.
What do the DSA want? Their immediate goal is an end to LAMC41.18. This is the ordinance LA City Council recently passed which forbids camping around schools and other sensitive buildings. And it’s the source of their repeated riots at city hall. This was passed 11-3 – and every one of the 11 councilmembers who voted for it are in their crosshairs. Fortunately, Mike Bonin was one of the NO votes, and he’s been replaced by Traci Park, who is an ardent supporter.
Homelessness is a joint city-county problem. So what happens at the County Board of Supervisors matters. Unfortunately, far left Lindsey Horvath beat out the more moderate Bob Hertzberg. That means a solid majority of three represent the status quo. Which means cities will have a hard time getting county funds released to help house the homeless and clean up their streets. We also expect to see them go back to issuing mask and vaxx mandates. While Public Health director Barbara Ferrer will remain unchecked and unaccountable – except hopefully by legal means, at the hands of active residents.
It remains to be seen where our new mayor Karen Bass will stand on all this. She is a career politician, and their specialty is making promises quickly forgotten once elected. The DSA pretends she’s too far to their right, but we’re all too familiar with this scenario: they continue to badger her, and she will continue to “cave” to their demands.
It’s important to understand why DSA is so prominent in this election – they are the one dominant political ground game in this city. They use violent, undemocratic means like harassing officials, intimidating opponents, and even bugging private conversations. Associated with them are all sorts of daughter organizations like Koreatown For All or Mar Vista Voice, which harass neighborhood councils to do their bidding.
Beyond the end of 41.18, they have a rather disturbing vision for our city – the end of public safety and public spaces. People are to be imprisoned in $5000+/month prison-style apartment complexes, while criminals rule the streets. It sounds counterintuitive for a socialist organization, but it’s actually a real estate mogul’s dream environment. Which is why their funding and organization are so secret.
So what can we suspect from them moving forward? How can we expect to win against them with more friendly candidates in 2024?
We can expect them to harass and bait every elected official who is not one of their own. The main thing to remember is NOT TO FALL FOR THE BAIT. Every one they target is not far enough to the left for them.
They will continue to encourage transient camps everywhere they can stick them. Expect drug dens to come back to Echo Park Lake and Venice Boardwalk. But people have seen what clean parks can do for them. The best way to fight back against them is tell people what they’re up to. Tell them who’s pushing for destroying our parks and public spaces. Tell them about 41.18 – which nobody knows about.
CD6 (East San Fernando) will have a special election this April to replace Nury Martinez. DSA is hoping to get the jump on this election with their own candidate. But this could backfire – the district tilted towards Caruso in the general election. Imelda Padilla appears to be a common sense moderate who could run away with this, if she builds a proper campaign.
Conclusion – between the county races and the city races, LA seems headed for a lot more pain and struggle as we deal with increasing transient camps and crime. But hopefully all is not lost. If the candidates who lost are able to still stay in the game, and organize a proper 2024 campaign with residents, we can turn things around. We have enough to go by to show what change we can make – especially here in the Westside. Let’s try to push it countywide.