Seven-ish months ago I hated Los Angeles, didn't care who ran for mayor, and had no conception that the city could do anything to hasten the day when the Big Money devil is no longer allowed to poison politics and, by extension, almost every aspect of life.
Today I still hate L.A., but two phenomes of hope float above this desert: Eric Garcetti for mayor and Prop. C. Los Angeles city voters are privileged to vote for both this coming Tuesday.
My animosity toward Los Angeles is probably similar to other people's, so let's focus on the hope.
Some day HuffPost will be able to link us to holograms of people so we can experience their magic first hand. Much as I'd like to present to you the pocket Eric Garcetti, I cannot. I can say that before my first conversation with him I'd been certain L.A. could only continue deteriorating. But afterwards I realized that if anyone could upend the city's fate, it was he.
I'd first been impressed by him several years ago when, as City Council president and a long-time campaign finance reform advocate, he spoke at a California Clean Money Campaign (CCMC) event. CCMC's goal is to bring full voluntary publicly-funded election campaigns to CA. I've been volunteering there since 2000.
Yeah, he has vision. But in his case it's simultaneously 72-point, bold, all-caps, IMAX Technicolor 12-D-cubed impress the world, wind in your hair as you speed along Mulholland vision; 12-point regular get potholes repaired, streets cleared of storm debris and manage city finances vision; and 10-point italic return arts to the classroom, create neighborhood parks, and sponsor concerts throughout the city vision.
There are many online interviews too including one that features him break dancing.
And his website.
The increasingly formidable Money Out /Voters In (MOVI) Coalition, Common Cause and the California Public Interest Research Group raised enough of a grassroots ruckus to inspire the L.A. City Council to adopt and place Proposition C on Tuesday's ballot. It gives Los Angeles voters the right to instruct our electeds to pass a constitutional amendment that works to get big money out of campaigns by overturning the infamous Supreme Court Citizens United decision. The first mayoral candidate to endorse this measure was Eric Garcetti.
If/when we pass Prop C, we'll be the largest group of voters so far to tell Congress to return elections to the electorate. If we pass C and choose Garcetti, it'll be tougher to keep hating L.A.
That's a problem I'd love.