Next Tuesday, May 17, when Los Angeles voters go to the polls, they will have clear choices in both the mayoral and City Council district #11 contests.
Voters who like the way things are going in the City of the Angels in general and on the Westside in particular will vote for incumbent mayor Jim Hahn and Council candidate Flora Gil Krisiloff.
Voters who believe L.A. can do better – much better – will vote for Antonio Villaraigosa for mayor and Bill Rosendahl for the City Council, because not only can L.A. do better, it will do better with Villaraigosa in the mayor’s chair and Rosendahl on the Council.
Based on his performance to date, we’re not sure that Hahn even knows where the Westside is, much less what it is.
He never visits, never calls, and never talks about either its assets or its problems, yet he has generally sided with big developers while ignoring pleas from residents, neighborhood groups and environmentalists with genuine concerns about traffic congestion, air pollution and degradation or destruction of the natural environment that are generated by big developments.
In fact, Villaraigosa has spent more time on the Westside and given more attention to Westside issues during his campaign than Hahn did during his entire four-year term.
In addition, Villaraigosa is a smart, experienced and capable leader who knows his way around Sacramento, where many of L.A.’s problems begin, and he clearly loves L.A., all of it, and that’s vital. If you don’t love it, you can’t understand it, and if you don’t understand it, you cannot govern it.
In Sacramento as Assembly Speaker and in L.A. as a Councilman, Villaraigosa has taken strong stands on such key issues as education, the environment and transportation.
Hahn is a standard issue pol who sees power as an end, rather than a means, and hasn’t ever had an original thought. He has ridden further than he should have on his father’s coattails, and it’s time for him to find another line of work.
Here and now, Villaraigosa is not only the best man, he’s the only man for what must rank as one of the toughest and most challenging jobs in America.
From the moment Bill Rosendahl decided to run for the L.A. City Council, he has been an advocate for the 11th District and its residents. During the course of his campaign to succeed Cindy Miscikowksi, he has been more active and taken stands on more issues and spoken out more times on behalf of various residents than Miscikowksi did in all her years in office.
He has not hesitated to speak out on a whole range of Westside problems – from traffic to affordable housing. He opposes the LAX expansion and stands with the beleaguered tenants at Lincoln Place. He has issued position papers and policy statements on more issues than we can count, and they’ve all been smart and innovative, as well as feasible. He’s even written a constituents’ Bill of Rights.The coast of LA. is its most cherished and most fragile region. It needs an eloquent and tireless defender, and has not had one in a while. Bill Rosendahl knows the territory and its residents and is ready to bring the remarkable imagination, devotion, energy and passion he has shown during the extended campaign to L.A. City Hall on its behalf.