An Example to Local Electeds

Last week the Southwest Community Center burnt down, just before their annual giveaway of food, toys and other items for needy families. The Santa Ana community came through and many people went and volunteered their time to this wonderful charity. Although I was unable to make, I heard only a couple of the elected officials in Santa Ana showed up, although the Mayor(who was a no show) did inform volunteers he got a local vending company to donate an unlimited amount of ice, which was sorely needed for the event.

Hearing how few electeds show up made me think, all too often we see local Councilmembers or School Boardmembers who lose sight of just what they were elected to do. They start to think certain events are beneath them, or others are meant for them to go and take a quick photo and leave. To those who have developed that mindset, I would like to turn your attention to an example to follow when it comes to being a local elected. That person is candidate for California Lieutenant Governor and current Los Angeles City Councilmember Janice Hahn. (Full disclosure, I worked as an intern and aide to Hahn from January 2002 to September 2003)

One incident sticks out in my mind, was when a non-profit organization adopted a very rough area of Wilmington(nicknamed Ghosttown) to do some neighborhood rehabilitation. One of those projects was to paint several houses on one block in this neighborhood to some of the neediest residents. Councilwoman Hahn requested several of her staffers, myself included, to come down and volunteer our time to paint some of the homes. At the ceremony, Councilwoman Hahn came and gave the citywide proclomation certificate,  AND proceeded to grab a paint brush, a bucket of paint and assist in painting a home. She stayed for a good 90 minutes helping to actually bring back a formerly neglected neighborhood in Wilmington. While many councilmembers could have left after the photo op, Councilwoman Hahn felt a sense of duty to partake in manual labor to help her constituents. To me, that is leadership.

I hope many local elected officials will look at this example and take it to heart. I know some have grown an ego the size of Los Angeles, and this post will go right over their heads, but it needs to be said. This is not only an example of how local elected officials should serve their constituency, but also an example of why I know she will be the best person to serve as Lieutenant Governor for the next four years. She is one who has not let being a Councilmember on what is arguably the most powerful City Council in the state if not the nation(Some State Legislators consider running for the LA City Council to be running for higher office) go to her head and has maintained that all politics is local ideal that has allowed her to serve her constituents so well. I believe she would take that same mentality with the entire state of California as her constituency.

So to the local elected officials who love to just show up for the photo ops or have come to believe that the people  elected you so they could serve YOU, wake up. This is how you should behave as an elected official. And this is who you should also be supporting for Lieutentant Governor for the State of California.

  1 comment for “An Example to Local Electeds

  1. CL Walker
    December 23, 2009 at 5:52 am

    Wow…so completely different than the press coverage at THE CITY.

    Just a couple of the Headlines: Goodbye Janice, We In Coach Class Hardly Knew Ye, and In Search of Good Janice

    There seems to be a completely different view of Janice Hahn and her effectiveness that was published over a three week period at the media outlet THE CITY (which covers the goings on at city hall). It is the harshest I have read in a long time and quite the opposite of your piece. From THE CITY:

    Goodbye Janice, We In Coach Class Hardly Knew Ye
    City Watch – Diana L. Chapman – ‎Nov 25, 2009‎

    Now that Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn has revealed her ambitions for lieutenant governor, I’d like her to know the reality of …

    In Search of Good Janice
    City Watch – Diana L. Chapman – ‎Dec 3, 2009‎

    Because I know there are people who like Hahn, I waited and waited and waited – especially from those supporting her bid to run for Lieutenant governor. …

    Real Leadership Would be Useful at a Time Like This

    City Watch – Bob Gelfand – ‎Dec 10, 2009‎

    And if Janice Hahn won’t accept the responsibilities of leadership, perhaps someone else will. Councilman Alarcon? Garcetti? Rosendahl? …

    In just these three articles from a media outlet that specifically covers the Los Angeles City Hall might be enough for many voters to make up their mind and look no further.

    Examples/Quotes from the articles listed above:

    “Now that Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn has revealed her ambitions for lieutenant governor, I’d like her to know the reality of what I think her leadership was representing the 15th District on the L.A. City Council — and what I got out of it.

    Zero. It’s sad for me, as I’ve always thought she is beautiful, glamorous, articulate – and I wanted to believe in her. But she was never there for peons like me, the volunteers, the folks in the trenches, the true activists who don’t make a dime, the smaller businesses trying to make it with less than a dime or the non-profits that didn’t interest her.

    She’d pat us on the back, smile a lot and act like she supported us. Then reality would hit. She did nothing at all.

    Nada. Naught. Nil. Zero. Zilch.”

    “I wanted to believe in Janice. Truly I did. But the growing list of things not done began to reverberate around me until I finally realized I’ve been had and let down by a beautiful, classy politician who fails to understand there is a coach section on the plane while she spends her time working in first class.”

    “Not until she decided to run for lieutenant governor did several non-profits tell me she was helping them suddenly, attending their events or working to aid them with city services. It just made me wonder where she’d been the last, let’s see, 10 years.”

    The author of the story quoted above is Diana L. Chapman who was a journalist for 15 years with the Daily Breeze and the San Diego Union. She followed up the next week with what was to be the positive comments from readers.

    “I put myself out on a limb when writing about Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn last week and her failure to help the little guy, like me, which probably means you and you and you.

    After it ran in CityWatch, I sat back and braced for an onslaught of pro-Janice worshippers to write in to spell out how wonderful she is and all she had done for their communities. Zero came in. Nada. Zip. Zilcho!”

    Perhaps they believe CityWatch won’t print what they think. It will. It will. It will.

    “Because I know there are people who like Hahn, I waited and waited and waited – especially from those supporting her bid to run for Lieutenant governor.

    Instead, I received many emails from people who too, felt just like me, a sense of betrayal from our councilwoman who seemed to prefer hanging out with the political elite – and first class – than us old boring folks back in coach.”

    “I don’t have to tell you about my profound disappointment with her. She is representative of the myriad hack politicians whose principal motivation is how they can continue to gorge themselves at the public trough,” Villagran emailed. “I will be happy to see Hahn leave CD15 but dread the idea that California voters could be duped into voting for her as Lt. Governor.”

    Followed by: A resident asked:

    “How could you not include her fearless and tireless efforts to deal with the dreaded ‘Reggie the Alligator’?” Did she not waste an inordinate amount of time and money to bring this episode to a proper conclusion?

    “If I remember correctly, she left a pretty important meeting to zip off to Harbor Park when the news came in that Reggie was finally caught … In my opinion, she has become one of those politicians you will elect to higher office to get her out of our business,” and up to a “bigger play pen.”

    I will not include any other quotes from THE CITY; the links are provided below, if you are interested in how bad the articles really are. This is just a taste.


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