Tuesday, September 12, 2006

election day for downtown

Don't forget to vote today in the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council election. Last week Jim and I went to the DLANC meeting where a room full of candidates gave speeches to, with some exceptions, a room full of candidates. Yeah, good times.

I guess I could post my observations of all the candidates, especially the one who claimed idiotically that there are no resources available for finding out what's going on downtown. When corrected with the DLANC website's URL, newdowntown.com, blogdowntown and the many blogs on the blogroll, RAD-LA's email list, the Downtown News, etc., he retorted that it didn't speak to creative types, just lawyers and it didn't speak to the younger generation (ooh, snap.). That's the way to get people to vote for you - divide people between "us' and "them", insult those who fall into the "them" category in the room, participants and founders of any of the above-listed resources, anyone who's done anything before you, and anyone over the age of 25. I'm glad I don't live in Alameda East. After reading through my notes from the meeting, I realized that most everyone was open-minded, sincere, committed, and desirous of a wonderful downtown for all. Except for that one guy.

Blogdowntown has posted some candidate statements. What really teed me off though, some stupid commenters tried to do a nasty smear campaign on one candidate. I guess if you didn't know the guy they were trying to smear, it could be effective, which sucks hard. I mean, I like Genevieve Liang (I spoke with her briefly after last week's DLANC meeting), but Russell Brown has done so much for downtown. He jumped right in and got involved, it didn't take him a year to figure out where to go, what to do and how to improve his then-new neighborhood. But all these commenters could come up with is that he's "an aging party queen" and that he can be found having a PBR at Pete's Cafe. Let's see, where do I start? Oh yeah. Uh, we're all aging, baby. And whether or not Russell is a party queen has nothing to do with his accomplishments and his commitment to making downtown liveable. What else? Oh yeah, Russell sent out a previous statement that when he's not doing a million other things (see his resume below), he can also be found enjoying a PBR at Pete's. I guess those asshole commenters left that part out conveniently and tried to paint him as someone who holds meetings at downtown bars. I wonder if any of those commenters ever attended a DLANC meeting at the DWP building or any of the resident's association meetings in a gallery on Spring Street. Doubt it.

Eric of Blogdowntown hasn't posted Russell Brown's candidate statement (he's running for the area-wide resident seat), so I'll post it here. He's providing a free shuttle to get everyone to the voting site, for chrissake!
Hello Neighbor,

After months of preparation, TUESDAY is ELECTION Day for Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council.

Here's the Pitch. I am running again as the Downtown area-wide resident For Downtown LA Neighborhood Council (DLANC). Below is a partial community resume. If you are a resident within our borders (approximately within the freeway circle except for Artist District or Little Tokyo), I would like your vote.

All I ask is 30 minutes of your time for 2 years of my time.

I am providing a free shuttle ride from 4th and Main in front of Farmer's and Merchant's Bank. Shuttle starts at 12:30 PM and goes to 7:30 PM. Every ½ hour on the hour and on the ½ hour.

Tuesday Sept 12th * Election Day
LOCATION Macy's Plaza Courtyard
700 S. Flower TIME Noon to 8:00 PM

Why Downtown?
After years of living in other neighborhoods, I decided it was time to cash out of the big house in the hills, and see if my aspiration of loft living in a recycled historic building was worth all the effort. Instead of just a place to live, I also found a creative community of friends and community builders who wanted to create new neighborhoods and organizations where history had already laid tracks for 100 years. My favorites of the New Downtown include Gallery Row, 40 new loft projects, (almost) all adaptive reuse, Disney Hall, The Grand Avenue with a Great Civic Park and an iconic Gehry high-rise, LA Live, a redeveloped LA River, and noodle shops in Little Tokyo. These all make an amazing soup of diversity and inspiration. I hope I can help others find their involvement, create their new neighborhoods and to find friend and inspiration along the way.

If 2 years from now, I can look back and have tackled these issues, downtown and its residents, will be that much better off:

• Connecting Communities- Creating communications, entertainment and social networks for new residents & businesses, Increasing opportunities for community involvement, Initiating a welcome packet program for downtown residents with business participation.

• New Amenities and Improved Safety- Supporting Gallery Row and other downtown organizations, Promoting small business retail and service opportunities, Green space/ pocket park creation, Main Street renovation project, Grand Ave Civic Park Project.

• Preserving Historical Resources- by promoting Urban Village and pedestrian design guidelines, historical resource surveys, preventing inappropriate projects that destroy neighborhoods.

Help me be part of that change by helping others to get involved.

Community Resume:
• Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council – Executive Committee, Secretary, Planning and Land Use Committee, Outreach Committee, Election Committee Chair, DLANC- Area wide resident. www.dlanc.com

• Resident's Association of Downtown Los Angeles (RAD-LA)
Founder and Moderator of outreach and discussion group on community issues of downtown residents within Historic Core and Center City East.

• Historic Core Neighborhood Block Grant Committee- Vice Chair.
HCNBG has funneled over $1 million in community improvement project in the Old Bank District. Next project, Fall 2006, includes $300,000 for Main Street renovations including safety, landscaping, lighting and business development improvements from Winston Alley to 7th Street.

• OUTinDowntownLA – Organizing Chair, gay & lesbian social group for downtown & adj. neighborhoods, 500 members.

• Selah Artistic Giving Center – Co-Founder & Founding Benefactor.
Selah AGC is located in the Artist District and is a community based non-profit dedicated to Los Angeles' artist community. Sponsor of F.A.B. Market.

Old Bank District ArtWalk- Volunteer coordinator and outreach co-chair.
Partnered with Roy Montibon to further participation and outreach. 3 years

• CRA Hollywood Blvd. & Western Redevelopment Advisory Committee.
Neighborhood Council rep. with 4 NC's, Thai CDC, CD-4 Tom LaBonge, CD-13 Eric Garcetti, Community Redevelopment Agency and City of LA Mayor's office.

• Hollywood United Neighborhood Council, Past Chair, Past Vice President, Executive Committee, Board Member for 4 years, Planning & Land Use Committee Chair http://HollywoodUnitedNC.org

• Community Hollywood- Founder and Moderator of discussion and outreach group on community issues. CH is focused on neighborhood council, development and general interest issues in Hollywood.

• Los Angeles Conservancy Walking Tour docent

• Stonewall Democratic Club, Steering Committee & Board Member-12 years. http://www.stonewall-dems.org

• 12 years political activism and lobby experience including Washington DC and Sacramento

So if you're a downtown stakeholder (either a resident, downtown worker or involved in some way with a downtown organization), get out and vote today.

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