Friday, May 8, 2009

Updating Last Week’s News

Yes, the mayor really did come to town. Villaraigosa and his entourage arrived by electric trolley to serve breakfast at the Harbor Towers building last Saturday. Before reboarding, the mayor stopped for a picture with members of the Central San Pedro Neighborhood Council. Pictured from left are Frank Anderson, President John Delgado, Villaraigosa with Delgado’s sons, Phill Trigas and Phil Strout.

For more on the La Salle Lofts, have a gander at the Daily Breeze story from Tuesday.


Anonymous said...

Los Angeles Magazine:
Antonio a 'failure' as mayor

Kevin Roderick • May 14 2009

The June cover of Los Angeles Magazine, out in a few days,
bears a portrait of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and one word blazoned in white ink across the page: Failure.

LA Observed:

Anonymous said...

By Ed Leibowitz

Los Angeles magazine, June 2009

Dear Mr. Mayor,

Your second term at City Hall doesn’t even begin until next month, but we know you’re already plotting to leave us—at least if you think you’ve got a fair shot at grabbing the gubernatorial crown off that Austrian bodybuilder in 2010. It took a good while, but we realize now that your career has been less about fulfilling commitments than about seizing opportunities and satisfying ever-larger appetites at the expense of those who put faith in you. Your estranged wife, the politicians who stood behind you and took a haircut for their trouble, the voters who believed you could love this city more than you love yourself—we can tell the same story of betrayal.

Why, you may ask, are we so bitter? It’s a fair question. We weren’t as harsh when your predecessor, James Hahn, ran our city like a midlevel bureaucrat. It was no great revelation when Hahn preoccupied himself with bean counting, and only mildly surprising when his best accounting practices became tarnished by petty corruption. In his campaign speeches Hahn had given us little to aspire to, and so he could hardly disappoint. Then again Hahn made the courageous but suicidal political move of ending Bernard Parks’s tenure as police chief in favor of William Bratton, which so outraged South L.A. that when you ran against Hahn in 2005, that former constituency of his was all yours.

We are bitter because you promised us so much. You were not only our first Latino mayor in 137 years but arguably the most charismatic leader in memory to step onto L.A.’s bland political stage. You had charm, poise, and vigor, and you spoke in cadences that reconciled reason and compassion.

Your life story alone was cause for celebration. Here was no high-powered man of business who traced his father’s footsteps, like Richard Riordan, or scion of a beloved county supervisor, like James Hahn. As a boy, you endured Eastside poverty and a drunken, violent father who abandoned the family. Dropping out of high school, you sank into hurt and hostility. A tattoo on your arm warned that you were “born to raise hell.” In your rise from those beginnings to the mayor’s office, you bulldozed long-held prejudices about what any of us could or deserved to achieve. You spanned the city’s divides of race, class, and geography. You owed your mayoral victory as much to the home owners of Encino and the African American congregations of Crenshaw as to the laborers of Boyle Heights and the Prius drivers of Westwood. Under your reign, our city might cohere.

What an agenda you rolled out for us. Your progressive platform, if enacted, would cleanse the city of its toxins: street crime and failing schools, the evaporation of affordable housing and the carcinogens in our skies. You made your share of election-year boasts—a thousand new cops! a million new trees!—but we understood these to be ornaments hung upon a grand civic vision.

You didn’t exactly settle into City Hall. Instead, you kept on barnstorming. We watched you plant the first of all those promised trees and fill in potholes and leaflet motorists on Wilshire Boulevard. We were sure to hear about it when you stumped for Hillary Clinton or scaled the Great Wall of China. You tossed out new programs as if you were still a candidate, most of them paper-thin, without any strategy for implementation or credible source of funding. You said you were a “big-picture guy,” too busy touting lofty plans around the city and the world to bother with details. Rather than adapt your regime to compensate for your lack of organizational concern, you commandeered it for self-promotion.

Los Angeles Magazine for additional