Friday, August 14, 2009

Nuch and the People from the Neighborhood

City Attorney Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich hosted hundreds of neighborhood council members and other civic activists at downtown L.A. City Hall Thursday.

The unprecedented meet-and-greet began with a reception, followed by a report and question-and-answer session led by the self-declared “people’s lawyer” from San Pedro.

Nuch speaks, above, and takes questions from the audience.

At least one elected official credited the neighborhood councils for Trutanich’s upset victory in the May election. “If not for neighborhood councils getting involved, he wouldn’t be here,” said Councilman Dennis Zine. “You made the right choice.”

Trutanich took every opportunity to emphasize his populist, public-service mission. Here are some soundbites from the meeting:

“You hired me to be your lawyer. Do you want your lawyer to be politically correct or good?”

“During my first management meeting, I told my managers that if you mention politics in here, you won’t be here next week.”

“I don’t think I’ve been home before 10:30 since I took office. It’s just the way you have to lead. We have a department that’s so, so very dedicated to the people of this city. I consider myself a leader among equals.”

Message to billboard companies, who are objecting to the city’s new ban on the outdoor ads: “The days of civil suits against you are over. If you violate criminal law, I’m going to have you arrested and you will go to jail and post bail like anyone else who breaks the law. At the end of the day, we’re going to take control of our city, one billboard at a time.”

For more along these lines, click over to last Sunday’s Los Angeles Times story, “Trutanich stirs city attorney’s office.”

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