Being an anti-secessionist, I was not encouraged by the recent anti-secessionist rally at Valley College sponsored by the county labor federation. Not one positive note came out of the rally.
I witnessed former mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa monopolize the floor and tell how great Los Angeles is and how everyone wants to come here. He spoke partially in Spanish, so I don't know what else he said.
I heard Mayor James Hahn call the secessionist leaders snake oil salesmen. And I heard a supposed advocate of rent control say that she is not interested in the $500- to $600-a-month renters, but the $1,000- to $1,400-a-month renters. She lives in the Valley.
At the rally, I also listened to speakers from the clergy saying we had a moral obligation from God to prevent secession, and to a neighborhood leader criticize and say that the Daily News is behind secession. In addition, a politician's aide said that the "living wage" ordinance would go if the Valley secedes.
This bashing continued unabated until adjournment. No positive solutions were offered. I left the rally with the impression that if this is all the tired leadership, both public and private, can offer, then I had better prepare for a new Valley city. There was no mention of equalization of city services to those who live on both sides of the hill. There was no mention of shortening police response time, and there was certainly no mention of abolishing the current mind-set that exists in City Hall. The anti-secessionists offered nothing.
My fight to preserve rent control for all income levels continues. I don't have to bash the secession people or question their motives or sincerity. Los Angeles is a mess, and I don't blame them for wanting to get out. However, I won't let them put the poor, aged and working people out on the streets.
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