Weeks ago I was campaigning up in Sunland-Tujunga at the Olde Towne Comfort and Joy Cafe and having some spirited discussions with some concerned voters up there. It was a fruitful discussion, as I learned some new things and the voters heard more new ideas from me.
One thing we cleared up was my misconception that voters in Sunland-Tujunga were anti-business NIMBYS who couldn't control themselves. I had drawn this conclusion from not knowing all the facts when I ran for Mayor of Los Angeles in 2009. At a televised forum in Sunland-Tujunga, I said that I supported Home Depots right to build a new superstore there. This drew some boos and hostile commentary from the crowd. Some of the commentators said they feared for my safety upon leaving the building...but I think it was just harmless hyperbole meant as a joke.
Weeks ago I learned that the voters in Sunland-Tujunga do not hate businesses. They didn't even hate Home Depot. They just wanted a different business to replace the Kmart at that location that had been closed in bankruptcy proceedings. The concerned community members made it clear to me that they simply wanted better access to goods and services that they needed.
O.K. That made sense to me. We can all be pro-business but disagree as to which stores should open where. I told the voters that they should have contacted the owners of the property that Kmart had been leasing. They said they had tried, but their complaints had fallen on deaf ears.
One of the highlights of the evening was near the end. These voters made clear to me their displeasure with City of Los Angeles re-districting that had them leaving one shady political figure (The Dark Lord - a.k.a. Paul Krekorian) behind, only to be left to the whims and madness of an even darker, and more sinister political figure: Political Gangster Richard "Fredo" Alarcon.
Impressed with the sincerity of their dismay at this situation, I made a solemn vow to end this type of political corruption.
I promised them that if I was elected to Congress in the 28th District, I would do everything within my legal power to make sure that Richard Alarcon spends time on the inside of a jail cell. This is a vow I will publicly repeat at forums and community events. Alarcon is a felon who intentionally deceived voters and perpetrated various financial crimes on the city.
One of the voters who signed my nomination papers was very impressed with this statement.
While signing my petition, he heard me make my vow and quickly said.."Can I sign twice?"