L.A. Postcard To The Prez

Rivers, Rail Lines and Hot Dogs, Oh My!
Cary Brazeman

Dear President Obama:

You’re a busy guy, juggling two wars, the oil spill, the Mother of All Recessions, and your mother-in-law living in the White House, so I won’t keep you long.  But there are two reasons I’m dropping you this line from Los Angeles. First, thanks very much for sending Lisa Jackson, your EPA Administrator, to South LA last week to announce the Feds’ declaration of the LA River as “navigable waters.”  After a generation of dealing mainly with Feds who like to bulldoze things, now we know the U.S. government supports regional action to create accessible green space around the river for recreation and parks, some ecosystem restoration, and improved watershed management.  We appreciate your help.  [LINK]

Second, thanks for your openness to support our regional effort to accelerate construction of 30 years’ worth of transportation projects in 10 years … what Mayor Villaraigosa calls “30/10.”  These multi-modal transportation projects, collectively, will go far in establishing a twenty-first century transportation system for our city.  With 30/10, we would get badly needed infrastructure and at the same time create about 160,000 jobs over 10 years.

30/10 isn’t perfect (there are some planning issues to resolve in West LA, for example), but I won’t bother you with the details.

Suffice it to say, your administration’s continuing help is appreciated.  As I’m sure Mayor V has explained, we’re not asking for a handout, but an advance guaranteed by tax revenue being collected in our region.

Speaking of infrastructure and jobs …  Just between us, if your stimulus plan last year had been 60% or 70% directed toward infrastructure instead of about 20%, we’d be seeing more employment across the country and you’d be taking less heat about federal spending.  We don’t need ginned up, make-work jobs (uneconomic activity for the sake of activity), but targeted jobs that produce lasting benefits and permanent private-sector jobs.

Thanks for listening, Mr. President.  By the way, the next time Michelle and the girls are in LA, let me know.  If they liked Pink’s hotdogs, they’ll love my favorite place in Reseda.  The dogs are on me!



(Cary Brazeman is a regular contributor to CityWatch. He can be reached at  cary@laneighbors.org.This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it )  Photo credit: Flickr-dougm2.        -cw

Vol 8 Issue 55
Pub: July 13, 2010

I really thought this was clever – interesting, informative, and fun.

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