So much of what we think of as great progressive thinking originates in Los Angeles. Indeed, if you were around about a decade ago, you were witnessing the birth of the progressive blogosphere right here in LA. And progressives have generally had the run of the town politically too.
And yet the pueblo does not reflect progressive "values" by any measure...
There are more homeless here than anywhere else. The rents are too damn high. We've been better at growing unemployment than we have at growing employment. And in this new bastion of American immigration, we now see Latino immigrant numbers actually shrinking here after eight years of Villaraigosa and nearly one of a new ethnic hybrid Mayorality. And LA covers itself very badly--local media are mostly a joke when it comes to analysis of what happens at City Hall, which is cate-corner to the LA Times building downtown.
Why these things are so have long troubled me, a lifelong resident--with an emphasis on the word "long" as I'm 57. And lots of other people are troubled now too. A blue ribbon commission led by Mickey Kantor found profound political and economic lethargy here. The new, young Mayor had a chance to form an administrative Camelot but instead drew on party hacks, including some right wingers like local agitprop jock Kevin James, and a couple of profoundly anti-union types, especially anti-teacher.
This is my second book on LA in two years; I promise to slow down. It's called "LA at Intermission: A City Mingling Towards Identity." It aggregates some columns I've written in the run-up to the Garcetti mayoralty and included much new material. It sees an LA "that belongs to hipsters and dreamers and futurists and chatterers; it is a city that lacks gravitas, that yaks it up, snapping selfies, dreaming much and doing little, mostly satisfied enough with itself to be willingly distracted from the grand cycle, which was already far from riveting."
Who is Eric Garcetti? That's one question answered very definitely by this book.You can read most of the Introduction for free, anyway, and see what you think.