Press Release - L.A. 2020 Report Reveals City’s Biggest Problem: One-Party Rule
BURBANK, January 14, 2014 – A report by a citizen’s commission tasked with taking an honest look at Los Angeles concludes that the city is deteriorating, gridlocked by traffic, beset with terrible poverty and afflicted with “a crisis of leadership and direction."
“Tell us something we didn’t know,” said Mark Vafiades, Chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County (RPLAC). “The larger question is: Does this commission or any city leader have the courage to have an honest conversation about L.A.’s decline?”
The report, entitled “A Time For Truth” is the work of a commission appointed by L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson. While the panel produced a newsworthy document, a consensus opportunity was missed when the Democrat City Councilman chose a unanimous collection of partisan and powerful Democrats to participate on the panel. Not a single current or former Republican officeholder is to be found among the 13-member group, which includes a Democrat Governor recalled from office, a former Democrat Congresswoman, Los Angeles’ most powerful and partisan labor leaders and a veteran Democrat adviser and advocate..
In addition, at a time when the city’s Department of Water Power finds itself somewhat consumed by scandal and, to many residents, a service shortfall, the panel also curiously included the DWP’s former general manager, the head of the DWP’s influential employee union and a former DWP commissioner. The Los Angeles Times also reported that one commission member represented a rail company, which the report specifically mentioned was tangled in unnecessary city red tape.
The report, however, also offers striking conclusions of city schools: “Our public school system is failing our children and betraying the hopes of their hardworking parents. This year, the Los Angeles Unified School District will spend $7.1 billion to educate close to 640,000 of our young people, but a recent survey found less than 60% of LAUSD students graduated from high school. For every 100 LAUSD students who enter 9th grade, just 32 will complete the course requirements to enter the UC or Cal State systems.”
“We know L.A. schools are tragically failing so many of the students and families they must help and support. And yet, what has this commission done to achieve change? Many of them have had a direct hand in allowing the LAUSD to underperform as it does,” said Vafiades.
Vafiades added that there is no way Los Angeles can have an honest review of its problems, without acknowledging and fixing its political imbalance.
“The L.A. City Council has one Republican, its school board none and the city’s labor leaders lavishly fund Democrat candidates to keep it that way. It is complete hypocrisy for Democrats to establish one-party rule in Los Angeles and then decry the problems their fingerprints are all over. Tough talk without tough truth is just sound and noise.”