LA Mayors Race: me pissed at Emily’s List

UPDATE: notice ping back in comments, this post was picked up by some outlets regarding this subject.  Yeah, for once it not just me!

 

LA Mayors race is STILL going on. Some developments have caused me to BREAK TIES and SPEAK OUT against politicos who I use to respect.   To recap, my pick Eric Garcetti came in first in the primary.  No one got 50% so now it’s between him and City Controller Wendy Greuel.

I left town for 2 weeks over spring break and somehow the Garcetti campaign cobbled on without me! Cobbled meaning continued endorsements and a rise in the polls.

two of the best guys in LA!

As soon as we got back I felt I needed to jump back in and within a day Rex and Vivien were playing at Chez Garcetti with Eric’s adorable little girl while I phoned voters downstairs with other volunteers and his wife Amy. Two days later Mark was cooking a show stopping dinner at a friends fab house to raise money for the Garcetti campaign.  The food was extraordinary. It was great to see not only Eric, but it was really great to see his whip smart wife when we weren’t canvassing!  Those of us seated by her were transfixed as she told us about  why they chose to be foster parents and some of the connections they have made over the years.  When she got up the rest of us were saying stuff like, “oh, what a great thing to do, how wonderful, don’t think I could do it.”  But, that’s not for the mics.

In front of the mic, my former old favorite Bill Clinton really ticked me off because he announced his endorsement for Wendy Greuel.  Sure, that’s his right, but why?  It’s a race between two Pro Choice Democrats in a city that Clinton has NO connection or history too. Keep your nose out of it. I haven’t been this mad at Bill since the Blue Dress.  Greuel supported Hilary in ’08, but dang it so did I.   Bubba, don’t you have enough going on?  Go bring medicine to Africa, somewhere you can be useful. Ironic, because I think Eric Garcetti has Clinton-like intelligence and charisma.  An ability to speak from the heart to all types of people. To be fair, Clinton hasn’t said anything bad about Garcetti. But, a group I USE to like has.

MY deep rage I save for Emily’s list.  They endorsed Greuel and have given her a pot of money.  Now, this group is about supporting pro choice women candidates, so I’m not mad at them for following through with their mandate.  Over the years I have given them money.  I gave them money to support women, not make sexist ads and tear down a feminist man.  Check this out:  Wow, Eric has nice legs and pretty blond hair. I’ve been to Eric’s house, I’ve seen what he drives, he does not live like Paris Hilton.   Garcetti was endorsed by NOW (California chapter of National Organization of Women)  He has a great record of supporting women’s issues, hiring women on his staff and addressing everyday concerns of women.  He increased parks in his district and put after school programs in the schools in his district.  This is about him being up 10% in up in the polls.

Also, if that picture of the blond came from a male led group cries of sexism would be immense.

Last year I stopped giving to the Democratic Senate fund because I realized, hey some of those people I don’t like.  I would rather pick my own candidate.  I feel that way about Emily’s list now. I will do my own picking.

 

out of sync

As so often happens in my life.  I’m out of sync.  I’ve been working for my chosen mayoral candidate like I’m getting paid, I’m encouraging voters like, I dunno, it’s a right people have DIED for and then I see this:  Only 16% of LA voters voted.  It’s not just the mayors race I was keen on.  The school board race is darn important and a battle between entrenched LAUSD ( a behemoth) and parental choice.  Comic and former co worker John Fugelsang recently twittered “If you supported the Iraq War you don’t have a right to complain about the deficit.” Here, here. If you live in LA  and you complain about city services, pot holes, the schools, and you didn’t vote SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE.

Don’t tell me candidates don’t talk about what they would really do to solve problems.  Yes, they do.  I was front and center, and not looking that good, the day after the election.

from LA Daily News

Eric Garcetti came in first, but didn’t get 50% of the vote so he and Wendy Greuel now have a run off for May 21st.  Sure, he starts with general campaign stuff, but then did get into specifics  ( I’m sure it’s the same for all the candidates).  On TV that night they only showed a quick clip of him saying something general.

Do parents understand that the school board makes choices that directly affect their children’s schools? That even if you don’t have children you have a stake in how our future generations are educated? In other cities they must.  Chicago has 48% for city elections.  One of my picks was defeated, one won and the other Antonio Sanchez is in a run off.  I do not live in his district, but I still go and hear him speak and wrote a little check for the dude and while I did I yammered on about changes I wanted to see to the school system.  Do you think they listen to people who don’t show up, knock on doors or write checks ( not Bloomberg money here, probably enough to get some subs for hungry volunteers)?  Why would they?

In this country people have died trying to vote.  In other countries they still do.  It’s your responsibility to be educated about the issues and the politicians.   If candidates seem to have a narrow scope it could because they are targeting the handful of people who come out to vote, unions and old people.

In LA everyone else is too busy complaining about the pizza and pining for snow.  Be where you are, live where you live.

 

LA election day: still campaigning

Last night The hotline in the Garcetti Action Squad rang.  “Can you come to North Hollywood Red line stop?”  You bet.  Mother In law was over helping with Vivien’s homework. I put on my red coat and was bolted across town.

I joined other supporters to greet and support Eric Garcetti as he got off the subway.  He gave us hugs, or handshakes.  When he saw me he said, “oh, they brought out the big guns!!”

Many people stopped to talk with him or get a picture.  I would see someone looking interested that he was there, “You want to talk to the future mayor? Come on, get a picture”  I don’t know how anyone runs for Mayor in LA who doesn’t speak Spanish.  Eric easily moves between the English and Spanish while talking to the people.  As always I was impressed at how he handled  himself.

my pov from subway stop

You hear some funny things amidst the excitement that he generates.  One guy off to the side, “Hey, if I vote for you, will you get me off parole?”  Let’s move on…

TV cameras were waiting at the top.  My coat and I were clearly visible

That's my me and my hand to the left of of Eric

Eric, myself, other supporters and a couple of new found supporters walked down the street.  The candidate was up beat and clearly enjoying himself.  We walked to Bob’s espresso bar.  It had been picked as this owner had had a hard time opening it up.  Eric sat with him for awhile and told him about how he would streamline the permit process.  Ends up the guy was in Fast Times at Ridgemont High and makes good espresso.  I got a decaf.  

Show biz and restaurants, both tough businesses.  We had a great time all talking.  No press there.  Just connecting.  One guy shows up and I thought was giving Eric kind of hard time.  I would have smasehd him with a coffee mug, but Eric talked to him evenly.  Before we left I thought, hey, I want a picture.

Garcetti Action Squad always there when you need em!

My boobs stopped watching the Oscars and went to dinner

Weird show.  The start of the Oscars was choppy.  That Boob song was not right for a show at 5:30pm that the entire family is watching, but moreover it wasn’t funny.  I liked seeing stars perform instead of sitting in their seats.  I could watch Channing Tatum do…absolutely…any…thing.  But, the “let’s make it about me” Seth Mcfarlane thing was cringy.

Last year my brother in law Kevin Tent was nominated for best editing for “The Descendants”.  NOW that was exciting.  For four years I had to watch the show with an eagle eye on fashion as the co host of the now defunct “The Fashion Team” on TV Guide Channel.  With no dog in the fight I was inclined to be less interested.  Although, I like a lot of the films this year.  “Silver Linings Playbook” was my big favorite.  Watching this year with my sisters  and their families I got antsy.  I wanted to go see my husband.  This past weekend Mark did his first ever pop up.

A pop up is a temporary restaurant.  A chef will take over an empty restaurant space, or one that closes at night, make a limited menu for a limited number of days.  I arranged for Mark to do this with a group called This is not a pop up.  It was the first time he would be cooking for the public since Campanile closed.  I know he misses the interaction he had with his customers.  Unlike when he had the full staff of Campanile he and his chef de cuisine Chris Eddy made everything.  The cookies, ice cream, cheese grits, broth, everything from scratch, themselves.

Mark with line cook Jay, chef de cuisine Chris. Together again. Campanile in Exile

The weekend had gone well, but Oscars would take customers.  So I thought, “Why am I watching a bunch of millionaires win trophies when I could be supporting my hard working, talented husband?”  Carole came with me and we had Mark’s Oscar special “Argo fuck yourself lamb with mint yogurt.”  ( it’s a line in the film, takes place in Middle East)

Mark and my sister Carole at the pop up

Delish.  It’s a small place so we talked to the people next to us and convinced them to vote for Eric Garcetti for mayor.  We had the homemade creme fraiche ice cream with prunes marinated in brandy and shortbread cookies.

When we got back Cecily rewound the DVR for us so we could see Striesand sing “The way we were”  dang, that was good.  The Michele Obama thing looked odd.  If Ang Lee hadn’t won I would have won the Oscar pool.  Instead, my nephew won. Rex was asleep on the couch, Viv was exhausted.  Packed them up and went home with extra shortbread cookies in my bag for the morning.

Next year, unless someone I know is nominated, I think I will DVR the whole thing and sit out the live telecast.  I like to see the big numbers, the tribute to dead people, but the cringy, inappropriate stuff, I will pass on.

Speaking of pass…honey, pass me more of that mint yogurt you made.

 

 

LA Mayor Race

On President’s day I was sitting in LA City Councilman’s Eric Garcetti’s house making cold calls to voters while my children played upstairs in his bedroom with his daughter…how did I get here?  This is my story… 

“Since when do people care about the LA Mayor’s race?” a friend queried the other night at dinner.  It’s kind of true.  It seem like a bigger deal this year, but I can’t tell, because it’s a bigger deal to me personally.   

Being politically minded since I was in pre school and campaigning for my dad I always pay attention.

my dad running for re election in Culver City. I'm the one with the peace sign

However, this year I’m much more involved because we are friends with one of the candidates, Eric Garcetti.

Now, for non Angelenos, bear with me. This is still the life of a mom trying to keep her hand in the world and teach her kids at the same time. Eric is a city council member of the 13th district (Silver Lake,Hollywood), he was city council president for years.   In a race with two women in it Garcetti got the endorsement of the National Organization for Women.  A couple of highlights in that arena:

– More than 60 percent of his commission appointees have been women, and many of top posts in his staff are held by women.

Eric tripled the number of parks in his district.   He has been a big supporter of charter schools. He got aftercare in all of the public schools in his districts. His district had job growth even during the recession.

Now, those are the beats on a good brochure and things that line up with my politics.  But, the personal is what puts this over the top.  I wrote a few years ago about being at a dinner party where I met Councilman Garcetti and his mom Sukey Garcetti.  My husband already knew them since Eric’s sister had worked for him and because at the helm of one of top restuarants in LA for over 20 years my husband knows everyone.

I was entranced as I spoke to mother and son.  They are warm, down to earth, smile on their face.  Over the course of dinner I learned that Eric is an accomplished jazz pianist, Rhodes scholar, Navel Reserve and foster parent.  I asked Sukey, “How did you raise a child like this?” wanting to duplicate her results.

“Hold them close and then let them go.” She smiled.  I knew there had to be more to it than that.  I kept in touch with Sukey for dinner.   Sukey’s husband Gil is a former District Attorney of LA .  Then we heard Eric was going to run for Mayor.

first of many events

Mark agreed to do the food for an event.  This was back in ’11.  Eric was efusisive in his appreciation for Mark’s contribution and when Eric spoke to the party about why he was running for Mayor I was moved.  He is a true Angeleno, not one of these sad sack actors who has come to rape the land and complain about the pizza.  He is 4th generation and he is a mix like LA itself, Jewish, Mexican with an Italian last name who grew up in the Valley.

Little Eric with grandfather and sister

Last March when The Tar Pit closed I reached out to Eric’s office to see if he had  ideas of where we could relocate in his district.  He met us right away with an aid who helped with business development.  For other business reasons we didn’t act on this fact finding mission, but we appreciated his direct approach to helping a small business maintain viability.

As his campaign slowly ramped up I kept in touch with one of his associates so I could figure out how best to help.  I heard him talk many times at small meet and greets at people’s homes.  He has Clinton like charisma with Zen calm.  He deftly handles all questions with charm and a vigourious understanding of the issues.  One can see how he is a former college instructer as he lays out an issue, it’s problems and solutions.   I always learn when I hear him speak.

I threw a “Grilled Cheese For Garcetti” luncheon for Eric at Campanile last summer  ( oh, remember when we still had a restaurant?) to introduce him to LA mom bloggers.  Sukey attended as well so mom and son could work their charm offensive.  Some of my favorite mom bloggers were there like Donna Schwartz Mills of SoCal mom,  Jessica Gottlieb, MomsLA, Yvonne and Sarah ( their video with him here) , Heather Spohr, Kim Tracy PrinceSarah Maizes

Sarah Maizes, Jessica Gottlieb, Yvonne Condes, Sarah Auerswald

Sarah, you may remember her for her hilarious star turn in one of my “how to be a mom ” series with Cafe Mom.  She played the annoying parent.

"let's vote for Eric Garcetti for mayor"

My sister Carole, of LaGirlNow was there as well and immediately signed up to do an event for Eric.  She packed her lovely home in November for a big cocktail party where many people got to hear Eric talk about his vision for LA. Carole gave him a great introduction where she said the Brogdon girls hadn’t been active in a LOCAL campaign since one of our dad’s, but Eric had inspired us to get back involved.    He took many questions that night and one was from a man who was a bit grouchy.  (My sister wanted to leap across her living room and knock the plate of middle eastern food out of his hand that she had provided for being so cranky at her gathering.)  Eric handled it smoothly and with answered his concerns in detail ( it was about the business tax). He let the guy know he was hearing him.  That man now has a “Garcetti for Mayor” sign on his lawn. It’s one of the many times I’ve seen the councilmen with a “water off a ducks” back ease about whatever comes his way.  He is never thrown for a loop and is up on the issues.

Okay, so that takes you up to the end of 2012… More on this story of my local politics renaissance tomorrow.