Skip to comments.Hundreds rally for united L.A. (Union Members Rally to Denounce Secession)
Posted on 06/24/2002 6:44:13 AM PDT by CounterCounterCulture
Published: Sunday, June 23, 2002
By Susan Abram
VALLEY GLEN -- Kicking off one of the largest movements yet to keep Los Angeles whole, Mayor James Hahn, former Mayor Richard Riordan, and religious and community leaders rallied more than 1,000 labor union workers and others Saturday against San Fernando Valley secession.
There was a large turn out at a rally at Valley College in opposition to secession. (Gene Blevins / Daily News)
"We're stronger united," Hahn told the crowd. "A people divided can never be united. A people united can never be defeated."
Former Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa kicked off the hour-long forum of pro-Los Angeles speeches from panelists who included actor Ed Begley Jr., One Los Angeles co-founder Larry Levine, the Los Angeles Fire Department's Capt. Steve Ruda and Leo Baeck Temple's Rabbi Marc Dworking, among others.
Actor Ed Begley Jr. (Gene Blevins / Daily News)
"I know this is a divorce that doesn't need to happen," actor Begley said. "Both sides get poor."
Riordan listed some of Los Angeles' best features, the Hollywood Bowl, Venice Beach, the Dodgers and the Lakers. He said that without help from the city and union labor workers, the Valley would not have recovered as quickly as it did from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake.
"Divorce is a terrible thing," Riordon said. "My message to the Valley is we love you. Don't leave us. But if you do leave, we're keeping Kobe and Shaq."
Unions in Los Angeles generally oppose secession because they fear workers could lose their jobs and pensions, and unions could lose contracts with the new Valley city, organizers said.
However, secessionists argue otherwise. Under the terms of the proposed breakup, the new Valley city would be required to honor existing contracts during the one-year transition.
Anti-secessionists bused in workers from as far as Orange County to support the campaign, which gained momentum earlier in the week as the San Fernando Valley Political Committee joined forces with the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, which represents 350 local unions, to urge members to come to the rally.
LA Mayor Jim Hann and Former Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa. (Gene Blevins / Daily News)
The goal of the rally was to demonstrate the diverse groups secession would affect, organizers said.
Speaking in English, then in Spanish, Villaraigosa told the crowd that Los Angeles can become more than just a destination for those looking for a different life. It can become a better city if everyone works on its problems together, he said.
"Los Angeles is not just a destination, but it's a symbol of freedom, of opportunities," he said. "We're here not only to work, but to work together, to roll up our sleeves and make (Los Angeles) work."
After the rally, as Randy Newman's "I Love L.A." blared from loudspeakers, some members from the local Justice for Janitors Union Local 1877 concluded they would oppose secession.
But they said they still understood little about the way separation would affect them.
"They didn't give much details about what would happen if the Valley did separate," said Silfa Honorado in Spanish.
"All we know is that for many of us, the Latinos who have minimum wage jobs, we know we will be affected."
Samantha Stevens, a member of One Los Angeles, said anti-secession groups will continue to keep busy this summer in educating the public.
"It's taken us this long to form because like most people we thought (secession) was going to go away," Stevens said. "It didn't go away and now it's on the Nov. 5 ballot. The good thing is that people are learning more about government, but it's going to take a lot of time to educate the public because it's a complicated issue."
That's the first sentence, and you can already cut the obvious media bias with a knife.
It's a definite destination for illegal aliens.
I'm voting for secession.
I used to think, well, I'd really rather live in the city.
Then I realized that all the places I counted as desirable to live in - Malibu, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, etc - are not actually part of the city! They are small cities. The City proper has been mismanaged into oblivion!
Certainly there are many great things about LA - the Westside's fabulous restaurants, the beauty of the Hollywood Hills, the tacky grandeur of Hollywood, and so on.
But absolutely none of those things depend on the Los Angeles City Government, which is known for being corrupt, incompetent and altogether unlikeable.
And check this out:
Riordan listed some of Los Angeles' best features, the Hollywood Bowl, Venice Beach, the Dodgers and the Lakers. He said that without help from the city and union labor workers, the Valley would not have recovered as quickly as it did from the 1994 Northridge Earthquake.But none of those features are part of the Valley!
I think the Valley should split off just so it can gain a little respect. And I say this as someone who would still really, really rather live on the Westside [this is the most expensive region of an absurdly expensive city].
So yes, GoldStateGOP is right. The way I think of it is that we're loved for our money, but not for ourselves. And that's a sure prescription for a bad date.
The new city would certainly want to run its own public transport system, just as Santa Monica does. Santa Monica runs much better lines than the RTD, on cleaner busses, with friendlier drivers, and charges less than half the fare.
But if you notice, the bulk of the protests and activism come from Union members who know they've given the city a raw deal, and know the new city won't do nearly as well for them (and quite rightly, too, from a taxpayer point of view).
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