Thursday, June 03, 2004

Forget ChinaTown, Jake - It's El Pueblo We Have To Worry About!

Two events have finally pushed me over the edge into the living hell that is blogdom. FIrst, both the process and the end result of the Grand Avenue competition for redeveloping Bunker Hill around Disney Hall, which I will delve into later.

Second, was Laura Chick's audit (and she is our watchdog of a city controller) of El Pueblo, which 'runs' Olvera Street and the historic buildings for the city around the Plaza. The initial story of the audit was followed by a second story in this week's Downtown News about just fired employees allegedly breaking into the El Pueblo offices and shredding files and possibly even destroying computer hard drives. And there is a reason why I am interested in 'Pueblo-gate'.

When I wanted to do an art show in one of the vacant buildings several years ago, I tried to find out who was in charge. And it only took one day to discover that there were large numbers of city employees being paid to do ... absolutely... nothing... and that many of them were not even bothering to show up at their non-existent jobs while they worked their real jobs.

But when I went with that information (along with two volunteers willing to go on record) to the council office, to the Mayor's office and to the press - I could not get even one person to listen to what was going on - much less do anything about it. It just seemed to be accepted that this type of Chicago-style political patronage was acceptable in El Pueblo and that there was something wrong with me if I had any problem with it.

What will be interesting to find out - assuming there is not a cover-up (a not very safe assumption, of course) - is exactly who has been the political protectors of this criminal activity for so many years - if not decades.


Unhappy in LA said...

Shocking! Waste in LA? Can't be. Oh wait, our fearlees leader must have been distracted with his friends at the airport commission.

Schadelmann said...

Interesting points, to be sure. Good luck with the blog, it looks really interesting!

Kenneth said...

Its only Chicago style patronage if their real job is to get the vote out for the democractic machine.