#17 McCarty School Comment: My "Eye on Wesson"

 

From Bella

It seems to many of us as though the primary focus of The Neighborhood News is the relentless hostility you display to Herb Wesson and his deputies. It's probably worthwhile to remember that there are many eyes on the Council District, not just yours, and that not everyone shares your point of view.

Perhaps you so resent the gates in your community that you just can't see past that issue, but your writing smacks of retribution rather than balanced journalism. I thought I would put my own opinion out there: even the comment section is better than nothing. Here goes. I've lived and worked in many different council districts in LA, and have never found a council office so responsive, or deputies that work harder, or a councilman more accessible than Herb Wesson. He has met personally with many people I know in our area, and walked the neighborhood streets with ordinary constituents, and discussed issues of crime and traffic with them, and proposed solutions. Our deputies answer e-mails and texts, and return phone calls, sometimes within minutes. I've dropped into the council office many, many times, and always was able to speak to a deputy about any problem in my neighborhood. And I'm not a campaign donor, or an important business person, and have no political strings to pull. I'm just an everyday constituent who is constantly grateful for the Councilman and his staff’s accessibility. As for your portrait of Sylvia Lacy, I find it diametrically opposed to my own experience of her hardworking professionalism. When I first moved into this area, well over a decade ago, my neighbors’ first advice to me was “Get Sylvia Lacy’s number on to your phone. You will need it. She will be your lifeline in West Adams”. This is the advice I, in turn, give to people who move into our neighborhood. She has always been fair, and has given well-reasoned responses showing a lot of technical acumen, and consistently works a punishing schedule, often on weekends, in service to the constituents of CD 10. Long after everyone in the council district has turned in for the night, Sylvia's office light is still burning. And for this, she gets my sincere thanks, even though we don't always agree about everything. Albert Lord and Kimani Black have similarly given consistent and sustained attention to every issue I’ve brought to them, even if it’s as mundane as a piece of graffiti that needs to be painted out, or as significant as persistent blight or criminal behavior that needs the response of various city agencies. Jan DeAndrade got many awards and national recognition at a conference at USC for her work eradicating an intractable drug-dealing network at the intersection of Crenshaw and Adams. Albert Lord was a big part of that intensive effort, putting together a coalition of local business owners, community activists, and an LAPD task force. He and Jan managed to accomplish what many thought was impossible. While you have made it your mission to "shine a spotlight" on the Council Office, I'm surprised that your spotlight finds so few positive things to illuminate. It's inevitable, and even desirable, that people will not always agree about politicians, but I think that it's imperative that newspapers seek out views that do not merely ape the opinions of the editor. Perhaps you could give equal or even some column space to people who admire and appreciate the Councilman and his staff. This would give a much-needed appearance of balance and impartiality. That's just the way newspapers should roll.

 

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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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