The Jan. 25 meet-up went well; we had a great cross-section of our community, Republicans, Democrats, homeowners, renters, small business people, veterans, all interested in what both President Obama and Rep. Ryan had to say about our nation's future.
"Win the Future" resonates with me; coming from a private sector background in high technology companies, I know there is a tremendous opportunity to build a new manufacturing economy here in the United States centered on sustainable energy and renewable fuels, and if we do not make it happen in Los Angeles, it will happen elsewhere.
Talking with people across the region, there are deep concerns in the about what kind of economy our country will have in the future, and whether there will be work and careers for our children and grandchildren that will allow them to enjoy the same American dream our parents and grandparents had, and which so many people are struggling to hold on to today.
The impact of decisions in Washington on California, Los Angeles, and the San Fernando Valley is undeniable; everything from the future of the aerospace industry here in the Valley, the possibility of bringing in new manufacturing for the sustainable energy sector that can take advantage of our existing high technology workforce and our research and teaching universities, the transportation and energy infrastructure that is the backbone of our economy, and even the basic, core services of municipal government all depend heavily on federal and state actions.
As a good friend often asks me, "How are you going to put money back in my pocket?" One answer is not raising local taxes for core services when there is a chance to bring our federal tax money back to our hometowns -- "Shovel ready" should not just mean ideas like high speed rail connecting Los Angeles and the Bay Area; it should also mean making sure local cities, and even individual council districts and neighborhood councils, go after and secure funds to repair streets, sidewalks, and water and sewer lines, and maintain and improve parks, libraries, and police and fire services.
Our team also had a chance to see the Topanga Community Police Station Tuesday night; the officers who work there serve a large part of the southwestern part of Council District 12, including much of Chatsworth and Canoga Park, and do an excellent job. Mayor Villaraigosa attended, and local activists who want to see enforcement of the city's ordinances against the sale of very realistic "toy" firearms from food vendors were able to bring the issue to his attention. Diana Dixon-Davis and Les Salay, both from Chatsworth, have been very active in this effort, which has been covered extensively in the Chatsworth Patch.
Keep an eye on our blog and Facebook for future events; we are continuing to schedule coffees and meet-ups, fundraisers and precinct walks, and "candidate on the corner" events across Council District 12 between now and the March 8 election. Contact us for an event near you, and if you'd like to host something similar for the campaign, we will be happy to get it set up. Remember, this is a grassroots effort that is built around volunteers, so we want you to be involved, and to be part of building the future we all want for our community. The status quo is not enough, by a long shot.