Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Calling on the South Side

For years the folks living on the south end of West Covina regularly ignored what was happening at City Hall. They had the lowest voter turnout of all regions in the city, according to voter registration rolls.

And then, land slated to be used for park space was in danger of becoming condos.

Finally, they woke up and in this last election, the voter turnout increased by about 50%, according to the LA County Registrar's office.

They mobilized like crazy. Everywhere you went "Hernandez & Sykes" signs were up. See, Hernandez was the only current council member who opposed the sale of the land and Fred Sykes was a south side resident who was also like me: he voted, but didn't pay attention to what he voted for.

So that's the history in a nutshell. Many candidates used the "We are 1 West Covina," "United We Stand...," but all those candidates lived in the same neighborhood as four out of five of the city councilmembers, the posh-for-West Covina South Hills area.

After the election, though, the mobilization didn't end. They created a group of concerned citizens called, aptly enough, Concerned Citizens for a Better West Covina. Beyond reading their website, I don't know much about them, so if you do, let me know. I would love to go to a meeting.

They discuss issues like graffiti abatement, creating "districts" and tax hikes. It's good stuff and I urge anyone to take a gander at their site. In fact, I was so inspired by some of their topics, they are definitely on tap for future postings.

1 comment:

West Covinian said...

What are Fred Syke's previous experiences in the civic affairs of West Covina? Where was he assigned in the LASD? Did he have supervisor experience? What type of pension did he receive from the LASD, i.e., medical or service pension? Why is he allied with Roger Hernandez? What does he offer, besides generalized platitudes? Why does he want to be a city council person? What were his previous leadership positions? Why does he want to split West Covina into five fiefdoms?