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LA Inaugural

On Friday I attended the inauguration for Antonio Villaraigosa, the new Mayor of Los Angeles. It was a beautiful day. In addition to such luminaries as Jesse Jackson, David Hasselhoff, Warren Christopher and Cardinal Roger Mahoney, thousands of ordinary Angelenos filled out the south lawn of city hall and cheered their new mayor. I had the honor of swearing in the City Controller, Laura Chick.

Mayor Villaraigosa was interrupted several times by applause as he hammered away on his four main themes: crime, schools, traffic and environment.

Undoubtedly, Mayor Villaraigosa will soon hire more cops and persuade the leadership of L.A’s schools to make improvements in the learning environment that now leaves so many behind. Nevertheless, dramatic improvements on both fronts will be held hostage to our national policy of neglect at home in favor of over-extension abroad.

As the Bush presidency winds down, mayors in every major city will have a unique opportunity to increase their presence on the national stage. They directly witness the deteriorating quality of life in urban America and can help re-energize a domestic agenda, emphasizing investments in those places left behind in the grand march of globalization.

With respect to transportation and the environment, much of the solution lies at the state and national levels. Here is where the funds are to support public transit, clean fuels and road improvements we desperately need. Certainly cities can do much on the environmental front. Yet, with China and India building hundreds of new coal plants and Bush denying Global Warming, big changes will have to occur in Washington before we make lasting progress.

So all the best to the new mayor of Los Angeles. May he act locally with great success and join other mayors from throughout the country in a renewed push to recapture at the national level the dreams he articulated so well on the steps of the Los Angeles city hall.   

July 4, 2005 | Permalink


Mayor Brown,
Your are INDEED correct in stating that it is our Mayors who must join together and lead a movement--A National March--on Washington D.C. to demand the reordering of our nation's priorities
AWAY from unneeded and unnecessary tax cuts from the rich and war.

It's not just this war, but the push for new nuclear weapons of mass destruction as well that is not only BLEEDING our country but financially and morally destroying our country and impoverishing its citizens.

In a recent poll taken 66% of all Americans stated that NO COUNTRY SHOULD HAVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS!

Posted by: Val Eisman | Jul 4, 2005 7:23:01 PM


Poll on Weapons of Mass Destruction and Defense issues conducted by Associated Press and another outfit

Posted by: Val Eisman | Jul 4, 2005 7:31:09 PM

Jerry, anyone can define problems - anyone can complain - look at children for an example of this type of behavior.

In this "new" world that is not controlled by lefties you have to come up with workable solutions.

Please Jerry complaining is so easy - when you define a problem please, please, please solve it.

That's what we want to see from your party, solutions.

Posted by: Mark | Jul 5, 2005 11:14:54 AM

I agree, but the problems in our current national administration are so grossly toxic, that it may not be a solution, but years of thought, reflection, and rebuilding.

We have a lot of work to do to wash a great country from the foul ordor of Bush and friends.

Posted by: reality | Jul 5, 2005 4:45:34 PM

I agree, but the problems in our current national administration are so grossly toxic, that it may not be a solution, but years of thought, reflection, and rebuilding.

We have a lot of work to do to wash a great country from the foul ordor of Bush and friends.

Posted by: Reality | Jul 5, 2005 4:45:35 PM

More kops, and soon more jails, and maybe even a curfew! That's the way to go! Scapegoat the poor and the communities of color instead of dealing with the real issues.

Maybe if we're lucky, the LAPD will continue it's fine tradition of unleashing ridiculous amounts of ammunition at moving cars.

Posted by: scott | Jul 6, 2005 12:53:50 AM

Reality, Why do you think Republicans win? Do you think life under Clinton with the "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" is really that much different then the hateful feelings that many have for Bush? It's not. It's the same.

Ideas and solutions, let me repeat, solutions lead to leadership. If you want back the power you had just a few years back then come up with solutions to problems voters have.

It's so easy to complain. And that all I hear complaining -- solve voters problems. If your solutions are better then the other guy - you win - you get to lead! If your ideas are the same old tired sixties stuff then you lose. This ain't your Daddy's sixties anymore.

Thanks for commenting on my posting. I will have to reflect on your many thoughts.


Posted by: Mark | Jul 6, 2005 10:53:24 AM

What you do? If people commit crimes where should they go? I do not disagree that rehabilitation of certain poor communities would be better - morally and fiscally - but what do you suggest in the interim?

You mention scapegoat "the poor and the communities of color instead of dealing with the real issues" What would you say the real issues are? I would think that a problem, and I assume you agree there is a problem, would be an issue, no? And if the issue is racial, then it is worth dealing with, painful or not. Here is why, dollars and cents-wise:

The healthcare budget for prisons in California is 1.1 billion dollars a year. The police, court costs, legal fees, and prisons staff/facilities would increase that cost dramatically if not by multiples.

The folks in the system may or may not be on: general assistance, state paid healthcare, child services, welfare, public housing, section 8, food stamps, probation, or parole. If you look at statistics of the vast majority incarcerated are low incomes, and thus few taxes paid, are minimal.
Add that to the costs (property, theft, injury) of crimes not prosecuted or solved.

Multiply that cost by a per-state (50) adjusted number, California being the largest, and you get a huge yearly expense.
In the end crime and poverty are extremely expensive. You joke about the punitive aspect of the system, but offer no insight into fixing the issue. If the issue was framed along racial lines could you, Scott, be able to make an assesment or shout about scapegoats and 'Kops'?

Either join the conversation or stay on the fringe.

Posted by: Sal | Jul 6, 2005 2:28:30 PM

Hey Jerry,

How does it feel to have the power to STEAL people's property and hand it over to your well connected fat cat cronies that the Supreme Court has now usurped on your behalf?


I had some hope that you were one of the few reasonable lefties. But if you support stealing people's businesses in order to give it away to your cronies, you are nothing but a Stalinist bastard.

Say hello to the Ratners for me.


Posted by: HA | Jul 7, 2005 2:54:04 AM


'such luminaries as Jesse Jackson'?

Give me a break! I'm disappointed in you if that is your true opinion of this racist thug!

Posted by: DOROTHY | Jul 7, 2005 11:37:42 AM

Governor, I came here to post almost the exact same comment as Dorothy but see she beat me too it. Would have left out the "thug" part though only out of civility not because it isn't true.

Have been impressed with what you have been doing in Oakland, you stand far above the typical big city Mayor, you usually tell the people what they need to hear, not just what you think they want to hear.

I look forward to your return to statewide politics as Attorney General, will be good to have a Democrat in Statewide Office that isn't ethically challenged.

Posted by: Mark 0 | Jul 11, 2005 4:07:26 PM

Bill Maher on Jeff Gannon
Recorded on video with
Robin Williams, Joe Biden

His-terical! How did he get F.B.I. clearance?

Posted by: Sherrie | Jul 12, 2005 8:57:59 PM

Hey, we still have not recovered from the evil that Rose Bird sent back among us.
We still have not caught up with our freeway deficite that Giant Turkey left us. And we will all be paying for the suspension bridge over a mud flat for longer than most of us will live.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis | Jul 14, 2005 4:49:15 PM

If the good ole U.S.A. can afford to throw now $300 billion at a little pissant country called Iraq, we can surely afford a $6 billion dollar bridge.

That's chump change friend. After all, we've just given Halliburton a contract of $30 million to build a new prison in Iraq. We've decided not to rebuild their infrastructure-water and electricity after all since we only need their oil.

Wait until the trade deficit crisis hits, they predict a depression worse than that in l933.

There are lurking evils out there that far outshadow and outweigh the Birds Rose of the world and the Turkey's Gigantus. But let us divert ourselves from the greater horrors and economic catastrophes out there by entertaining ourselves with the smaller ones.

Posted by: grassrootsdem | Jul 14, 2005 7:59:06 PM

"... national policy of neglect at home in favor of over-extension abroad"
It's amazing how a person of estimable intelligence can be so deluded.

Posted by: Larry | Jul 16, 2005 1:14:13 AM

There is an interesting and stark contrast in perception of America's potential for all its citizen between those born in the late 40's and early 50's post-Korea and those born in the early to mid 60's during the Vietnam era.

Some of us experienced and observed the hay day of the U.S. when single family homes were being built on a massive throughout the 50's and 60's, when mass systems of public transportation existed, and when most communities in the country, despite segregation and inequality, were "relatively" peaceful.

Even during the Republican administration of Richard Nixon this country saw wage and price controls and the recognition of "Red China". There still existed despite the conservative/liberal divide between the two great political parties in this country a perception of balance and fairness in the social contract between workers and business executives. There was also a recognition that there needed to be peaceful co-existence between all countries of the world in order for peoples in each country despite their political orientation to thrive and prosper. Perhaps this was an outcome of the earlier unity of the great world powers to defeat the facist threat and axis of the previous decade in which all of America was involved in one way or another in the way effort.

Today both of these understandings have gone by the wayside. Later generations who both never saw these examples of unity in the face of a greater enemy nor experienced an exceptional period in U.S. history of relative calm (except for Korean War) and tranquility have come to expect warfare and national disinvestment in the physical and social infrastructure of our country from the lack of investment in mass transit systems, building of bridges, dams and schools to college loans for the disadvantaged of all classes and races to be able to succeed and work in the marketplace, a crumbling physical and social infrastructure has become the status quo.

These same individuals who are ill equipped to perceive the differences in the different decades also seem to be completely unawares as to the incapability of our country to economically maintain a policy of unilateralism and world hegemony.

For these folks I suggest they read a little bit more and become better informed. The economic costs of both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars have been greater than the Bush administration and its deluded cohorts every dreamed or conceived of. It's not just about "national neglect". In the past several weeks we've seen a growing number of articles not well publicized or report that have revealed the fact that our government is now being forced to "retrench" its policies of military adventurism abroad. First there was the official recognition that the U.S. could NOT fight a war on 2 fronts and hence had to make the peace with North Korea. Now the U.S. is quietly preparing to halve it's U.S. troops in Iraq within the next year through a quiet policy of "domestication" of the war. This comes at a time when there are reports of the insurgency gaining both in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Iraq war simply cannot be sustained by anyone's count, even that of an intellectually challenged individual named George Bush.

This is an implicit admission not only of the tacit failure of our adventurist and reckless policies in Iraq, but of their costs.

Posted by: Observefurther | Jul 16, 2005 8:40:45 AM


Chinese General Threatens Use of A Bombs on American Cities if US Intrudes on Taiwan-Friday NYTimes Joseph Kahn

Some countries you can mess with and some you cannot. Especially those that are roughly 4X largely in population size.

If people don't take this kind of threat seriously give the fact that the chinese-backed Pol Pot regime murdered a million Cambodians without blinking an eye, then we are indeed facing what Carl Sagan called a "nuclear winter".

Posted by: Peaceactivator | Jul 16, 2005 12:09:51 PM

"Let them view murals!"

Posted by: MarieAntoinette | Jul 17, 2005 12:06:41 PM

Mayor Brown (funny to write that, I had a flashback to Willie),

You have been Mayor of Oakland for quite some time now, well into your second term and crime is still a major issue, as is education, sideshows are a plague on the city, and the business environment has not moved positive to the curve that the statewide or national numbers trend to. So with that in mind, how is it that you can throw stones at the Republicans when some of the best run cities are in fact run by Republican mayors (e.g. NYC, Seattle) and some of the worst are run by Democrats (Detroit, Philly, LA under Hahn).

Under your tenure as governor, the State of California began a long slide that continues today, the duration of which can reasonably be suggested was due to structural issues not singularly related to your stint as Governor, but California's education and transportation system deteriorated even through Clinton's 8 years in office and spectacular economic conditions.

At the risk of turning a comment into a thesis paper, I will end by simply suggesting that it is disingenuous to play political pin the tail on the donkey by saying it's all Bush's fault, which no doubt plays to many of the readers of your blog. I believe you are a straight shooter and don't easily take the low road of partisan politics. Regardless of your political affiliation, the challenges facing some of America's largest cities are not going to be solved by ratifying Kyote (which requires an act of Congress anyways) or putting more money into education or putting more cops on the beat, and they certainly won't be solved without both parties working together.

Posted by: jeff | Jul 17, 2005 9:15:04 PM


Posted by: DEBRA STAR | Jul 18, 2005 10:57:42 PM

The very important Water for Poor Act is bringing together former oppositional foes Sen. Harry Reid and Sen. Bill Frist in dealing with the global water crisis.


Posted by: ForeverNews | Jul 19, 2005 9:54:21 AM

Hey Val,

I see you got your talking points memo from the RNC.

Jimmy Carter started us on the road to energy independence. It was Ronald Reagan (hero of yours?) who decided we didn't need to plan for the future, took the solar panels out of the white house, and reversed the course of renewable energy and sustainable economic policy.

Your party is the one that has pushed the world to the brink of disaster and what is your parties response?

Tell 400 or so right wing pundits to push the message "democrats don't have any ideas"

You and your ilk will suffer the consequences just like the rest of us, unless you are one of the lucky 1% that W calls "his base".

Think on that for a little while.

Posted by: SkyHunter | Jul 20, 2005 11:50:57 PM

I don't know who you are but your attempt to link me to the RNC is ludicrous. But then there are many ludicrous people who post anonymously and cowardly on this site and quite a few mischiefmakers as well.

You have either have me confused with someone else or else you are deliberately distorting my positions. I have no idea what you are talking about whatsoever and your drivel has no bearing whatsoever on my posts.

Posted by: val | Jul 21, 2005 2:38:06 PM

How very interesting. The same folks who think Jesse Jackson is a thug are impressed with what Jerry Brown has done to Oakland. It must be true, Americans really are dumb as dirt.

Posted by: Kris Rocks | Jul 23, 2005 6:04:26 PM

Hey Val,

My sincerest apologies. I attributed the post by Mark to you.

I was responding to his post that follows the RNC talking point before all the Rove/Libby stuff hit the fan. You may recall that for the longest time the right wing pundits would keep reitereating that democrats only knew how to complain, and offered no solutions.

Of course when they try to propose an idea in the form of a bill or even an amendment, they are not allowed, since the republicans control the House.

Mark you strike me as the type of person that if after witnessing Jesus walk on water, you would be spreading the tale of how "Jesus can't swim!"

If you want to see democratic ideas in action elect them to the house and Senate in 2006. then you can at least have something real to complain about, and not have to manufacture arguments.

Posted by: SkyHunter | Jul 25, 2005 10:28:25 AM

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