Nury Martinez has Good Hair. Even by lofty Latina standards, Latinas being naturally advantaged in all matters coiffure, Nury has gorgeous, telenovela quality hair. That’s my takeaway from last night’s ‘debate’ between her and repeat challenger for la jefa of Council District Seis, Cindy Montanez.
Cindy’s no slouch in the hair department herself, though. She’s abandoned the pantsuits of 2013 and adopted a kind of I-shop-at-Costco-just-like-the-rest-of-you-Van Nuysians look. And I can prove it, see? I just toss it carelessly over my shoulder along with my sensible bag and push my own grocery cart across the lot to my minivan.
If I didn’t know she pocketed over a million dollars in taxpayer money from a pair of political patronage appointments while waiting for the party machine to clear a seat for her, I’d almost believe it.
Now wait a minute, you might be thinking. What kind of misogynistic nonsense is this? These women are professionals. One of them is your councilperson. How dare you dissect their appearance. For shame.
Well, they didn’t leave us much choice in the matter. Because there wasn’t a whole lot of substantive distinction between the two.
They’re both Opposed to Street Prostitution. Opposed! Asked what they do in the way of interdiction both women emotively delineated the state of play on Sepulveda Blvd and left it at that. This re-describing the problem in lieu of answering the question would prove to be the operative template of the evening in all questions relating to Van Nuys. Budget shortfall? Tough decisions need to be made. Raising the minimum wage to $15/hour? It’s hard living on $10/hour. It requires further study. Developing Van Nuys Blvd? It used to be nicer when we were growing up, now it’s blighted. We should work with the business community to improve it.
In matters pertaining to the Great Wide Realm Over Which the Council Has No Authority, they offered opinions freely. Alternative energy? Yea. Fracking? Nay. GMO foods? Double Nay. Free trade? We should be very concerned, but…yes. Er, unless it takes away American jobs. Then no. Sort of the way they both favor alternative energy mandates, as long as they don’t raise electricity rates, which of course they do and which have already locked in a 30% surcharge on every DWP bill for life.
These were not helpful questions for undecided voters, frankly, and the moderator would have done better to skip them.
Which brings us back to…presentation.
Cindy, I have to say, came off well in that respect. She grew on me as the meeting wore on. My ears pricked up at the mention of the civic impact of aesthetic improvements in San Fernando. It made me wish she showed up at my house as promised 18 months ago.
You can file this under condescending remarks from a white guy, but she’s articulate. Nury….I’m not sure what’s going on there. She’s hanging on to a rather baroque accent for a college graduate raised in the United States. This may be an entirely political calculation for all I know. In the absence of policy differences, each side appeared to be utilizing semaphores to hint at who they were and whose votes they were seeking.
As a side note, Nury packed the room with shills who punctuated her pablum with orchestrated clapping and cheering. This was off-putting, and toward the end of the meeting skirted the edge of outright intimidation. Not an attractive look for an incumbent. She would be well-advised not to repeat this if there’s to be a return match.
**Andrew Hurvitz was in attendance as well and, as always, has his own amusing take: Power For the People’s Own Good.