After a protracted tally of mail-in ballots, hundreds of thousands of which entered the system after Election Day, my beloved Los Angeles has gone all in on Venezuelan governance.
Kenneth Mejia, Hugo Soto-Martinez, Katy Yaroslavsky prevailed by comfortable margins, joining Eunisses Hernandez in the de-policing caucus.
Angelica Duenas is waiting to join them after the special election in April to replace Nury Martinez.
Karen Bass, who did not campaign in any meaningful sense, and whose platitudes about wraparound services and the “broken policies of the past” (i.e., law and order) went unchallenged by the local media, defeated open wallet chump Rick Caruso, who could not name a single enforcement mechanism he would deploy in service of the only two issues people were talking about: homelessness and crime.
Let us pause here, and consider the long march through the institutions in two photos:
No knock on our new Mayor, but she didn’t have to do much to cross the finish line. We have quietly enacted a paradigm shift from elections based on persuading voters to a contest of ballot retrieval. The county clerk mailed 5.6 million of them, unsolicited, to addresses across the county. Two million come back, the majority without a chain of custody, and not necessarily in the hands of the people who “voted”. This is an arrangement highly advantageous to the most ruthless. In a one-party city, take a guess who that might be. Here the 50 year march may have reached a satisfactory Maoist conclusion.
Take a good look at this map, Bass in purple. It looks like two cities. My precinct, majority Latino, went 60% for Caruso. My former pre-home ownership neighborhood in Los Feliz; white, hipster, went 72% Bass, suggesting not just a geographic division but one between renters and homeowners. Or, if you prefer, the rooted.
It’s a pretty good argument for separation. Why shouldn’t the Valley become a municipality of its own? Since we can’t file domestic abuse charges against City Hall, why not annex ourselves to Greater Burbank? We appear to be united on at least a few basic principles.
Actual Venezuelans are streaming across the southern border. Cosplay Venezuelans in New York, Martha’s Vineyard and Silver Lake want nothing to do with them. Sensible people don’t have Another America to which to emigrate, though we do have Florida. We can only seek out jurisdictions which are a decade behind the crazy curve, kidding ourselves all the while. Eventually the fight will come there. It will sniff you out in your outpost of Eden. There’s no avoiding what we’re dealing with.
I’m staying. I’m making my own pocket of Eden, in an unraveling city.