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hugo-chavez3-580x333On Tuesday, March 5, 2013 two events happened of diametrically opposed moral and historical significance—the end of the life of the great world leader Hugo Chavez and the death of the Los Angeles mayoral elections.

In between yawns and "oh, was there some kind of election in the news that I missed?" 8 candidates ran in the "fight for the soul-less city" mayor race. The results: City Controller Wendy Greuel and City Council member Eric Garcetti will run in another soul-less run-off on Tuesday May 21 to see who will carry out the bidding of Eli Broad, the downtown business elite, the transnational capitalists, and the LAPD for the next four years—the job officially called "Mayor of Los Angeles." This election was met with such a yawn that even the "voting class" -- the group of middle-class people with no power and the illusion that they have some, forgot to vote. ("Hey, did you know that my brother-in-law knows Wendy's nanny who knows Eric Garcetti's mechanic and they said...blah blah blah.") L.A. like most urban center is a city of color—of the 4 million residents 12 percent are Black and 46 percent Latino. But you wouldn't know it by listening to the candidates. Police brutality, low-wage and no wage jobs, choking air pollution, police and ICE suppression of immigrants, deteriorating social services, were not on the agenda—but all the candidates, including Jan Perry, a Black city councilperson, debated how many more police they wanted. These are the "free elections" that are so free that nobody gives a damn, only 16 percent of eligible voters showed up at the polls and the rest just stayed home and debated whether Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, or Rihanna should be number one.

Published in Eric Mann

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About the Author

  • Eric Mann is a veteran of the Congress of Racial Equality, Students for a Democratic Society, and the United Auto Workers, where he spent ten years on auto assembly lines. He is the director of the Labor/Community Strategy Center in Los Angeles and the author of Playbook for Progressives: 16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer. He is the host of the radio show Voices from the Frontlines (KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles Pacifica. His radio show and blogs can be found at www.voicesfromfrontlines.com

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