If you live in Eagle Rock, you can’t miss them: Sprouting up like wildflowers across the neighborhood, simple signs, literally, not of Spring, but a true grassroots movement supporting candidate Luis Lopez for the 51st State Assembly District seat.
Eagle Rock is proud to have one of the highest voting turnouts of any neighborhood in Los Angeles. This is why many of us open our mailbox each day to find multiple flyers from candidates touting their endorsements. It can be hard to figure out what these endorsements actually mean. But it is not hard to understand that when neighbors plant signs on their front yards, the candidates they espouse have the best reference possible. Politicians can’t buy that sort of word of mouth; it comes from the voters themselves.
Full disclosure: I know Luis Lopez personally and am proud to call him my friend. We met way back when the city of L.A. launched its new system of Neighborhood Councils. Luis and I were founding Board members of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, which quickly established itself as one of the more, uh, functional councils in the system.
That is not to say that we did not have our share of grandstanding neighborhood gadflies or personality conflicts. We did. Anyone who has served on or attended a Neighborhood Council meeting knows well that it can go from civil disagreement to Civil War in a matter of minutes. It’s been said that democracy is messy, and nowhere can it get messier than on the most local level, with a council of your peers.
After a somewhat tumultuous first year, the SLNC turned to Luis and elected him Co-Chair in the hope that he would bring sanity and fairness to the council. He did. Luis was always the calm, rational, and fair moderator, able to bring opposing viewpoints together to craft a resolution or motion that appealed to the majority without leaving the minority chewing sour grapes. It was this even-handed intelligence that endeared him not just to the Board members but to the many stakeholders who appreciated the democratic leadership provided by him.
I believe that the problem with the political system—in Sacramento and in Washington D.C.—is an unwillingness to listen, to learn and to actually get things done. As voters, we have more in common than the differences that divide us. Regardless of where people might sit on the political fence, they share a desire to get California back on track and reclaim their rightful claim to be the Golden State.
To get there, however, we need elected officials who are willing to remember us after election day and bring our voices to Sacramento. From both knowing Luis’ character and morals and having experienced his abilities in this regard first hand, I am excited about the change he can bring to Sacramento on our behalf.
Clearly, many Eagle Rockers share my belief that he is an agent of true, positive change who will work for our interests in the state capitol. It is no small thing for neighbors to plant their political beliefs on their front yard for all to see, yet that is exactly what so many of our friends and fellow residents are doing across our corner of L.A.
From College View to Hill Drive, from Townsend to York, the signs popping up like wildflowers are a symbol of another potent form of beauty—a return to believing that if we elect the right people, the system can be un-broken and these symbols of grassroots support will yield a harvest to be enjoyed by future generations.
Yes, this Eagle Rocker wholeheartedly supports Luis Lopez for the 51st State Assembly seat, but don’t take it from me and don’t take it from the many signs of support across the district. Check out Luis Lopez’ campaign website (http://lopezforassembly.com) this weekend and, most importantly, vote on Tuesday, June 5, and help return power to the people and greatness to California.