I have always admired Robertson. He is an outstanding labor leader. But he is way off the mark attacking the Braude-Yaroslavsky position on development.
Robertson showed that he is no environmentalist, for sure. He is coming from a position of more jobs; this is understandable, certainly we must have growth. But that growth must be measured against the quality of life for those of us who live in the Los Angeles Basin.
The wanton runaway development of the past two decades has caused choking traffic, made canyons of some of our streets, jammed our post offices, banks and supermarkets. The smog is certainly still dangerous to our health. In short, we have been devastated by land and building interests.
Is it too late to turn it around? If we start now with the Braude-Yaroslavsky proposal to scale back development by 50%, we can be sure that the situation will, at least, not worsen.
Robertson stated that we have a “fine-honed” development process and that it should not be disturbed. I wish the process was that successful. It isn’t. I was on the Culver City Planning Commission for four years. That really was an education. The planning-development process is replete with political favoritism and innuendo.
It is clear that Braude and Yaroslavsky saw that they could not get the support of a majority of the Los Angeles City Council. They decided to go it alone by initiative.
Yes, some of my best friends are planners and planning commissioners. And many of them are good, well-meaning people. There is no question in my mind that too many of them are supersensitive to the political ramifications around them. Know it or not, admit it or not, these officials are vulnerable to political considerations.
So hail and accolades to Yaroslavsky and Braude. We all sorely need that kind of courage and integrity in our public officials.