Was anybody looking? Were you?

A new law gives South Pasadena greater sway in the controversial Long Beach (710) Freeway extension debate. Another that bans minors from ultraviolet tanning beds will surely impact local salons. And opponents of a Walmart in Burbank won’t be able to rely on an economic impact report for big-box stores after the bill calling for such EIRs was vetoed in Sacramento.

Every one of Sen. Carol Liu’s bills — mostly affecting the rights of disabled children and low-income households — made it past the governor’s desk this past session.

The flurry of bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in recent days will have far-reaching impacts for years to come — a pointed reminder that amid all the hoopla over the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations and other news clutter, local lawmakers are busy in Sacramento crafting the future of our region.

Question is, was anyone looking?

Frustration over the imbalance of power between the wealthy and the general public is fine for venting, but residents shouldn’t forget that they still hold sway with their vote — which in the end, is something all politicians need more than campaign donations and the like.

An active public may be exciting, but political engagement is still needed.

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