When you hear Wendy Greuel use the words “economic development” instead of “job creation,” she means money for the one percent, not good paying jobs for the rest of us. When she uses the words “smaller government,” she means smaller for you and me, not for her contributors. When you hear Wendy Greuel use the dog whistle words of waste, fraud and abuse she means cutting vital program funding for you and me so she can give it to campaign contributors. Los Angeles can’t afford a Margaret Thatcher wannabe.
Wendy Greuel is not alone. There’s been and remains a battle within the Democratic Party and around the world over the appropriate response to the economic collapse caused by predatory banksters. The choice is between austerity and job growth. The original austerity queen, Margaret Thatcher, railed against government waste, fraud and abuse, with her cure being massive cuts to social programs. We all know the result – the destruction of the middle class.
Then there are those who stand outside this predatory psychosis, who know that the solution to the economic collapse is found in the creation of stable middle-class jobs, investing in both human and physical infrastructure and knowing that the purpose of government should be committed to fulfilling its role in creating a favorable environment in which every human being may enjoy all of their rights in order to be able to take an active part in economic, social, cultural and political life.
So that’s where we are right now in the Los Angeles Mayor’s race, deciding between austerity and job creation. For me personally, as President of the California National Organization for Women and representing California NOW, as well as, South Los Angeles NOW, Hollywood NOW and other local chapters, the intersections of race, gender and class are the foundation of everything that we do and it’s at the core of my (our) relationship with Eric Garcetti. You can see for yourself – by his actions when he’s been in a position of power that gender equity, women and girls’ empowerment stand linked with community empowerment, self-determination, revitalization, and equally critical investment.
At his core, Eric believes that government is a partner – the entity that should be committed to fulfilling its role in creating a favorable environment in which every human being (including women and girls) may enjoy all of their rights in order to take an active part in economic, social, cultural and political life. Eric believes that the real fraud, waste and abuse are caused when we fail to invest in women and children. That cutting a dollar now only to spend ten dollars later and with it leaving a path of human devastation is the real fraud, waste and abuse.
On the other hand, we’ve always known what Wendy Greuel believes and she and her endorsers are finally saying in public what we all knew from her actions – Wendy Greuel believes the problem with the economy, the problems in and with the city of Los Angeles is government is too big and government regulation stands in the way of economic development. Wendy believes that growing middle-class jobs in Los Angeles will chase investors and economic developers away from Los Angeles. That spending money on fixing sidewalks, potholes, or installing street lights is waste, fraud and abuse.
So when each of you listens to the candidates for Mayor of Los Angeles, look at both their words and their actions. California NOW did just that which is why the conclusion was obvious and our endorsement decision was clear. The candidate that would make history for the women and girls of Los
Angeles is Eric Garcetti.
We need a partner, who will join in fighting every day for federal, state and local investment until we reach universal early education, where teachers and early education workers are fully valued. We need a partner fighting every day for nurses, care workers – all of whom should be fully valued for the work they perform. The same goes for household workers, hotel workers, janitors, restaurant workers and every other kind of service worker – all deserve at least a living wage and worker protections.
We need a partner who will join in fighting every day for federal, state and local investment in smart policing, youth education, empowerment and employment, community businesses and access to healthy food, safe drinking water and toxic-free environments until every neighborhood, block by block women and girls, men and boys are safe, secure and thriving. That partner is Eric Garcetti.
Many have asked how the California National Organization for Women could endorse a man for Mayor when a woman is in the Los Angeles Mayor’s race. The answer to this question makes clear the difference between the National Organization for Women and other women’s organizations.
We are the National Organization FOR Women not OF women. We fight for gender equity and women and girls’ empowerment. That is the qualifying core value that candidates and members alike must display. Eric Garcetti is a lifetime NOW member, not just by label, but by his deeds and actions over the course of his public life. That is why California NOW is appalled by the debased smear tactics of EMILY’s List and other Wendy Greuel supporters. California NOW is confident that the women of Los Angeles already know the truth as was evident by the majority of women voting for Eric Garcetti in the primary.
We are confident because the mailers being funded by EMILY’s List simply demonstrate one thing to Los Angeles women voters – that EMILY’s List agrees with Wendy Greuel that spending money on city projects that leverage federal dollars, that put people back to work, that fix sidewalks and install streetlights are waste, fraud and abuse.
I and a legion of women and men know that the city of Los Angeles can’t afford a Margaret Thatcher wannabe for mayor. We need a mayor who knows the path to prosperity is paved by investing in the health and well-being of women and girls, men and boys and ensuring the creation of jobs – good middle class jobs. That Mayor is Eric Garcetti.