Stephen Box: Balancing Budgets on Labor’s Back

stephen boxStephen Box: Balancing Budgets on Labor’s Back = A Failed L.A. Leadership

The City of LA exists to serve the people of LA, to deliver on the Great City mandate of Public Safety, Public Works, Public Health, and Public Education.

The people who provide these services are our heroes, they are our partners in greatness, and they provide the essential municipal elements that allow us to pursue our dreams.

I believe this and I know I am not alone because I stood on the South Lawn of LA’s City Hall last Saturday and was surrounded by thousands of people from all walks as we stood in solidarity with Brothers and Sisters from the major cities around this great country, all standing in opposition to the Wisconsin Attack!

Meanwhile, the City of LA quietly navigates its own budget crisis, pitting department against department in a competition for survival, one that has turned LA’s City Council chambers into an abattoir and left the delivery of city services dependent upon municipal triage conducted by a disinterested city administration.

Most distressing is the fact that the sitting City Council is attempting to balance the budget on the backs of the workers who deliver the city services to the people of LA who depend on them.

This is no way to run a Great City, unless they’re attempting to run it into the ground.

The City of Los Angeles has just lost two department managers, good people with decades of experience and success, who simply said “It’s time!” and resigned in frustration because politics prevented them from delivering on their commitment to Partner in Greatness.

Those in City Hall would have the public believe that the city is buried in a budget crisis, that the traffic congestion exists because of financial limitations, that the collapsing infrastructure is the result of the economy, that layoffs and furloughs are the only escape route and that people are expendable.

They are wrong!

The City of Los Angeles is experiencing a Crisis of Leadership, one where the people of Los Angeles are being asked to pay more for less and the people who deliver the city services are being treated as if they are expendable. They’re not.

The people who deliver on our Public Safety, Public Works, Public Health, and Public Education commitments are the most important element of our Great City commitment. It’s up to us to protect them!

Stephen Box

Stephen Box is a Candidate for LA’s City Council, District 4, running in the March 8, 2011 elections. Stephen is a Producer/Writer, a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate, and an Urban Cyclist. His activism was prompted by one too many visits to City Hall’s Department of “No!” Find out more about Stephen at

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