The California Voter and the Proposition Experience

When will the elected actually govern? (Or why do we have to do their job?)

Before we begin, Urban Toot thinks that an educated voter is the best voter. Before you vote on any proposition please educate yourself. You can learn about the current California Voter Propositions at the California Secretary of State Voter Information Guide Web Site.

“Political corruption, social greed, and Americanized quasi-socialism can ruin even the most wonderful places. California proved that.”
― Tiffany Madison

Propositions

So, with the eve of the election upon us it’s time to think about not only the presidential election, but also the dearth of propositions that have been placed in front of the Glendale voting public.

When will the elected actually govern? (Or why do we have to do their job?)

In fact this year California voters will face 11 propositions. They range in topic from tax money on education to the death penalty. The issues are serious and tend to be heady in details. You can read about them here at BallotPedia.org

 

Urban Toot encourages you to educate yourself and to ponder the issues. However, we have something else for you to ponder: are propositions good for California?

 

This may come as a shock to most Americans but the Untied States is a Republic and unlike what most of the public thinks, America is not a democracy. Yes we can argue about the wider definition of democracy but the point is that we elect our leaders to govern. We choose them for a wide range of reasons (how they look, what they think, who we think they are) but their job is ultimately to govern.

 

Our elected leaders should be making new laws, striking down old antiquated laws and, well you know, governing. By having the current proposition system anyone with a couple of million dollars can try to evoke laws that benefit themselves without much thought to the common good. Yes there are still some checks and balances ensure that the propositions aren’t too much out of whack with our nation of laws, but the people who float these propositions already know that. They carefully craft these propositions so that they have the best chance to hold up when challenged in court. So in essence, money talks.

 

Many people will agree that the system is broken. Most people do argue about how to fix the system. We argue, we pontificate and we do nothing. Nothing happens, nothing gets fixed. The problems get worse but just worse enough that we don’t dare do anything that requires a radical change. We don’t really fix anything and we continue in a downward spiral.

 

So here is my “what if?” What if we all voted? No really. What happens if the fat, the lazy, the super know it all’s, the Republicans, The Democrats, The Tea Party’s, the far left tree huggers, the far right meanies, everybody who is legal to vote actually voted? What would things look like and more importantly what would our society be like?

 

It’s easy to say “What if?” but how do we get everyone to vote? What if voting was the law? The federal government says that we have to file income taxes, and soon have medical insurance so why not vote? Well because it’s not in our elected leaders interest to have people vote. If people don’t vote then change doesn’t happen and everything stays how it is and that’s how the people in power like it. They like it when things stay the same because they stay the same, in power.

 

What if we voted ‘no’ on all the propositions? What if we demanded that our elected leaders actually do their job and govern? What if we all wrote or emailed or stopped by our leaders’ offices and told them what we think? What if our leaders had to work as hard as non profits to get donations and fulfill their missions?

 

What if?

 

Back to the propositions– What if the California population voted against them all and our elected leaders had to make good laws? We’d vote out the bums who didn’t make laws and elect new people who understood that their future was tied in with ours.

 

What if we cared as much about how our elected leaders performed as we do about how the Dodgers and the Lakers perform?

 

It would take the strength and resolve of the people of Glendale and California to say “no to everything and everyone”. It would take strength and resolve to evoke the necessary changes to make radical, effective and substantial changes in our government.

 

Now it’s up to you. What will you do to make a change? Will you continue to be part of the problem or be part of the solution? Tell us how you think government should change. Tell us what you think of the Proposition system in California.

Just another traffic fatality? No more!

It’s Sunday night and I’m hanging out on Twitter. Checking my feeds and wondering what’s going on in the world. Then suddenly a small flurry of local tweets start flowing in about an accident:

I’m not putting making the names public but because I want to get this out right away. They are on Twitter, you can look them up. Here is a bit of the conversation.

(note: stock photo of Glendale Police Department, not from the scene of the fatality)

Right near the corner of Glendale Blvd and Broadway I think. Cops weren’t even trying to help her cause she was just gone. Bloody.

I saw an old woman lying dead in the street after being hit by a car today. Nice way to end the weekend. 🙁

Pedestrian struck at Glendale ave and California ave in Glendale PD says it could be bad.

Pedestrian struck on intersection of Glendale & California. Victim not to be looking good. Streets closed w/detours

Whats wrong with us Glendale? What’s wrong when an old lady lays dead on the road and it’s busisness as usual. The good people who wrote the tweets above sounded genuinely concerned about this victim of what we are assuming was another traffic fatality. Now we don’t know the facts yet. It sounds like it just happened a few minutes ago but will the good people of Glendale be outraged or will we just accept this as another part of living in Glendale?

I feel outrage. I feel contempt with my own community because we view this tragedy as another day. We have become to complaincent in accepting traffic fatalities in our community when other communities don’t have any. Glendale we must change.

Glendale must find a way to change. We can no longer accept that traffic fatalities are a way of life and that as long as it’s no one that I know, or that it’s no one that I love then it’s okay. No more.

We must become radical in our thinking and be willing to be willing to be radical in our actions. There is still plenty of options that are within our legal rights and I believe that we need to start to explore them. If we don’t start having these conversations and those conversations lead to action then  we shouldn’t be outraged when someone we love gets injured or worse by a driver. Let’s get active before we are forced to experience loss.

What are your thoughts?

 

Urban Toot is Not Dead!

 

As Monty Python said in that famous scene: “I’m not dead yet! You can view the scene below (It’s actually kinda funny). Yes, it would have been easier to start with that famous quote that has been  attributed to Mark Twain;

“The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated”

But thats just not us. We are more the Monty Python type people. However it’s true, the rumors are exaggerated.

In case you don’t know what I’m talking about let me take a minute and explain. Today, Liana  Aghajanian, who is a wonderful columnist from the Glendale News Press, wrote a great piece about the horrible state of driving that existis in Glendale. She actually quoted us (which was awesome! Thanks Liana!) but she did say that we are short lived.

As much as we appreciate the shout out we have to tell you that we aren’t done. We just took the summer off and we are in the process of settling our editorial calendars and getting ready to hit the ground running again.  We are really hoping to continue to write about both the good and the bad in Glendale with the hope of making our community a better place.

In our upcoming issues we’ll be discussing things that people in Glendale do for the summer, Local Sports, resteraunt reviews, local opinions and lots more. However remember, we aren’t just people who write about Glendale, we are people who live in Glendale. We’ll tell you about the things we did this summer as well. All of it. The good the bad and the ugly. Don’t think for a minute that we are finished talking about the state of driving in Glendale, the operating policies at Glendale Water and Power and so much more.

Glendale is truly a wonderful place to live and work. We are very lucky to have a city with such an effective education system, a impressive local police department and a culturally diverse city population. Glendale really is the Jewel City. However we can’t rest on our laurels. There is always room for improvement! Our city needs better driving lessons, a more responsive city government, greater accountability to the public, and the list goes on. Our work here is far from over. Summer’s over, schools back in session and Urban Toot’s back baby!

Is there something that you would like to know more about? Drop us a line or leave a suggestion in our comment section below. We’d love to hear from you! Are you interested in writing and contributing for Urban Toot. Drop us a line and share your ideas!

Anyway as promised here is the video!

Related Posts:

Smileage!

Bad Driver, Bad!

 

 

 

The Tongva People

http://www.kcet.org/socal/departures/lariver/yangna/gabrieleno-tongva-mission-indians.html

 

Urban Toot is about Glendale, the lives, thoughts and perspectives of the people who live here. We thought it would be interesting to look as far back as possible to see who were the first people who lived in Glendale. These people were called the Tongva, they spoke that was part of a larger group called the Uto-Aztecan language of families and unfortunately the language has gone extinct.
The Tongva lived in what we now would refer to as Los Angeles but it appears that they made the San Gabriel Mountains their central point.  The name of the people has changed over history being called the Gabrielino or San Gabriel Band. The new name came because of the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel  which was established in 1771. This was not exactly a happy time in the history of the Tongva as that they were severely mistreated. The Spanish also confused the Tongva with another nearby group called the Tataviam and just started calling all the Indesious people Gabrieleño.
When the Mission of San Gabriel Arcangel was firmly created in 1771 The Tongva had a population of about 5,000, by the early 1900’s the Tongva culture was almost completely gone. While there are some records and historical artifacts, most of the Tongva language and culture had disappeared. However I do think it’s important to note that Loyloa Marymount University has archives of Tongva culture. It’s also of note that at this time there are about 1500 people who claim Tongva  or Gabreilino
as their tribe.
From what I read online that there is no one group that is recognized as the Tongva  (or Gabreilino) Nation. While the state of California does recognize the Tongva as a legitimate First Nation the Federal Government does not.
A few other random tidbits that I picked up:
  • The Tongva believed in a supreme being that brought order to the chaotic world by setting it upon the shoulders of seven giants made for that purpose.
  • To fail to show courage was the height of disgrace among the Tongva. Men would deliberately lie on top of red anthills and have handfuls of ants placed in their face as a demonstration of courage.
  • boys sought visions of their own special animal protector.
  • By the time the first American settlers arrival in the Los Angeles area in 1841, Tongva survivors were scattered and working at subsistence level on Mexican land grants. Disease further decimated the Tongva population.
You can read more about these very early first  people of Glendale at these Web Sites:
Steve O’Bryan is a resident of Glendale who loves where he lives. He runs Smack Smog Inc a Strategic Content company that helps Organizations reach their goals via the Internet and Social Media. He minored in History and likes to share what he’s learned. 

Get Grounded!

I recently walked into the Starbucks in Frog Alley and saw the sign for Free Grounds for your Garden and what did I see? Free Grounds for your Garden! Now that’s an offer any good composer can’t resist! What I didn’t know is that Starbucks has this environmental program that tries to make each store more green!

Here is What Starbucks has to say:

Composting

Grounds for Your Garden, introduced in 1995, provides interested customers with complimentary five-pound (2.27-kilogram) bags of soil-enriching coffee grounds. Where commercial composting is available, many stores are able to divert any remaining coffee grounds and food waste from the landfill as well.

Are you new to composting? Here are some quick tips:

1. Don’t compost meat, bones, poop, things with chemicals, etc. The meat, bones etc will attract rodents and other yucky things.

2. Do compost grass clippings, leaves, egg shells, coffee grounds, veggie peels, etc.

3. Worms are good! Welcome the worms to your compost!

4. Compost won’t stink if you give it air. When it’s outside turn it out wit a shovel, poke holes with a stick. Just let it breathe!

5. Compost is good for your soil. Mix it with your existing dirt and it will help kill the weeds and make the crops grow higher.

Steve O’Bryan is a resident of Glendale who loves where he lives. He runs Smack Smog Inc a Strategic Content company that helps Organizations reach their goals via the Internet and Social Media. He has a crazy love of composting that he developed when he lived in the crazy province of Manitoba. 

$139,000 Your Life. Animated.

Glendale Logo Description

Back in November of 2011 the city of Glendale announced it’s big plan to fix the city. They spent $139,000 dollars to hire an agency, all the way from Nashville Tennessee to find a way to fix Glendale.

According to the people who live 2,004 miles away in Nashville Tennessee, Glendale is boring. Just think that it took some people who live 2004 miles away from our community to look at Glendale negatively and insult us. Why do I have a sneaking suspicion that they don’t live here They think that Burbank and Pasadena are the hip spots but that Glendale isn’t interesting and gets looked over when compared to Burbank and Pasadena.  They seemed to think that if Glendale were more interesting then more outside companies would want to relocate here, and our tax base would soar, and the Glendale would be a better place.

So are we fixed? Has unemployment gone down? Does Glendale have a problem that there is not enough office space for rent or lease? Have our property taxes dropped because we don’t need the money? Do our schools have enough money? Uhm, the answer to all those questions is obviously no.

Yes, $139,000 dollars was allocated to pay Northstar Brand from  Nashville Tennessee to fix our city.

What’s really interesting is that in 2009 the staff of the City of Glendale developed what was reported to be “Shop Local, Buy Glendale.” Many cities across California have adapted similar campaigns. The idea is simple. The more times we can turn a dollar over within our city the more we all prosper. It’s not very complex. It comes down to the more you do business with your neighbor the better your community will be.  This is a simple, logical and dare I say, a good piece of common sense. Shop Local, Buy Local.

So instead of taking their own advice and buying local they hire a firm from 2004 miles away. But of course they had a good reason to completely abandon the buy local campigan. No one knew who was in charge or what to do!

The Redevelopment Agency reports stated:

“Since there was no clear consensus on the Buy Glendale campaign, the Agency recommended that the effort would be best served by developing a citywide branding and marketing strategy with the services of a professional marketing firm, and directed staff to issue a Request for Qualifications”

It sounds like no one could agree on the Buy Glendale campaign and so the City decided that they should throw money at it. Brilliant.

The report decided to tap into local big shots who apparently have great marketing skills. In fact here is what they report says:

“Marketing professionals from Glendale businesses assisted staff in interviewing the top four firms to further evaluate the details of their proposals in terms of experience, final work products, timing, creativity and design concepts, and anticipated costs.  These individuals included Senior Vice Presidents, Directors, Managers, and Executives from Glendale Arts, Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Glendale Galleria, Glendale Hilton, Huerta Quorum, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, and The Americana at Brand. “

You can read it yourself at CITY OF GLENDALE CALIFORNIA JOINT REPORT TO THE CITY COUNCIL AND REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY (http://www.ci.glendale.ca.us/government/council_packets/Reports_112911/CC_RA_Item3_112911.pdf) it seems like they had a good idea. Shop Local, Buy Local. But they gave up on their idea in order to outsource it.

Now it doesn’t say who those people are or if the people represented in the even live or work directly in Glendale and how much marketing experience they have?

If we really wanted some good advice why didn’t we tap into Disney or DreamWorks. These are people who have a proven track record of marketing? In fact Councilman Weaver said a similar thing.

Glendale City Councilman Dave Weaver, however, isn’t sold on the idea. Calling the campaign a waste of money, he cast the sole dissenting vote last month when the council approved the slogan, as well as a logo featuring the city’s name in lower-case letters and five multicolored curlicues.

“There’s nothing catchy about it that I can see,” he said in an interview. “People are not going to go around using it.

“I think we should just call Glendale `The Animation Capital of the World’ and let go of it,” he said. “Ask the animators of those three (local) studios to come up with a logo.” (http://www.dailynews.com/news/ci_19502620)

In my opinion it seems like we wasted something good. It seems like they had a good idea. Shop Local, Buy Local. But they gave up on their idea in order to outsource it.dollars on people from out of town. If we had gone with a local firm it would at least stimulate the local economy but we didn’t even do that. No we sent it to Tennessee instead.

I realize that with all the current State financial problems that the Redevelopment Agency is basically being shut down but I still have to ask who is responsible for this? Is it someone who has lost their job at the ReDevelopment office? Is it the City Council? Who?!?   Has anything positive come from this campaign? Have we gotten our money’s worth?

What can we expect for our $139,000?

You can read it yourself at CITY OF GLENDALE CALIFORNIA JOINT REPORT TO THE CITY COUNCIL AND REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY (http://www.ci.glendale.ca.us/government/council_packets/Reports_112911/CC_RA_Item3_112911.pdf) it seems like they had a good idea. Shop Local, Buy Local. But they gave up on their idea in order to outsource it.

Glendale Logo Description

Steve O’Bryan is a resident of Glendale who loves where he lives. He runs Smack Smog Inc a Strategic Content company that helps Organizations reach their goals via the Internet and Social Media. 

 

Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.