16 Jan “Feisty Bike Mayor” in The Nation
Mayoral participants included everyone from the high-profile chief executive of the host city, Bill de Blasio, to his far less well-known, but equally feisty, West Coast counterpart, Meghan Sahli-Wells. She hails from Culver City, California, a Los Angeles County enclave with a population smaller than some New York City neighborhoods.
But that difference in scale hasn’t stopped Sahli-Wells from making waves of her own, as an enviro-oriented “bike mayor” who helped secure a ban on single-use plastic bags and has been working tirelessly to ban fracking as well. Now her talk about property tax reform has local realtors organizing against her and wishing she had never been chosen by her council peers to be the city’s part-time mayor. “My Chamber of Commerce hates me,” she reported, but expressed confidence that “harnessing the power of community” would enable her to overcome business opposition to some of her future plans.
Read the whole piece by Steve Early here.
Naturally, I have some friends in the Chamber of Commerce, and not every realtor disagrees with me, but there have been Council meetings where divisions in approach and ideas have been very strong. There was vociferous opposition by these groups when the non-profit Evolve asked the Council to support a resolution to reform Prop 13 – in order to close corporate loopholes that have decimated California schools and public services. My motion to support the resolution “died” without a second. More recently, members of the Greater Apartment Association of Los Angeles, flanked by realtors and members of the Chamber came out in force to voice strong opposition to protections for our city’s renters. (Read coverage by KPPC’s Alice Walton here.)
I’m a progressive. I believe in economic justice, immigrant rights, racial justice, and a sustainable future. I will fight for these values. I’m not alone.