Editorial: Why L.A. needs a larger City Council
I was driving to pick my son up from day camp and turned on the radio. The evening news had been on about the death of the former mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, which is a subject with which I am constantly in awe. This is not a man who has lived in the area, it’s a man whose life’s work has been in politics. When he announced his bid for mayor a little over a year ago, the media talked about his race and who he was. Now that he’s dead, the story is about the city, what it’s become and who he was.
There are many reasons to be nervous about the city we love, but part of what it’s about is how it’s grown and changed. It’s become a place where people don’t know their neighbors. Not knowing who’s gay and who’s not, living in a city where you don’t know the people around you, it’s not a place anyone wants to live. It’s no longer a city where people can come and buy things, but rather a city where you live life to the fullest.
If you’re a native Angeleno like me, born and raised here, you can’t get away from the impact that the city has had on your life since you were young. I can remember going from a small farm town in the country, to the beach and from there to the office, never thinking I would own my own apartment, never dreaming that I’d have a kid. I was an entrepreneur back then and I always knew that I would make my fortune in this industry. But it was during that time that I also found out that I was gay. The day I became gay, I had to leave the city because we didn’t welcome gay people back then. The city was very homophobic.
I remember walking through the city and people would not look at me. I was like, “I live here, why don’t I come and go shopping?” But a lot of people would not go to