Taxed but not represented
Is this 1750, 1760 or 2012?
Is this a gathering storm of protest against Measure J or the Boston Tea Party? Are we members of the 13 colonies opposing policies that are as distant in priority and propriety as North America is from Great Britain or the noted historical epoch itself?
No, this is a protest against ballot Measure J. We are residents of the 15 city council districts in ardent opposition to what is a ballot measure that does not represent the expressed legitimate economic and safety needs of the Leimert Park and Park Mesa stakeholders and is, therefore, as distant as Los Angeles is from London.
We are mobilized with discontent and armed with righteous indignation. Yet the cry is still the same, the indignity is the same, the offense is the same, the disrespect is the same and, sadly, the result is still the same—taxation without representation!
While residents throughout the 15 council districts will be taxed to an aggregate $90 billion, not a penny will go toward a safe underground Leimert Park stop or tunnel in Park Mesa Heights on the Crenshaw/LAX Line.
During a panel discussion hosted by Dominique Diprima of radio station KJLH’s Front Page at Trinity Baptist Church that featured district attorney aspirant Jackie Lacey, California Assemblyman Mike Davis, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, state Senator Rod Wright, and Assemblyman Isadore Hall opinions were divided on the measure. Those for the measure, such as Congresswoman Waters, suggested that the opposition efforts are too little too late.
Waters also claimed, and I’m paraphrasing, that the outgoing mayor and some unnamed African American leaders, inclusive of preachers, cut a deal with the mayor’s expressed commitment to find and allocate the $300-plus million dollars for the desired Leimert/Park Mesa rail line project. Hence, current efforts would be better served by holding the mayor accountable to his promise and in the meantime approving this measure needed to complete this critical project.
Assemblyman Davis asked, “Since previous promises still go unfulfilled, can we really trust this proposition?” Both Assemblyman Davis and Senator Wright suggested that the defeat of Measure J will kick the measure back, triggering a renegotiation of its intended provisions.
Opposition to Measure J, however, is neither premised upon the hope for some esoteric unknown and possibly even unwritten mayoral promise nor the expectation of an renegotiated defeated measure. This is a principled opposition based upon the fact that Measure J is as old as this republic and as unfair today as it was in it origins—taxation without representation!
In deference to our esteemed congresswoman’s sentiments, it would behoove our Leimert Park and Park Mesa stakeholders to make sure that March 2013 mayoral aspirants agree in writing to the Leimert Park stop and the 11-block Park Mesa Heights underground project. In sum, vote no Measure J and demand that any 2013 mayoral candidate promise in writing an underground rail on Crenshaw and a Leimert Park station.
If there is to be a revolution of respect from which our children and we will benefit, we have to make it happen today. Vote No. Demand Respect!
The Rev. Lewis E. Logan II is the co-founder of Ruach Christian Community Fellowship, Los Angeles.
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