Monday, July 26, 2010

Moving towards the Bell curve

What's this? People demanding accountability and transparency from their elected leaders?

Several hundred angry residents from a modest blue-collar Los Angeles suburb marched Sunday to call for the resignation of the mayor and some City Council members in a protest sparked by the sky-high salaries of three recently departed administrators.

The residents of the city of Bell marched to Oscar's Korner Market and Carniceria, owned by Mayor Oscar Hernandez, then to his home, demanding that he reduce his own six-figure compensation or quit.

They then did the same with some members of the City Council, with many marchers wearing T-shirts that read "My city is more corrupt than your city."

"I don't think they are taking it seriously. And we're serious," event organizer and longtime Bell resident Nestor Valencia, 45, told the Los Angeles Times. "They need to resign."

This after the L.A. Times broke the story that Bell's city manager, police chief and assistant city manager were being paid annual salaries of hundreds of thousands of dollars, most egregious among these was city manager Robert Rizzo who pulled down $787,637. All three resigned on Friday.

But proving that not all protestors demanding accountability, transparency and responsibility of their elected leaders are created equal, we've noticed a definite difference in the tone of the media coverage for the outrage expressed by the good citizens of Bell with that of some other protestors who will remain un-named.

It's all good. We're with the residents of Bell and we hope this sparks a revival of civic interest and activism there in Bell and beyond. What is playing out there represents a microcosm of the ruling class vs. the country class in Codevilla's essay. It's high time for this push back.

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