As the sun sets on summer, and there are only 2 weeks until school starts again. I’m amazed at how quickly this summer has flown by, but maybe that’s because I’ve been absorbed with the presidential politics and the madness that is the current election.
I’ve quickly grown tired of this election and wish we could just vote already. The thought of another 91 days of this bottom-feeding, scum-slinging behavior repulses me, and we haven’t even reached the nadir of the grossness. I find that I have lost all interest in learning more about any of the candidates.
Apathy is not a good thing for our republic; we need to have active and engaged voters at all levels of the government. However, I just don’t have it in me to continue following, with any studiousness, the latest contemptible comments by or about, the candidates.
I’ve made my choice, it’s not likely to change at this point, which is probably true of most voters. I doubt seriously that any candidate will change substantively at this point enough to make me rethink my position.
It’s at the local level that I am more intrigued by the opportunities to effect actual change, yet even there it is disheartening and disappointing. This election season we have many of the same old faces, with the same old platforms, promising change. Meh, does anyone believe that?
The issues facing our city are vital, and yet with so much of the damage done a decade or more ago, we’re trying to put a genie back in a bottle that just wont go. Do we have mavericks on our ballot ready to do battle to save what little remains of the charm of our city? Yeah, not really.
Has our city gone the way of so many others? Yes, and it happened long ago, in a city council far far away. It’s also a factor of the sheer economics of California. We live on the coast, and there’s only so much of it to go around. The constant pressure on all the beach cities to develop and pack in more people is an outgrowth of the constant pressure on our country. Fully half the population lives in major metro areas, and that consolidation is only going to increase over time.
The fact is our country, and frankly much of the world, is far down the path away from an agricultural economy. The further we grow away from an old economic model, the more packed the cities are going to become. It’s why the factories have closed and the ‘rust belt’ is what it is. We feel the pressure here, but it’s not all that different than the almost zero percent vacancy rate in San Francisco, the low almost 3-percent rates in New York City and across the country.
For anyone who owns in the city, this is all an unfettered good, the values will only increase and as development continues to pack in the people the upward pressure will continue. As tech companies continue to be the fastest growing segment of our revenue base, we will see more and more inflation in both office and residential rents.
Is there anything that a city council can do at this point? They could put some buffers on the development juggernaut, and to some degree the city already does. Our inspectors are notorious for their insistence on following the letter of the law, much to the chagrin of new companies that are opening. Ask any new business owner about their travails with the inspectors and you’re in for an evening’s worth of horror tales.
Will we ever return to our small-town charm? Nope. That version of our city is long dead; the best we can hope for at this point is a better traffic plan (which is not forthcoming), some infrastructure development, and a city council that remembers to at least provide for the residents as they try to reign in the development.
Does my apathy mean I wont vote? No, I’ll vote. I’ll even read the ballot measures and chime in later when I have a better idea of what they all really mean.
Do I have a bad case of disgust with the system, the candidates and the tenor of fellow Americans? Yes. The good news is, that like this summer, it will pass, and quickly.
David Pisarra is a Los Angeles divorce and child custody lawyer specializing in fathers’ and men’s rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-664-9969. Follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra.