It's a tale of two Cities.
In the City of the past, the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles tries to put some ersatz political influence up for sale at USC Sunday.
The JFed's conference is hilariously entitled "Return to Passion: Strategies for a Better Tomorrow." And who better to populate such than the usual suspects who are trying so hard to hold onto the past and to make the future just like it only moreso?
Among the shopworn names: the Mayor, Cecelia Estolano of the developer-doormat CRA, Tom Hayden from two lifetimes ago, AJ Duffy of the cranky stegosaurus known as the UTLA, Marlene Canter who's retiring from the LAUSD Board, the Mayor's two best kleptocratic pointmen, Thomas Saenz his General Counsel and David Nahai, his fee-hiking DWP chief.
Yes, LA's JFed thinks that these cronic kleptocratic culprits are just the people to talk about "a better tomorrow." And just to prove that when they say they want to raise your fees they mean it, for a whole day of press-release-level infomercial, it will only cost you $75 to say you were there.
But in the other City--the real City where you and I live, there's a different kind of event.
If you would like to watch the real future of the City of Los Angeles unfold this weekend, ditch the reliquary parcel-tax pimps at USC and go the Alliance of Neighborhood Council meeting at LACC on Saturday, starting at 9:30. This unlikely pack of angry bluehairs, midlife spinsters, urbanist gadflies (that's how the USC panelists want to think of them, anyway), and, yes, community organizers have forced the power-elite's hands on LA's billboard policy recently. And none other than Council Prez Eric Garcetti and City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo are obliged to be on hand to explain themselves---along with the City's top billboard prohibitionist, Dennis Hathaway.
Unlike the JFed's five-hour commercial for the Mayor's office, the Alliance's meetup is a Real Political Event.
I know which event I'm going to.