Budget Advocates Invited to the Dinner … but Only To Do the Dishes!
- Jay Handal
DONE WATCH--The Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates are an elected team of NC members who spend thousand of hours meeting annually with departments and unions, to review wants and needs, and to scrub through the city budget, in order to report to the Mayor and City Council on matters of budget and city services.
For years, the BA's have been requesting of our Mayor that they be allowed to sit in on the budget process with his budget team. This request is repeatedly denied. What do they have to hide? Remember, BA's are volunteers, unpaid troopers trying to keep the city transparent and honest.
And to the city councils credit, the BA's are invited to present their White Paper to the council annually.
Here is the issue: Being invited to dinner only to do the dishes is not enough. The BA's want to help plan the menu and dine with the fat cats.
BA's are a charter mandated group, elected and appointed by their neighborhood councils.
Remember what President John Kennedy said: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. That rings true for BA's. The budget advocates, 36 elected NC members, work tirelessly to put together a paper that reflects the will of the people, something our elected officials seem to forget at times.
If the Mayor is planning a run for President, I have some advice:
Stop smiling and act.
Stop promising and do.
Remember who got you where you are. You will need every one of us to succeed either as Mayor or President.
(Jay Handal is Co-Chair of the NC Budget Advocates, treasurer of the West Los Angeles NC and Los Angeles Police Commission Hearing Examiner. He is also a consultant to the cannabis industry. Mr. Handal’s views are his own.)