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Los Angeles
Monday, May 23, 2022

Forum 6-14

Last week’s vote to implement a new city charter is arguably one of the most important developments in Los Angeles governance since 1924, the year the current charter was put in place. But the election only drew about 17 percent of L.A.’s voters. So the Business Journal asks:

Why are Angelenos so apathetic when it comes to politics?

Howard Russo

Executive Vice President

Total Creative Inc.

I live in Santa Monica, so I wasn’t involved in this last election. I think the reason is, Angelenos live such separate lives and they don’t stay connected to the city or other people. I’m married and have a child, but there are people who come here and find it a lonely town. The city is so spread out, they’re not involved with the city, so they’re not even paying attention.

Ken Clarke

Partner

Deloitte & Touche

Isn’t it terrible there’s so few people voting? I think the problem is national, not just Los Angeles. People are overwhelmed and they don’t think their votes will count, so they don’t make the effort.

Larry A. Muller

Vice President of Development

The Tamkin Cos.

I think Los Angeles is one of the world’s most diverse cities ethnically, racially and culturally. Some of us come from a place where the political process really doesn’t work and there is understandable mistrust. We’re still working on trying to bring about consensus on our future direction. There’s a perceived notion that it’s difficult to make any impact. People choose not to become involved. I’m convinced that the more one becomes involved, the more satisfaction that is derived.

Jonathan Gat

Executive Director

California-Israel Chamber of Commerce

I’d say there’s a couple of things involved. The city is so spread out and diverse, people don’t feel a real loyalty to the central city government. When people are living in one place, working in another and going for entertainment in a third, it’s difficult to forge a sense of unity. The popular news media concentrates on car chases, sports, and weather and has no time left for local politics that really affect people’s lives.

Kyle Krajewski [picnm4/19]

Vice President and Account Director

The Action Group

I don’t think it’s just Angelenos, it’s America. Americans are apathetic toward politics. We have a lack of trust toward the system and politics in general, and a lack of faith in what it means in our day-to-day lives.

Rob Patton [picnm5/3]

Vice President of Operations and Data Systems

Bizrate.com

I didn’t vote because I’ve been so busy. I have a start-up company here, so I work until midnight every night. We are very much career and lifestyle-oriented these days. We’re too self-centered. We have to make the time to be more involved in our local government and community affairs, so our values and needs get managed a bit better.

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