Saturday, December 12, 2009



By Diana L. Chapman

I put myself out on a limb when writing about Los Angeles Councilwoman Janice Hahn last week and her failure to help the little guy, like me, which probably means you and you and you.

After it ran in City Watch, I sat back and braced for an onslaught of pro-Janice worshipers to write in to spell out how wonderful she is and all she had done for their communities. Zero came in. Nada. Zip. Zilcho!

Perhaps they believe City Watch won’t print what they think. It will. It will. It will. Because I know there are people who like Hahn, I waited and waited and waited – especially from those supporting her bid to run for Lieutenant governor.

Instead, I received many emails from people who too, felt just like me, a sense of betrayal from our councilwoman who seemed to prefer hanging out with the political elite – and first class – than us old boring folks back in coach.

Perhaps we whine too much since we all want to see our communities improve dramatically, which is pretty tough calling when you’re hooked into a gigantic monstrosity like the city of Los Angeles. Many decisions regarding our lives are made 20 miles away and among people who don’t have a clue or care how our region works – or often what we think.

I wrestled with myself over the article endlessly because I wanted to believe that at last someone was there for us in Janice. She’s likeable, articulate – and just about everything you’d want – if she would just stand up for the little guy. Here are what some readers wrote in:

“Reading your CityWatch article about the happenings to the Stakeholders in San Pedro

made me think for a minute I was reading about the happenings to Stakeholders in the northern portion of the Harbor Gateway area of the 15th District. The similarities are astounding,” wrote Lu Watson, a Harbor Gateway resident.

“We (in Harbor Gateway) have had similar experiences with the Councilwoman with the same results as those of you in San Pedro:

(1) A "proposed" 711 store which the community overwhelmingly opposed;

(2) A "proposed" charter school for young children located directly under, near, adjacent to, in front of, by, close to the 110 fwy exit; entrance and overpass; an adult toy store almost directly across the street in front of; and, surrounded by businesses with serious environmental and air-quality issues;

(3) A "proposed" jet fuel pipeline which begins at the port in Wilmington traversing the Harbor Gateway to LAX;

(4) A community of which 85-90% of the residents worked extremely hard to get certain streets closed for safety reasons;

(5) Summarily closing the Harbor Gateway Field Office, causing a hardship

to those of us in the Gateway;

(6) Need I say more?”’

San Pedro resident Guillermo Villagran said his

disappointment with Janice runs deep.
“I don’t have to tell
you about my profound disappointment with her.
She is representative of the myriad hack politicians whose
principal motivation is how they can continue to gorge
themselves at the public trough,” Villagran emailed.
“Cut through the fluff and you see she has done nothing of
significance. Her idea of tackling crime and gang problems
is to waste $5 million hard-earned tax dollars at corrupt
intervention programs… ; or opening a youth center in the
heart of a gang-infested neighborhood with the wishful
thinking that these young people will learn to “get along.

“I will be happy to see Hahn leave CD15 but dread the idea that California voters could be duped into voting for her as Lt. Governor.”

Another City Watch reader and San Pedro resident asked:

How could you not include her fearless and tireless efforts to deal with the dreaded "Reggie the Alligator?” Did she not waste an inordinate amount of time and money to bring this episode to a proper conclusion? If I remember correctly, she left a pretty important meeting to zip off to Harbor Park when the news came in that Reggie was finally caught…In my opinion, she has become one of those politicians you will elect to higher office to get her out of our business,” and up to a “bigger play pen.”

Former Coastal Neighborhood Council member, Kim Stevens, said he’s irritated that Janice’s vision for San Pedro seems to be turning it into Marina del Rey.

“Aside from the "vision thing" about Pedro, my gripe with

Janice is that she is all too willing to pander to folks
for a vote now regardless of the long-run negative costs
to the people,” Stevens said. “In short, a politician without
real principles who thinks only of re-election.”
In all fairness to Janice, none of her predecessors that I

knew could make San Pedro happy either. But that of course,
is the nature of this big beast we deal with on a daily basis,
that controls our lives and prevents us from having our own
identity – Los Angeles.

For those of you who don’t agree, please counter back about

the good things the councilwoman has done for your communities.

Diana can be reached at or visit her blog: