Last night it took me two and one-half hours to get from Pico/Roxbury to
While the President was raising money from the rich and powerful, thousands of commuters were faced with no way to get home.
"What a spectacular evening," Obama said. "Let's just hang out."
Yeah. Great. I was “hanging out” at bus stops with nowhere to go. There was no northbound traffic on La Cienega and Fairfax. Buses on Pico were at a standstill. I had to take a crawling bus on Pico to WESTERN, then north on Western to
At each bus stop I waited at there were crowds of people not having any idea the President was in town, let alone how they were to get home.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Police Department said that the Secret Service had not shared street-closure information with the department. The Secret Service also didn't tell Metro. So in other words, there was no ability to plan for this nightmare and no warning people would have that there would be disruptions to their lives. What about the people that had to get home to their kids?
Now contrast this with the wealthy and powerful at the fundraiser who no doubt had the best in valet parking. Congratulating themselves at their concern for the plight of the hardworking American people, they were no doubt perfectly attended to while the working poor were invisible, irrelevant and inconvenienced.
Isn’t this just a living metaphor for
So who is to blame for this?
Didn’t it occur to anyone on the President’s staff that the bad feeling and anger that this commuting nightmare would cause might outweigh all the benefit of “hanging out” at this fundraiser?
Didn’t it occur to the city/county leadership and to Metro to announce the following: “The President is in town during rush hour for a fundraiser, and the Secret Service won’t tell us the routing, so you may not be able to get home that evening.”
Now I lived in
But that best case scenario is in the best case ten years from now. In the meantime, how we can ensure that this won’t happen again or that we will at least be informed that we won’t be able to get home the next time this or a future President has a mid-city rush hour fundraiser with the elites?
I have a feeling based on the bad PR coming from the traffic/transit nightmare that this fundraiser caused, that future Presidential fundraisers will be held in lest disruptive locations like someone's Malibu beach home.