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Mary M. on Candlelight Vigil at Mayors House.

posted Feb 26, 2010, 10:41 AM by Shannon Salmon   [ updated Feb 26, 2010, 10:43 AM by Shannon Salmon ]
It was a small turnout for the vigil tonight, probably about 50 people.  However, as one of the speakers said, "This is just the beginning."  The next candlelight vigil at the Mayor's house is scheduled for Saturday, March 6 (not sure what time), and should be easier for people to make it to than one on a weeknight.

I talked to an ACTUAL tree surgeon named Art who is with the Department of Public Works.  I'd always been curious about what a tree surgeon was, and now that I know, I can't imagine the city without them.  He made a great point about how the work he does for the city helps keep Los Angeles both safe and green.  If the city goes ahead with its plan to cut all city tree trimming services, Art said, many property owners will either use cheap, unlicensed labor to trim their trees, which will make some unsafe, or they'll just cut them down because they don't want the hassle.

I also talked to a Parks & Rec employee who said that a couple of years ago, his job called for him to work at three different parks.  Now, he's working at nine parks around the city to cover for vacancies and positions lost to early retirement.

The theme that speakers stuck to was that the Mayor and City Council got the heads up about an impending budget crisis as early as 2007, and did nothing.  We're all in this together, and we all work together to make Los Angeles a beautiful, safe, first-rate city.  Who picks up the trash, trims the trees, keeps the DASH buses running, who makes parks and libraries safe and welcoming places for families?  We do!  And we're proud to do it.

I can't encourage people enough to attend the next candlelight vigil.  Not only does it send a visible message to the Mayor that we oppose his unfair cuts, but it is also a great opportunity to meet city employees and learn about what they do to make Los Angeles a better place.  Everyone was so friendly, welcoming, and clearly enthusiastic about the services they provide to the people of Los Angeles.