Nobody Has Sung: SL Election Ain't Over --Yet

Results of Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Election, held September 29, 2007, have been held up, as already noted in this blog, due to challenge.

LOS FELIZ LEDGER revealed details of the hold-up to seating the new Board: two challenges.

First Challenge: involves Region #7 with candidates Noah Stein and Renne Nahum; Stein charging opponent campaigned in a polling area. All the previous years the voting booth was set up at the school, with candidates permitted only on the sidewalk, not past a posted sign, so it was easy for everyone to see, follow the rules. This year voting was moved to Bellevue Park --a stop on the proposed DASH bus route, to make voting accessible, easy for new voters, which possibly caused some natural (?) confusion? We will see.

The other shoe...
Though similarly about violations, the nature of the other challenge is quite different sort. Did a candidate spam voters? The Chair of SLNC Election Committee, Leanna Dickstein has Filed Challenge in an At-Large race. Did the candidate use protected e-mail addresses to spam stakeholders during the campaign?

Election Challenge filed by the Chair is surprising, for a few reasons.

The Challenge: did candidate Jason Lyons use SLNC mailing list --e-mail addresses of those who subscribed to SLNC Notices --to turn subscribers into potential voters?

Jason Lyons was elected to a seat on the first Silver Lake Neighborhood Council board and also ran for a second term on the board. Wanting to continue, apparently, but as per provisions of the charter, was Termed out, so this year he ran for one of the At-Large seats on the board. He has been charged with using the mailing list of SLNC for campaign purposes --to solicit votes.

During both of the first two elections: Jason Lyons sent e-mail asking for votes --more than once, in each election, with some e-mail also reminding 'to vote.' After those elections: Lyons used the same e-mail addresses to thank stakeholders for his election to the board.

If Lyons was not allowed to use e-mail addresses of SLNC in his third election run: why did he use the Council's e-mail list the first two elections?

If he was not permitted to use SLNC's e-mail list at all: Why wasn't he challenged in either/both previous election?

Why No Other board members or candidates running in first two elections sent e-mail solicitation for votes?

Why was Jason Lyons the only candidate to use the SLNC mailing list --in three elections?

Were candidates in first two elections and Election Committee chair unaware of Lyons' use of SLNC's mailing list?

Jason Lyons received enough votes to get elected to the board a third time. If his opponents had also had access to the SLNC mailing list: what would have been the out-come?

Chair Dickstein has made an important challenge: if Silver Lake stakeholders sign up/subscribe to receive SLNC notices , but addresses are used in other --non-sanctioned ways --as spam --who will be willing to subscribe?

Stakeholders: don't expect to be spammed --by their 'own' --privacy compromised, not even for a local election --at least: not without being asked/giving permission --First.

Stating How an e-mail address will be honored, Privacy Policy: a basic tenet of even the most primitive, basic website. It is why, for example, no one should use Yahoo.com for e-mail, as they state that their Policy is to gather personal information on users --and give it to advertisers. --Yahoo also: gave personal information of e-mail users to: the feds --when the feds merely asked for it, enabled spying on American citizens in violation of Bill of Rights and the Constitution and federal law, nevermind decency, without court supervision or warrant. Now: their lobbyists, along with AT&T are lobbying to get Congress to give them Immunity from prosecution for breaking those laws. If At&T, Yahoo, Verizon, etc. thought they didn't break any laws: why do they want Immunity now?

If SLNC mailing could be used for a candidate running for elected office, could someone else decide it would be "okay" --to give the mailing list to a political Party --to sell it --to trade it for some personal gain? --Just to 'cover' expenses for running campaign? Where is: End Point of that "logic"?

Over the past few years: Jason Lyons has sent e-mail about subjects separate from SLNC elections, e.g., regarding City political and election issues. On complaint of receiving such e-mail: Lyons has criticized those who complained. This author has had First-hand experience with this.

Region #7 Challenge to election: if error committed, might have been caused by ordinary human error, not calculated intent, depending on the details.

On the At-Large election: the community owes Chair Dickstein
'thanks' for making no doubt difficult formal Challenge on an important issue, whether or not it involves a neighbor.

Silver Lake daVine remedy?
-Either ALL obey the rules or none of us will.

-When the Final Judge issues decision: it will set precedent. If the Final Judge determines Jason Lyons used SLNC mailing List improperly --without permission, unfairly, he should step out, not be allowed to hold office, and relinquish the seat to the candidate with next-highest number of votes.

-I don't know what the Charter says, but it seems reasonable: if Final Judge decides for Challenge/against Jason Lyons he should not be allowed to stand in the next election either, for any office on the SLNC Board.

-There are people on the Board, including ex board member Jason Lyons, who bring a great deal to the job of running Silver Lake's Neighborhood Council, including knowledge, passion, intelligence, experience and not least: willingness to do the job. Should they be 'dropped' because of a sentence in the Charter on limits of term?

Limiting the term of a job in Sacramento: has resulted in no networking or long-term relationships; constant inexperience/ignorance of procedures, no over-view, no accountability and Interminable "seat-hopping" --people hop from office to office, even to a job/office for which they are un-suited. Chaos, irresponsible spending, disaster and rise in unnatural amount of power ceded to governorship.

Could a newbie have stepped into the presidency and successfully won WW II?

Could a SLNC board made up of newbie members: successfully oppose Los Angeles City Council mis-management of funds --proposed DWP 22% tax rise to pay already over-paid DWP managers; challenge mis-management and archaic DWP practices? Do stakeholders need experienced people to represent neighborhood issues to City Council? --Take back power --force City Council members to Pay Serious Attention to local preferences? Once elected: a City Council member isn't even reachable, nevermind responsive to local issues --after the votes are counted.

This blog calls for:
Strengthening, empowering Neighborhood Councils by deleting Term Limits from Silver Lake's NC charter --and all NC charters. If passionate intelligent knowledgeable stakeholders are allowed to stand for re-election --and succeed, they may be able to present a united front to challenge elected city politicians --challenge things like Mayor V's intention to slap 10% tax on Los Angeles telephones --City Council's intention hit us with 22% hike for garbage, services, etc., while they do nothing to streamline government or make it efficient.

-Let's put elimination of Term Limits on our next SLNC election ballot. New people can always stand for election against any member and if a member stops being effective or responsive, can easily be voted off the board.

But let's Not decide in advance that a person doing well at a job they want to continue doing: should be arbitrarily removed. Let's make some lemonade out of some nasty lemons. That would be, yup, Silver Lake daVine....

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tag: silver lake neighborhood council election September 2007 challenge board candidates committe Los feliz Ledger newspaper At-Large remedy charter Brown Act Los Angeles City Council

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