Thumbing Their Noses at Democracy: The State Senators Who Voted to Exempt the Convention Center from State Billboard Law

In the wee hours of the morning, when most people were soundly asleep, a bill in the California legislature to strengthen whistleblower protections for state employees was gutted of its contents and stuffed with an unsavory mixture of exemptions from the state’s Outdoor Advertising Act, including one that would allow the 50,000 sq. ft. of advertising signs proposed for the exterior of the L.A. convention center. Bid for downtown L.A. electronic billboards fails.

Despite the blatant attempt to slip this bill through under cover of darkness, so to speak, it failed to pass on a tie vote.  But nobody believes the perpetrators of this end run around the democratic principles of openness and public participation in government are going to say, aw shucks, and quietly forget about the whole thing.

One of those perpetrators was Democratic Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas, the L.A. legislator who is running for a seat on the County Board of Supervisors.  In addition to Ridley-Thomas, four other senators who represent parts of L.A. voted for the bill, while three voted against it.   Their names are as follows, and if you live in one of their districts, please send him or her an e-mail or make a telephone call to register your displeasure, or express your appreciation, as the case may be.  If our elected representatives know we are watching and listening, they’re less likely to employ these underhanded, undemocratic tactics.  (note:  Some legislators’ e-mail addresses could be inactive; it’s best to call or write in addition)

FOR THE SENATE BILL EXEMPTING THE CONVENTION CENTER BILLBOARDS FROM STATE LAW:

Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas
State Capitol, Room 4061
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4026
Fax: (916) 445-8899
Senator.Ridley-Thomas@senate.ca.gov

Sen. Gilbert Cedillo
State Capitol, Room 5100
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4022
Sen.Cedillo@senate.ca.gov

Sen. Jenny Oropeza
State Capitol, Room 4074
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4028
Fax: (916) 323-6056
Sen. Oropeza@senate.ca.gov

Sen. Ron Calderon
State Capitol, Room 4088
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4030
Fax: (916) 327-8755
Senator.Calderon@senate.ca.gov

Sen. Edward Vincent
State Capitol, Room 5052
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4025
Sen.Vincent@senate.ca.gov

AGAINST THE SENATE BILL EXEMPTING THE CONVENTION CENTER BILLBOARDS FROM STATE LAW:

Sen. Sheila Kuehl
State Capitol, Room 5108
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4023
Fax: (916) 324-4823
Sen.Kuehl@senate.ca.gov

Sen. Gloria Romero
State Capitol, Room 313
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4024
Fax: (916) 445-0485
Sen.Romero@senate.ca.gov

Sen. Jack Scott
State Capitol, Room 2082
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 651-4021
Fax: (916) 324-7543
Sen.Scott@senate.ca.gov

Dennis Hathaway

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