The L.A. I’m Yours Fantasy Ballot of 2014

Five local issues that aren’t—but should be—up for vote

The midterm election is on November 4, and with the deadline to register to vote barreling toward us (it’s Monday, register NOW), it’s time to prep for a trip to the polls. This go-round, every seat in the house is up for grabs. Wannabe Governor Neel Kashkari is trying to drown Jerry Brown. We may thin out our prisons. Insurers may end up in the hot seat. Some residents can vote to fund parks. Others can vote to upgrade classrooms.

What isn’t reflected on the ballot? The fact that more L.A. streets aren’t being repaved. The fact that people on my Mid-City block keep nearly getting hit by cars because of a lack of crosswalks. The fact that so much of the city isn’t required to recycle. For a forward thinking metropolis, we sure could kick things up a notch. That’s why I’ve put together this list of five propositions I’d like Angelenos to approve:

A Waste Management Prop
Composting—a little thing our sibling city San Francisco has adopted—would go a long way in moving Los Angeles towards becoming a zero-waste environment. We are doing fine with recycling (my apartment complex still doesn’t have it, though) but composting would represent an ideological shift here. It would show we care. Banning plastic bags is cool, but food waste is a bigger problem.

A Carfree Prop
Remember a few years ago when hybrid car incentives were a thing? Remember how ride-sharing was also pushed way back when? Well, those things have happened for the most part and our focus should shift now toward high-fiving bikers and Metro users with benefits. No, I don’t mean offering discounts to anyone with a TAP card, but rather giving money or other real advantages to those on two or fewer wheels. People with electric cars got big rebates and that changed the industry. Want to really get people out of cars? Pay them.

A Museum Lovin’ Prop
How many times have you been to the Natural History Museum? What about the Autry? The Norton Simon? The California African American Museum? The probable answer: Not enough. While it would be hard to incentivize people to visit our museums, I’d love to see these institutions strengthened and enjoyed more broadly.

A Dry Lawn Prop
L.A. looks as lush as ever while some cities in the state have lost all their water. Why do we have so much greenery still? Waterless landscaping may not look pretty, but it should be embraced.

A Prop to Save Bob Baker’s Marionette Theatre
This is my most important issue. The puppet theater has been struggling for years, and now comes reports the theater is set to close to make way for an apartment complex, which is incredibly sad.

Time for a vote!

Kyle Fitzpatrick is a writer, an infrequent performer, and a lover of dogs, art, shorts, champagne, and L.A. You can find his musings Fridays on CityThink. For more, check out his locally focused art, design, and culture website, Los Angeles, I’m Yours, or follow him on Twitter and Instagram.