Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Militant Update: Wesson Will We-pave Western!

The Militant, back from his hiatus of an unspecified nature, has some awesome news to report to you Angelenos!

As you may or may not have read, back in late July, the Militant griped about riding his bike over the dangerously deformed pavement along Western Avenue near Venice Boulevard, just north of the West Adams area (you know, where this picture was taken...).

The next day, the Militant visited 10th District Councilman Herb Wesson's website, called his office and ASKED FOR HIS HEAD!

Just kidding. No, the Militant politely talked to the front desk staffer and asked him who was the CD10 field deputy in charge of that area. He was given Wendy Fraticelli's name, who is the field deputy of the northeast part of the 10th district, and so the Militant sent her an email detailing his concern, and also showed the link to his post (shameless self promotion, yo...).

Well, days went by - 18 of them in fact - and the Militant had long ago wondered if Ms. Fraticelli looked at her inbox and said, "Militant Angeleno?! What the f...[hits the DEL key]" But he was proven wrong today, for the CD10 staffer finally pulled through! She wrote:

Good afternoon,
Thank you for contacting the office of Councilmember Wesson and for following up with an email to inform me of your concerns regarding Western Ave. The safety of both pedestrians and drivers is a priority for Councilmember Wesson therefore, Western Ave. is going to be resurfaced soon! At this point, I don't have a specific date but you have my word that as soon as I know exactly when this will be taking place, I will contact you immediately.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need assistance with any City related services or if you have any questions on this or any other matter.
Thank you!!

Wendy Fraticelli
Deputy, District Office
Councilmember Herb J. Wesson, Jr.
Council District 10
1819 S. Western Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90006

Well howzaaat?!?! Of course the Militant's cynical side might just write that off as being humored by the city staffer, but as someone who personally knows council staff members (some of them may or may not be actual top-level Militant Operatives...), they work long hours and earn less than they're worth (Of course, being City workers, they get killer benefits, but that's another topic...). The Militant's optimistic side probably attributed the 18-day delay in response to her researching the issue, and in turn waiting to get a response herself, in addition to all the meetings she has to run off to all day.

The whole intent of this was to show you how to find the right people to talk to, and get answers. Many people call up their councilmember's office, and unload their gripes to the poor junior-level staffer/intern answering the phone, who's probably hating their job at the moment, having heard hundreds of similar gripes throughout the course of the day. Most of the work of the council office is done by the deputies. The councilmembers are there to attend City Council meetings, committee meetings, give soundbites to the press and cut ribbons with really large-sized scissors.

The Militant will follow up when he gets word of the street re-paving (and hopefully it gets done right; he's seen some weak-ass paving jobs out there...). In the meantime, Thanks, Wendy for your reply and all the work that you do for the City and CD10!


Will Campbell... said...

Let me get this straight MA. I'm banking that in your letter you detailed how you were BIKING down Western, yet Wendy writes back with this:

"...The safety of both pedestrians and drivers is a priority for Councilmember Wesson..."

No love for us cyclistsesses? GAH!

Militant Angeleno said...

Will: Yeah, the Militant caught that, but he was probably too giddy that he finally got a response from a City Council staffer - as the Militant - to write about it. Perhaps Herbie thinks cyclists are pedestrians. Perhaps he should hang out with his colleagues Eric, Ed and Tom more. Perhaps he should go those Wednesday evening bike rides with Tom.