The Jewel City may finally get some glitz.
Kim Kardashian, famous for whatever it is she does, evidently has her eyes set on the top political post in my hometown, Glendale. Five years from now, she hopes to run for mayor.
Alas, it's impossible for Kardashian to run for mayor of Glendale -- because Glendale doesn't elect a mayor. Its five council members, all of whom serve at-large, each year select one of their colleagues to serve in the city’s top post. So endearing herself to Glendale voters presents only the first hurdle to anyone who hopes to launch her political career in the city.
But Kardashian shouldn't let that discourage her, if she can set her sights a little lower and cut her political teeth as a council member for a few years. Glendale has a city manager who really runs the show, so how much damage could Kardashian do?
And don't think Kardashian isn't a good fit for Glendale. The city may well be known mostly for being on the way to its smaller yet more noteworthy neighbors, Pasadena and Burbank, and its depressing row of auto dealerships.
Or that's what you've heard. Despite the city's reputation as Any Suburb USA, Glendale resembles Miami more than Levittown. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, more than half of all Glendale residents are foreign born, and not only because of the city's sizable Armenian population (a demographic Kardashian, evidently using her unmatched political skills, noted would work in her favor). Latinos and Asians each account for roughly 15% of the city. My family traded their fjord-side farms in Norway for the palm-shadowed housing tracts of Glendale in the 1950s, as did scores of other Scandinavians who formed the tight-knit ethnic community my grandparents joined.
So run, Kim, run. Glendale needs you, if only to shake off the Jewel City's undeserved reputation and give it a little bling.