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Grass Roots

December 28, 2003
Re "New Chapter for Old-School Politician," Dec. 21: I was amused by the poor-old-Willie-Brown article, about the outgoing mayor of San Francisco. When I was active in the California Democratic Party, Willie was at the height of command. He was called a radical but did everything he could to preserve establishment power against the Democratic Party's grass roots. Brown was never about true liberalism; he was always about power. He laid the foundation for the current disarray among California Democrats.
July 26, 2008
THANK YOU for the article "The '60s, Now" [by Diane Haithman, July 19]. Important as Chavez, Correta, Stokely, etc., were as spokespeople, they did not organize the events that they spoke at. They were organized by groups such as Southern California's Peace Action Council and People's Coalition for Peace and Justice. Mark Tribe will only inspire a new generation to be involved today by emphasizing people getting involved either in existing grass-roots organizations or forming local entities with friends, neighbors and schoolmates around the issues we all face and then coalescing to form a more powerful union of organizations.
December 25, 1988
As a card-carrying member of the Giraffe Project, I'd like to present a card of acknowledgment to Dr. Stanley Sheinbaum for sticking his neck out in a difficult diplomatic situation. The Giraffe Project is a nonprofit association that encourages people to "stick their necks out for the common good . . . to make the world a better place." A man of integrity and courage, Sheinbaum was well aware that his was a controversial move--but then again, he has never been one to duck controversy.
December 21, 1989
It is heartening to know that Californians have been made sufficiently aware of ecological problems that they are willing to make some minor changes in their life style (such as sorting their trash) in the name of environmentalism. Such efforts, though small, should be commended; there is no question that personal action is an integral part of a global environmental policy. Therein, however, lies the greater point. After decades of foul air, undrinkable water and mounting despoliation, we have finally made the decision that we are ready to do something about it, and so, by golly, we henceforth resolve to sort our trash.
September 3, 1994
If it's OK to put a cap on the players' salaries, why is it not OK to put a cap on the owners' profits? ANDREW GULLIVER Los Angeles There's one good thing about the baseball strike--the Angels haven't lost a game since Aug. 12. BILL STEIN Cambria Why don't the Angels' and Dodgers' minor league teams play in the major league stadiums during the strike? We wouldn't know the difference, anyway. JACK DeBAUN Lakewood Giving up baseball is like quitting smoking.
March 5, 1988
Thomas suggested confronting our cultural decline rather than merely managing the symptoms. He correctly observes that self-indulgence has eclipsed self-discipline. But self-discipline needs a moral and ethical optimism, a hope that is utterly absent from Thomas' world view. Thomas and many others seek to define prurience and licentiousness, cultural decline as the products of a human nature "which always flows downward, never upward." The view is the old misogynistic notion of original sin. It is also the frightened pessimism that anticipates and thus insures chaos through repression rather than fostering positive growth through real learning.
January 19, 1986
Regarding to Sam Hall Kaplan's rather futile support of grass-roots groups for city planning: Planning, for a growing area such as Los Angeles, is a process governed by economics and performed by developers, investors, and nameless politicians. The economics arise from what the populace does--not from what the populace says that it wants. Therefore, grass-root groups of today, as those that worked with the Los Angeles Planning Department in the mid-70s, are not going to change the planning resulting from growth motivated by populace-behavior and economic gain.
February 4, 1999
Al Shugart's grand effort to place "none of the above" as a choice on California's ballot in 2000 is not as grand as it appears (Feb. 1). Because a nonbinding "none of the above" vote does not change the outcome of a political race, it is as your article suggested "purely symbolic." Furthermore, this rich man's campaign may injure any future citizen effort to someday place a binding measure on our ballot. I was a volunteer who collected signatures to place a binding "none of the above" measure on the ballot in California last year.
February 8, 2009 | Chuck Culpepper
And so suddenly here's marijuana -- yep, marijuana -- hogging itself another heyday, bolting into the spotlight, all but sashaying back into dialogue and shouting, "Hey, I'm still here." Shadowed in cycles through recent decades while other legal or illegal or performance-enhancing stimulants took turns getting all the hype, marijuana has just hollered in the case of merely the most-decorated Olympian in history, Michael Phelps.
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