A gang of fleeing bank robbers decided to give the residents of South Central Los Angeles a bit of economic stimulus Wednesday morning by tossing wads of cash out of the window of their getaway vehicle, and although TV news anchors and reporters tried to put a socially acceptable spin the actions of the Robin Hood gangstas, those on the street saw it in a complete different light as many of them rushed into the street to scoop up the Benjamins. “Deshawn,” who said he did not grab any of the robbers’ stolen money, told KTLA-5’s reporter Elizabeth Espinoza he saw this morning’s shower of cash as “neighborhood stimulus.” Added Deshawn: “We all need it. If you had seen it, what would you do?” he asked the reporter rhetorically. “If you saw money flying out, you would do the same thing they did, especially if you’re in a time of need.”

[The following video runs 07:10]

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With the smell of backroom deals and corruption permeating the L.A. City Council chambers, residents and stakeholders of L.A.’s dynamic Koreatown/Wilshire Center community escalated their drive for increased self-determination and representation in city government by taking their demand to be made part of Council District 13 right into city hall.

About 200 Korean Americans wearing yellow t-shirts proclaiming “I (Heart) Koreatown” responded to a last-minute call for action to attend the morning council session only to be met with the oldest stall   tactic in politics. Council President Herb Wesson, whose staff had been the target of graft and bribery allegations at L.A. Redistricting Commission meetings all last month, apologized profusely for having to delay the public comments 2½ hours until after several ceremonial presentations and perfunctory unanimous votes were finished.

However, despite their long wait, the Koreatown speakers thanked CD10 Councilman Wesson for the opportunity to speak and asked the council to rethink the redistricting body’s recommendation that their neighborhood be divided between two council districts. There was no chanting or shouting. Several speakers read passages from the Bible.

But the stick to the carrot wielded by Koreatown Wednesday is a plan to sue the city, alleging that the redistricting process has been illegally politicized. There is also talk of calling in the FBI to investigate charges made by Koreatown business owners of bribe-solicitation and shakedowns by Wesson Deputy Chief of Staff Michael Bai, a Korean American and a high-profile figure in the community.

As the 20th anniversary of “Sa-I-Gu” (the Korean American community’s cipher for the 1992 L.A. economic and race riots which decimated their businesses throughout the city) approaches,  Koreatown is tired of pay-to-play, business as usual political corruption they have allegedly been subjected to by officeholders. After years of being represented by the controversial former 10th District Councilman Nate Holden (and his chief deputy Herb Wesson), Korean Americans, who supplied more than one-third of Holden’s campaign finances, are looking to eliminate the middle man, get more bang for their buck and elect a councilman of their own. Thus, the drive to be included in Councilman Eric Garcetti’s CD13.

Garcetti, son of former L.A. County DA Gil Garcetti, has already announced he will run for L.A. mayor in 2013. Political strategists say the election to fill the council vacancy created by a Garcetti victory next March would give a Korean American favorite son/daughter candidate a great chance to become the first Asian American on the L.A. City Council since Chinese American urban planner Michael Woo was elected over CD13 incumbent Peggy Stevenson 27 years ago.

From 1985 to 1993, Woo, the son of an influential Chinatown banker, was the first—and so far the only— Asian American on the L.A. City Council. Koreatown’s  savvy new generation of political leaders are hungry and seem ready to make history, and nobody’s mentioned it yet, but it looks like the Holden-Wesson golden goose has flown.

Jeremy’s Spoken

February 17, 2012

The world is yours, as well as ours, but in the last analysis, it is yours. You young people, full of vigour and vitality, are in the bloom of life, like the sun at eight or nine in the morning. Our hope is placed on you.

—Mao Zedong, 1957

Clueless TMZ producers pitch lame nicknames for NBA star Jeremy Lin.

Okay, we can all relax, rapper Dumbfoundead is still a card-carrying member of the 99%. Despite all his recent homegrown success~a new album, a million subscribers on YouTube, sold out shows on both coasts and overseas and major mainstream media coverage~”CNN”‘s Jonathan Park (aka LA Koreatown rap artist Dumbfoundead) found himself being informed on the red carpet by a “angry PR person” that he “wasn’t part of this” at the Nov. 2 L.A. premiere of  “A Very Merry Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas.” DFD speculated that his FlipCam wasn’t official enough. The good news is DFD appeared to be well medicated when the incident went down. To be fair, I think John Cho (Harold) just didn’t recognize his dogg Ded. Afterall, Asian bruthas got to stick together, yeah?

Dr. Robert

September 29, 2011


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