Bulk Mail and Downtown

The interesting email chain from last week started at the DLANC meeting, when Don Garza made it known he didn't receive a Vote-By-Mail application... For my readers, take a peek...

First, Don on May 15:

It seems that the post office has failed Downtown Los Angeles again.

Many of us in downtown Los Angeles did not get the Mailers before the final
day May 13 to register to run as a candidate in the Downtown Los Angeles
neighborhood council elections. Consequently , there are already 300
absentee ballots that have been sent out to people who were aware of the
elections before any of the new candidates were able to register as
candidates or anyone in skid row new about the elections through the
mailers.

It is shameful that the mailers detailing the election and how to run for
the board were not disseminated in Downtown Los Angeles. We had this problem
two years ago and it was even written about in the Downtown news how these
Mail delivery people do not place the bulk mail in the mail boxes of those
who live in multi dwelling units in Downtown Los Angeles a couple of years
ago..

It is time that Downtown Los Angeles residents write their congressperson or
begin the legal process of suing the Federal Government for their failure in
delivering the mail properly in Downtown Los Angeles.

It is outrageous and ridiculous.

This isn't a personal issue. It has made this Neighborhood Council election
unfair. Those of us who live and work downtown now have an unfair advantage
in this upcoming election over those who only work in Downtown Los Angeles
in this upcoming Neighborhood Council Election..
Many people in Central City East are sick or disabled . Yet they have been
disenfranchised due to this discrepancy. It was mentioned at Last Nights
Neighborhood council meeting after bringing this issue up I that I was
stating that I wanted my neighborhood to be treated differently than the
rest of downtown. How do you explain someone asking that skid row be treated
as equitably as every part of downtown, as someone asking for special
privilege?. It is outrageous!!!. The statement was made that this issue
shouldn't matter because other parts of downtown didn't get the mailers.
What kind of people would say such things? Why shouldn't the people all over
downtown be treated just like the rest of the city when it comes to mail.

Why do I get the junk mail ? but not the Election Mailers from the
neighborhood council? These mailers went out as bulk mail. We are all
waiting for them here in this part of downtown.

The City Clerk was in charge of this election this year for the first time.
We have read on the Daily News the salaries these people get. We need to
hold them accountable. We need to make sure that skid row and any other part
of Downtown Los Angeles be treated equitably.

Something is very wrong here.

Don Garza
My Reponse:

300 have been received by the clerks office, not sent.
I just emailed the Clerks office seeking a copy of the mailing list.
Then Don:

Because the requested absentee ballots are being sent to concrete addresses
as opposed to bulk mail , hopefully, they will receive them. It would
probably be wise for people to make sure that if they are running to bring
their voters to the polling place . The mail for some reason doesn't work
for our elections.

Unfortunately in Central City East these mailers did not get here , so other
parts of downtown also have an unfair advantage.

No offense intended here Ginny , but we all need to see the documentation
that these requested are not just that got their mailers from ,and not just
take your word for it.

Where is the accountability? Where was the outreach?

If I would have known that the mailers would not have gone out like they
should have, I would have personally delivered them to the buildings here in
Central City East.

Someone says that I should have been responsible. Well, I agree. I should
have not counted on the post office and the City Clerks office to get these
mailers out to the buildings in central city east and should have done it
myself. Of course, having a physical disability I just can't get around like
I should. So I counted on the post office. Yet, the argument will be, and it
was made, that the sick and disabled should be out there doing the work
that the post office and the city clerk's office is getting paid to do.

the problem does not lie with the DLANC it lies with the City Clerk's office
and the post office.

I think it is ridiculous that people , who know about my disabilities would
even say that it was my responsibility to pass out all of the mailers in
downtown or even in my community. It is sad.

My Reponse:

Along these lines - I need to get mailing addresses from those who DID NOT
receive the original mailer.

Don't send your reply to the list here, rather email me direction at
gincase@gmail.com

Please do this right now.

Thanks,

Ginny
One person has sent me their mailing address.... And, that person wasn't Don.

But, I did finally respond to Don's initial post.

On Thu, May 15, 2008 at 10:33 AM, Ginny-Marie Case wrote:
My response are inline...

On Thu, May 15, 2008 at 7:38 AM, Don Garza wrote:
Because the requested absentee ballots are being sent to concrete addresses as opposed to bulk mail , hopefully, they will receive them. It would probably be wise for people to make sure that if they are running to bring their voters to the polling place . The mail for some reason doesn't work for our elections.


Ginny said:

This is something that I will make a more concerted effort to track.


Don said:

Unfortunately in Central City East these mailers did not get here , so other parts of downtown also have an unfair advantage.

No offense intended here Ginny , but we all need to see the documentation that these requested are not just that got their mailers from ,and not just take your word for it.

Ginny said:

Agreed.


Don said:

Where is the accountability? Where was the outreach?


Ginny said:

As Russ said last night, and I support him on this point - WE ARE ALL accountable and responsible for outreach. There have been two Residential and Outreach meetings, two meetings hosted by the Clerk's office, press releases sent and printed by the Garment Citizen and Downtown News, I have sent out numerous emails...but it cannot just be Russ and I pushing this on people. And now, candidates share in the responsibility of identifying and registering potential voters for the upcoming election.

I'll work to get the information from the Clerk's office regarding the addresses the mailer was sent to, follow up with the post office to confirm the drop date for the materials, but after that - it's on US. It's on us to talk to our neighbors, to carry and distribute materials, and to generate turnout for the election.

I'm going to say something mean, but I don't intend for it to come out as hard as it sounds: now is not the time to play victim. If the Post Office didn't distribute the notices, we will solicit the support of the Clerk's office to deal with that. However, June 12 will still be here soon, and we still need to do the legwork.

Don said:

If I would have known that the mailers would not have gone out like they should have, I would have personally delivered them to the buildings here in Central City East.


Ginny said:

I agree. In fact, let's set up a time early next week to do this. What's a good time.


Don said:

Someone says that I should have been responsible. Well, I agree. I should have not counted on the post office and the City Clerks office to get these mailers out to the buildings in central city east and should have done it myself. Of course, having a physical disability I just can't get around like I should. So I counted on the post office. Yet, the argument will be, and it was made, that the sick and disabled should be out there doing the work that the post office and the city clerk's office is getting paid to do.


Ginny said:

I've learned through the years that being responsible isn't code for doing it all by yourself. Let's make sure that blame goes to the right office - if the Clerk's office provided the Post office with enough materials to distribute, we need to be clear that blame is on the Post Office. I don't want to perpetuate any conversation that places the blame on the wrong office.



Don said:

the problem does not lie with the DLANC it lies with the City Clerk's office and the post office.


Ginny said:

We will see - but I think it's more of the Post Office. If I'm wrong, I'll come out and say it.

Don said:

I think it is ridiculous that people , who know about my disabilities would even say that it was my responsibility to pass out all of the mailers in downtown or even in my community. It is sad.


Ginny said:
I already covered this above, but I'll repeat: don't play the victim. I fully recognize that you continue to do amazing things for the neighborhood. However, especially since you are a candidate for a contested seat on the board, you do need to take some of the responsibility to help register people who will vote for you. And, that goes for every candidate out there, and those voters who have favorite candidates to vote for.


Download your forms here: dlanc.wordpress.com

Thanks to Jim Winstead who posted the forms in a printer-friendly format.



And, then after this...

> It might be useful to report this to one of the media
> consumer-protection mavens,
> such as LA Times and Channel 2/9 news. The bad publicity just might force
> change.
> Todd Saalman
Then to close the discussion...


That sounds like a good idea, and I have to say that both bulk and package
delivery has been problematic in most of areas of downtown - with the
Center City area seemingly able to escape the problem.

When I first moved to 7th/Los Angeles, our post man would deliver packages
by leaving them on the street, at the main entrance to our building. I
missed all of my family's Christmas gifts that year (Hopefully someone truly
enjoyed my dad's raspberry jam). As the building began to fill up and more
deliveries went missing (because they were literally being left on the
sidewalk along Los Angeles street, waiting for us to get home...) the
management company took the initiative to connect the postal delivery folks
to let them know how to access the building.

Our move to 7th/Los Angeles was interesting anyways, our first weekend was
without water, our first two months we didn't have a telephone, three months
for DSL. Because we were in the dark cavern of the building, we never did
get cell service (Ahh...the peace) However, the cable was up and running as
soon as we unlocked our deadbolt for the first time.

Pacific Electric Lofts experienced mail delivery problems when the building
first opened. Mail delivery was directly to the management office, and the
management office took on the responsibility for mail distribution. Our
building manager made daily visits to the Post Office to read the staff the
riot act. Both times the Post Office was unable to understand that people
lived in the buildings.

I don't say this to make light of the situation. I understand that over
1000 applications were distributed today in the Central City East area - a
big thank you to everyone who made this happen.

It's important that those applications make their way back to the City
Clerk's office. You can do that by fax or mail. If you can't do either,
please let me know so that I can help to make arrangements. Many times if
you ask your building's management office >very nicely< they may be able to
fax it for you. You DO NOT NEED a cover sheet for these applications if you
fax it in.

I've said this many times, downtown...we are all in this together. Whether
you moved down here last week, last year, or 20 years ago - we are all
experiencing these trials and tribulations together. That's some of what
makes our neighborhood the best in the City. It's okay to be angry, upset,
frustrated...but it's also okay to say to yourself and your neighbors "this
is just >swell< and it sucks, and what are we going to do about it?"

So, again - a big thank you to the folks who just sucked it up and
distributed the Neighborhood Council Election Vote By Mail applications
today - on this very hot day. I truly appreciate the time that you took
today to help address the situation.

Still at work in Atwater Village, missing my little corner at 6th and
Main....

Ginny
It's a small group of people trying to herd the top and bottom of numerous organizations. I'm just happy we have voters registered and candidates running.

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