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On March 3, 2015 Incumbent Nury Martinez won re-election as the Councilwoman for the 6th District in Los Angeles. She beat her challenger Cindy Montanez.

In the months leading up to the election, Ms. Martinez’s office answered every small request I sent them.

They got the streets at Victory and Columbus, repainted with the “Do Not Enter” marks on the asphalt.

They put out patrols and arrested prostitutes.

They picked up discarded couches and debris.

They even got the curb painted in front of one house to get rid of gang tags.

Every request I made was answered with exquisite formality, sometimes with an email and a phone call.

There was again that tireless optimism in the air, that this time, finally this time, Van Nuys would cease being the dumping ground of governmental neglect and indifference.

But the election is over. The blight has returned.

The helicopters circle overhead unceasingly. Every day, every week, there are new acts of violence: a woman is stabbed to death in an alley, an LAPD officer barricades herself inside her house, a man stands on a balcony on Sherman Way pointing a gun at children below.

And garbage and debris pile up in parking lots, along curbs, while every request to “311” or Nury Martinez is ignored. There are shopping carts full of garbage in the Wendy’s parking lot at Erwin and Sepulveda, and there are many sofas and chairs dropped along the median and the sidewalks north of Sepulveda on Victory.

These are the small illegalities hanging like a noose around the neck of Van Nuys.

And when someone abuses a handicap parking placard, or breaks into your home, or throws a loud party and drops beer cans on your lawn, maybe it doesn’t rise to the level of the war in Syria. But it still sucks. And there is nobody who seems in control in Van Nuys.

Why run a city like this?

Writer/photographer

3 Comment on “The Election is Over

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