Four Sins That Angelenos Should Atone For This Yom Kippur
The holiest day of the Jewish year is almost upon us, as Yom Kippur looms. Jews everywhere have (hopefully) spent the days since Rosh Hashanah atoning for their sins, and many will begin fasting at sundown on Friday in observance of the holiday. But what about our sins as a city? Here are four things that Angelenos should collectively atone for this Yom Kippur.
(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Routinely Driving A Half-Mile Distance When You Could Walk/Bike/Bus
You guys, claiming to care about the environment and still driving extremely short distances all the goddamned time is the regular person equivalent of claiming to care about the environment and still chartering hella private jets. Transportation is "the fastest growing contributor to the types of emissions that are causing the planet to warm," according to Alissa Walker over at Curbed LA (who, for the record, has written many wonderful missives on this very topic). Have a short errand to run? Next time, try walking, taking a bus, or hopping on your bike. It's not just better for the environment, but you'll feel gloriously like a part of the city, and even get some exercise.
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling dance on Mt. Hollywood in 'La La Land' (Photo by Dale Robinette/Courtesy of Lionsgate)
Declaring An Official "La La Land Day"
You could run but you couldn't hide from La La Land hype this year in Los Angeles. It was like one of those horror movies where the villain just wouldn't die, except the villain in question was the endless stream of milquetoast references to history's most milquetoast movie, seemingly running on an infinite, infernal loop. On April 25, 2017, the local La La Land emergency reached its nadir when Los Angeles Mayor and La La Land superfan Eric Garcetti declared an official "La La Land Day" in the City of Angels. The ceremony involved him playing jazz piano with his eyes closed. The choice of date was conveniently timed to coincide with the release of the La La Land DVD and Blu-ray, making the whole extravaganza eerily similar to a city-sponsored marketing campaign for a mediocre movie.
From left: Stephen Miller (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty), Alex Marlow (Photo Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons), Julia Hahn (Photo via Harvard-Westlake Yearbook)
Spawning Numerous Leaders Of The Alt-Right
What do senior Trump policy advisor Stephen Miller, Steve Bannon-protégé Julia Hahn, and Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow have in common? They're all kids from the Westside.
Hahn, the immigration hard-liner whom the New Yorker dubbed "Bannon's Bannon" in February, stayed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue even after her mentor decamped back to Breitbart, and is now the "most influential Breitbart alumna at the White House," according to Newsweek. Both Marlow and Hahn attended L.A.'s tony and relatively left-wing Harvard-Westlake School, much to the embarrassment of many alumni.
Across town, dead-eyed senior Trump advisor Stephen Miller emerged out of the similarly progressive environment of Santa Monica High School. Considered a pivotal architect of the travel ban, Miller once sort of lost a high school election to early-aughts "it" party photographer Mark "The Cobrasnake" Hunter. What a time to be alive.
LAPD Hollenbeck Community Police Station Captain Martin A. Baeza, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Unified School District Board President Steve Zimmer stand with students outside of Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights (Photo by Julia Wick/LAist)
Not Officially Declaring Los Angeles A 'Sanctuary City'
Wait, you're probably thinking, is this writer actually trying to tell us that Los Angeles has an official, declared La La Land Day, but our mayor still won't call Los Angeles a "sanctuary city"? Yes, that is accurate. Despite L.A. often being hailed/decried as a "sanctuary city" in headlines (and targeted among other so-called "sanctuary cities" in recent ICE sweeps), the city has never actually declared itself as such.
The closest thing Los Angeles has to any kind of legal sanctuary designation is Special Order 40, which is an LAPD mandate, not a city law. Special Order 40 dates back to 1979 and essentially prohibits LAPD officers from asking about—or acting on—an individual's immigration status. Both Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck reaffirmed L.A.'s commitment to Special Order 40 in the days after the election. Garcetti, however, has studiously avoided the term "sanctuary city," and continuously said he doesn't really know what it means. In fairness to the mayor, it is true that the term "sanctuary city"—despite having fully invaded the lexicon in Trump's America—does not have any actual legal meaning, but it has inarguably become the lingua franca for describing a city that protects its immigrants. Furthermore, words have meaning. The designation may be symbolic, but watching our mayor refuse to use it during these extremely fraught times is equally symbolic, especially in comparison to other big city mayors, like Rahm Emanuel, who has repeatedly pledged that Chicago "will always be a sanctuary city."
A resolution to officially declare Los Angeles a "sanctuary city" was introduced in L.A. City Council earlier this month, but it still has to be approved.