Friday, February 12, 2016

The Torrance Way

I have talked to a lot of community leaders, activists, and power players in the city of Torrance.

The noise in the background from disgruntled residents cannot be missed.

"You have to be part of the club!"

"You will never defeat the Establishment in Torrance."

There is all this talk about how people gain influence or prominence in the city of Torrance.

Residents who want to get elected to higher office have to do certain things in order to be considered worthy of the office.

They have to join the Torrance Historical Society.

They need to help with the Rose Float.

They need to sit on a city commission, yet appointments to the commission depend on the will and whim of the city council.

How does one get an assignment there? "You have to kiss the ring."

That statement simply means you have to play nice with the city council members, get on their good side.

Some residents in Torrance resent this whole set up.

Why should anyone be excluded from public office if they have not volunteered a considerable amount of time to certain civic functions?

During one city election, one candidate was eminently qualified because he had a requisite amount of experience. Yet the voters ended up choosing the other person, because she had important connections with city community leaders.

Now, whether we like it or not, that's politics. People are not going to vote for someone whom they do not know. They are also more likely to support someone whom they have met, whom they have seen in action, doing someting--anything--for the community.

Whether people think that is fair or unfair, that's the way many elected officials rise in the ranks.

On the other hand. public service in elected office should be about competence, not just connections; principles, not popularity.

What will we see running the city of Torrance in the years to come?

There is nothing wrong with volunteering one's time on educational committees, or charitable functions. There is nothing wrong with sharing one's time to serve the city and its residents, whether one gets the limelight or not.

The Torrance Way, however anyone frames it, should focus on getting the most principled, competent people elected to the city council and school board.


  1. We want people in City government that have shown an interest in being involved by volunteering in various roles. No doubt, that's a good thing. I don't think the question is really about volunteerism. Nearly every candidate in recent elections had a strong history of volunteering in the community in some capacity or another. The real question is really whether you can be successful while being openly critical about certain policies or decisions made by those currently in power. What you see in Torrance is very few of those that aspire to office dare challenge the status quo. Those that do get burned by the establishment. Believe me, I know.

  2. Torrance is a political club. If you think outside the box or establishment thought, then you have no political future. That's why Leilani is kissing every butt in town whether Democrat or Republican. Are we voting for a panderer or someone with principles?

    1. I don't agree with your assessment. Let all readers note that I support Leilani for City Council, and yet I have also permitted readers to comment their criticisms, too.

  3. She has Pat Furey Jr. as her campaign consultant. She has mayor Furey's endorsement. She is constantly with the Dems like Ted Lieu and others. She has the endorsement of the government unions. It wouldn't surprise me if Jimmy Gau endorses her too. It raises the question is she the conservative Republican she made herself out to be in 2014 or is she a closet Democrat. I just don't think we should take a chance. Do you remember the 1960s TV show "To Tell the Truth"? They would ask "Will the real Leilani Kimmel Dagastino please stand up".