Tonight the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council is spending some of its meeting time voting on a motion that would change its rules to declare definitively that Silver Lake is NOT on the Eastside, even if scads of real live Angelenos insist on "incorrectly" saying it is. (East of ... what? Curbed's commenters have millions of different suggestions.) We sent comedian and Echo Park resident Jeff Wattenhofer to Micheltorena Elementary School to liveblog this important and historic breaking news event.
7:55 pm: I look forward to everyone's polite and pleasant comments about me tomorrow morning!!!! Full disclosure, I have and do call my neighborhood (Echo Park) the "Eastside." But in my defense, EP is more EAST than Silver Lake and I live on the EAST side of the street and I moved there on EASTer.
"Eastside" is just easier. If a coworker asks the innocent question of where I live, I can't assume they have a working knowledge of LA's 397 individual neighborhoods and their geographic location within. Plus, I work in Bel Air and anything east of Fairfax might as well be Rhode Island to those people.
8:02 pm: It is literally impossible to pay attention to one of these things. There are so many things (random chit-chat, creaking floors, displayed kindergarten artwork) in this auditorium drawing focus from the people speaking. If you came in with a robust speaking voice and candy apple suckers for everyone, you could get them to bulldoze a retirement home.
8:10 pm: You really haven't seen a neighborhood council meeting until you've seen it LIVE! The energy in here is electric!
8:12 pm: Surprising lack of ironic clothing in this audience. The neo-nineties-dressed Silver Lake hipster crowd stayed home tonight.
8:21 pm: Ok, here we go! Sparks have started to fly. The election committee has been caught with their dick in their hands.
Nina Sorkin wants to spend $2,000 on reusable bags as giveaways and Charles Herman-Wurmfeld is NOT comfortable with that.
8:23 pm: Clint Luken to the rescue! He has a box of leftover bags in his office!!!
Points to Anne-Marie Johnson for absolutely SHUTTING DOWN an interruption by Nina Sorkin. Anne-Marie is running a tight ship tonight!
8:25 pm: These bags are being brought up repeatedly! Debate has been extended 10 minutes to bash these bags. Can Nina Sorkin survive the "deplorable expense" associated with "Bag-Gate"?
8:26 pm: Nadine Trujillo is throwing in her support for the bags!
8:27 pm: Nina Sorkin has found her G. Gordon Liddy in Nadine Trujillo.
8:28 pm: Sorkin is PISSED.
8:29 pm: Spending money on bags instead of additional polling places is "voter suppression," so says Renee Nahum.
8:31 pm: Anthony Crump abstains from bag vote! His hands remain clean in any possible Bag-Gate shakedown.
8:33 pm: First use of word "ludicrous" by Paul Michael Neuman. Spending money on muffins and expensive sandwiches also "voter suppression."
Charles Herman-Wurmfeld gets applause break!
8:35 pm: Also, Charles wins best hat award.
8:43 pm: Bad blood about the bags almost sank this election committee budget entirely, but thankfully for Sorkin, it passes. Charles shakes his head in disgust with every "no" vote. And now the long road to restoring Silver Lake's trust in politics.
8:50 pm: The position of head of grievance committee has been opened to anyone in the audience. This could be my chance to be the next Charles Herman-Wurmfeld.
8:56 pm: Council is REALLY grilling the two guys that volunteered to be the grievance committee. Sounds like voter suppression to me.
9:01 pm: Chris Ashe is irreverent and I like him. I think I can go on record and say that Curbed LA FULLY endorses him for the position of grievance committee member. [Ed.: Curbed does not endorse any candidate for any grievance committee.]
9:02 pm: Chris Ashe wins in a landslide! He's on the committee! Hope! Change! A NEW America!!
9:13 pm: Nadine Trujillo is a real hardass about liquor licenses. She is not going to approve a business that's gonna take away your parking for valet spaces. That's NOT what she was elected for!
9:14 pm: I think a valet killed Nadine Trujillo's kid the way she speaks of them.
9:16 pm: Clint Lukens is firmly on board with the liquor licenses tonight. This guy likes to party.
9:18 pm: Dorit Dowler-Guerrero is all about liquor licenses if the place offers cheap drinks.
9:18 pm: Ok, here it is!!!!!!! The Eastside debate!
9:20 pm: Janet asks "Where's the line?"
9:21 pm: Paul Neuman has read the articles, guys. He knows about the online debate!
9:22 pm: Anne-Marie Johnson raising. her. voice.
9:23 pm: Curbed LA gets a mention! Also "commenters who refuse to leave their names." You know who you are, guys!
9:24 pm: Anne-Marie Johnson is beside herself. #livid
9:24 pm: Oh shit, Chris Ashe is gonna speak!!!!
9:26 pm: First speaker Theresa is on the "central" side of the debate. I think she's in Anne-Marie Johnson's pocket!
9:27 pm: Chris Ashe thinks it's silly. We all know East LA is on the other side of the river.
I love him!
9:29 pm: Last speaker says we call ourselves Eastsiders because it's human nature to want to feel a part of something "edgy."
9:31 pm: Debate is over!
9:35 pm: Ok, so here's the deal. I could have SWORN that the council was voting on whether to end debate of the issue, and that's a boring vote, so I spaced out (I've been in an elementary school auditorium for TWO HOURS.). Long story short, I have no idea how the board voted. I, like you, will have to wait to read about it in USA Today tomorrow morning.
But really, does it matter? Does it matter what a board of 15 or so people will be procedurally obligated to consider the boundary of Silver Lake? Does it change anything?
Just call it what you want and rest easy knowing that Chris Ashe is diligently investigating grievances, no doubt on his path to the White House and beyond. When he gets there, he'll make the final decision.
9:46 pm: Ok, turns out it passed.
· Silver Lake Will Vote Tonight on Whether or Not it's the Eastside [Curbed LA]