Los Angeles just held an election, and nearly no one came. Okay, so 85,628 is not really no one, but it’s still only 8.6% of the total number of registered voters eligible for Tuesday’s important City Council and Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member runoff elections. To those hardy voters who braved paper cuts (to vote by mail) and beautiful sunny weather (to vote in person), we thank you for participating in one of the most important duties of a citizen in a representative democracy. For those of you who sat it out, let’s talk about the appropriate punishment. This month (only slightly in despair) we look at the stick instead of the carrot approach to improving voter turnout. On the flip-side, we examine the rise of “alt-labor” and its promise to mobilize workers to forge a more equitable economy. As we head into the shopping frenzy of Memorial Day weekend, let’s recall that Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who died in service of our country. Let’s reflect on how we honor the sacrifices of those who died by building a stronger democracy and more inclusive economy.
Cecilia V. Estolano, Jennifer LeSar, Katherine A. Perez-Estolano