“The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one.” –Unknown
Dear Residents of Redondo Beach,
We have a problem on our hands and it’s the atmosphere surrounding our local politics. For those of you who do not know me, my name is Dianne Prado and I recently ran for District 1 city council. I work full-time as a non-profit attorney and spend most my days in court litigating housing cases. One of the reasons that I ran for city council was to experience firsthand if in fact “politics” lives up to its negative reputation. With the initial election behind me I’ve sadly concluded that much of the politics here in Redondo Beach is no different than to be expected. Over the last many weeks alone I’ve watched things transpire that I’m truly dismayed over, and if no one else is willing to talk about them than I will. For full disclosure I want to state I support Jim Light in the upcoming election, however I am not writing this to garnish votes for Light. I am sharing this because politics should be about transparency, integrity, and honesty.
During the first week of April, to my surprise, I ran into Kimberly Fine (former candidate for District 1) at the downtown Stanley Mosk courthouse. She was visibly shaken and distraught. As I asked if she was alright she informed me she had been bullied into filing a writ against Jim Light which would be forcing him to remove the statement that she had “endorsed” him from his candidate statement. She had been handed these legal documents and told to sign and file them in the courthouse. It was clear that she was being intimidated into doing this, and it was also pretty clear that she didn’t even understand what she was ultimately signing. She explained to me about how she supported Light and told him as much but somehow the word “endorse” was different from “support” and once the candidate statements became public to the other candidates she received a call from Steve Aspel. Aspel informed Fine that it was nice to live in Redondo and that it would be a shame if she would have to move from Redondo for something like this. Shortly thereafter Jeff Ginsberg called her, at the behest of Aspel, and informed her that he would cover any legal costs required to remove her name from Light’s candidate statement. Ginsberg stated this would just be a campaign write off. I was shocked by this news, shocked by the distress Fine was in, and told her that she needed to speak out and tell others about what Aspel and Ginsberg were really up to. She replied that she was told she could not say anything about this until the election was over. My heart ached for Fine and also for the state of the local politics of Redondo Beach.
This bullying by Steve Aspel is despicable and the residents of Redondo need to know that this is evidently the character of the current mayoral candidate. Aspel seems to be running around Redondo acting like he is already the mayor, pulling the puppet strings of Ginsberg and Ginsberg quickly and without question seems to comply. Ginsberg has since claimed that Fine supports him, and his supporters have taken it upon themselves to claim that Jim Light misrepresented Fine’s position from the start. This is just not true, and if Fine won’t come out and concisely state it herself then I’ll go ahead and state it for her. Kimberly Fine’s most recent public statement can be interpreted that she supports both men. And alas, this is the atmosphere that we all find ourselves a part of, even if many don’t know it.
So I ask, is this who you want representing you? Is this who you want making decisions about the well being of our city? A grown ass man who believes he can bully people and another grown ass man who rides his coat tails while he does it? That is not leadership, that is cronyism.
Lastly, I have recently been told that during the first election a baseless rumor came out that Light hired me to run for city council in order to split the female vote. Not only does this not make sense in terms of helping Light in any way, it cannot be any further from the truth. I decided to run for city council because I wholeheartedly believe the political environment needs to change at all levels. I did not have a campaign manager, I raised a whole one hundred fifty bucks, and my partner created my website and logo. And I did this because I wanted to set an example for others to have the courage to get involved in their local politics. I have nothing to gain from supporting Jim Light and didn’t even know the man until I started running for city council. It was only in the midst of my campaign that I learned of what he has done for the city, how he has stood up to the city council, and how he obviously cares about our community.
Politics shouldn’t be a popularity contest, nor should it be about who is “most likeable.” It’s about having conviction and speaking truth to power. I think it’s important for the residents to know the events transpiring in our own backyard, the back room deals, the unethical manipulation going on and all the rest of it. Regardless of who you support, we can all agree manipulation, lies, and intimidation are not characteristics we want in our city council. Your vote on May 14th gives you the opportunity to change the status quo and speak out against this behavior.Read More