This is how you win a mayor’s race.
On Tuesday, candidate for Los Angeles Mayor Rick Caruso unveiled his Small Business Plan.
This is profound. Most California politicians give lip service to supporting small businesses while doing the bidding of developers and unions. The fact that Caruso has actually put meat on the bones of his plan builds confidence and offers hope to this industry sector.
From the Caruso for Mayor website:
Problem: Covid laid bare just how deeply small businesses could be impacted by government decisions. At the same time, many who lost their jobs turned to entrepreneurship to be able to control their own economic future. City Hall too often makes starting a business an expensive endeavor mired in a maze of bureaucracy. Los Angeles should be a place that rolls out the red carpet for businesses of all sizes, and makes it easy to not just start, but grow dreams.
Los Angeles’ ABC 7 News covered the details of the plan.
Los Angeles mayoral candidate Rick Caruso on Tuesday unveiled his plan to help small businesses, which he says haven’t just been hurt by the pandemic but also by crime and homelessness.
Caruso said he started as a small business owner and has small businesses at his properties, which he helps grow.
“We didn’t have the crime problem we had today,” Caruso said at a campaign event in Sherman Oaks. “We didn’t have the homeless problem we had today. And we weren’t over regulated like we are today. I have many small businesses on our properties that we have to help just to get home. You almost literally need to hire a lobbyist in order to help navigate through the regulation in the city of L.A. To open a business, sometimes you need 10 different levels of approvals from 10 different commissions or departments.”
Caruso was joined by business owners who complained about having to hire security to protect their staff and patrons rather than putting that money back into the business. On homelessness, Caruso said sheltering 30,000 people in his first year as mayor would make it easier for them to obtain services leading to a permanent home.
Small business owners were targeted by Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer; especially restaurant owners. Tinhorn Flats in Burbank became a cautionary tale because they refused to follow L.A. DPH’s COVID orders.
These business owners suffered greatly under the pandemic, and many never reopened their doors. Los Angeles was a documented hot spot for small business losses.
Post-pandemic, the businesses that have reopened are having difficulty recouping their losses. Mainly because of the lazy, disinterested activists in the L.A. City Council refuse to assist small business owners in fighting the homeless humans camping in front of their businesses, the vagrancy that results from it, and the rampant crime, as RedState covered in this exclusive:
Thanks to all the homeless encampments and homeless persons attacking residents and business owners, you don’t want to walk down the street, let alone frequent any of the businesses. A stroll down Ventura Boulevard means you are stepping over feces and sleeping and/or wasted humans; and you’d better hope that one of them doesn’t attack out of the blue with a machete.
So, this plan, and Caruso outlining the concrete steps he will take, will go far in raising his profile with the people of Los Angeles, and could well secure him more votes.
In typical political fashion, Bass’ plan for “Business and Jobs” housed on her website is more of the same-o, same-o. Bass touts what she did for businesses when she was in the California Assembly in the early 2000s–in political time, that might as well have been a million years ago. Her plan also gives precedence to real estate developers and unions: her favorite donors. Bass then outlines how she will form committees to “investigate” and offer solutions on how to make Los Angeles more attractive for business.
Because committees do so well at solving these economic issues.
Bass also fixated on one aspect of Caruso’s plan, blasting him for his approach to mitigating homelessness. Instead of talking about her own non-plan and addressing why small businesses are languishing or leaving, she chose to deflect with a noble-sounding speech claiming Caruso is promoting more of the same.
But, in an interview with ABC7 on Monday, Caruso’s opponent, Rep. Karen Bass, said the developer’s plan doesn’t do enough to end homelessness once and for all.
“His plan reflects more of the same,” Bass said. “He wants to put 30,000 people in shelters. And I’m still trying to figure out what a ‘sleep pod’ is. I don’t know what that is. But what I do know is people are on the streets today because they don’t feel shelters are safe. So, it will be interesting to see what his plan is for that. My plan calls for getting people off the streets into housing. But you have to address why they were unhoused to begin with or they’ll fall right back into homelessness.”
Deflect, obfuscate, and re-direct appear to be an essential part of Bass’ playbook. Caruso may have the leg up on this one. We’ll see if it moves the needle in his direction.