Ahead of the Curve: Zuma Dogg Responds to CD 2 Questionnaire

7_31_09_zuma.jpgZuma Dogg at the KNBC studios during the Mayoral race. Photo: David Markland/Flickr

Homeless advocate and wasteful spending watchdog David "Zuma Dogg" Saltzburg apparently wanted a head start on the pack when it comes to answering the Streetsblog questionnaire for Council District 2 candidates to succeed Wendy Greuel. Zuma didn’t wait for the questionnaire to be emailed, or even finished. Instead, he left his answers in the comments section.

His answers can be found after the jump.  For more on Zuma Dogg, check out his website and the popular L.A. Daily Blog.

1) When you commute to work, how do you do it?  What percentage of the trips that you take don’t involve an automobile?

It’s a mix of bus and car for ZD, with a lot of rides with
friends places when possible. When my car is broke, I rely on the bus
more for periods. But I ain’t gonna lie, if I’m councilmember, I’ll
probably never take the bus anymore. You can’t waste that much time
when you are on taxpayer dollars.

2) Over the past year, a number of surface streets in the valley have
had their speed limits raised.  Are these increases a result of the
natural order, or an interest that needs to be addressed?  What, if
anything can be done to reverse these changes?

Briefly, it’s based on driving surveys they take in the area.
It’s based on averages of how fast people actually drive versus the
actual speed limit. So people always speed; so the limit gets inched
up. It DOES have to be addressed, because in many cases, the speeds can
become a little too inappropriate for the area. I have learned about
this through my discussions with CM Grieg Smith who educated me to this
issue.

3) The city is currently studying leasing the rights to its parking
meters and certain parking garages for a large cash payment up front.
Do you support this kind of financing ideas, and if so what kind of
conditions should be part of any agreement with a private firm?

NO. A
MUCH better deal should for the CITY, not the bankers who are investing
in the deal. It’ll be a giveaway. The city will get ONE short term
payment to fill a ONE TIME hole…and we will be in the same crisis the
next year, and will have lost the long-term revenues these garages and
meters generate. NO!

4) What can the City Council do to reduce and prevent fatal crashes
involving pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable users?

HUGE ISSUE
WITH ME. Because my BIGGEST traffic pet peeve relates to this. I FIND
IT ODD THAT YOU HAVE PEDESTRIANS/CYCLISTS sharing the same traffic
signal as AUTOMOBILES. You have cars competing to make turns, with
pedestrians who are in their way. Think about it. Gotta time the signal
out differently. YOU JUST HAVE TO. IT’S A TRAFFIC CONGESTION ISSUE, TOO!

5) The former Council Woman for CD2, Wendy Greuel, chaired the
Transportation Committee. Do you want to be part of the Transportation
Committee?

I don’t know about which committees yet. But that’s a
good one if you can get it!]

6) One of the ways that a City Council Member can effect change for
non-motorized users is by appointing informed activists to the city’s
Bicycle Advisory Committee and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. Are you
familar with community activists who could best serve an appointed
position on these committees?

You should have one of those people run
for City Council!

7) If you could change one thing about transportation in Los Angeles
with the wave of a magic wand, what would it be?

Less cars on the
road. (Rim shot!) But seriously, I DO think the issue of cars having to
wait for pedestrians to cross the road on the same signal IS CRAZY!!! A
car will spend the entire cycle waiting for the pedestrians to clear,
then the light turns red and you have to go against the red light just
for one car to get through, after the fact. THAT’S THE RISK TO
PEDESTRIANS, CYCLISTS…AND CREATES TRAFFIC CONGESTION.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

22 thoughts on Ahead of the Curve: Zuma Dogg Responds to CD 2 Questionnaire

  1. if I’m councilmember, I’ll probably never take the bus anymore. You can’t waste that much time when you are on taxpayer dollars.

    It’s surprising that no one thinks the public transportation should be made more efficient, even after making statements like that. Buses NEVER run on time, the operators are rude and unfriendly and here we have LA trying to be green. Sounds like a bunch of bull.

  2. A car will spend the entire cycle waiting for the pedestrians to clear, then the light turns red and you have to go against the red light just for one car to get through, after the fact.
    And it sucks for the pedestrian when the crossing signal barely gives them enough time to clear the intersection. I’m not a slow walker by most anyone’s account, yet I can barely make it through some signals. More than once I’ve helped people in wheelchairs get across because they couldn’t make it across in time and meanwhile car drivers were frantically honking at them.

    There are also lights that work the opposite way and force pedestrians to wait for an entire light cycle because the pedestrian hit the signal button .1 second after the light would have started allowing them to cross. If the signal isn’t triggered at the beginning of the cycle, it will never be triggered until everything else cycles through. Cars at the same intersection never have to wait for the entire cycle to go through because the lights automatically change or people can always turn right on the red. And even once the pedestrians have the signal it can be nearly impossible to walk through without getting hit. An example: 101 freeway entrance and Campo de Cahuenga, walking west from the Universal City red line station, every single day during rush hour traffic.

    He should care because it’s his area! (Not that I’m frustrated with dealing with that situation every single day near a train station where people walk or anything….)

  3. I can’t stand Zuma Dogg. I have to transcribe City Council hearings, and every time I hear the name “Mr. Dogg” or “Zuma Dogg” come up on the speakers list, I cringe. His incoherent ranting and raving is intolerable and almost NEVER on topic.

    I’d hate to have him on the Council itself, on committees…

    And wtf is up with the pedestrians/cars comment? Does he want grade-separated sidewalks?

  4. M, oh yeah, it sucks for the pedestrians, too. And it is UNSAFE for pedestrians. I have brought this to council’s attention NUMEROUS times on the record during the council meetings. I illustrated the example from the driver’s scenario, as it relates to “congestion” but it is a mess for pedestrians, too. And whether I am driving or taking the bus…I am ALWAYS a pedestrian in crosswalks EVERY DAY!!!

    And to Damien…you know me…I ain’t gonna wait for a chance to weigh-in.

  5. City worker, I hope you are enjoying your day off from transcribing. It MUST be your day off. Because otherwise, I know you would not be commenting here while you are on the clock. And if my comments are off topic, in even the SLIGHTEST way, the city attorney and council president IMMEDIATELY will call me “off topic.” IT HAS RARELY HAPPENED IN THE PAST YEAR. CHECK YOUR TRANSCRIPTS. It is also there for ALL TO SEE on the http://lacity.org website.

    Sorry you find it intolerable. I happen to find what council does on a day to day basis to be intolerable, myself. Meanwhile, sorry I am too much for you. You must be very sensitive and very naive. I will warn the President and City Attorney that I am RARELY on topic and that they haven’t been enforcing that enough on me. Feel better, Zuma Dogg

  6. Zuma Dogg, is a small time rip-off artist and busy body (who has, to his credit, exposed the insane goings on with City of LA’s workers’ pension funds). He is also a firm believer in the phony proletariat car drivers perspective.

    Thanks for playing, but no.

    It’s not like the City Council can be looked to for leadership on transportation. Though they hold the power of the purse, they only hear from city departments during budget season. It is the mayor who can turn departments to do his bidding (barely).

    What is it, two years after Councilwoman Gruel exposed that the city had no long term transportation plan and what do we have? A stack of “reports” and “requests for reports”.

    ZD, you have no chance of winning and on the off chance you did win, what the hell do you think you would be able to actually do?

  7. Great work Not Spokker, all you’re doing is making it so I have to go in and edit all your posts…can we knock it off, please. You may be smart enough to login from different ip addresses so a flat ban won’t work, but as long as you don’t use Spokker’s real email address it’s easy enough to find you. I would have deleted this post, but since Zuma is reading this thread, I thought I’d give him the chance to respond.

  8. I don’t appreciate having to PAY City Worker to transcribe the endless rantings of Zuma Dogg and the bunch of other people he inspired by example and institgation to show up at City hall daily to waste our taxpayer dollars — these people are all either homeless or unemployed to be able to hang around there all day for their few minutes of fame, and Zuma Dogg specifically used OUR taxpayer dollars to ‘campaign” on Ch. 35 public access and admitted it.

    Many of his comments have been shockingly offensive, especially the “names” he’s used to address the mayor and Jack Weiss for years. People can disagree with views but he and a handful of others have pushed the envelope to where our city became a disgrace, and forcing officials to sit in their sets to endure this abuse (at least the Mayor was never there in person) has definitely been the low bench-mark of Los Angeles “civil’ society.

    However it’s an odd coincidence of timing that only NOW that his BFF Nuch Trutanich and Dennis Zine don’t need him anymore to trash their opponents during public comment, they are NOW backing the move to put the cabosh on obnoxious behavior by public commenters. Including Zuma Dogg who they’ve now disowned.

    But he’s managed to adversely affect Public Comment for everyone meanwhile.

    NOW Council has instituted tougher rules enabling them to ban anyone for 30 meetings or 3 months becauase of him, and his friend the KKK outfit guy. THAT hurts all the genuine citizens — whenever some intentionally abuse the rules and liberties for their own political or financial gain, it backfires on the rest.

    Giving him THIS sort of attention only encourages his obnoxious behavior and detracts from SERIOUS candidates for CD2. What will THEY have to do to get attention?

    Why does THIS blog feature him? How do his inane observations enhance the topic of bike safety — his jabbering about pedestrians and cars is fantasy-land, fitting for someone who doesn’t earn money and has no sense of how to spend it for all his talk. Maybe we SHOULD have overpasses everywhere for pedestrians and aerial bikeways, yeah, that’s likely to happen.

  9. First of all, maybe you should call the city clerk’s office an tell them to cancel the election Mr. Spokes, since you are so smart and already know so much. But in response to your cowardly question, “what the hell do you think you would be able to actually do?” Dummy, I am raising awareness in this election process…first of all, calling attention to the fact that there IS an election, just by my mere inclusion in the process. AND, I get to make my point on issues, LIKE THIS POST ABOUT TRANSPORTATION. And you may, or may not like my answers, but at least I am trying to do stuff. So it’s not like a game, where winning is everything. As an activist, during an election, there are opportunities to simply continue to do what I do anyway…EXPOSE CORRUPTION AND OFFER MY IDEAS. (Maybe you don’t think I should have the right to do that. Sorry, blame your country and the principals it was founded on and go comment about ME, when I am commenting on the issues.

  10. “Why does THIS blog feature him?”

    *Is* this blog featuring him? He’s a guy that runs for elected office. Damien asks those who are running for office questions about transportation and posts their answers here if they answer. If those other candidates were first to answer the questions, he would post their answers too.

    It would be wrong of Damien not to post his answers.

  11. Poster #9

    All other CD 2 candidates will receive the same list of questions in email next week. Zuma read the post earlier in the week where I was soliciting “help writing the questionnaire” and responded with his answers. It seemed silly to wait until next week to publish them.

    We did the same thing with the City Attorney’s race earlier this year and only Weiss responded. We were going to do the same thing with the CD 5 race but it seemed repetitive after the candidates answered questions for the Bottleneck Blog and Biking In LA

  12. Spokker, you might try being part of the Livable Streets Network in order to avoid impersonators. You don’t have to agree with their objectives in order to be a part. If they see the photo on the left, then it’s a genuine post.

  13. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching the Zuma Dogg show during public comment at numerous council meetings. Those meetings are mostly shams and empty shows anyway, so the caliber of gadfly we have developed here in L.A. is totally appropriate and fitting to the quality of work we’re getting from our elected officials.

    Sadly, though I like the ZD Show, I feel that his views on transportation are straight outta tha 1930’s. His answers are like reading a transcript from a “hip hop traffic engineer” – but more disappointing because he’s not being paid to shill for the car-only bent so deeply embedded in his views.

  14. I continue to be amazed that people complain about the public failing to maintain decorum at sham meetings by government agencies, especially those which are set up to ignore or disrespect the public. The image that always comes to mind is the scene in the Titanic where passengers are in the ballroom sipping wine and listening to the band as the ship is sinking.

    But then, which should come to no surprise, I’m a big believer in reciprocity, especially when it pertains to government officials and agencies.

    Just take MTA. I mean the 1 minute rule coupled with the restriction on giving away time, coupled with the fact that almost NONE OF THEM pay attention to the public when they’re speaking = we really don’t give a damn. You’re all in the way of us rubber-stamping a decision we made long before we came to the meeting – statements and sentiments which have been conveyed repeatedly. Just the fact that these meetings are in the middle of the day and not in the late afternoon/evening hours tells you they really don’t care what the public thinks. John Walsh could never show to the board the lack of respect they show to the public during their meetings. Same with Zuma Dogg and the City Council.

  15. Damien, This person is a nutty gem who posted this comment. The person also posts the same stuff all over the internet. I will take this opportunity to respond here, and will be posting this on my own blog. It is a lesson in propoganda/hit piece/spin. [MY COMMNETS WILL BE IN BRACKETS.]

    SPINNER: I don’t appreciate having to PAY City Worker to transcribe the endless rantings of Zuma Dogg and the bunch of other people he inspired by example and institgation to show up at City hall daily to waste our taxpayer dollars — these people are all either homeless or unemployed to be able to hang around there all day for their few minutes of fame, and Zuma Dogg specifically used OUR taxpayer dollars to ‘campaign” on Ch. 35 public access and admitted it. [You may not appriciate the money it costs the city to transcribe my words. How do you feel about the $7 billion that the city lost in risky Wall Street investments and all the wasteful spending that put the city into bankruptcy and we are losing basis services. NO PROBLEM WITH THAT…but complain about the person who is trying to do something about it and alert the masses. Any “campaign” issues relating to TV 35 are covered by the city attorney and anything inappropriate is not allowed. Maybe YOU should run for LEADER OF L.A. to correct the non-issue, non-problems.]

    SPINNER: Many of his comments have been shockingly offensive, especially the “names” he’s used to address the mayor and Jack Weiss for years. [PLEASE PROVIDE THOSE TRANSCRIPTS WHERE MY COMMENTS HAVE BEEN “SHOCKINGLY OFFENSIVE.” YOU NEVER WILL, BECAUSE I HAVE NEVER SAID ANYTHING EVEN REMOTELY “SHOCKINGLY OFFENSIVE” AT THE COUNCIL MEETINGS, SO YOU WILL NEVER PROVIDE THAT INFORMATION.] People can disagree with views but he and a handful of others have pushed the envelope [is showing up for public comment “pushing the envelope? If you mean, some of us show up regualarly, then I guess that’s envelope pushing] to where our city became a disgrace, and forcing officials to sit in their sets to endure this abuse [yes, ENDURE, as in listening to a few people who represent 4 million who cannot be there during daytime hours…ENDURE, as in listen to the people who you represent on the items they are voting for] has definitely been the low bench-mark of Los Angeles “civil’ society. [CALL WHITE HOUSE, ASK THEM TO CHANGE U.S. CONSTITUTION. Or, maybe you would like another country, better.]

    But he’s managed to adversely affect Public Comment for everyone meanwhile.
    [I will tell all the random strangers who stop dead in their tracks on the street to tell me how much they appriciate my efforts. I will tell the pastor who stopped me on the street downtown this week who said, “I commend you for your efforts at city hall,” that I am having an “adverse effect.” I will tell that senior lady with a walker who strolled over to kiss me on the cheeck to thank me for standing up and speaking out, that it is having an adverse effect, becasue YOU say so. LOL!]

    NOW Council has instituted tougher rules enabling them to ban anyone for 30 meetings or 3 months becauase of him, and the KKK outfit guy. [OH REALLY?? It’s cause of me…Council claims it was becasue of the KKK guy. But yes, you are correct, they are just using that as the excuse for an OVERALL crackdown] THAT hurts all the genuine citizens [OH, ZUMA DOGG IS NOT A GENUINE CITIZEN PEOPLE!!! I’m just the guy who shows up, without getting paid, not as part of a job, just because I don’t like what I see..BUT I AM NOT A GENUINE CITIZEN…ONLY THE PEOPLE WHO STAY HOME AND DO NOTHING ARE THE GENUINE CITIZENS]– whenever some intentionally abuse the rules and liberties for their own political or financial gain, it backfires on the rest.

    Giving him THIS sort of attention only encourages his obnoxious behavior and detracts from SERIOUS candidates for CD2. What will THEY have to do to get attention? [Oh, I am not a serious candidate. I guess you have to already be in an elected position, and betray your constituents by RUNNING FOR ANOTHER OFFICE, WHILE YOU ARE STILL IN OFFICE!!! I guess I am not serious because I did not take enough money from “all the right people.” Maybe I am not serious because the SEIU doesn’t endorse me. I think Tamar Galatzan is MUCH more serious because she is already working full time as a city attorney AND is LAUSD boardmember…AND is running for office on top of that. I guess that’s a serious candidate. Look at what I have said in those transcripts. Pretty serious predictions I made. THEY ALL CAME TRUE!!! And THAT was pretty serious.

    Why does THIS blog feature him? How do his inane observations enhance the topic of bike safety — his jabbering about pedestrians and cars is fantasy-land, fitting for someone who doesn’t earn money [what does earning money have to do with observations on traffic and pedestrians???] and has no sense of how to spend it for all his talk. Maybe we SHOULD have overpasses everywhere for pedestrians and aerial bikeways, yeah, that’s likely to happen. [WHERE DID I EVER SAY WE SHOULD HAVE OVERPASSES EVERYWHERE FOR PEDESTRIANS? Can you please re-post that comment. Maybe you are so angry, hostile and agendized you take away more out of a sentence than is there.]

    ANYWAY…as you can see, this person’s M.O. is to take a given that everyone knows, and attatch decietful little comments and flat-out lies on top of it. And you also have to throw in some mindreading and nutty opinions. And of course make sure it is NEVER about City Hall’s wasteful and corrupt spending or lack of leadership. I CALL IT “FRUSTATED COWARD SYNDROME.”

  16. If you want to divert attention from a topic feature Zuma Dogg and it becomes all about him for sure, with a long rant to every single comment.

    And Damien Goodman, you show up at MTA meetings with the same combative tone, always saying the same things so that the audience is totally turned off too, not just the Board. Even may bikers, not just the establishment comfortable and old HOA types. At least you have a point of view and a base, however, however much I may disagree with the allegations of racism and practicalities of demanding grade separations, that have resulted in nothing being done at all while traffic gets worse. Your POV represents a very few. Zuma’s presence can be downright scary — I’ve seen him literally scare parents and kids at LAUSD meetings and old people who haven’t been “alerted” that he’s somehow a media darling because he’s a thorn in the side of the Mayor. I wouldn’t let him near my kids. How someone who doesn’t even have an address in CD2, claims to live in CD14 and Malibu too, wherever his van runs out of gas, can claim to represent any of us in CD2 or have the nerve to speak for us is beyond many of us. We are not amused. Whatever.

    Didn’t I hear somewhere that Paul Krekorian has definite views on the topic? How will someone like Benson, from rural S-T, be able to grasp the problems in Sherman Oaks and Valley Village and v.v.? Good public service, this.

  17. Zuma’s presence can be downright scary — I’ve seen him literally scare parents and kids at LAUSD meetings and old people who haven’t been “alerted” that he’s somehow a media darling because he’s a thorn in the side of the Mayor.

    AH HA! Thank you for revealing yourself with that same old b.s. line. Yeah, ZD…the big scary monster that kids and parents run away from. LOL! They usually laugh, are happy and start waving. But what you say sounds good too. OH MAN, you REALLY revealed yourself, and people…what we have here is the world’s BIGGEST jealous crybaby who simply CANNOT get over the fact that I have dedicated myself to a cause and the media seems to cover it and the people seem to respond. And I sure as hell HOPE I am a thorn in the mayor’s side. THE CITY IS BANKRUPT UNDER HIS WATCH. I’ll try to be more supportive of his efforts.

  18. lou:

    I’ll never be reduced to trying to explain an important issue in 60 seconds. That never has and it never will be the purpose of our organization’s use of the public comment period at MTA. What is our purpose then – well you don’t actually have to think about, heck most the time I actually say it. But then you’re of the belief that to be relevant a POV has to represent the sentiments of those already in the room, and that our organization’s view represents “a very few.”

    And I find it interesting how right after you claim Zuma Dogg hijacks a comment stream and makes it about himself you went on devote 80% of your rant criticizing individuals.

  19. What you get from Zuma Dogg is no B.S. I’ll take an honest answer like,

    “But I ain’t gonna lie, if I’m councilmember, I’ll probably never take the bus anymore. You can’t waste that much time when you are on taxpayer dollars.”

    over some B.S., talking-point canned response that you’ll get from the other candidates. I bet most of the candidates can’t give you straight answer on the surfact street speed limit issue like ZD did. That is until and if they read his response here. And of the candidates running, do any of them EVER take the bus? How can they even comment on public transportation? You may not like ZD’s approach, but he has done more to expose fraud, waste and abuse in the past couple of years than any of the candidates running will do in their lifetimes.

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