Tag Archives: party politics

Voters “get talked to, but not talked with.”

The newest episode of Our Body Politic also has an excellent interview with Los Angeles City Council Member Nithya Raman about politics in Los Angeles. Raman describes, among other things, a kind of retail, door-to-door politics that involves both listening to and developing renters as a political constituency–the kind of politics Didi Kuo and I have argued is key to better parties.

“On renters issues in a city where housing and security is an important issue, I was the first candidate who spoke to renters.”

The interview points to the value of bringing local elections onto the national election cycle: Voter turnout in the district jumped from 24,000 to 130,000 the year Raman ran, which was also the first year city council elections aligned with national elections. Still, the bottom line of the interview is that Los Angeles’ council districts are too large for the kind of politics that would matter to voters: 260,000 constituents per district makes it difficult for even a committed official to be present in ‘every single neighborhood” they represent. (The interview starts around 30 minutes into the podcast.)

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