no, i'm not mayor yet

Thursday, August 19, 2004, at 05:50AM

By Eric Richardson

So, a funny thing happened last night: I became an elected official.

I think my title is "Area-Wide Resident Artist", a position on the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council. Yeah, "Resident Artist"... Me... What does that say about art?

Here's how it went down:

  • Around noon I got an email from Brady Westwater asking if I was going to be at the election [last night]. I called him back and said something to the effect of "What election?" He explained , sort of, and said the Higgins building was behind a candidate and I could just show up to vote. That's cool, I'm curious about this whole hyper-local government via neighborhood council thing, so I figure I'll show up.

  • 6:30pm I show up where the voting's going to be. I then find out that the actual votings not until 7pm. No problem... I hung out and got to know the few people who were there already.

  • It gets to be 7pm. The Higgins group hasn't showed. Brady's calling people. Somebody's stuck in traffic. That person says they'll call the candidate. No one else shows.

  • Several of the 6 or 8 people there to vote are getting impatient. There's no one to vote for. To pass the time I ask more about what the position is. I don't get a very clear answer, other than the title and that the person attends the board meetings and is expected to be on a couple of DLANC's committees.

  • A minute or two more pass, and they're telling me that web design counts as an art these days. All of a sudden I have a candidate form in front of me and I'm filling out my name.

  • Paperwork done I get nominated, give a very short speech telling a little about me, how I love living downtown, and how I'm interested in pursuing ways to enable localized community via the Internet, and the voting ensues. I'm running unopposed, and everyone votes for me.

  • As of 7:20 or so I'm an elected official, with a position I didn't even know existed until seven hours earlier.

This is the kind of random stuff that happens to me in LA. Cool stuff, but so random...