The History of Palos Verdes Residents for Responsible Government (PVrrg)
(PVrrg) was formed by a group of residents and community leaders of Palos Verdes Estates in the fall of 2016.
Some members in the group first learned that the City has problems when the bicycle group, Big Orange, invaded the City. The cyclists aggressively succeeded in lobbying the City Council to change our street signs to their liking, blocked traffic during rush hours in Malaga Cove, threatened the residents who opposed their demands, and convinced the City staff to build bicycle paths for them for sports riding. Out of desperation, the residents finally banded together to lobby the City Council to vote for their best interests.
During the process, residents learned about the City Councils’ many other actions that were contrary to the City and the residents’ best interest, such as the illegal sell of parkland in violation of the City’s CC&Rs.
Out of their common love and concern for the well being of the City as well as a collective sense of powerlessness to change things, a group of residents met on October 30, 2016, to discuss the need for actions. Thus Palos Verdes Residents for Responsible Government (PVrrg) was born.
From the very beginning, the group realized that it must be grounded in principles and transparency. The initial task was to look for qualified candidates with integrity and commitment to honor the City’s character to run for City Council for the March, 2017 Council election. Thus, the platform, Five Pillars of Good Government, was written as the fundamental principle guidelines for the group as well as for the Council candidates to embrace.
Since then, PVrrg has changed, evolved, learned, and grown. In general, the group got better, defined itself, established credibility, and also attracted high quality committed leaders for the Steering Committee. PVrrg is also not about criticizing or changing the City Council; it is about wanting to make our City Government better or excellent in every way that would be congruent with the sophistication of its citizens and beautiful landscapes that are feasts for all eyes that are blessed to see them.
At this time (April 2019), the group feels that although we had experienced some level of success thus far, there is a lot more work to be done before we can experience the ultimate fruits of our work. Just like the City needs to have a plan for the future, PVrrg needs to plan ahead, know where it wants to be, and the work it needs to do in order to get there.
If there could be a utopia on earth, why not be in PVE?
Some of PVrrg’s accomplishments are:
- May 2017, after Measure D:
Studied and discovered the City was over spending in at least 7 years and it net asset is going down rapidly (https://www.pvrrg.org/issue-financesexcessive-spendingLink). The findings were presented to the City Council members but received no response.
Fall of 2017: Realizing that the Council wouldn’t acknowledge City’s financial problems, PVrrg lobbied for the establishment of the Finance Advisory Committee (FAC) (click here) Council voted for it only after the election consultant for Measure E recommended.
March 2018, Measure E: While remaining neutral, sponsored the first forum on Measure E (click here). Although the pro Measure E group boycotted it, the forum was very successful and well attended. It also helped to attract financial professionals to join the group.
Summer of 2018: Feeling the need to strengthen the organization from within, the group worked to define PVrrg by: redesigned the logo, wrote the Mission Statement (click here), and rewrote the platform to include Six Pillars (click here).
Based on the urging of former Mayor Mike Moody, PVrrg produced 3 graphs (click here) to demonstrate the problems of the City’s finance even with the passing of Measure E. Again the City Council would not acknowledge the findings. One Council member even said that, “the numbers were all wrong” without any verification.
March 2019, Council election: Realizing how important this election was, PVrrg wanted to present the facts and the candidates as objectively as possible to the residents so to help them make the right choice. As early as possible, all candidates position statements, bios, pictures, and answers to 10 questions about the issues confronting the City were presented on the website (click here). Although the group were under a lot politically motivated attacks and scrutiny’s, they again conducted a very successful forum on 2/6/19. The decision was also made that PVrrg would best serve the community by remaining neutral and not endorsing any of the candidates as a group. The videos and the questions from the League of Women Voters and PVrrg forums on the website (click here) helped to inform the voters about all the candidates with their direct answers to 31 questions of concerns. There were tremendous increase in traffic on the PVrrg website during the election. It is our belief that the objective and unbiased presentation of information on PVrrg.org contributed to the success of the election.