In this age of perpetual campaigns, the Los Angeles Police Protective League is beginning to develop a grass-roots level of support for 2013 with a pilot program in three council districts.
Yard signs reading "Public Safety First," are going up in Council Districts 1, 13 and 15 in a test run for a possible citywide campaign - all designed to develop email lists of voters for the protective league to use as contacts in the 2013 election.
Council District 1 is represented by Councilman Ed Reyes, who is termed out. Council President Eric Garcetti, who represents Council District 13, is termed out as well and is running for mayor. There is a runoff in Council District 15 between police Officer Joe Buscaino and Assemblyman Warren Furutani.
Initially, league President Paul Weber said they expected to get 1,500 responses, but it has drawn requests from more than 6,500 people who want the yard signs, which are designed to promote safety for the police.
But, more importantly on a political level, it gives the league a base of supporters who are voters in the districts that they can contact on various issues - from police contracts to whom to support in upcoming elections for City Council and mayor.
"While some people may say that the number of signs we have placed seems small when compared to the larger electorate, the potential effect of the League's ability to sway voters in any particular City council district should not be underestimated,"
Weber wrote in the Thin Blue Line, the league's newsletter.
"One of our goals is to build and maintain a relationship with voters in each City Council district in Los Angeles."
The 2013 elections are particularly important because of the number of City Council members who are termed out - five, including Garcetti and Reyes along with Richard Alarcón, Tom LaBonge and Jan Perry - and the mayoral election.
Also looking ahead to the 2013 mayoral race is a new group, calling itself Talking About Los Angeles.