ALPERN AT LARGE--There's a new word in our city that merits an opening in our ever-growing English lexicon: Garcettiville. Do you live near homeless encampments ... you know: Garcettivilles.
Do you wonder why homelessness has shot UP in our city and county after we've screamed and spent more to try to help our fellow Angelenos and free up our streets, and instead we've gotten more ... Garcettivilles?
Do you ever wonder whether those sudden and new homeless living in tents, in campers, or in sleeping bags under our bridges and taking over our streets are actually Angelenos, who have come here from all over the nation and who have decided to create their own "neighborhoods"... a.k.a., Garcettivilles?
Do you ever wonder whether all the hemming and hawing from our Mayor (and, oh yes, the rest of the City Establishment, and their political/fiscal allies in our so-called "democracy") about affordable housing and homelessness has occurred during an era of INCREASED income inequality, DECREASED affordable housing, and INCREASED Garcettivilles?
Do you ever wonder why, after speaking privately with seething and bitter police officers and other law-enforcement officers, they've gotten their hands tied from doing something to address, combat, and reduce the incidence of Garcettivilles?
Do you ever wonder whether our otherwise-excellent investment in mass transit has been hurt by the proliferation of homeless in our transit vehicles and around our stations, and if those willing to use mass transit might choose not to because of the proliferation of Garcettivilles?
Do you ever wonder if the money we've voted to spend to help our housing and homeless crisis will be spent well, or whether it will just lead to MORE ... Garcettivilles?
Finally, do you ever wonder who has more rights ... those who want to help, and who pay our taxes and give our volunteer time ... or those living in, and earning livings from, the proliferation of ... Garcettivilles.
Stand up and take a bow, Mayor Garcetti, you've earned it. And we can even name a new and viral LA phenomenon after you: Welcome to the land of the Garcettivilles!
(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud father and husband to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He is also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us . The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)
Tags: Kenneth Alpern, Alpern at Large, homeless, homelessness, Mayor Garcetti, Garcettivilles, Angelenos