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The Homeless and City Hall’s Empty Promises

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JUST THE FACTS-We have been told repeatedly that Los Angeles city officials have a plan to address and reduce or eliminate the homeless population in and around our communities. When I say around Los Angeles, I mean that literally. 

The homeless population has surrounded Los Angeles -- in neighborhoods, business areas, along freeways and many other locations. It’s a tragic situation and I don’t see any improvement coming along in the near or far future. It just continues to grow with no end in sight. 

Los Angeles County reports that approximately 13,000 people fall into homelessness every month. The numbers continue to grow, even after 10,000 people were housed over the last three years. So whose fault is it?  The Mayor, the City Council, social service groups or other organizations, including the LAPD?  

To be politically correct, I should blame the elected officials of our city for not doing their job in providing us with a quality of life that does not include a sprawling homeless population in so many neighborhoods. 

The affordable housing situation is not improving. Since 2008, there has been a 65 percent reduction in state and federal government tax credits and other incentives for developers. Consequently, subsidized housing has all but vanished from our city and state. 

Los Angeles rent control has run the course over the years and now only older units are included.  With this in mind, what do we do next? Move to the country, into exclusive gated communities like some former elected officials -- or just live with it and look the other way. Recognizing the failed attempts by our governmental officials, I have joined the board of directors of some local organizations that are dedicated to helping the homeless population in our region. 

These are organizations that step forward to provide the food, housing and skills necessary to address the homeless situation in our region. While these groups won’t completely solve the homeless problem, they are doing much more than our local government is doing. 

If you are interested in assisting with this mission, let me know and I can give you specific details and get you involved. Thank you for interest in our city.

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I Wish to Thank the following readers of my column for their emails and suggestions which I intend to pursue: Mahmet, Jim and Stewart. I appreciate your comments and am working on the matters you have brought to my attention.

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Wake up City Hall … LA is a Car Culture.  A recent report listed Los Angeles as having the second worst traffic gridlock in the nation. This title might suggest that traffic improvements would be scheduled for our city. 

The “wisdom” of our city leaders once again shows just how out of touch they truly are. One would think that the expansion of traffic lanes might help improve automobile and truck traffic. This logical approach was recently washed away by Los Angeles officials and replaced with expanded BICYCLE LANES.  Yes, we are expanding bicycle lanes by reducing automobile traffic lanes. While I own bicycles and enjoy riding them for exercise and pleasure, I must drive a car for most of my community activities. Just think about going to Costco on a bicycle. How would you bring home all those huge paper towel bundles and other large items? It just doesn’t work. City Hall needs to listen to the people of Los Angeles. We need more traffic lanes not fewer.

 

(Dennis P.  Zine is a 33 year member of the Los Angeles Police Department and former Vice-Chairman of the Elected Los Angeles City Charter Reform Commission, 12 year member of the Los Angeles City Council and current LAPD Reserve Officer. He writes Just the Facts for CityWatch. You can contact him at [email protected]) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.

-cw

 

 

CityWatch

Vol 13 Issue 76

Pub: Sep 18, 2015

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