The Way to be Woke in LA: Preserve a Quality of Life

LEANING RIGHT-Being liberal should be, to all extents and purposes, "open-minded to all ideas, new and old".

Being conservative should be, to all extents and purposes, "common sense, and not giving up what is tried and proven". Being "woke" should be, to all extents and purposes, an awareness of what should have always been known, but is only now coming to light in our collective consciousness. 

But are we "woke" enough to catch on to all those screaming about being "woke"? Is enabling the criminal elements of the homeless while lumping all homeless together being "woke"? Is enabling developers who build bigtime for the wealthy while giving them credits for affordable housing being "woke"? Is misspending money and expecting the voters to get used to it being "woke"?

As of late, however, we've got a pretty checkered track record of being "woke" to promoting a quality of life. Lots of us despise uber-developer Trump in the White House, and despise his environmental policies, but appear okey-dokey to be promoting overdevelopment and a lack of open space that has dangerously threatened our own environment.

To say nothing of our economic and physical health, and our quality of life. Why decry President Trump if we're going to "trump" our own state or city or county at the same time?

In short, do we WANT a middle class or not?

So, another review of a few candidates and measures is in order:

1) District Attorney: Jackie Lacey.

Do we REALLY want George Gascón to screw up L.A. like he did San Fran? Is the money thrown at Gascón's election effort by George Soros any better than what the Koch Brothers used to do? How much street-laden feces and needles do you want in your city or county? Are we "woke" enough to realize that San Francisco is NOT the ideal model of a modern American city to emulate? Jackie Lacey has NEVER, despite the false narratives been against police reform, and has the respect of both law informers and reformer alike. Gascón is too, too, TOO far to the Left for us to let him ruin our lives. 

2) Proposition 20: YES!!!

There used to be a time when we worked with and listened to law enforcement. There used to be a time when we presumed that law enforcement was, by and large, the "good guy". George either co-wrote or promoted Propositions 47 and 57 that city/county law enforcement sharply decried. 

Now we've got the same neighborhood councils and political leaders who verbally thrashed law enforcement begging to have more enforcement to stem the increase of home break-ins, a rise in the criminal elements of homeless brought in from other states, and an explosion of both violent and non-violent crime by "non-violent offenders" let loose on our streets.

It is possible we're "woke" enough to demand police reform AND keeping our lives and property safe? 

3) Proposition 15: NO!!!

Again and again and again, we keep hearing about how Proposition 13 was so horrible despite the fact it was premised on the demand that state government spend within its limits, and to not take the taxpayers for granted.

Are we being taxed enough? Did state and local governments find new, innovative ways to make up for their revenue loss when Proposition 13 passed in 1978? How many of us can afford to live here because of Proposition 13? How many businesses have been forced to flee to other states (or just shut down altogether) because we presume they're "fat cats" and not paying their fair share?

Would YOU want to open a business in L.A., or anywhere else in the Golden State? So let's be "woke" enough to realize that the same old bromides aren't working, and let's stop thrashing our neighbors, business or residential or otherwise based on false narratives when the only fat cats are either overdevelopers or Big Tech. 

4) Propositions 14, and Measure J and RR: NO!!!

Neither the stem cell industry, the "community investment" industry, nor the "school/education" industry have spent taxpayer funds well. This is hardly any one person's opinion alone. There's already money for stem cell research, community investment, and for both K-12 and higher education from monies already dedicated to them from both private and taxpayer largesse.

Let's be "woke" enough to realize that it won't be "someone else" who'll pay for these ideally worthy, but actually bloated/nontransparent, industries if we "feed the beast" yet again. We have to live within our own means...is it too much to ask for government/private entities to do the same? 

California is a one-party state, which to anyone with a knowledge of history is by itself dangerous, be that one party either Republican or Democrat. But we're a very, very blue state. So be it.

But we can be blue and also smart. And we can be "woke" to the idea that promoting an environment that causes too many of us, either liberal or moderate or conservative, to flee the state is just not sustainable.

Be "woke". Vote for a California where safety, opportunity, and a better future awaits both us and our children for decades to come.


(CityWatch Columnist, Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 8-9 years and is also a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association. He previously co-chaired the MVCC Outreach and Planning Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of the MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He was previously co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee, the grassroots Friends of the Green Line (which focused on a Green Line/LAX connection), and the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at Ken.Alpern@MarVista.org. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)