ALPERN AT LARGE--In a nutshell, we are all being overwhelmed by apathy, a tougher cost of living, traffic, homelessness, a lack of coherent affordable housing and transit-oriented development, and a lack of taxpayer-paid services in the City of the Angels. No one has all the answers, but certainly raising the right questions is a step in the right direction. But first and foremost, our greatest threat lies in the following three groups:
1) The apathetic but complaining neighbors among us.
They complain but want someone ELSE to do their fighting for them. They've turned to politicians, but been betrayed or underserved. They're paying more taxes, but getting less for them. And they're TIRED and TAPPED OUT by family, work, and financial issues (doing 2-3 jobs and losing financial ground does that to families).
Yet do they give their time? Do they step up and join neighborhood associations and Neighborhood Councils? No. That's for someone ELSE to do...because THEY are busy and work and have families (as if the volunteers have no jobs, families, or other obligations of their own).
2) The great pretenders who say they represent the environment, the homeless, and affordable housing, but do anything but.
Who doesn't want clean air and water? Who doesn't want to encourage nutrition and access to a better life for all? Who doesn't want to help the homeless, and establish affordable housing for those who need it the most (students, aging seniors, and workforce individuals who make insufficient money to live in Los Angeles)?
But do environmental groups become shills for politicians, and does the "green" of the environment get eclipsed by the financial "green" of those miscreants who want a "piece of the action" from an "environmental" or "homeless" industry that thrives when there IS a problem but not when the problem gets FIXED?
3) Those who comprise the one-party system at Los Angeles City Hall: The Green Party (but the Green of money and not of the environment).
Under Mayor Eric Garcetti and Council President Herb Wesson, housing prices have skyrocketed (and are there published vacancy rates and data showing how foreign investors have jacked up the costs of real estate to cause this?), and homelessness has exploded.
Garcetti, Wesson, and their enablers and financiers, have led the City of the Angels straight to fiscal and environmental Hell. They can assess developers, tax us all, and presume that we'll keep "trusting them" while affordable housing is NOT effectively attacked, and homelessness is NOT getting any better.
All, of course, while diverting and blaming the Orange Man in the White House who has virtually nothing to do with the local destruction of the middle class, the environment, the cost of living, and the quality of life in Los Angeles.
All, of course, while blaming "the rich" when they take lots of domestic and foreign money for their own causes and are best pals with that very same "rich".
All, of course, while screaming about our exploding population when, in fact, the ACTUAL numbers show no such thing.
All, of course, while claiming to defend the rights of women when the opportunities and quality of life for mothers, wives, and daughters is as lousy as any place in the U.S.
As aforementioned, we're willing to pay taxes and pay fees and assessments, but there's only so much we're willing to do if the obvious end result is that our Economy, Environment, and Quality of Life is destroyed, and/or if we're being forced to move for our physical, mental, and financial survival.
And to those of you in the above three groups, you damned well know who you are.
Let's just pray that enough of us will get "woke" to the seeds of destruction you continue to sow, and get you to either move back to the right path, or to find better local and regional leaders to establish the 21st Century City of the Angels that we're willing to fight and pay for.
(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.)