Los Angeles: Do We Really Want To Reduce Violence, Traffic, and Homelessness?  Nah ... I Didn't Think So!

ALPERN AT LARGE--Increasingly, ours is a society who acts based on emotions and "feel-good" politics instead of smart, outcomes-based and tough decision-making.  We expect our children and student population to go out there and protest, and the adults are supposed to follow their lead...or something like that. 

And if any of the adults has the temerity to question if our action plan has a prayer of working, or remind anyone that the adults, with their increased wisdom and experience, might have a few insights that the young-uns aren't realizing?  Well, that adult is probably a fascist, racist, hater, or just plain "mean"! 

As if the worsening of traffic accidents, homelessness, lack of mobility and affordability in our city, county and state isn't "mean" as well.  There's a reason or ten why societies who have middle classes thrive better than those who don't, and if that middle class goes down, so does the rest of the society. 

Good-bye, middle class, and good-bye society.  Go ahead and be "woke" to whatever carp or garbage you want to be "woke" to, but so long as we keep throwing money and resources to those with a proven track record of failure, we're in trouble.  Big trouble. 

Ignore the police and pass State Props. 47 and 57, and whadaya you know?!  Crime goes up.

(As if those of us recognizing that the incorrigibles who MUST be locked away indefinitely are happy about that, or that the sad reality of some adhering to a life of crime gives us a smug feeling deep down inside.) 

Assault rifles or weapons of superior force sold to very young adults is a dumb idea, and the idea of passing out guns to civilian teachers is also dumb, but the tragedy in Coward, er Broward County, Florida is by far more the responsibility of Sheriff Scott Israel and the FBI who blew it with a blatantly-obvious and warned-about young killer wannabe than anyone in the NRA. 

(As if those who recognize that ignoring obviously dangerous individuals, and a failure to protect our children and enforce the law, and those who ignore or protect the crazies are just all "gun nuts" and suck-ups to Wayne LaPierre of the NRA--LaPierre can be despised, but he doesn't have blood on his hands, Scott Israel and the FBI do.) 

Barfing out money for fixing the homeless problem while ignoring that that problem is getting worse; Ignoring the fact that Garcetti is just diverting attention from his own failure to have the guts to REALLY fix the problem?  I guess we ARE willing to be that dumb...repeatedly so. 

(As if the godawful reality of some homeless needing more support, and others needing more demand to follow the law, is something that gives any of us "warm feelings" deep down inside.) 

(As if the 2/3 recidivism rate of patients with serious mental health problems who stop taking their medications when they feel better, thereby requiring supervised halfway houses, is anything to smile about.)

(As if ignoring the "welcome mat" to homeless throughout the nation who have no ties to families or jobs here in California, and which is exacerbating a problem already getting worse, makes any of us feel an inner sense of joy.) 

Everyone is reporting the increased traffic speed limit changes that is occurring throughout Los Angeles but does it address the real problem with traffic and associated safety? 

(As if the long-overdue encouragement of businesses opening 10-7, or 11-8, instead of the 8-5 wouldn't fix much of the problem and the STRESS that commuters feel every doggone day of their lives.) 

Meanwhile, Mayor Garcetti (like his predecessor) has caved to developers all his life--and not just developers, but horrible, self-serving MEGA-developers who don't give a damn about affordable housing and infrastructure mitigation--but yet he's against the moronic state legislation that is going to throw away the rules altogether. 

(As if Mayor Garcetti, or Mayor Villaraigosa before him, ever gave a damn about neighborhood preservation, fixing/reducing affordable housing and homelessness, or sustainable development...because how would he get the money or political juice to run for office if those problems were solved, even if Garcetti was a HUGE reason why the problems ever existed?) 

And the surge of pedestrian deaths since Garcetti's Vision Zero efforts began; Well, I guess we should all just IGNORE that painful reality. 

(As if those of us who question the manner of how Vision Zero is being implemented don't care about pedestrians or bicyclists, or about injuries or deaths!) 

And so is it ever really a wonder as to why California has the worst quality of life in any state? 

Is it any wonder why we still have these problems when we keep voting in more money and elected officials who are at the root cause of the problems? 

And is it any wonder why so many otherwise law-abiding, hard-working citizens are leaving the state in record numbers? 

So for those of us still living in our own little la-la-land, perhaps as we seek to find that demonic, Hitlerian monster who is at the root of all our problems ... a good stare in the mirror might give us a better path to find out where the root of all our problems REALLY lies.


(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 alpern@marvista.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.)