Mon, May

Shall We Rename Los Angeles "La Ciudad de Los Niños Maltratados"?


ALPERN AT LARGE--I ended my last CityWatch column calling all adults (including JFK Democrats and Reagan Republicans):  Retake your liberalism before it's too late!   

It's not terribly easy to be an adult, and it's not realistic to try be an angel.  But it's even worse to live as a community of abused children.

"Los Angeles" was originally called El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río Porciúncula" (in English, "Town of Our Lady the Queen of Angels of the River Porciúncula").

It's safe to say that the term "City of Angels" is more consistent with the English translation of what we now all know as Los Angeles.

But our City Council and Mayor haven't been close to being angels for so long that Angelenos are downright used to being lied to, being victimized in one bait-and-switch after another and being told that the people raising the issue of law-breakers are themselves the source, not the reformers, of the problems plaguing our City.

Raising taxes and other money for transportation and homelessness and seeing the wealthy and connected profit from it while the problems get worse?  

Angelenos have become used to it.

Watching our neighbors who choose to become scofflaws and use their homes as hotels while the rest of us pay the price with neighborhood-ruining impacts?

Angelenos have become used to it.

Paying more, and it's never enough to satisfy the greed of our public educational system (K-12 or college)?

Angelenos have become used to it.

City "Mobility Plans" and related legal documents sneakily and opaquely brought forward, only to be rammed through "for the greater good" when horrified citizens discover them?

Angelenos have become used to it.

Those who choose to remain live in their RV's (you know, "car bums") and who refuse to seek help being empowered to break the law while the rest of us pay ever more for City and County and other governmental services just to live here?

Angelenos have become used to it.

A lack of infrastructure threatening public health getting ever worse while those who complain about overdevelop and a lack of required mitigation for development being labeled as racists and elitists?

Angelenos have become used to it.

A plethora of hiring of quasi-slave labor that undermines the minimum wage and our economy, while those who raise the issue are told they're (of course) racists and xenophobes?

Angelenos have become used to it.

It's not that hard to figure out that Angelenos, who increasingly don't vote, and/or just pick up their stuff and leave, and/or try to cash in on the lawless-but-profitable trends that now pass as a "new economy" in our town, are behaving as abused children who either knuckle under to the abuse or who run away ...

... are, in effect, behaving like abused children.

And it's not inappropriate to ask who are the guilty parties doing the abusing.

And it's not inappropriate to remind all true liberals, and all true conservatives, that being an adult is both tough and necessary when dealing with abusive entities.

And for those who still have religious sentiments, and remember that even the angels knew when to battle and fight against evil, it's not inappropriate to remember that "resisting" and even fighting the local powers that be is as important an effort in life as any.

And, of course, it's not inappropriate to choose NOT to be children, and choose NOT to be abused.

Perhaps we'll be La Ciudad de Los Angeles yet again, but for now let's just at least recognize that a more appropriate name for our town now is La Ciudad de Los Niños Maltratados.



(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 [email protected]. 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.)


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