Sat, Apr

CD11's Traci Park and the Need for More Parks

THE DOCTOR IS IN - At this time, it does appear that our next CD11 Councilmember will be Traci Park, and that the Westside west of the 405 freeway hasn't completely lost its collective mind with respect to urban planning, transportation, and fixing our homelessness crisis.

At this time, it also appears that a new tax for parks and open space (Measure SP) is heading to defeat, and that the City electorate is not interested in "feeding the beast" anymore with respect to spending money more than once for parks we so desperately need. 

The city electorate is NOT against spending more money for affordable housing and the homeless, as evidenced by likely passage of Measure ULA, so the narrative that "We Don't Care" is as ridiculous, flat-out false, and cruel as ever. 

We DO care. 

We're just NOT stupid. 

Or at least we won't be fooled yet once more. 

Traci Park was and is the right person to succeed Mike Bonin (second-term Bonin, that is), and to restore CD11 (and perhaps the City as a whole) to the legacy of both Bill Rosendahl and “first-term” Mike Bonin. 

(I well remember when Mike was a friend to you and me.  I was Bill Rosendahl's ardent and earnest protege and was not tied to the cruel and quasi-fascist hard Left of L.A.  Pity how that had to change and change it most certainly did). 

At least with respect to CD11 and our need for parks, infrastructure and homelessness (to say nothing of urban planning to create REAL and SUSTAINABLE affordable housing, dammit!), we need to utilize the election of Park, City Attorney Hydee Feldstein-Soto, and (fingers crossed!) a cooperative mayor to restore our City to its former potential. 

Here's a potential path forward, with the right people in place:  

1) Stop the failed and downright-dangerous Venice Blvd. Road Diet experiment, throw in some good speed limit signs and stoplights, and then derive a safe car/bicycle/bus transportation plan to link the Expo Line to the Beach with a quick one-transfer rail-to-bus, and then create the Downtown Mar Vista and Venice/Mar Vista connection we always wanted and needed. 

2) Use the method that former L.A. City Councilmember and Police Chief Bernard Parks used to ensure the funding of our libraries (Measure L) against the police union he knew only too well (and who tried to grab library funds for their own use). Measure L required a portion of the City budget be assigned to our public libraries, and their services are now ensured. 

3) So, let's create a Measure P, maybe spear-headed by Councilmember-Elect Park ("Park for the Parks!"), to assign a portion of our City budget for parks and open spaces that is both GREATER than our current budget allotment, and SUFFICIENT to create a better and more park-friendly L.A. 

4) Work with City Attorney-Elect Feldstein-Soto to require development to follow environmental law, keep affordable housing projects along major bus/rail-friendly thoroughfares on major streets only, and to keep their height limited to 3-4 stories whenever possible (not 5 stories, not 8 stories, and not 12 stories, dammitall!). 

5) Restore a Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE)  that really EMPOWERS the City's once-venerable Neighborhood Council program, and EMPOWERS its citizens as it once did. The fascists who now run DONE need to be thrown out of their positions, and the Villaraigosa/Garcetti era of disempowering its grassroots leaders must finally END. 

6) Derive a parks/transportation/infrastructure/housing program to prepare us for the 2028 Olympics and for the next 50 years. That means restoring our sidewalks and thoroughfares so that even a 12-year-old child can walk alone during the daytime along any of our sidewalks, and without being obstructed or accosted by individuals who have no legal business residing on them. 

7) Assign remote, appropriately located, and safe locations for the homeless to live, seek medical, counseling, drug abuse, job training and psychiatric benefits, and enjoy a quality of life that is consistent with our vagrancy and public health laws. 

Congrats to the winners of our recent chaotic elections, and I wish them all the best. 


(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 a wonderful wife and two cherished children. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 9, years and is also a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association. He previously co-chaired the MVCC Outreach, Planning, and Transportation/Infrastructure Committees for 10 years. 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 His latest project is his fictional online book entitled The Unforgotten Tales of Middle-Earth and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)