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1 Dorf  Wed, Jan 8, 2014 9:33:48am

I’m an Angeleno and this is surprising to read. Myself and acquaintances have been talking how it feels like L.A. is going through a sort of renaissance right now. Cleaner air, crime dropping, gangs being eradicated, more likely to see a kid in the hood on a skateboard than with gang tattoos. We even have our new “Silicon Beach” in Venice with a huge Google office. Also Herb Wesson is the crookedest of the crooked in L.A. city politics, not too much faith in anything headed up by him.

2 Political Atheist  Wed, Jan 8, 2014 9:42:10am

re: #1 Dorf

Sure there are some bright spots. NoHo for example in the east valley. But the north east valley is pretty scary. Another example-look at Glendale/Pasadena/Burbank streets, Fire dept., and policing. That shows how better management can do a lot better than LA officialdom has done.

But gangs are being eradicated!? Ummm….

Gangs

The County and City of Los Angeles are the “gang capital” of the nation. There are more than 450 active gangs in the City of Los Angeles. Many of these gangs have been in existence for over 50 years. These gangs have a combined membership of over 45,000 individuals.

Gang membership in Los Angeles has continued to increase over the past five years even though there have been periodic crime decreases. One of the major factors contributing to increased gangs, gang membership and violence has been the lucrative narcotics trade, with rival gangs vying for the greatest market share.

3 Flounder  Wed, Jan 8, 2014 12:22:47pm

Nice pic, reminds of the WPA stamped sidewalk I would see near my old home.

4 Bill Lenner  Wed, Jan 8, 2014 12:24:58pm

The main problem in LA is massive, and increasing inequality. They are now talking about creating apartments the size of some people’s closets, which are also going to be rented at the same cost as we see now as always happens. Of course this matters little to the poor families increasingly crammed into the same rotting boxes in South (lovely how they did away from that incriminating “Central” part of it’s description) Harbor, and other problem parts of the city and all those rotting other small bergs where those not on the entertainment chief or Big business executive pay ladder live.

New York has handled the same economic inequality (aka gang and /or violence problems) by a stop and frisk policy that has been challenged by a federal judge and earlier in LA the police had policies that frankly got them put under national choke hold for over a decade.

But the real root of violence like we are seeing is inequality only possible in such a congested area with continuing low minimum wage and a free for all attitude towards big money earners and minimal throw away programs for the working people, and those still without work.

It’s not lax policing, not “those people”. It’s policy that can be changed.

5 palomino  Wed, Jan 8, 2014 12:31:26pm

re: #2 Political Atheist

Yes, LA still has problems with gang violence. But if you lived here back in the 1990s, you know some things for sure: the overall crime rate is much lower and even gang-related violence is down.

6 wrenchwench  Wed, Jan 8, 2014 12:34:53pm

re: #4 Bill Lenner

Welcome, hatchling.

7 Aqua Obama  Wed, Jan 8, 2014 1:24:04pm

LA seems okay. The crime rate is lower than a city such as Dallas and and local services are better than many other cities I’ve been to.

8 Political Atheist  Wed, Jan 8, 2014 1:28:41pm

re: #4 Bill Lenner

LA is literally too big and too diverse to run with the same leadership culture. The west side, downtown, the valley and south LA. By any fair measure that should be two or three city jurisdictions. Inequality is an issue many cities that have done much better also face. Pasadena for example. I think LAUSD and the City of LA share this problem. Too big to manage. Again look at how well those other cities do by comparison.

9 Political Atheist  Wed, Jan 8, 2014 1:29:29pm

re: #4 Bill Lenner

I think a critical difference between LA and NY is the footprint, the sheer scale of square miles. And welcome to the board. Thanks for commenting.

10 Dark_Falcon  Wed, Jan 8, 2014 8:56:05pm

re: #4 Bill Lenner
You are wrong, sir. Crime is not driven by ‘inequality’, its driven by poor law enforcement practices in some places, but in LA it is the product of societal disfunction and family breakdown. Income gaps between the top and bottom of a society do not cause people to be badly educated: As RWC will tell you, the LA Unified School District spends a great deal per pupil but its results are poor. It needs sound reorganizing and maybe to be split up into two or three districts.

Moreover, crime is only one of the problems the report talks about. LA needs to reign in its spending as well, and deal with its pension problem. Those financial problems are not caused by inequality, they are caused by a tax-spend-elect mentality seen too often among California Democrats and an inability to efficiently provide services and manage costs.

Matters of equality are a society-as-a-whole concern that city governments can’t do much about; They should confine their focus to making the city well run and livable.

11 palomino  Wed, Jan 8, 2014 10:58:18pm

re: #10 Dark_Falcon

You are wrong, sir. Crime is not driven by ‘inequality’, its driven by poor law enforcement practices in some places, but in LA it is the product of societal disfunction and family breakdown. Income gaps between the top and bottom of a society do not cause people to be badly educated: As RWC will tell you, the LA Unified School District spends a great deal per pupil but its results are poor. It needs sound reorganizing and maybe to be split up into two or three districts.

Moreover, crime is only one of the problems the report talks about. LA needs to reign in its spending as well, and deal with its pension problem. Those financial problems are not caused by inequality, they are caused by a tax-spend-elect mentality seen too often among California Democrats and an inability to efficiently provide services and manage costs.

Matters of equality are a society-as-a-whole concern that city governments can’t do much about; They should confine their focus to making the city well run and livable.

You honestly don’t think growing wealth inequality is a problem? Again you should look at history. Imagine a place where a few dozen families control as much wealth as the bottom HALF of the entire population. Oh, wait, that’s the place we live now. And it gets a little worse every day.

Now fast forward a few decades, with the growing income gap ever widening. Do you see a pretty picture in the future? Or do you see something that maybe you should be concerned about now?

12 Dark_Falcon  Thu, Jan 9, 2014 8:00:05am

re: #11 palomino

You honestly don’t think growing wealth inequality is a problem? Again you should look at history. Imagine a place where a few dozen families control as much wealth as the bottom HALF of the entire population. Oh, wait, that’s the place we live now. And it gets a little worse every day.

Now fast forward a few decades, with the growing income gap ever widening. Do you see a pretty picture in the future? Or do you see something that maybe you should be concerned about now?

What I’m saying is that wealth inequality isn’t a problem for city government to deal with. Given the size and wealth distribution of California, the state government may be able to address that issue with some success. but the city government of Los Angeles cannot do so and should think more in terms of effective city governance.


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