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Special to CityWatch: Can Jorge Ramos Save The American Immigrant Dream?

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA- President Barack Obama’s disappointing failure to champion immigration reform, what The Washington Post called his “immigration train wreck,” may be the consummate example of the failure of the Obama presidency on Latino issues. It is also a tell-tale sign of the potential trouble the Democratic Party could find itself in…

Museum Row’s Billion Dollar Block Party

Tim Deegan
EXCLUSIVE TO CITYWATCH--City planners, developers, community members and other stakeholders are having a block party in the Miracle Mile: no champagne but plenty of stress served to order, depending on who you're aligned with. Issues with development: take a seat. Raising hundreds of millions of dollars for development, take several seats. Here…

What Is It About The Homeless That Makes Us So Angry?

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD--It was a long public hearing at my neighborhood council the other night. Outraged, obviously frightened homeowners were pitted against advocates for the homeless. At least that's how it started, but it's not how it ended. It's curious, but in this contentious culture of ours, it turned out to be possible to have a meeting of the…

Kill the Transit Tax, Kill the Olympics

Ken Alpern
ALPERN AT LARGE-You know, it's indeed possible that there will be enough voters who won't remember (or care about) the current shenanigans and budget games in the City of LA--enough to allow a 2/3 vote to pass a new sales tax measure in November 2016. Then again, maybe enough voters will remember, and the initiative will (like its predecessor…

Headlines Don’t Lie – LA Needs Leadership

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-I’m talking to you as a man who policed Los Angeles streets for over 30 years and established policy for another 14 years -- two years as an elected Charter Reform Commissioner and 12 years as an elected Los Angeles City Councilman. Take a look at the latest Los Angeles News and Breaking Headlines. They tell a frightening story…

Airbnb Just Floats by the PLUM Committee

Tony Butka
THE CITY-I was going to do my usual flip and cynical kind of a piece on the Airbnb hearing, but the issue is too important, and just maybe, all is not lost. The Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee hearing was scheduled in the Public Works Hearing Room, but so many people attended that they had to move it to City Council Chambers…

Bikeshare Comes to Los Angeles … Sort Of

Richard Risemberg
WAITING ON LA--Here’s photographic confirmation that bikeshare has arrived in LA: Not the City of Los Angeles, though; not quite yet. That’s a live bikeshare station in Santa Monica, on Main Street, next to one of the two bike corrals that grace the block south of Ashland. (There’s another and very busy bike corral two blocks north.) This is a…

The Summer of My Discontent ... LA Version

Denyse Selesnick
MY TURN--I think there is such a thing as the "Dog Days of Summer" since my usual sunny disposition ... glass half full demeanor ... seems to be out of sorts of late. There is a litany of things that are annoying me, aside from the heat. I am disappointed in our local government ... not all of them, but a majority. Like many of you I studied the…

Marilyn Who? Ask Councilman Krekorian or Mayor Garcetti

Richard Lee Abrams
PRESERVATION POLITICS-Who doesn’t like Marilyn Monroe? Councilmember Krekorian, that’s who! Why else would Councilmember Paul Krekorian support the demolition of one of the most significant homes of Marilyn Monroe? With the blessings of Mayor Garcetti, who believes in eradicating as much of Hollywood’s history as possible, and with the support of…





Record Breaking! Josh Groban sings Trump


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For South LA the Community Care Facilities Ordinance is Housing Apartheid

URBAN PERSPECTIVE - I had made promises all over that I would not write another article about the Community Care Facilities Ordinance. Sorry! I can’t make good on this promise because it is one of the most important ordinances that will affect South Los Angeles and people of color communities.

South LA has been through a lot this past year. We’ve had to fight injustices in transportation with the Crenshaw line. We’ve had to suffer from the redlining of Council District 8 and 9 from economic assets. Sadly, we’ve had even more people become poorer and marginalized from employment opportunities. Now, we are battling housing apartheid.

This ordinance is once again bad housing policy, especially for South LA where there are high concentrations of homelessness, people exiting incarceration and child welfare institutions, veterans, and seniors. It’s a potential segregation system instrument for housing containment.

We are all too familiar with the ghettoizing of our community through land use and zoning. With this ordinance, there is the possibility of steering vulnerable populations who need shared housing to R3 and R4 zones. By doing so, this may cause de facto concentrations of poverty and limited social and economic diversity.

What will this mean? It will mean concentrated poverty in R3 and above zones and neighborhood breakdown in economically volatile communities. There will be no equal employment or educational opportunities. Those areas will be subordinated to low purchasing power which will send messages to potential outside markets about investing. And, there will be decreased demand causing disinvestment to ensue.

Is this Apartheid? Yes it is because this ordinance is saying that vulnerable populations don’t belong in R1 and R2 zones with intentions of placing them elsewhere.

There is no hope in concentrated poverty. The best way to avert it is by immersing vulnerable populations in economically diverse neighborhoods. They get to model good neighbor citizenry and experience a better quality of life.

The fact that this ordinance has polarized neighborhood councils and block clubs shows how problematic it is. Agreeably, we want neighborhoods free of nuisance homes, but can’t agree on the best way to do it.

For those who think their neighborhoods are on the “tipping” point and see the Community Care Facilities Ordinance as a better than nothing solution to improve neighborhood quality, it is not. Much has already been written about it to demonstrate why. What you should know is that it doesn’t bring accountability or nuisance abatement enforcement that we need.

Think about it. How difficult is it to get a stay away order for prostitution in front of a school? What about shutting down problem liquor stores or pulling their licenses? Don’t forget the sleazy motels that allow human trafficking or sexual exploitation of youth. Or landlords of commercial buildings who have unruly parties that result in violence. It’s hard to get the city or our local officials to do something.

There is one permeating theme as it relates to the Community Care Facilities Ordinance. That is how to get Building and Safety or other city enforcement departments to do their job of abating nuisances.

How can we receive a complaint acknowledgement and streamlined process for abatement? Who will be responsible and how long will it take? What will be the abatement outcome? And so on.

As the saying goes, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” For the Community Care Facilities Ordinance, I hope housing apartheid isn’t the hell of it.

(Janet Denise Kelly is a CityWatch featured contributor. She offers more than a decade of accomplishments in the housing and nonprofit sector. Janet brings valuable insight in the areas of community and economic development. Additionally, she brings knowledge regarding the leadership and management challenges faced by large and small nonprofits that are struggling or growing organizations. She blogs at jdkellyenterprises.org and can be reached at: janetdkelly@yahoo.com) –cw

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CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 57
Pub: July 17, 2012

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