Fri, Aug

To the ‘Vacationing’ LA City Council: Do Law-Abiding LA Residents Have Any Rights?

ALPERN AT LARGE--For those of us looking beyond the soap opera in Washington ("Go back to where you came from?"

The "Squad" proposing more support for the anti-Israel BDS movement? Niiiiiiiiice?), a funny (well, not REALLY funny) thing just happened: The City Council has quietly let a City ordinance barring vehicles with sleeping people on residential streets to expire. 

Yep...and the LAPD has been instructed to no longer issue citations for people who sleep on our residential streets, with a memo by LAPD Chief Michel Moore informing officers that the ordinance extending street parking as an offense that was extended for six months in December expired at the end of June. 

Maybe the City Council, in the midst of its summer recess, but expected to return in late July, will address this...but hey, what's summer vacation good for if not for a quiet sneaking through of lawlessness. And Angelenos will either get used to it, or leave, right? 

Parks, schools, the curb in front of your house or apartment/condo complex ... anything goes! 

But we shouldn't complain ... because we're the beneficiaries of "privilege". We need to be more giving, more compassionate, and more understanding ... because everyone is hurting. 

And those in their cars, just like the homeless in tents all over, who just feel accepted and good about themselves despite having no ties to families in our city? 

They're better than you? 

The money you paid for homeless relief?  

Not good enough? 

The historically low unemployment rates? 

Bah ... able-bodied individuals shouldn't have to move to other counties and states to find gainful employment and independence. Yes, California was built by those fleeing from poverty and wanting economic opportunity, but these folks are different! 

And they deserve more rights than you--and dang it all, YOU better not park in spots marked for no parking (parks, restaurants, major thoroughfares), because YOU will get a ticket.  

And Mayor Garcetti wonders why the City residents increasingly despise him, and why his presidential aspirations are destroyed (ditto for your desire to replace Senator Feinstein, my man!). 

Of course, no one in the City Council has the spine, and certainly City Attorney Feuer has no backbone, to come up with a reasonable new law defending the rights of law-abiding City residents...and take it all the way to doggone Supreme Court, if necessary. 

We should just have to put up with it. And get used to it. 

Because to do otherwise, like demanding our own rights, and demanding safe and navigable streets and sidewalks, would be just...selfish, right? 

But maybe, just maybe, things will be more amenable to revisit this issue once the next electoral cycle draws nigh...because you KNOW the City Council and Mayor won't be on vacation then.


(CityWatch Columnist, 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 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 Outreach Committee, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee and Vice-Chair of its Planning 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.)