ALPERN AT LARGE--Arguably, the most hurtful accusation against those of us who've fought for affordable housing and transit-oriented development (and ditto for resolving the homeless issue and creating an environmentally-sustainable city and state) is that WE are the problem because WE are the ones who oppose affordable housing and transit-oriented development.
Yet those in power (and this appears to include Mayor Eric Garcetti and a few City Councilmembers) have overseen an Orwellian "double-speak" where those of us who decry that "affordable housing projects" result in LESS affordable housing units, and "transit-oriented developments" are expensive high-rises promoting MORE car use--then WE oppose those venerable causes.
Well, liar, liar, pants on fire--and the pants of Mayor Garcetti and every one of those jackass City Councilmembers under investigation by the DOJ and FBI for "pay to play politics" with developers appear to quite on fire.
1) To those who think they will get cheap, affordable housing by developers who want to build more for the upper middle class and even "the 1%", you're a FOOL. You won't get it.
2) To those who think that their worthy endeavors to create affordable housing and protect the middle-class (and I very much and DEEPLY respect their endeavors and motivations and share them!) by working with Abundant Housing, you're a TOOL. Behind Abundant Housing (AH) is a money-grubbing and politically-connected elite...and you are being USED.
3) To those who know damned well that the "affordable housing" and "transit-oriented development" canards are LIES, and who have financial conflicts of interests with developers who are LYING to Planning and the general public, then you are a GHOUL. By promoting these developments, you are hurting your neighbors, and fellow Angelenos and Californians, and you should be EXPOSED for the FRAUDS you are.
You want affordable housing? I want affordable housing! So do my neighbors upset with giant developments that are NOT family-friendly, are NOT environmentally-healthy, are NOT likely to sustain or help mobility, and are NOT affordable.
You want Transit-Oriented Development? I want transit-oriented development! So do my neighbors upset with transit-adjacent but NOT transit-oriented developments, and NOT built with transit in mind, and are too-often walled off and NOT transit-friendly in their layout.
1) Watch what happens when efforts are made to require developments requesting variants have 50% or more affordable housing units...and not the 5-10% or so they usually do as they tear down the old, TRULY affordable housing development.
2) Watch what happens when efforts are made to require NO parking to those developments who want to build "transit-oriented development", or to build sufficient parking mitigations for developments meant to dump parking on innocent neighbors' property.
Up and down the coast, when developers (and there are good, honest developers, to be sure, who do NOT play these games or LIE to the neighbors) are asked to REALLY be affordable, environmentally-sustainable, and/or transit-oriented...they show themselves to be frauds.
They just want to build expensive, unaffordable housing--and the only "green" they see is that of money.
And we keep letting them get away with it, and we keep re-electing those enabling the fraud.
The Abundant Housing (AH) people are just part of the problem, and these AH's have no problem bombarding local government entities with their support for projects that are NOT affordable, NOT projects near them, and NOT projects they know much about.
The AH's have no problem with Internet tools to have form letters sent through e-mail with the ready-made "facts" that are anything but...and the AH's are truly FOOLS, TOOLS, and GHOULS.
Sunshine is the best disinfectant. We can do better than to be crushed by the AH's who are either unintentionally or intentionally hurting us all. Let the TRUTH come out so that we can have MORE affordable and MORE transit-oriented housing.
The future of Los Angeles and California depends on it!
(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 both its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure and Planning Committees. 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.)