Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Encourage Television to focus on Skid Row all Year
I have the phone. It was more than I wanted to pay but I have it. This room is where I left the origional phone.
I could not move forward unless I made the commitment to maintain my communication so I can maintain my support system and increase and expand my "linkage" to others.
Therefore, I passed the test. I passed the test of commitment and of maintaining priorities and not letting fear of not having prevent me from getting- playing to win instead of playing not to lose.
It sounds like simple decision making but you try living on Skid Row with only 4oo dollars in savings and no where to get help. No job and no sign of one coming. Decisions that would normally be easy become quite a procedure.
I read in the Downtown News about the cameras coming here during Thanksgiving. I am glad I will not be here. I think it is rather phony. Most people do.
I know alot of celebrities. I think the television stations sell them short. Many of them are people who would commit more time to hands on effort or something more substantive rather than serve someone a plate of dinner and smile their pearly whites.
Downtown News is correct. The Skid Row situation needs as much attention as it can get. Television is geared for the present. Talk about it today. Talk about something else tomorrow until it becomes fashionable to talk about it again. Let's not lead the way as those taking charge, lets follow the schedule of "Same time Next Year" tradition. They will give you a follow up on something innocuous but nothing that contains bits and pieces of every major challenge that confronts America. Skid Row is out of sight and out of mind until the holiday season for the most part to the television networks who have the power to keep it in front of everyone. Can America stand the truth? Can we stand to look at the dark side of ourselves?
I ask this in earnest. I know what it is like to look at a side of myself that was not pretty. It was not easy and I had to take it in phases over a long period of time. Eventually, I got the job done.
Skid Row is just as much a part of Los Angeles as Cheviot Hills. Hancock Park, Crenshaw,
Venice, Mar Vista, East LA and any other part of LA.
In some cases, it can be argued that it is even MORE a part of Los Angeles because it is located where it all began.
I believe that the Television Stations should report on Skid Row at least once a month.
They should have a Skid Row series. They should analysis discussion of Skid Row.
They should create dialogue about SkidRow by having a history of Skid Row series on the air. After words, they can monitor the progress of Skid Row by talking to all parties so no one drops the ball. ALL PARTIES. That means the residents as well. You can not send a reporter to Skid Row, talk to some one for 10 minutes and think that reporter will capture the essence of Skid Row or the frustrations and challenges of the people with whom he talks. That reporter must feel the area and feel the person and that only comes with time. The reporter must learn
what questions to ask. It takes a long time of observing Skid Row before you can begin to learn what questions to ask. You only understand what questions to ask if you have dissected a few things, partition a few things. I have lived on Skid Row since February and I am just beginning to ask questions that have SIGNIFICANT PROBATIVE VALUE.
I ask questions every day. I speak to people and ask them questions. It amazes me that most people have not thought about it enough to begin to respond, in many cases. Others have strong views. Those views are mostly that every organization is out for itself and they do not care about the people. They say that people, within organizations care but once you become enmeshed in an organization, you become enmeshed in the bureaucracy and the bureaucracy does not care.
I believe the television networks can generate thoughts and ideas from discussion that result from an in depth television series. It should be as in depth as the Stanley Karnow series on
Vietnam. In Depth and wide ranging. Fitting. There are alot of veterans down here.
Each month there should be a progress report. Not a report accusing people or organizations of things but a report that would keep everyone up to date about the problems and the cures.
It could be the FAMILY MEETING. The family is the city of Los Angeles. The family issue or problem is Skid Row. If we discuss and understand it, we will understand many problems in many areas of our society.
I have a question. I live near three huge missions. I am not indicting them.
How is it that the missions let men and women smoke crack cocaine in their courtyard
and litter the streets and let the same people go back inside the building.
Sure, they, the missions, make an effort to keep THEIR SIDE of the street clean. However the men and women who empty from their buildings stand on both sides of the streets. They keep the street filthy when they go back inside of the buildings at night. There are other people that
use the streets, that benefit from a clean street and who are harmed by a filthy street. That filth breeds disease.
Should not those missions hold their residents accountable and not be de facto "enablers" to drug usage. To be honest, several case workers have mentioned that frustration to me.
They feel their employers are enablers, not by intent but by not scrutinizing policy as a result of the behavior of their own residents. The residents are not being helped if they are allowed to smoke crack outside and do not respect themselves or the health of others.
I would like some comments on that. Am I off Base?
Good morning world. I love you.