Thursday, January 17, 2008
The Safer Cities Initiative is working. I believe it is. I do not care about the statistics. I can look at the streets and see that things are different since I have arrived on Skid Row. I have talked to long term residents of Skid Row.
They comment on how the tents are gone in most places and drugs are not sold
in every square foot of Skid Row.
Drug dealing is not totally gone but the problem has been greatly reduced. I would like the dealing on 5th street between Wall and San Julian to stop. I believe once that section of drug dealing is stopped, then the problem will be mostly solved, at least around that area.
--I talked to Sergeant Royce today and he says that crime in Central City East has gone down 30%. According to Sergeant Royce, the Central Division leads the whole city in percentage reduction in crime. He reports that there has been no upsurge in crime lately and no hot spots. To get a detailed look at crime statistics in the city, go to LAPD.org and look at the crime map.
There is also a photo and essay on the Manhattan Institute's conference that was held at the Marriott.
I am still disappointed that the City Attorney's office was not in on the panel.
Speaking of the City Attorney's office, Jose Egurbide, of the City Attorney's office celebrated his 43rd birthday yesterday. He is in the Bay area this weekend with his younger sister to join her and his newly born nephew.
Jose is the Deputy City attorney who walked Anderson Cooper of 60 Minutes around Skid Row in the segment they did on the lady who was dumped on Skid Row by
Kaiser Permanente. Congradulations Jose.
I would like to say this about the Skid Row and the progress of Skid Row as a safer place to be.
First thing I would like to do is congradulate the teamwork of the City Attorney's office, the LAPD, the Mayor's office, City Council members Jan Perry and Jose Huizar.
They have worked tirelessly on this effort all year.
I also would like to congradulate the DLANC office and the residents of Skid Row.
I know that Russell Brown ,the Executive Director of Dlanc , is committed to making sure that the Skid Row community is embraced as a valuable community within the downtown community. He is committed to making people feel like human beings.
The residents of Skid Row deserve to pat themselves on the back. I have not been here long but many of the people I have met told me that they have been here a long time. They told me how they contributed to the lawless atmosphere that ate away at the community. These same individuals have changed their lives. They are a strong wave of Skid Row residents that have put down the crack pipe and the heroin needle to better their lives and the lives of their families. Many of them have decided to improve their education by enrolling in the STRIVE PROGRAM. That program started out with 6 comoputers. Now they have over 20 computers and the classes are full.
I just left the building about an hour ago and people are on those computers learning and having fun doing it.
It is no longer hip to be loaded and high on Skid Row. It is hip to be in the classes at STRIVE. The efforts of those offices and agencies above that I mentioned, has made the environment such that people are able to focus on their studies and stay away from many temptations that can draw them into misery and trouble. I am glad that these men and women are around to lead by example.
I want people to know that on San Julian St. there has been a volunteer effort to
clean the streets. San Julian is by far the worst street on Skid Row with respect to trash. Members of the Skid Row basketball league have been volunteering to clean the streets and have started to focus on San Julian. Jeff Page, the Director of Marketing for Skid Row, was out there today in his work clothes. He has made a commitment to be there every Saturday. He is determined to let the world know that there is a NEW Skid Row. It will be a Skid Row of no drugs and much community involvement.
All of this is a team effort. I would like to also thank Tom Gilmore. I will write about him in a later blog. People do not realize it but he is a friend of the homeless and of Skid Row. People like to make Tom the scapegoat but he has been on committees to help the homeless and to make sure that they not only get housing but
I would like to commend Don Garza for his commitment to Skid Row. Don is a tireless champion of the rights of everyone in Skid Row. He is concerned about his neighbors, whether they are in housing or on the street.
I must say that his blog Centralcitye
has kicked it up a notch. Don is everywhere covering everything. He blogs not only about Skid Row but the other areas of Downtown. Few people have that range. Fewer people intimately know the history of each area and the current happenings of those areas like him. Skid Row would not be where it is today if he had not been here to do the things that he has done. Congradulations Don. Skid Row thanks you.