Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mayor Villaraigosa at Gladys Park

City Councilman Huizar talking to a reporter
Neighborhood Prosecutor: Central Area, Songhai Miguda-
Armstead. She is a Deputy City Attorney
One of the new street lights that will be installed in Skid Row
Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa speaking at the press conference while people protested the Mayor's policy with the homeless.

Mayor Anthony Villaraigosa held a press conference today at Gladys Park to discuss the new street lights that are going to be installed in Skid Row. $300,000 has been set aside for that purpose.

It was very difficult to hear what the Mayor had to say. Individuals from the
Los Angeles Catholic Workers organization were protesting the Mayor's policies about the homeless and made it very hard to hear what the Mayor had to say.

In addition to the mayor, Council woman Jan Perry, Councilman Jose Huizar, Deputy City Attorney Songhai Miguda-Armstead were attendance.

I just thought about this while writing the blog. A lot of things are going on in Skid Row right now. Skid Row Housing Trust has a building going up on San Pedro.
SRO Housing Corp has a building going up on 5th Street adjacent to the James Wood Center. New lights are going in. The Skid Row basketball League is growing. The Skid Row Photography Club has started. All of these are positive things.

However, it has come to the attention of a few that there are some administrative changes in Skid Row and people are wondering how that will effect the community.

Commander Andy Smith is leaving the Central Division. Sargeant kevin Royce is transferring to VAn Nuys. These police officers are the officers that oversaw the Safer City Initiative from its inception. They have built up relationships with members of the community. Soon Rocky Delgadillo will be leaving office. There is no doubt about his commitment to the people of Skid Row. Both he and Commander Smith possess an acute understanding of the sensitivities that were necessary to inspire cooperation within the community.

It is obvious that good relationships bring about cooperation in all levels. Will there be a continuity of spirit that passes from the first to the next guard when it comes to commitment and attitude. This question does not only come from the people of Skid Row. This concern has been voiced by those that have served this community in an official capacity. They want their good work and results to continue when they leave. We trust that a smooth transition is in place and one of the priorities will be the continuation of a cooperative spirit between the residents and the official members of the community.

One thing that insured the success of the Safe City Initiative is that people worked together. Whether you are a resident, a worker or police officer everyone was viewed as a member of the community. Let us work to continue that spirit and see where Skid Row can be a year from now.

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