Wed, Apr

Reject Prop. 1 & Measure HLA: Let's Stop Experimenting and Start Solving Problems


ALPERN AT LARGE - For those of us who’ve not abandoned critical thinking and a broader understanding of history in this modern-day “Denaissance” where science and history has been eclipsed by Left-Wing faith, we remember that we can always either change course, reverse course, or maybe just modify our course if or when things don’t go right.

Lots of good intentions in the City of L.A., and lots of horrible problems left by Mayor Garcetti, the City Council, and the City/County special interests who GET paid to deal with a problem, but not to fix it.

Meanwhile, Sacramento remains Sacramento, and it’s our own damned fault we doubled down on childish “feelings” to elect, re-elect, and re-re-elect some of the most sophomoric and corrupt idiots ever witnessed in California history.

I could throw out a few links to the L.A. Times, the Washington Post, and the New York Times highlighting our problems, but for those of you/us without subscriptions they wouldn’t be of much benefit...so to summarize:

The homeless encampments, and the fires, and the lack of access to our sidewalks and roads...well, people are not finally and rightfully getting pissed off with Bass, Raman, and all sorts of Downtown “leaders” who are getting paid to LEAD and FIX problems. 

Mayor Bass’s Inside Safe Operation is a great idea, but too often it comes across as too little and too “nice” to really address those who need to “get it” that it’s time to move on. That sounds mean, but the law abiding taxpayers are NOT without compassion, and are NOT to be demeaned when they’ve “had enough”.

Some voters and taxpayers want faster takeovers of apartments and hotels/motels, and some want to throw out those who have no ties to the community, and some want to create tent cities or cheap/inexpensive housing (Quonset structures, perhaps) in the empty/outskirts of L.A. County, far from the ocean.

The solutions probably involve a bit of all of the above, but it’s clear we’re making it too attractive to remain here indefinitely with public assistance, and with NO incentive to shape up or step out in L.A. City/County.

But let’s keep it real: homeless vets, and families with children whose parents have jobs but no affordable housing, and/or those with strong ties to their families here, SHOULD get first dibs to our resources. Those in other groups need to be relocated.

Where SHOULD those lower-priority homeless go? Anywhere but here. COVID is over, inflation is rampant, and the billions we’re barfing into a years-long homeless effort that appears to be going nowhere is a reasonable complaint for the middle class to raise.

Should the graffiti-covered empty skyscrapers in Downtown be “eminently domained” for affordable housing?

Should Habitat for Humanity or some other non-profit group(s) be allowed to build small homes by the thousands to allow some resolution to the homeless (and lower income affordable housing) crises?

But again...let’s keep it real: we’ve thrown out the GOP tax base who played an enormous role in building this state’s infrastructure and education system, and are demonizing and shoving out the moderate Democrats and Independents to boot.

So California’s Democratic ruling classes have warring moderates and leftists who are confronting three critical and internal prominent debates, and are doing so more for keeping POWER instead of FIXING our problems:

1)   We just allowed free health care for illegal immigrants who are NOT here legally, and apparently are to be treated like higher lifeforms than those here legally but with no health insurance...for $6 billion per year, and without the consent of the electorate. 

2)   We have for years barfed billions into a housing/homeless crusade that clearly has misspent and inefficiently spent the money that taxpayers entrusted to our cities, counties, and state.

3)   The monied interests trashing this state can no longer be blamed as “right wing wackos and evil rich guys”...they’re from the radical Left and they want to control everyone who isn’t in their rich elite class. The “right wing” is pretty much gone, and increasingly it’s being understood that that dog won’t hunt anymore.

So clearly Proposition 1, which is an approximately $6 billion bond measure for state homeless services we should have been providing and budgeting for years, is ill-timed.

And more locally, Measure HLA, which has devastated mobility for motorists, bus riders, and bicyclists alike, will create a bike lane system with road diets when the data is clear that more commuters of all ethnic and socioeconomic stripes prefer to use their cars, and want their mass transit to be crime/blight free. 

Is it that hard to connect the dots and remember when the last wave of illegal immigrants hit through California, with a resultant surge of school funding ballot measures? 

Is it that hard to connect the dots and recognize that we’re finding all sorts of reasons and methods for developers to weasel their way out of paying for new infrastructure and dump those costs on the taxpayers?

No, it’s not that hard:

One can’t blame “those MAGA weirdos” for the current illegal immigration crisis, because the majority of those throwing up their hands and screaming, “WAIT A DARN MINUTE!” are now Democrat, black/brown, and are anything but wealthy.

This isn’t Alabama, or Texas, or Florida—it’s the incurably blue California we’re talking about, and living in, right now.

The predominantly-Democratic Party tax and voting bases want Biden to somehow reverse course, and they want Newsom and Sacramento to not welcome millions who don’t belong here, cost billions to take care of, and somehow be asked to accommodate and pay for them.

No less than the screaming city residents of blue-only Chicago and New York City.

And the tax and voting bases want the disastrous experiments with road diets, such as the Venice Blvd. road diet that played a major role in the liberal Westside with replacing Mike Bonin with Traci Park, to freakin’ END, already! 

To summarize, many of those living here in our city, county, and state feel they’ve been toyed with and exploited. If we can at least put a sort of happy face on everything that’s gone wrong over the past decade, then at least we can conclude we tried a few noble experiments. 

These noble experiments went awry (kind of like the Arab Spring with the intent of spreading democracy throughout the Mideast). 

We wanted to help the homeless and improve mobility for bicyclists and pedestrians.

But the devil was in the details, and the devil was in the misspending, and in particular the devil was in those who behaved like devils and who sought/seek to exploit rather than fix the urban ills facing our once-Golden State.

We need policies that support legal residents over illegal immigrants, and we need to end road diets, because they don’t help the law abiding, taxpaying middle-class so essential for modern Western democratic civilization to survive and thrive.  

It’s time for the experiments and doublespeak to end. It’s time to fix the problems and utilize both critical thinking and human reason to do that fixing.

Vote NO on CA State Proposition 1 and L.A. City Measure HLA.


(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. He was active for 20 years on the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) as a Board Member focused on Planning and Transportation, and helped lead the grassroots efforts of the Expo Line as well as connecting LAX to MetroRail. His latest project is his fictional online book entitled The Unforgotten Tales of Middle-Earth, and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)