Mon, Jul

Los Angeles is Broken - Time to Flee


WHAT DOES LA CITY COUNCIL DO? - Name five things the L.A. City Council has done that has benefited business, or the average Angeleno? Can you name three, even one? It is long overdue for the San Fernando Valley to acknowledge, again, the fact Los Angeles only cares about the San Fernando Valley (SFV) for its tax base. It doesn't care about our neighborhoods, our parks, our failing schools, our crime rate, or the ever-growing homeless encampments full of the mentally ill and drug addicts. We are just an ATM for the City to perpetuate and double down on its failed policies. 

The SFV is hostage to a hostile and uncaring City Council that practices novel, untested social engineering experiments and panders to the LGBQT+ crowd (approximately 5% of the population) than respect the Valley's residents' constitutional rights (Article 1-Sec..32 of the California Constitution) to have decent representation with fair taxation and be able to pursue our right to life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy without having to look over our shoulders in fear that somebody is coming up behind to jack us. 

Let's make it official, build back better a new Prop F, and leave L.A. Other areas should also leave L.A. post haste. The City of West Los Angeles and the City of East LA have a nice ring to their new non-official names. Other areas should also consider severing their ties to L.A.

Proposition F was the ill-fated chance for the Valley to become its own City. It was a good idea in 2002 and is better now, in 2025, and beyond.  

It is not just about getting our fair share of the tax dollars that we pay the City coming back in services. It's about keeping our neighborhoods liveable and safe. Many areas in Los Angeles are so blighted that we make most third-world countries seem well-kept by comparison. It is an understatement to say that we are crime-ridden. Encino is the 4th most burglarized place in L.A. It used to be considered one of the safest. Instead of attracting traditional tourists who want to see the sights, we are now attracting burglary tourists flying in from South America to steal from mansions and mc-mansions in wealthy neighborhoods. 

Los Angeles is ungovernable because we have a City Council that is more interested in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Didn't Earn It), and social justice rather than dealing with real solutions to the homeless problem, drug addiction, smash-and-grab flash-mobs, the police department is catching and releasing felons, like undersized fish, which create consequence-free crime sprees daily. The City and County's progressive policies make shopkeepers oppressors and the people who steal from them victims. These are policies of George Soros' who the N.Y. Post called the most dangerous man in America, and his district attorney – George Gascón, who is just so happy to comply with in emptying prisons, ignoring heinous capital crimes, refusing to add significant sentencing enhancements, and tone deafly refusing to meet with victims' families. This is the new definition of justice. 

People flocked to cities thousands of years ago for protection and economic opportunity. Eventually, there will be no City without law and order; without law, there is no justice. Economic opportunity is dying because of high taxes and land use policies intended to make housing affordable, but by design, have the opposite effect, making everything less affordable, including the energy it takes to cool and heat our abodes. Evidence of this is that Los Angeles was the City with the highest level of move-outs in 2022, 2023, and 2024. Out of all the crappy places to live that don't have the advantage of good weather, L.A. was deemed the crappiest for having the most move-outs than even N.Y. and Chicago. 

Los Angeles fire and police unfunded pension liability is $975,000,000. It is estimated that Los Angeles' net pension liability (unfunded obligations) is approximately $5,000,000,000 (expected to go down over time). As of June 30, 2022, the City of Los Angeles's bonded debt and long-term notes payable totaled $ 37.3 billion. As of January 15, 2024, data-z.org reported that Los Angeles has a $2 billion financial deficit, with $19.8 billion in assets to pay $21.8 billion in bills. We have these deficits because the City Council are all wanna-be social workers.

It is doubtful that Mayor Bass' promise of improving the roads will be kept. There is not even enough money to paint lane lines on major arteries or even fill all the potholes. It is also evident that the vagrants and criminals populating our streets will continuously get worse. 

We are between a rock: the unfettered, wasteful spending on the homeless and drug addicts and the hard place, budget, and pension deficits. Los Angeles is drowning in debt due to gross mismanagement. Additional huge tax increases (already planned) will not prevent L.A.'s finances from collapsing into bankruptcy eventually. 

We know it's bad because nobody in officialdom is willing to discuss it. It is time we in the San Fernando Valley boarded the lifeboats to leave L.A. Other Cities should jump ship before it's too late. 

It is also about the fact that each council member represents approximately 250,000 people. With districts this large, there is no way a council member can know what the neighborhoods in their district are like and how the facilities and amenities are used and thought of. Therefore, at best, they're guessing about what a neighborhood needs. But most of the time, they engage in social engineering and push their own political agenda. 

It is a fact that Los Angeles City Council keeps pouring gasoline on a lithium battery fire due to faithfully executing policy failures, after failure. Every year, the fire gets hotter and harder to put out through ineptitude, mismanagement, and willful, wasteful spending initiatives. We all are witnesses to the futility of $4 billion spent in the last five years on Los Angeles homeless care programs, and this is evidence enough that the San Fernando Valley and other Cities should divorce L.A. Because all L.A. ever does is double down on the failed policy of giving the least deserving people in our society more free stuff, including luxury apartments for life because they're mentally ill drug addicts. Every family struggling to pay rent should resent this unprecedented giveaway. It takes a special kind of stupidity to spend $4 billion on homelessness, and the only visible result is that it gets worse, and nobody knows where the money went. 

Los Angeles City Council's actions have made the strongest arguments that a smaller, more efficient, and more responsive City could do a better job. It is time to break Los Angeles into three or four different cities. Even Joe Isuzu could do a better job. Prove me wrong! 

(Eliot Cohen has been on the Neighborhood Council, serves on the Van Nuys Airport Citizens Advisory Council, and is President of Homeowners of Encino. Eliot retired after a 35-year career on Wall Street. Eliot is a critic of the stinking thinking of the bureaucrats and politicians that run the State, County, and City. Eliot and his wife divide their time between L.A. and Baja Norte, Mexico.  Eliot is a regular contributor to CityWatchLA.com – [email protected])