LETTER TO COUNCILMEMBER - The following are excerpts from a letter to Councilmember Nithya Raman from Eliot Cohen and the Board of Homeowners of Encino:
On August 30, 2023, the Encino Property Owners Association wrote you a letter outlining their grievances and concerns about your NO vote against the LAPD labor contract and Public Safety. Homeowners of Encino concurs with the issues and grievances outlined in EPOA's letter.
The base foundation for any elected official is to secure, gain, and retain the trust of the people who elected them. We are in an odd pattern with public elected officials; once voted into office, their agenda becomes what is important to themselves and their staff members, with little to no regard for the community they represent. This personal agenda appears to be a clear focus of your office. We object to you advancing your personal beliefs and will onto the Encino Community, which inherited you as our Councilperson through redistricting.
The minimal baseline should be done by any person elected to office by the people is to ensure their safety and well-being. You voted No against the LAPD labor contract with an explanation you had concerns about the impact it would have on other city services. This makes no sense and is hostile to the common good. We may agree that the city is in a rapid state of decline. Residents who have lived in Los Angeles for many years are witnessing a crime wave like never before, and humans are visibly deteriorating from drugs, alcohol abuse, mental health issues, and living outside exposed to the elements. These people are dying on our city sidewalks and bus benches. We see and smell filth on the street, and public trash cans are overflowing. Rat and roach infestations near restaurants and parks are all too common. Because of underfunding, we have unsafe and unsanitary public transportation, with the County Board of Supervisors and Mayor Bass admitting the same.
When the City Council cut funds from the Los Angeles Police Department in 2020, and an increase of funds went to the Homeless, this had an immediate and negative impact on police staffing and public safety and an influx of more homeless people into the City. An effect of cutting funds to Law Enforcement is crime has gone up, and our communities are no longer safe.
The reallocation of funds to Homeless issues has not had the intended outcome as the homeless population continues to grow. They are overwhelming the City's ability to ameliorate this homelessness epidemic due to the lack of enforcement of common-sense laws that are already on the books. Current reports confirm that the Homeless population continues to grow in the City of Los Angeles, with increased crimes perpetrated by the Homeless in our neighborhoods.
The idea of "re-imagining" the City of Los Angeles Police Department and law enforcement resulted in a continuing failure of our government’s responsibilities to protect all its inhabitants, which includes prosecutors and our courts. We disagree with your recent votes and position regarding public safety and law enforcement. They do not reflect the beliefs of your constituents but favor criminals, chaos, and lawlessness over the rights of law-abiding citizens. Additionally, these anti neighborhood attitudes are causing an exodus out of Los Angeles eroding our tax base and our ability to provide services. It would be much wiser to reinstate consequences for criminal behavior instead of worrying about indoor pollution from clean burning gas stoves.
We look forward to hearing from your office for specific plans and policies and action for the City and your District (our community) to put an end to the home invasion robberies, residential burglaries, smash-and-grab gang robberies, and may I add reckless driving in Encino.
We are passionate about protecting our community and demand an immediate increase in police patrols in Encino.
Eliot Cohen and the Board of Homeowners of Encino