NAYSAYERS->> “A Skid Row Neighborhood Council wouldn’t do anything the rest of DTLA would be interested in”
SKID ROW RESPONSE->> “That’s false!!!…..Followed with “You must’ve just moved here?”
While it’s commonplace today to hear people point to AB 109 as the biggest reason why crime has exploded in DTLA (especially LAPD who constantly tells folks in DTLA that AB 109 was the worse thing to happen to DTLA with Skid Row here), that wasn’t always the case.
Apparently, folks in DTLA don’t remember back in 2011 when the Chair of the Skid Row Neighborhood Council-Formation Committee served on the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council representing Skid Row residents.
He organized a Town Hall meeting which took place October 24, 2011, soon after AB 109 first launched on October 1st….Even before AB 109 began, Skid Row community leaders urged our law enforcement agencies, along with our civic and political leaders to convene a series of meetings to both properly inform everyone in DTLA about the potential dangers as well as address the need to create various mitigation options once the forthcoming increases in crime in DTLA began…Which was followed with ittle to no action or response by LAPD.
Back then, LAPD consistently told everyone that it was too soon to tell what the impact of AB 109 would be.
The SRNC-FC Chair (who is a Skid Row community activist first and foremost) created the “What’s the Plan?” Town Hall meeting through his community activist organization Skid Row’s ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS….Since he simultaneously served on the DLANC, he included them in this project as well.
It was an esteemed panel discussion, which included then-State Senator Mike Davis as moderator, then-LA County Sheriff Lee Baca, even then-LAPD Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger (#2 man after Chief Beck) surprised everyone and joined the panel that morning as an unconfirmed guest (We let him join us anyway…lol)…Also on that panel were members of LA County Probation Department, two well-respected doctors- one spoke on the many public health concerns associated with a sudden influx of people living on the streets of DTLA fresh out of prison (many still with a criminal mindset) and the other was then-Executive Director of Project 180, a service provider in Skid Row which at that time had just begun to offer services to AB 109 clients….Our incredible panel was topped off by then-Secretary of the California State Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) Matthew Cate who flew in from Sacramento just for this panel (As did Senator Davis)
(NOTE: It should be noted that because of this panel, Dr. Victoria Simon was able to meet Secretary Cate directly and thus quickly developed a direct connection which was soon thereafter followed by the creation of a new funding stream in the millions of dollars which has now allowed Project 180 to easily expand their operations and be better equipped to handle the AB 109 folks who still come to Skid Row straight from prison)
“What’s the Plan?” Town Hall’s only coordinator, General Jeff, also booked the Biltmore Hotel’s historic Gold Ballroom and had coffee and tea provided by the hotel.
All he asked the DLANC to do was outreach to the “concerned citizen’s of DTLA” who would be interested in this most important topic, but the only people who showed up where those invited by Skid Row residents.
By comparison, last summer, there were MASSIVE Spice overdoses happening in Skid Row…the DLANC didn’t convene any Town Hall meetings…Didn’t even have the decency to make it an agenda topic for discussion at any of their Board meetings and only sent one representative to a meeting Skid Row residents initiated AFTER they learned Mayor Garcetti would be in attendance.
Clearly, there are two different types of leadership described in this post- One that takes a pro-active stance and brings all the decision-making people to the table with clear evidence of creation new solutions and the other is the current neighborhood council that doesn’t want any competition in DTLA!
Hmmm, which NC do you think can get things done in Skid Row?