As you enter the 110 South via the 101 you can see the mighty splendor of a city that for years has captivated the imagination of travelers and tourists. The soul, the heartbeat of a vibrant people, the Angelenos. At night, the lights intermeshing with one another creates an almost futuristic effect. Now, take the exit on 8th Street and keep going straight until you hit Alvarado. Take a small turn and you will end up in MacArthur Park. Along that simple stretch of streets, the most noticeable feature are the stragglers and homeless sleeping on either side of the street. Whether that be on a tent or on the cold concrete, these homeless persons along this stretch is just but a small presentation out of the nearly 60,000 people experiencing homelessness in L.A. County.
All over California, the wealthiest state, the land of milk and honey, homelessness has become more rampant than ever. In L.A. County, the problem can be seen just by taking a stroll in either direction of Downtown L.A. Sometimes, you may see makeshift portable potties set up by the city to “combat” the feces and peeing on the streets. Even so, the stench can get so strong that even turning on your AC is as good as rolling down your window.
How does a city preparing and spending nearly seven billion dollars for the Olympics in 2028 has a homeless population of almost 60,000? …Seven billion dollars? The city keeps increasing costs for its inhabitants and taxing left and right. Where in the budget is there an initiative to clean the streets. A short trip through any street in Central L.A. and you will end up asking the same question. Does the city even clean up after itself? Yet, while the amount of homeless keep increasing (mind you, Mayor Garcetti can probably see this through his window), the city plans to spend seven billion dollars on the Olympics. How much trash, how many more people without a home do we need to see?
Some of you may blame Democrats, some of you may blame Republicans, or perhaps some unseen political or social force for our staggering number of homeless people. We cannot, however, escape a problem that is right outside our doorstep. We cannot ascribe this social problem to one political party or the other. It is true that Democrats have been running the show since the middle of the 2000’s, but who is at fault? Both our political leaders and we are to blame. That’s right, we are to blame too. We, like sheep, head to the voting booths and, like an all-you-can-eat buffet, check any politician we feel is “right” without first revising his or her record. We take their word easily.
Next time you take a visit to Downtown L.A. or Hollywood, we invite you to have a look around the corner. You will see the problem right before your eyes.