Sam Slovick’s account of the kids on Skid Row [“Coming of Age in the Mouth of Madness,” March 10–16] is terrific; I only wish that it, along with a day spent observing Juvenile Court, was required of every opponent of abortion. The fate of kids who are unwanted and/or neglected is too often neglected by the media (except when some horrific tragedy takes place). How long must these most vulnerable members of our society suffer from our ignorance?
Union Rescue Mission is making a concerted effort to get kids off the streets, out of the welfare hotels they are living in on Skid Row, and into secure “transitional living” facilities away from the distressed inner city.
By moving ahead with plans to establish Hope Gardens Family Center, nestled at the base of the Angeles National Forest, Union Rescue Mission’s goal is to move those abandoned women and children off the streets and into a safe and stable living environment surrounded by nature.
The most effective solution to the problem of abandonment and homelessness in Los Angeles starts with these children, who often end up becoming victims of circumstance. This solution will help break the cycle of poverty and homelessness: By providing an environment away from the dangerous and frightening world that is Skid Row, [Hope Gardens Family Center is where] children can live safely with their mothers, and families [can therefore be kept] together.
Andrew J. Bales
President, Union Rescue Mission
Love Thy Neighbors
I was interested in the response to Marc Cooper’s article about the Good Samaritans aiding the illegal immigrants [Letters, March 3–9]. Anyone who would deny these “illegals” humanitarian aid is sorely lacking in compassion.
The Mexicans and other Latinos are coming to this country because the labor force will employ them. That is the only reason, and Americans continue to promote a double standard, i.e., let the Hispanics do all the hard and dirty labor Americans don’t want to do and pay them off the books if possible while pissing and moaning about the drain on the taxpayers’ resources.
Immigration made this country great, and it will continue to do so. Need I remind those who don’t know their history that almost every immigrant group was discriminated against when they first came to this country, from the Germans, Italians, Russians and Irish a century ago to the Vietnamese in more recent times? Not to mention California’s attempts to reject the “Okies” who entered the state after the great Dust Bowl tragedies of the 1930s.
Marc Cooper’s piece [“Weekend Warriors,” March 10–16] was nothing short of great. It was both balanced and revealing of the current mindset plaguing the Republican Party and its scandal-ridden problems, making it hard for it to remain a viable American political party.
I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat. While I favor the Democrats, I’m also terribly disappointed by them. I was once a Reagan Republican. One term was enough to convince me that he was not the man he presented himself to be. By the middle of [Bush Senior’s] presidency I defected. By the end of the Clinton presidency all bets were off. I liked Clinton and admired him for fighting to stay in office, and as a former president he’s been very busy trying to make life better for all Americans.
However, the Democratic Party openly betrayed any loyalty to its flawed president (name one who hasn’t been).
The Democratic Party has lately been nothing more than the anti-Bush party, and way too late to actually use Bush’s mistakes and his arrogance in its favor. They manage to have a negative tone while offering neither solutions nor the spirit to directly take on the Bush administration. I may not agree with them from an ideological point of view but I do sympathize with them. Indeed, as a former Republican-light supporter I feel their pain. Thanks for the honesty, and thanks for breaking the silence that has throttled this party over the past five years. It’s good to know that not all Republicans walk lockstep behind the Bush administration’s lead.