The below press release sheds light on what some have begun to call an overwrought hyper-focus on gangs by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief William Bratton. As the Weekly has reported, Villaraigosa and Bratton in 2007 hyped a fake “gang crisis”. It was bunk—as experts predicted, it was a one-year spike in gang activity, which has been dropping for years. Villaraigosa and Bratton earned great TV time, though, and then absurdly took credit a few weeks ago for putting a lid on the “crisis.”
As the press release about Melrose sadly illustrates, there's a downside to all this fakey Kabuki Theater by Villaraigosa and Bratton. During the time they've focused obsessively on gangs, they've all but ignored the tenets of the Broken Window Syndrome: if you allow small, unpleasant quality-of-life issues to fester, decay and entrenched crime will follow. But if you fight the small issues, even litter, neighborhoods will be sound.
Graffiti spreading in every neighborhood, long-term dumping of reeking garbage in South Central alleys, Abandoned Sofa Syndrome (I call it ASS) spreading citwide, urine-soaked and neglected sidewalks despite millions spent on “redeveloping” Hollywood Boulevard, 4,000 illegal billboards cluttering streets citywide, new and boldly illegal “supergraphics” being draped over landmark L.A. buildings, blatantly illegal begging allowed on scores of freeway ramps—and all of it exploding under Villaraigosa and Bratton.
Is it too late for Melrose, a surprising new victim of the Broken Window Syndrome? Or will this way late response turn things around? Today's press release gives some hope—at least for Melrose.
Contact: Peter Nichols, Coordinator, Melrose Clean Up
RESIDENTS, LAPD, COMMUNITY
UNITE FOR MELROSE AREA
CLEAN UP DRIVE
In wake of recent crimes, neighbors, members of the Hollywood
Division of the Los Angeles Police Department, community groups and
local business owners mobilize for the first-ever Clean Up Day
of world-renowned Melrose District
Hollywood, CA – October 3, 2008 – Following a still unsolved homicide last March
along with a recent string of armed robberies that have gripped the Los Angeles Melrose District, LAPD Hollywood Division Captain Beatrice Girmala set forth a positive
community initiative with the Melrose Action Committee to hold Melrose Clean Up Day
on Sunday, October 5th, 2008.
The event is a call to action for area residents, business owners, city officials and
volunteers from outside the area to help clean up Melrose, world famous for its trendy
stores and visitors, by wiping out graffiti and litter in the streets and alleyways along
Melrose between Fairfax and La Brea Avenues.