An open letter to the Santa Monica City Council
Thanks for sharing these videos, Santa Monica Coalition. This is my neighborhood.
Council et al,
Really watch these two videos and what these women are saying. Take whatever opinions you have about where the videos came from and simply absorb them. I did. Right behind my fury came a surprising and deep sadness. These women, with babies, just trying to live their lives at the local park. The addicts, allowed to disintegrate and die on the streets under the empty promises and failed policies of "housing first" and "harm reduction." (Without any consideration of enforcement as a tool to get them into treatment).
The reality is our neighborhood a block east of Lincoln between Wilshire and Arizona has been invaded by drug dealers and the addicts they service. I have seen dealers in SUVs supplying drugs to dealers on bikes who spread out through the neighborhood and Reed Park. Joe, the CEO of Legion Security, and I saw a drug deal go down at the 7/11 as I was randomly walking the neighborhood with him. Easy to see here. The level of instability is pervasive and scary. Two nights ago I called the police on a maniac swinging a thick bike chain, threatening cars, smashing meters, etc.
Residents need to start reporting everything. Yes, it's a pain and takes time, but it's necessary. The police have to proactively arrest people for doing drugs in public. Confiscate their drugs, run warrants, arrest them over and over to drive them out of the neighborhood, and then out of the city. We need a narcotics force to go after dealers. Now, it's just open season on residents. I have to be on high alert just to walk to the gym on the promenade. That's not exaggeration. Get rid of the dealers, and the addicts will go elsewhere. But if we don't get proactive, these addicts pictured in the second video end up in drug psychosis and then they get violent for no reason. I've been attacked twice in two years, all within two blocks of our condo. The last knock-out punch attempt came out of nowhere, with no warning.
Really watch these and listen:
Anyway, this is not the message I want to send 5 days before Christmas. I don't want to be the one talking about our failure. I want to walk to the promenade unafraid of being attacked. I want to live in a neighborhood that isn't an open-air drug market. It doesn't seem to be too much to ask to go to the 7-11 without taking your life in my hands.
But I feel like I'd have better luck asking Santa for help! Let's all aim to work together and do better next year. I'm here if any of you still disbelieve your eyes and want a guided tour. You think you know what's happening here; I promise you, you don't.
Something has to change and the first step is getting control of the streets.