Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Watch the Video - I Dare You, Santa Monica City Council - Look at the True Effect of Free Needle Distribution in Our City

We feel abandoned by the city, and the county we elected to take care of us-residents who pay taxes, work hard, and just want to be able to safely walk in our neighborhood

Dear Council,

After attending the Friday meeting with LA County Health officials, I was given this vague and unsubstantiated "joint statement" from LA County and Santa Monica regarding the needle distribution in our parks (attached). How disappointing to learn that Santa Monica has supported this deeply confused policy, against the wishes of its residents, all along. The following word salad paragraph in particular has NO connection to reality or science that I can see, (and to be clear I'm all for Naloxone distribution, which actually works):

"Altogether, these harm reduction services are well demonstrated to reduce overdose deaths, REDUCE THE PUBLIC USE OF INJECTABLE DRUGS, reduce transmission of communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis, increased access to substance use serves, REDUCE THE USE OF EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES, and INCREASED PUBLIC SAFETY."

Almost all of the above is flat out untrue or unsubstantiated, but especially the parts in caps, which are a total lie for my neighborhood. We feel abandoned by the city, and the county we elected to take care of us-residents who pay taxes, work hard, and just want to be able to safely walk in our neighborhood. And to add insult to injury, now Barbara Ferrer and Gary Tsai won't release the video of Friday's meeting, which is a total outrage. (Although understandable given the condescension, high-handedness and mediocrity of their performance-I also wouldn't want that out if I were them).

I've railed enough about this before, so I will let a short video this view of Reed Park from The Santa Monica Coalition this week paint the picture. It's powerful because it's in one take, uncut, and shows every inch of the park overtaken by addicts taking drugs, or flopped out high recovering from drugs. I dare you to watch it and not be flabbergasted at the surrender of our commons.

Gleam, we had a long breakfast last week in which you said things weren't so bad in the parks, trains, and buses. I invite you, or anybody else, to join me for a walk. Or, if not that bit of active participation, at least LOOK at the above video link. Watch it again. This is what TOTAL FAILURE ON EVERY LEVEL looks like. I've been going on about this for 6 years and the problem in my neighborhood has only gotten worse.

Arthur Jeon

Addicts hanging out at Miles Playhouse - is this why taxpayers funded its restoration?

What does it take to try something new? The Council's insistence on funding ineffectual non-profits to the tune o 53 million dollars a year, while crying poorhouse when it comes to spending a fraction of that to hire 20 more sworn officers so we can reignite the plainclothes unit to go after drug dealers, is incomprehensible. And as unbelievable as the claims that the needle distribution program "increases public safety." Your inaction to take this obvious step belies a deep suspicion of policing that leaks out of half our council. You worry about over-policing, racist policing, police brutality-in short, none of the issues we have in Santa Monica's professional and integrated force. It also reveals the luxury beliefs of those who don't have to live with the consequences, including the black communities in LA county begging for more police. Including me and my neighbors.

Watch the video and tell me you've succeeded, or that it's not a problem, or that we're making headway. I dare you.


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