Much has been made on this site of the inane, insane, and utterly dangerous policies of Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón and his pursuit of criminal rights above all. However, he is not alone among Los Angeles politicos in believing that a progressive utopia of lollipop dreams and a cotton candy sky are but a few billion more taxpayer dollars poured into social engineering projects away. Joining him in this windmill jousting effort is recently appointed LA Metro head Stephanie Wiggins, who this past Wednesday offered her own vision of The Way Things Ought To Be, discarding such nonessential factors as logic or facts.
Stephanie Wiggins, new CEO at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, announced Wednesday that the agency will stop relying on police as the primary means of responding to unhoused people on the transportation system.
“Under my leadership, we will pursue new and more effective ways of addressing homelessness,” Wiggins said during the authority’s state of the agency event. “We will address unhoused people on our system with compassion and dignity. We will collaborate with our city and community partners and social services.”
Wiggins said law enforcement should serve to provide support for Metro’s PATH homeless outreach teams, which function as the primary contact in outreaching to unhoused individuals, though not be the first point of contact with unhoused people on the Metro system.
The teams at Metro Path consist of mental health clinicians, former homeless individuals and other key staff to help unhoused people find temporary or permanent housing services, as well as linking them to other much-needed services.
Okay, let’s break this down.
First, we have the new buzzword. Remember when illegal aliens magically morphed overnight into undocumented immigrants? Now, instead of homeless or transients we have (drum roll, please) unhoused people! It’s either the new PC term or the latest raging favorite chic boutique on Rodeo Drive.
Snark aside, given how many homeless are suffering from severe mental illness, on the surface this appears to not be the worst idea in human history. Unfortunately, reality intrudes with the thoroughly documented propensity of said individuals toward irrational and ofttimes violent behavior. This should make it obvious that something stronger than “Hey buddy, I feel your pain” will usually be required to negate said people toward being a threat to themselves and others. Wiggins has the order backward: first, prevent the threat, then start with the treatment – which by L.A. standards should run about $746K per person.
Moving on. Wiggins wants to greatly increase the use of public transportation among young people, this in direct response to the greatly increased comfort level most adults feel on a bus or train filled with teenagers (/sarc):
Wiggins said she hopes that engaging with young people and incorporating their input into the system will help create “a system they can be proud of, one they want to ride and (be) personally invested in.”
Oh, but let’s not forget the true goal of public transportation — affordable housing! Enter Los Angeles County Supervisor and newly appointed Chair of Metro Board of Directors Hilda Solis, who served as Barack Obama’s Secretary of Labor:
Solis also used her address Wednesday to outline her goals as chair, and she called for building more affordable housing near transit lines to prevent low-income and vulnerable communities from being displaced.
The Metro Board of Directors, which Solis was already a part of, voted on June 24 to update its Joint Development Policy to prioritize building 100% income-restricted housing on unused Metro-owned land.
Because publicly funded stack-and-pack housing on top of usually overloaded public transportation lines dramatically improves the quality of life for all involved.
As to, say, maybe improving or adding on to the legendary for all the wrong reasons L.A. freeway system? Oh, p’shaw!
She (Solis) also called for re-imagining Metro’s highway program, saying that traditional highway widening projects pollute neighborhoods and cause displacement.
“Just look at the communities of Boyle Heights and unincorporated East Los Angeles — the 101, the 10, the 5, the 60, and the 710 — all these freeways plow through these neighborhoods and were intentionally built here at the height of the federal highway investment. These tangles of freeways displaced thousands of residents and they divide neighborhoods and concentrate pollution in these communities,” she said.
Solis called for using highway investment dollars to benefit all people who use the roads, and she noted that Metro’s board took action in June to allow Measure R and Measure M funding to be used for projects that support cyclists, transit riders and all who use the road along with motorists.
Apparently, Ms. Solis’ limo driver never gets off of SoCal city streets.
While it is almost too easy to lampoon these maroons for their empty-headed fantasies of how things ought to be, the sobering fact is these are the people running the local government, placed there by brainless voters selecting candidates based on identity politics and its corresponding mantra of sticking it to “the man” who is responsible for all that ails society. The problem is “the man” is the one who is writing the checks to pay for this nonsense, and the man is actively scanning employment boards and real estate websites looking for somewhere to live where he and his family can actually enjoy life and keep their own money. Margaret Thatcher’s hard truths about the problems with socialism have never been more spot on. The checkbook is leaving town, and all Gascón, Wiggins, Solis, and variations thereof will be left with is raging against the moving vans headed away from L.A. while those to whom they promised endless free stuff are at their front gates demanding the loot.