Efforts to Fix Up Skid Row


In regard to your story, “City Rules May Shutter Hotels For Homeless” (July 10): It is unfortunate that following several recent zoning cases in the Skid Row area, several business owners decided to attack the city instead of spending their combined energy and resources to attack the things that make the Skid Row community unsafe.

No neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles should be made to tolerate the horrific conditions that thrive in this community. This is a neighborhood, made up of a mosaic of people who live and work here. The working poor, immigrants, senior citizens and families with children live here, as do people who are homeless, mentally disabled or in recovery from alcohol or drug abuse. Just because someone fits these categories, they should not have to tolerate these incredibly dangerous conditions.

Contrary to the business owners’ assertion that we are trying to rid the area of poor people, we insist that poor people be entitled to the same rights and level of safety and decency as everyone else.

Now that problem locations have been identified, it is really ironic that some property owners have decided to contest the investigations and challenge the city’s right to investigate. If businesses are located in an area where a lot of nuisance activity is occurring, and if it spills onto their premises, they have to respond and make it as safe as possible.

There are many units in Skid Row that are underutilized because people fear living in these hotels. Cleaning up the area only makes the housing more available to the working poor and people with special needs. We are disheartened by the current “us against them” mentality that a few business owners have chosen to take. However, we are optimistic that there will be plenty of opportunities for partnership for all stakeholders in Skid Row to brainstorm and develop shared solutions, whether for security or financing.



United Coalition East Prevention Project

No hotels will be shuttered on “Skid Row.” Rather, these targeted facilities can and will be converted to clean, affordable housing in a revitalized downtown Los Angeles.

Any friction caused by the United Coalition East Prevention Project has not only sparked a blaze which shed light on the long-festering problems in Central City East, but also generated enough heat in City Hall to set healing efforts in motion. After nearly a generation of a “hands off” attitude, many unscrupulous absentee business owners increasingly took advantage of the low-income, disenfranchised and homeless citizens in our neighborhood while at the same time driving many legitimate business owners to the wall.

Our coalition’s goal is to close the gap between sentiment and commitment when the chips are down concerning improving business and living conditions in this area so close to the heart of the Civic Center.

Please examine the public records on a case-by-case basis prior to making any judgments on proposed remedial actions by the city.



Kotkin and McCarthy

I am not and never have been a communist. I am a businessman, a human being and a person who has feelings for other people. I read Joel Kotkin’s article of July 10 (“Loony Lefties”) and felt great resentment at his McCarthy-like words, such as “lefties, socialists, radicals, Bolshevik, Marxists,” etc., all of which are inflammatory. I thought we had gotten rid of McCarthy 30 years ago apparently we have a new one.

If Mr. Kotkin does not approve of something or someone, let him state his position in an objective presentation and not by inciting emotions of hate. Everyone is entitled to his or her viewpoint, even Mr. Kotkin and Ms. (Jackie) Goldberg. This does not mean people should be verbally abusive or fertilize the fields of hate, bigotry and McCarthyism.


Santa Monica

Vote for Missakian

“Geffen’s Vanishing Act Irks Confab Planners” (July 17) is interesting as far as the Democratic Convention is concerned. However, and unfortunately, movie money does make the rounds in our state’s local districts, fueling the pocketbooks of outside candidates who are running for office in districts where they are not even familiar with the local issues.

The race for state Assembly in the 43rd District (Glendale) is closely fought. Analysts in Los Angeles think that the Armenian vote decides the outcome. In actuality, the state will only benefit if the brightest person is elected. Given this, Republican Craig Missakian, a candidate with a proven, tested record as a criminal prosecutor, is the best person to fill the seat.

A permanent Glendale resident, Missakian’s knowledge concerning local issues has earned him a reputation for being a strong debater. Finally, his own Armenian roots in the area go back to the 1930s, when his middle-class grandfather moved here to become a cabinet maker.


Century City

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