Who the hell do you people think you are questioning the mayor of Los Angeles…this isn’t some small town out in the desert somewhere
An interesting study by UCLA Law Professor Gary Blasi casts doubt about whether the mayor’s highly-touted plan to blanket skid row with cops was worth it in terms of crime reduction.
“Importantly, our study shows there was no
statistically significant effect on serious, violent crime in Skid Row,
with the exception of a very small effect as to the crime of robbery,”
Biasi tell the Daily News.
What he found was that the 50 extra cops pulled off patrol from all around the city has resulted in roughly 50 less robberies — one per cop — and that crime in other categories was down to the same degree it is everywhere in the city He also suggests that more people actually living in homes downtown and “walking on the streets…serves to deter crime” among the homeless.
Fair enough but that kind of talk gets under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s skin and doesn’t help him in his one-issue quest for a coronation instead of an election in March.
“The Blasi report plays games with the numbers
in order to achieve a desired outcome and totally ignores the real
progress made on the streets,” Szabo said. “A 60 percent drop in
homicides might not be ‘significant’ to some in the academic world, but
it’s a life-and-death issue for the residents of Skid Row.
“The mayor makes no apologies whatsoever for slashing violent crime in a neighborhood which had been neglected for decades.”
Speaking of getting under people’s skin…I don’t know why former Mayor Jim Hahn gets so angry whenever I say something
So there I was downtown at City Hall Thursday morning participating in a panel on charter reform, part of the L.A. Chamber of Commerce’s L.A. Access program that attracted about 500 people.
George Kieffer, the attorney and former Chamber head who somehow got charter reform through a political thicket a decade ago, moderated the discussion with UC Irvine Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, SEIU leader Julie Butcher, City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, Neighborhood Empowerment GM BongHwan Kim, Hahn and myself.
The others had a generally positive take on charter reform while acknowledging some problems depending on their point of view. Not being able to control myself as usual, I called it “a disaster” but said it was worth the price because it sparked a grassroots democracy movement for the first time in L.A. history.
Suddenly, the man sitting next to me, Hahn, exploded. I don’t know why I seem to get under his skin. Perhaps, it was the occasional criticisms I offered in the Daily News of his lackluster leadership as mayor and the fact it had something to do with his achieving the impossible — losing a re-election bid.
Here’s how Dave Zahniser in the Times saw it:
“Always more of a politician than Hahn, Kaye worked the populist themes
that he had embraced for years, describing city government as
systemically corrupt…’The city has never had democratic institutions in its whole history. It’s been ruled by narrow elites from Day One.’
“That was too much for Hahn, who rolled his eyes and audibly groaned. ‘We haven’t had democratic institutions in the city of Los Angeles?’ he
“After staying quiet a few more minutes, Hahn spoke up: ‘I think I’m
a living example of how democracy works. I was denied a second term. If we didn’t have democracy, I probably wouldn’t be on this
I could have made a crack about how having a father named Kenny Hahn who was L.A.’s most popular and well-connected politician for 40 years helped but I’m too much of a gentleman.
An hour later I was at the Justice Armand Arabian public service awards banquet where I was being honored along with such truly deserving people as Gerald Turpanjian, Jayne Shapiro, Greg Baker, Greig Smith, Tommy Lasorda and Daryl Gates.
Now, if there’s anyone in L.A. public life who has reason to be unforgiving of my wicked ways, it’s the former police chief. My attacks on his chief-for-life status and the excesses of the old LAPD started back in the early 80s at the Herald-Examiner and kept up to the day he was forced from office.
But time can heal all wounds and we shook hands and chatted a while as if we were old friends.