Bloom

 

Sometimes when I’m out walking, I look around and marvel at how great Los Angeles can be. Our sweet neighborhoods hold every type of house and mostly good people. I love seeing what folks have done to their homes and how they deal with drought in their landscaping. Mostly, I enjoy this city when I’m out walking. I lay claim to it, and it lays claim to me.

 

Road Closed

 

But not always. Los Angeles, like a lot of the country, is injured. And I’m not talking about nature, with her drought and fire damage. I’m referring to our staggering homeless population and city policies that have contributed to it. Rubber-stamping high-priced developments continues to diminish affordable housing here. Hell – the bunkers going up by our home wiped out the character-filled, affordable homes that once added to our neighborhood. The ugly-ass structures now towering over our street leave me wondering which hideous box will serve as the local fall-out shelter. (They really are that heinous, y’all.) And the unprofessional, callous behavior of the developers themselves is appalling. But I guess they donate to the right campaigns, as they continue to enjoy free rein in this town, regardless of their conduct or product.

 

It’s “development” like what’s taking place in our neighborhood that is tarnishing my adopted hometown. Now, when I walk around, I see the cracks. I see the failures of our leaders and the trickle-down effect. The photo above captures this perfectly. When the powers that be dump on their constituents, the constituents dump on their surroundings. It ain’t right and I don’t like it. But there’s no denying it’s happening. And no matter how sweet the neighborhood, no one is immune.

 

I’m trying hard to remember to bloom where I’m planted. And I am definitely planted, y’all. Today – like every day – will find a busload of arriving souls, starry-eyed and hopeful for dreams of L.A. And for her part, Los Angeles will deliver what she can. But she’s not perfect, and those who govern her are as flawed as anyone can be. So while those of us who choose to plant ourselves here get great weather, we also get the weight of the city. And for as long as we remain, we must carry it. That isn’t new. I’ve known that since day 1. It’s just that sometimes, well, it’s hard to bloom where you’re planted when the bloom is off the rose.

Dear City of L.A. Housing

 

 

Dear City of L.A. Housing–

 

It has come to my attention that someone is using your good name in jest. I realized this when I saw a sign (shown above) touting “3 out of 4 LA rental units are rent-controlled.” The sign was prominently posted in a subway station in downtown Los Angeles. It wasn’t hidden and was quite accessible and well-lit.

 

The reason I’m writing is to let you know that some comedian has clearly used your name without your permission. 3 out of 4 rentals is rent-controlled? That’s hilarious (and I do give props to the comic who came up with this). We all know this number is ridiculous, given that developers are tearing down reasonably-priced rentals at an alarming rate, and good people – all over the city – are being evicted because of this. Actually, now that I think about it, this sign isn’t so funny after all. I know people who are being or have been evicted. They’re not having much luck finding housing, let alone rent-controlled housing. And I’m talking about people who work hard to pay their bills. People we rely on for various services in this sprawling town. I’m guessing that not one of them would find the work of this anonymous comic to be funny. This sign, for them, probably serves only to rub salt in their wounds.

 

At any rate, you may want to locate this sign and remove it. After all, your agency is being credited with something you clearly have not achieved. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be perceived as anything more than you are. Helpful, effective – those words shouldn’t be applied to your “work” without your consent or applicable actions. And as far as I or my many displaced friends can tell, your agency in no way deserves the implied credit of this fake sign.

 

Good luck with that.

 

Your pal–

Mikki B.