Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Gang Violence in Glassell Park

Glasell Park Community Meeting
Originally uploaded by CD-13.
Though Los Angeles is the safest that it has been in over half a century, gang violence is on the rise throughout the city. Glassell Park was recently touched by this violence. 16-year-old Melissa Paul was shot a few blocks away from the Rec Center while walking home with a few friends. Despite our best efforts in the area - including increased lighting along the street and the installation of security cameras - gang violence continues to hurt our community.

In response, Councilmember Jose Huizar and I met with almost two hundred concerned residents and the LAPD at the Recreation Center to discuss the on-going safety measures and gang intervention programs at work in the city. Residents spoke about how violence and crime still affected their lives, whether they'd heard gunshots at night, had their homes vandalized, or known someone who'd been shot. We heard from two Aztec Fire Crew members, former gang members who have turned their lives around and now fight fires, clear brush, and clean up graffiti. Their example can serve as an inspiration to those caught in the web of gang life, but it is up to us to bring these services to the individuals that need them most.

Every time we make progress against violence and lower crime rates, you’ll hear us say that even one life lost is too many. It's sincere and it's true. It's time to stamp out the last murder.