Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Keeping Parks Open During Summer=Safer Neighborhoods

When we started At The Park After Dark two summers ago, we suspected that safe, interesting, and educational alternatives to the streets would help keep young Angelenos safe. When the mayor embraced this model during his State of the City Speech this year, I was very excited. We immediately worked with the mayor to keep the existing program in Glassell Park and to expand the model to two more locations in our district. The mayor also took this model (with the name Summer Night Lights), and expanded it citywide.

Well, thanks Mayor Villaraigosa! We now have evidence that this program works--crime was down this summer around the parks where these programs were in effect. Thanks, too, to the amazing youth workers, volunteers, community groups, and local residents who gave of their time to make sure that our parks are places for safety and learning during some of the toughest hours of the summer. This, combined with the ongoing work of our brave LAPD officers, made Summer 2008 one of the safest summers this city has had in decades.