| How About A Raid On McArthur Park? |
By Walter Moore, Candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles, WalterMooreForMayor.com
August 23, 2008
Last Sunday, you will recall, City Hall staged an elaborate, multi-agency raid -- with air support, no less -- on Leimert Park, ostensibly to combat the scourge of illegal street vendors.
City Hall wants us to believe it was just one of those gosh-darn coincidences that, in all the 469 square miles within the City limits, this raid just happened to take place on a Sunday at the one park where, each Sunday for the past month, the Shaw Family has peaceably assembled to gather signatures to petition City Hall to put Jamiel's Law on the ballot. What are the odds?
City Hall, however, has not denied that one of the armed, uniformed City officers from LAPD or LAPD-lite (the "Office of Public Safety"), told the Shaws they could not gather signatures in a public park, and would instead have to go door-to-door. Excuse me for asking, but besides being totally wrong, what has that got to do with illegal vending?
City Hall likewise has not denied that its armed, uniformed officers demanded ID from the Shaws, asked for their Social Security Numbers, and told them they cannot give away bottled water.
A spokesman for the LAPD-lite appeared on Doug McIntyre's show (KABC 790, 5:00-9:00 a.m. weekdays) to explain the raid, and Rob Marinko asked him the $64,000 question: how often do you conduct these raids? The response was the audio equivalent of a deer caught in the headlights. He had no answer. From all that he said, and did not say, no raid like this had ever taken place.
So that brings me to my polite suggestion to Villaraigosa, City Council, Bratton, the Office of Public Safety, and everyone else who staged this SoCal version of Russia-invades-Georgia: it's time for some equal protection of the law, fellahs. Last Sunday, you "protected" the merchants and public in and around Leimert Park from street vendors. Tomorrow, you should equally protect the merchants and public in and around MacArthur Park from street vendors.
I mention this because of a delightful article in today's L.A. Times about all the street vendors around MacArthur Park. Let me quote a bit from it:
"Today, [the historic Westlake Theatre] is where Anaya sells laxatives and eye shadow to make a living. The 65-year-old Salvadoran stands by unfazed as wide-eyed history buffs pass her booth every week, tilting their heads in admiration toward the Rococo-style paintings on the ceiling."
"The area around MacArthur Park still bustles with the feel of an immigrant neighborhood, filled with street vendors and aging, densely packed apartment buildings."
"Many of the vendors [at an indoor swap meet], most of them Central Americans, look after one another's shops, share homemade meals and greet regulars by name. Conversations revolve around family, Central America and God. As reggaeton and rancheras blare from boom boxes, dozens of hawkers wander in weekly off the streets selling pupusas, gum and other items. Shoppers stream in every day for cheap deals such as $5 heels, $5 backpacks and $5 shirts."
So how about it, Mayor Villaraigosa? Will you enforce the vending laws in MacArthur Park the way you enforced them at Leimert Park? Will you send armed officers in uniforms, along with the health department, to demand that people produce valid ID, and ask them for their Social Security numbers? Will you spring for a helicopter to hover overhead, while you block off the streets, as you did at the park where the family whose son was murdered by an illegal alien gang banger gathers signatures because you insist on making our city a sanctuary for gangs?
We all know, of course, that Villaraigosa won't enforce laws in an "immigrant neighborhood." In Los Angeles, all illegal aliens are above the law, courtesy of Villaraigosa and the City Council. Our elected officials are so deeply committed to aiding and abetting illegal immigration, that they even insist on making our city a sanctuary for gang members. Has organized crime taken over City Hall? Is that why Big Weasel received $1.5 million of your tax dollars for his "anti-gang" program -- the year before federal authorities caught him arming his gang with machine guns and silencers? Is that why Villaraigosa and the City Council grant sanctuary to gang members?
Meanwhile, yet another emergency room has closed, namely, Century City Doctors Hospital. Ten others have closed in L.A. County in the past five years. Why do you suppose that is?
In any event, the brave, determined, heroic and truly inspirational Shaw family will be back in Leimert Park tomorrow, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., gathering signatures to pass a law to protect you and your children from preventable murders. I'll be there from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. If you have the time, please drop by and say "hello." Tell them how much you appreciate all they are doing to protect our families.