Crenshaw's elected officials are listening. Crenshaw's Mayor is not.For
the past year, the Los Angeles black community has been trying to
negotiate a suitable and acceptable plan to mitigate traffic and
business disruption around the construction of the Crenshaw/LAX rail
line that will be coming down Crenshaw. Like every other community
that has been impacted (or will be impacted) by permanent
transportation infrastructure, the Crenshaw community should be
heard, listened to and cooperated with on something that will effect
their lives, the lives of their children and their children's
rail infrastructure will be around for 100 years. Once it's done,
it's done. It will be around longer than the politicians and experts
that planned it, constructed it and cut the ribbon. Once that's done,
it's the people's lives that will be disrupted and disgusted over the
impediments and inconveniences caused by undesirable, and unwanted,
transportation design. Crenshaw's elected officials are listening.
Crenshaw's Mayor is not. He hasn't heard us, and he ain't hearing us.
But I BET he'll hear this. His ballot initiative to pay for his
darling “Subway to the sea” dream gets a NO from us.
Antonio Villaraigosa pitched the federal government with this lofty
plan of building 30 years worth of transportation infrastructure. He
floated a bond measure, Measure R, in 2008, that would raise
approximately $35 billion dollars over 30 years with a half cent
sales tax earmarked for transportation projects. The black community
overwhelming supported Measure R, in hopes of getting its long
awaited Crenshaw Rail line built, a line first proposed 26 years ago
analysts said the black community vote was the tipping point for
Measure J in Southern California's highly anti-taxation environment.
However, when the ballot measure passed, all parts of the county came
with dream projects and demands for the money grab. The reward to the
black community was to finish the controversial Expo Line and put a
bus line down Crenshaw. If it wasn't for the effort of Supervisor
Mark Ridley-Thomas, demanding the rail line stay on the table, the
black community would have seen essentially nothing for their vote to
tax themselves. Instead, the reward has been a rail line, but a rail
line with a design the community doesn't support, and a “take it or
leave it” attitude from the Mayor.
Mayor, we have to keep reminding (kicking) ourselves that our
community put in office. A Mayor hell bent on trying to complete 12
transportation projects in ten years. He pitched President Obama to
sign the America Fast Forward bill this past summer that would offer
up $105 billion dollars in loans for stalled and unfunded turnkey
transportation projects. Still, no love for the Crenshaw/LAX line.
$545 million was set aside for the Leimert Park stop that he made
conditional to the design if the money was found. Still no effort to
take a highly disruptive rail line thru the middle of a commerce
starved Hyde Park business district - essentially assuring its
demise. With this facing a disgusted community, Villaraigosa has the
audacity to float another half cent tax bond to complete current
projects - not including the Crenshaw/LAX project. Let's me get this
straight - you want the black community to tax itself, until the year
2069, for transportation projects that won't impact nor improve our
that's straight-up JACKING. Robin Hood in reverse. Take from the poor
and give to the rich. Who are the rich in Los Angeles? Say it with me
now, “The Westside.”
every other community that has been impacted (or will be impacted) by
permanent transportation infrastructure, the Crenshaw community should
be heard, listened to and cooperated with on something that will effect
their lives, the lives of their children and their children's children.Villaraigosa's
Measure J, which the community is now calling, “Measure Jackin'
Us,” essentially is a tax to help Villaraigosa fulfill “his
dream” of a subway to the sea - which runs from downtown to Santa
Monica, and runs underground when the community said so. So, again -
it's all about him - and the rest of the city, particularly the
Southside and the Eastside that will have to pay without sufficient
return on its investment. Why should these communities always be
expected to negotiate away their dignity - or have some suit
negotiate it away for them. The Space Shuttle was pretty - but not
for our community to lose four hundred trees. Yeah, they'll replace
them two to one, but what do we breath 20 years in the meantime? What
replaces the oxygen in the time it takes for trees to be planted and
become full grown? Oh, nobody thought that through, huh? Other
communities did. That's why it went down Crenshaw.
can only put so much on one community before they have to draw a line
in the sand. The Crenshaw Community did that with Villaraigosa months
ago. He danced all over it and smiled. Now he's trying to tax us for
65 years and still smiling. Well, smile at this…
ON Measure J. Tell your friends, family, people you don't like. Vote
Obama, Jackie Lacey and NO on Measure J. Shout from the mountain
tops, and the street corners. Hold up signs, and have a candle vigil.
There's something for everybody to do on this one. But it's time.
stop the jacking that about to occur on South L.A. If MTA can't find
money for a Leimert Park stop and a tunnel at 48th,
we can't find a vote on Measure J. S**t just got real…
No on Measure J.
Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad, is a national columnist, managing
director of the
The Race: Empowerment Through Wisdom.
His Website is AnthonySamad.com.
contact Dr. Samad.