Up In The Valley, a thoughtful photo blog from the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, looks at the North Hollywood subway station and sees the area deteriorating. We lived in the Valley in 1993 when the station opened. It was squeaky clean new and quite safe. Now, maybe not so much? And this isn’t a localized situation. Those who make public policy would never dream of living someplace where parolees roam freely. Instead they are cloistered in expensive homes along the coastline or in gated communities with guards. They’ve probably never been to Van Nuys, much less ridden the subway.
You can feel it out there on the street now. Twenty years of sound public policy going up in smoke.
Along the Metrolink tracks, where I once saw two or three parolees and drug addicts during a single walk, I now see twenty.
The distance between those who effect policy and shape our discussion of it, to use a term of art), and the rest of us has become unsustainably wide. There is a particular species of American who waxes sanctimonious about Social Justice but would never tolerate Section 8 tenants on his block for five minutes. They love chewing on phrases like mass incarceration, comfortable in the knowledge the parolees are headed for Van Nuys. Such people are ascendant now.
The chaos is coming west.
I’m old enough to have seen this movie before. It doesn’t end well.