The investigation is widening to include grand jury testimony by several state legislators. More records of contractors have been subpoenaed. Behind the corruption probe are the ties between small time politicians and big city political operatives.
Termed-out state legislators fill city council seats that would have been filled in the past by crusaders, activists, and community organizers. Conflict is muted in a body that has begun to look like an adjunct to Sacramento. And that's not a good thing.
According to Rick Cole, "Simply speeding up the dysfunctional (development approval) process is clearly not the solution." And Ron Kaye says the result will be "a revolutionary change that allows every project to be put up for sale to fund political corruption."
CEQA - the state's increasingly beleaguered environmental review process - empowers neighborhood residents to question development plans. Will a question of parking put new teeth in the law at the expense of streamlining the process?
Skid Row is a "Petri dish" for cultivating human misery. That now includes a strain of tuberculosis that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had tagged as unique to downtown. What began as a "health crisis" has become a "moral crisis."
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