Dear New Residents of L.A.: Please Participate | KCET
Dear New Residents of L.A.: Please Participate
On Wednesday there was a naturalization ceremony in downtown Los Angeles, so here's a big welcome to our city! The city of traffic jams, plastic people, air pollution and drive-thru cafes. What's not to love? In the words of Woody Allen's "Annie Hall," "I don't want to move to a city where the only cultural advantage is being able to make a right turn on a red light."
But Los Angeles is more than Hollywood and a perceived lack of substance. It is a city on the edge, literally. As Mike Davis wrote in Ecology of Fear, "The entire world seems to be rooting for Los Angeles to slide into the Pacific or be swallowed by the San Andreas fault." To live in Los Angeles is to be somewhere and someplace, and be acutely aware of fragility.
More than a city forever between natural disasters, Los Angeles has been described as a place with no center. Both mentally and physically this is true. We have no place where we all coalesce. Los Angeles is indeed the antithesis of the community with a town square. What that means is that we share few experiences. The experience of residents in the westside may be more akin to residents of San Francisco or parts of New York than that of residents of the eastside.
But I wouldn't live anywhere else, and yesterday I received a huge antidote to my usual cynicism at the naturalization ceremony. Almost fifty-five hundred people showed up, either to become citizens or to cheer on friends or family members who did. What do we say to a group of people whose goal is to become naturalized citizens? I think we say, "welcome to this fragile place, help us make it stronger." A democracy only works, or at least works better than the alternatives, if people participate. Let's hope our newest citizens do just that.
Unless politicians strengthen emergency tenant protection laws to include forgiveness for back rent owed, experts and advocates warn that Los Angeles (and California) could see a huge surge in homelessness in the near future.
When the "Safer at Home" orders went into effect, there was worry for the community's seniors, a cohort that tends to shop on an as-needed basis, often on foot, in the few dozen square blocks in and around Chinatown or Lincoln Heights.
Fifteen more deaths from coronavirus were reported today in Los Angeles County, raising the total to 147, while the overall number of cases went up by 420 as the county entered what officials expect to be one of the worst weeks in terms of virus spread.
Los Angeles McDonald’s Restaurant Workers Strike, Demand Sick Leave After Co-Worker Tests Positive for COVID-19
Workers at a Los Angeles McDonald's restaurant walked off their jobs Monday for a second day, demanding the company pay them for two weeks while they self-quarantine following the disclosure that a female co-worker tested positive for COVID-19.
- 1 of 259
- next ›