Los Angeles, a city of glamour, fame, and allure, has recently been marred by a series of shocking crimes. Once known as the playground for celebrities and the affluent, it's now a battlefield where safety is under siege.
Yesterday Aug 12th, 30 to 50 robbers swarmed the Nordstrom in Westfield Topanga Mall, leaving security guards doused in bear spray and taking off with $60,000 to $100,000 worth of luxury handbags and high-end clothing. This isn't an isolated incident. Just last week, a similar flash mob-style heist happened at a Yves Saint Laurent store in Glendale, with an estimated loss of $300,000.
These incidents are symptomatic of a broader issue plaguing the golden state: the skyrocketing cost of living. With rent and living expenses through the roof, more and more Californians are pushed to the brink. This desperation and inequality are seeping into our streets, manifesting in theft and violence.
Governor Newsom, It's Time for Change
Governor Gavin Newsom, these events are not just "property taken." They signify a loss of feeling safe. People across Los Angeles, especially in high-end neighborhoods, are left wondering, "Am I next?"
The blame doesn't entirely fall on the criminals. When the price of living is too high for most people, they resort to desperate measures. You, Governor Newsom, and the state's administration must take a hard look at the living conditions in California. We must address the root causes of these criminal acts, not just patch up the symptoms.
What Must Be Done?
1. Affordable Housing: Implementing policies that provide affordable housing opportunities to every Californian is paramount. No one should be priced out of their home state.
2. Job Creation: Focus on creating well-paying jobs that provide stability and economic growth. Let's bridge the income gap and offer hope to those feeling trapped.
3. Community Policing: Stronger community policing to rebuild trust and communication between law enforcement and neighborhoods will go a long way in maintaining safety.
4. Mental Health Support for All Ages, Especially Children and Young Adults: A comprehensive mental health overhaul is vital, but we must pay special attention to our children and young adults. A study by the National Institute of Mental Health reveals that an alarming percentage of youth are grappling with psychological issues stemming from troubled home-lives. Sometimes, their parents aren't around to help them, or, tragically, are contributing to their problems.
As a society, we must create a safe environment where our young people know they can talk to someone, whether it's a teacher, a counselor, or a helpline. We need targeted programs to support children whose parents might not be there for them, be it emotionally or physically. Investing in mental health today means a stronger, healthier future for California. By ensuring our children feel heard, understood, and guided, we foster a generation capable of empathy, resilience, and innovation.
Governor Newsom, let's transform California into a state where all can live without fear and where opportunity is not limited to the privileged few. It's time to heal our cities and empower our people. Let's make California golden once again.
Write to Governer Newsom, here https://www.gov.ca.gov/contact/
In the words of Mayor Karen Bass, "The Los Angeles Police Department will continue to work to not only find those responsible for this incident but to prevent these attacks on retailers from happening in the future.” It's time for you to do the same.
Stay safe, stay fabulous, and never let fear dim your sparkle, LA.
Melissa Stratton, signing off 💋