Takes issue with Waters’ proposal for foreclosure moratorium

To the Editor:

RE: “Rep. Waters requests moratorium on foreclosuresŠ” (Argonaut, Oct. 21):

I found it very interesting and disingenuous, Rep. Maxine Waters’ demanding of a moratorium on foreclosures.

Now that the chickens have come home to roost, Waters wants the banks to forgo foreclosures. In essence, Waters and her Democratic pals were allegedly the cause of the problem and now want to be the solution, while blaming former President Bush.

Time to clean out the chicken coop and put all these fat birds in the pot. Enough already.

Andre’ Belotto, Los Angeles

Tries to set record straight on comments on homelessness problem

To the Editor:

RE: “Addresses Venice residents on homelessness concerns” (Argonaut letters, Oct. 14):

As often happens with contentious issues, someone with an opposite opinion will always take your words out of context and try to twist them to their own purposes. Therefore, it becomes necessary to set the record straight.

First off, in my Sept. 30 letter, I did not compare Venice to Darfur and Rwanda – as implied in the Oct. 14 retort – thinking that there is any correlation between the situations here and there, but said: “Housing is a human right. It is established and accepted international law for 62 years that we are bound to as a human race and it is valid right here in Venice, just as much as it is in Darfur, or Rwanda.”

The importance of this statement is that people very readily recognize the rights of other people half a world away, but then turn a blind eye when those same rights interfere with an agenda close to home.

While we are on the subject though, perhaps a comparison should be made, because if you are a homeowner, or even a renter, in Venice, your standard of living is already in the top percentile of this planet and you should feel fortunate and grateful for what you have, instead of carrying around some sense of entitlement that looks down on others for having less.

The writer of the Oct. 14 response also notes that “the residents of Venice are the most liberal and caring community in Los Angeles,” which is in part true. Those who are standing up and defending the rights of the poor and disenfranchised of this community are very caring, and I applaud their efforts.

However, I find it very disingenuous and insulting for those, who are guided by their own self-interests, who are pushing this city to further criminalize poverty, with no care or regard for the well-being of the poorest and weakest in our own community to dare try to pick up the cup of “progressive” as their own.

Solutions abound. And the resources do too. Venice homeowners applaud the introduction of 21 new police officers to the LAPD Pacific division, yet fail to calculate that – at $100,000 per officer, per year – that amounts to $2.1 million of our tax money that the city just invested into policing poverty. That’s $2.1 million that is not going into much needed social services that would directly help alleviate the problem of someone having to park in front of your house, due to a lack of having anywhere else to go.

And yes, homelessness is a national issue. What is happening here in Venice is being reported in the New York Times and in Europe too. What we do here has far reaching implications that could affect national policy for decades to come, so we had better get this right and the right thing to do is to provide the services that will help lift people up and improve their lives.

Not only is a social safety net necessary for all of us – for any of us could fall into a dire situation – we are all part of a connected community and whether we want to acknowledge it or not, none of us make it on our own – we are all helped through this life in one way or another by someone else – so yes, there is the responsibility. But moreover, providing the necessary housing and services is cheaper than a jail cell and all the associated costs around trying to police poverty.

Think about it; you can do the right thing and get a tax cut too. Isn’t that something worth putting your efforts behind, something that at the end of the day you can feel proud of yourself for supporting; something that you can hold up to your own children as an example of the right direction for the future that they too will one day help to shape?

It’s time to look at the bigger picture.

Mark Lipman, Venice