By Monica Showalter, American Thinker
Santa Monica is one of my old stomping grounds from my years in Los Angeles.
So when I heard the place was becoming unliveable, same as all the other blue cities, I wanted to learn what had changed:
According to Jim Thompson, writing at RedState:
So what is it like in Santa Monica now? It depends on who you ask. If you ask Los Angeles Times reporters reviewing statistics, Santa Monica is a relative garden of Eden. The Times did a dive into police calls and, according to their review, it’s trending down. It spiked during the George Floyd riots when rioters looted and burned the city. But forget about that. The Times wants you to know that statistics show that it is so much better now. Police responses, arrests, and encounters are down.
There is a group of Santa Monica businesses and residents who see it differently. They’ve witnessed a lot of aggressive homeless, sex workers, and drug dealing. They want the world to know that there is a problem. They put up a sign that says:
Santa Monica IS NOT safe,” it reads, above a second sign with the words “Crime … depravity … outdoor mental asylum.”
Which is dramatic stuff, given that these merchants are all blue-city lefties who vote Democrat. Their billboard protest, which I’ve never seen done in those parts, is comparable to the tax strike going on among the gay businesses of San Francisco’s Castro district. The little guys are screaming first because they are hit hardest.
And what might the problem be that renders this city unsafe?
Seems the bums, who are normally always present in the city, have gotten a strengthened entitlement mentality and are now aggressively going after shops, customers, foot traffic, and anyone in their vicinity. Pay them money for drugs, or they’ll cut you.
RedState’s Bob Hoge last month wrote about how bad it had gotten:
Once the jewel of SoCal, progressive politics and corrupt bureaucrats have turned Santa Monica into the 6th most dangerous city in California.
Police on Thursday night arrested a homeless man suspected of stabbing two people at Santa Monica’s Ocean Front Walk Park, according to the city’s police department. The man, now identified as 26-year-old Jamal K. Lampitt, stabbed the first victim multiple times near a public restroom after a failed robbery attempt, then knifed a second male on a bike several times for “no apparent reason.”
Sadly, this is not unusual these days. Luckily both victims are recovering in the hospital and are expected to survive:
Apparently, no one can go out at night. Daytime is probably O.K., provided you avoid the panhandlers and passed-out bums, but at night, the city turns into an obstacle course to avoid assaults and killings. It’s got a crime rate now like Compton’s.
Which is shocking, because it’s such a beautiful. human-friendly area, utterly walkable, replete with shops, restaurants, the beach, biking, sports, beautiful old hotels to meet friends for drinks, spas, used clothing shops with rich-people discards, yoga studios, young people, theatres, walkways, gardens, and beauty parlors. Best of all, unlike next-door Los Angeles, the city has excellent parking, with tons of conveniently located city garages and parking lots, which you pay for, but at a perfectly reasonable price.
Apparently, it’s a no-go zone now, particularly at night, roughly parallel with the nightmare that San Francisco has become.
The most telling thing is about this slide downward is the indifference of the officials:
According to Thompson, taking us back to the merchant billboards:
The city of Santa Monica disagrees:
“We care deeply about the success of Santa Monica businesses. It’s sad that a small group of landlords are working against our collective success through signage at the very moment when small businesses are welcoming holiday customers.”
They are all leftied up, pretending a problem that exists to the point that people are buying up billboard space to advertise their grievances, is non-existent, just a little local noise from the dreaded landlord class, which they hate just for being that.
They call names. They claim a problem does not exist. They do nothing but deny, which is redolent of the blather Chesa Boudin was spewing before he was thrown out by the voters in San Francisco in his recall, or the denial of the Bidenites of any border crisis or problem with inflation.
The old Santa Monica lefties of the People’s Republic of Santa Monica used to know how to make the city liveable even as they mouthed their leftist nonsense. These lefties are the modern kind — corrupt, in denial, and letting their domain go to hell in a handbasket, insulting the complainers making their way for the door.
That’s what the left has become now, and Santa Monica had the driest tinder out there for the great descent into blue-city hellhole status, as so many have done.
Well, now the city leaders have achieved that, so too bad about the high taxes the residents pay and the falling real estate values that come of making a formerly nice city into a city of bums. The bums are aggressive and entitled now, but not nearly as aggressive and entitled as the city officials who wrecked that place.
Who are the real bums here?