I’d be lying to you if I said I’m not intrigued by the upcoming Sheriff’s election in Los Angeles County.
If we’re being honest I like Sheriff Alex Villanueva and I know this message isn’t widely appreciated amongst “establishment” Democrats, but one has to wonder is this disdain or abricated disgust against Sheriff Villanueva and his tenure is warranted or a carefully crafted ” campaign” because he won’t allow himself or his office to be manipulated by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors or for that matter any other elected official who uses law enforcement to create angst and division amongst the citizens to further their own political ambitions.
In fact without much effort one could easily dispute and find the holes in this ” narrative” of Sheriff Villanueva being this evil villain, but I think time would be better served discussing what he has done right, and should be improved upon. We have to begin to do the heavy lifting it takes to deal with the biggest known secret that is disturbing social order in Los Angeles County, and beyond, which is our collective responsibility as a community to address homelessness and mental health.
2UrbanGirls we are better than this and in this moment in time we would be committing collectively as a society, an unforgivable sin, by continuing to not acknowledge the lack of urgency towards addressing homelessness and mental health. It has, to a certain degree, numbed us and desensitized us to the point of submission. When “chaos” has been accepted as the new norm, we as a community will deal with the assured ” carnage” along the way.
This is inexcusable. We are better than this but it seems like politics, and the embedded nature of politicians to funnel billions of dollars to their donors to “address” homelessness and mental health, has done more to contribute to the chaos than anything else.
I was compelled to write this today because within a span of 24 hours I inadvertently had a conversation with 2 friends whom in each separate situation, either directly or indirectly, are personally dealing with loved ones with mental health issues, which hurts my heart. These stories are becoming more commonplace, and tend to be commonly ignored.
JAIL IS NOT MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT and by putting that burden on law enforcement, instead of the Department of Mental Health, we create a revolving door in the penal system. When gone untreated, we see a continued rise in homelessness, despite some of the unhoused having permanent supportive housing dollars attached to them. In the end, it affects our communities and causes irreparable harm for the foreseeable future.
I don’t know about you, but how would your mental health be if you were living on the street, 24/7, having to fend for your life. Scared to go to sleep. Using drugs to numb the pain, while elected officials argue over trivial things as opposed to reopening closed facilities to address these issues.
Orange County did it. They moved their homeless to a single site where they are off the streets, safe, and have access to services.
In closing we have to do better, and Sheriff Villanueva isn’t perfect, but it’s time to examine the most effective way to address the issues in LA County and he’s the best man for the job.
Marvin McCoy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
**this article is not sponsored**