• SantaAnaIsBroke

    There are a myriad of reasons why Santa Ana is broken. And it is much more complex than blaming the poor people as the Detroit and Chicago commentator wants to do. But the issue is not black and white and it certainly is not a partisan problem because that is just easy lazy thinking. But America these days, easy lazy thinking is all the rage.

    You start with the politicians of course in Santa Ana. They churn through employees at City Hall so there is never any expertise to deal with something like 100 properties. Then inevitably the Council Members get involved and want to benefit their friends or benefactors. Remember last year when Sarmiento tried to steer $5 million dollars + to his developer friend? After they fired an objecting city housing manager, the City had to regroup due to bad publicity and issued an RFP (which FedTech had previously approved) and eventually by the end of 2015 that money was allocated to a different developer (MetaHousing) for a downtown development. A full year wasted and City morale impacted due to an ethically challenged councilmember. Multiple that story by dozens of other like minded political interruptions (Pulido scandals, Police scandals, City Manager tapping an employee etc.) and you see why neighborhoods deteriorate in Santa Ana and the homeless increase.

    Then move over to the inequality of opportunity and the barriers society throw up in front of economically challenged households. Unequal quality of schools, unequal access to quality healthcare, lack of day care, high cost of housing, lack of open space, issues with police, poor transportation choices to work/school and a myriad of other little things institutionalized to keep the poor down and it is no wonder so many people do not make it or turn to illegal means to make money.

    Finally, there are bad seeds, or people become bad seeds. Is that the “truth” that the “commentator” below wants exposed? Oh brother, yes, there are terrible parents, they or their kids are gang members or criminals and those parents and children wreak havoc on those neighborhoods. Are you happy now? Why was that so hard for you to say in your message? If you acknowledge one truth – the bad apples of the community – without acknowledging the other truth regarding unequal opportunity to succeed for the majority, then guess what? You are not telling the truth. Reading actual books or analyzing actual data or knowing some history beyond what Fox News spoon feeds you might help out one’s critical thinking. But again,lazy thinking is all the rage on both sides

    Lack of open space certainly is one issue but it is not the only issue affecting the majority “good” families of Santa Ana. But it can be part of a holistic approach to remove some of the barriers these families face. Unfortunately the Democrats occupying the City Council are too corrupt or incompetent to do anything, and frankly if it was Republicans in charge well the wouldn’t care. Told you this was a non-partisan problem.

    (As an aside, for every Detroit and Chicago example, I bring you failed conservative states like Kansas, Louisiana and most of the South. Oh, and Detroit’s comeback is real:


    Chicago BTW is still one of America’s greatest cities in spite of the impact of guns. Furthermore just because Chicago implemented stricter gun laws does not mean the rest of Illinois or neighboring state Indiana did which is where it was found a majority of guns in Chicago came from. Which of course is a nuance certain types of people miss (non critical thinking conservatives come to mind) unless of course unknown to the rest of us Chicago implemented force fields at the City Limits 😉 You do realize Chicago is not a City-Nation state right?

    And is Chicago the murder capital of the US or gun death capital? Given that so many jurisdictions do not track shooting deaths, frankly nobody knows.)


  • BeeBee.BeeLeaves

    Green is good. Dirty, tired kids are good kids. You do not give parks. You incorporate the community into the park, community garden, urban farm and urban forest development and implementation.

    Words of former HUD secretary Kemp after visiting places like Detroit and Chicago:

    When cities do not do right for and by their communities, they will stress, depress, repress and opress them with a police state.

    Broken windows theory is so 90’s out, passé. Community relationship building is in and more vital than ever. What better way is there, besides sports, than to beautify our neighborhoods by planting, preserving, protecting our natural environment and empowering the community at the same time? But “those things do not generate revenue”. And more cops does? Puh.lease!

    Nature bats first, and last.

    Crime is strictly man made.

    • LFOldTimer

      They tried your experiment in both Detroit and Chicago.

      Both failed.

      Sort of like making Chicago a gun-free zone – it only resulted in Chicago becoming the gun murder capital of the United States.

      Things don’t always go as planned. Especially when government is the planner.

      • BeeBee.BeeLeaves

        I don’t know about Chicago other than it seems to really suck, but Detroit is becoming an inside out farmscape. So much so that a German company has invested in a lot of acreage for a huge organic farm. How many folks left since Kemp went there in the early 90’s? Not too many from the looks at all those empty homes and lots. And was having that much police to end with a community of nothing worth it? Probably not, other than to those new entrepreneurs who are now making the city green with farms. Interesting apocalyptic turn of events. And crime in those areas is way down! No neighborhoods, no crime, no cops needed.

        • LFOldTimer

          Detroit was never meant to be a farm. It’s supposed to be a thriving metropolis. But then we got NAFTA (as Ross Perot referred to as the ‘giant sucking sound’) and the outsouring of US auto manufacturing jobs to the 3rd world. Detroit can only accomodate so many pizza deliverers and WalMart workers. And when you factor in the enormous amount of violent and property crime in Detroit – no wonder millions of people fled the city. But turning Detroit into organic farmland is not the answer. Sorry.

          • BeeBee.BeeLeaves

            Yep. About NAFTA. Loud sucking sound is right. But when you have complete neighborhoods gone, and the city has bulldozed homes to avoid vagrancy, growing from the inside to supply the suburbs outside kinda makes sense, for now. In Detroit’s case greening comes as too little, too late, communities over and out. Base clear.

          • LFOldTimer

            If you want to watch a very interesting documentary on Detroit I suggest you find CNN’s Anthony Bourdain’s (Parts Unknown segment) broadcast on it. It’s probably on-line. He takes you on a guided tour of Detroit and talks with the people there. It really opened my eyes. The desperation is unbelieveable. And it all could have been avoided.

          • BeeBee.BeeLeaves

            Love that guy! Haven’t seen that one. Thanks for tip, will definitely see it. PS The one on Iran was amazing. And then the Washington Post journalist and his wife were jailed. That was a wow!

  • LFOldTimer

    Crime is not a result of lack of parks. More parks in Santa Ana would just be more places for gangs to congregate and drug users to shoot up.

    Santa Ana’s crime problems go much deeper than parks. But then you enter into politically incorrect territory and become a target for all the liberal hand wringers and beard scratchers.

    Nothing will change in Santa Ana until people start telling the truth. I don’t expect that to happen anytime soon, if ever.

  • David Zenger

    More parks? How about more parents who know what their kids are up to and who make sure homework gets done.

    Cue the violins.

    • BeeBee.BeeLeaves

      Yep. That, too.

  • kburgoyne

    Something to mix into your thinking, Norberto…

    A year+ ago I attended a speech/address given by some retired military mucky-muck who was involved in the rebuilding of Afghanistan. Might have been Patraeus. Who isn’t really important. The very abbreviated version of the story he told:

    The US went in to an Afghan village and built them a school. Then the Taliban came in later and destroyed the school. The villagers didn’t really put up any (verbal) fight about the Taliban destroying the Americans’ school. Then after reevaluated their approach, the US went into an Afghan village and provided the materials the villages could use to build their own school. Then later the Taliban came and the villagers argued the Taliban into NOT destroying “our school”.

    The issue is one of establishing a feeling of ownership. Building a park is great, but the park needs to be used and “owned” by the community. If the city simply builds a park and walks away, the result could easily be a large abandoned green space that eventually gets taken over as a run down gang hangout, or whatever where nobody else wants to go.

    What we’ve lost in our society from when I was a kid in the 60s and 70s is organized park activities. I used to play flag football for free(ish) as a city run activity at our local park. These days you have to be able to afford to pay AYSO, etc, to give your kid some constructive activity. And of course it’s increasingly surrounded by sponsorships of companies trying to get your kid to get you to spend money of this or that product, and booths around the periphery of the fields with people trying to peddle stuff to the kids. An invasion that was entirely absent from my flag football days.

    The city needs to build green spaces, but the city also needs to organize events at the green spaces to get the community to take ownership of the spaces. The event organizing doesn’t have to involve large outlays of tax money. The community is filled with people who are probably interested in finding something constructive to do and could volunteer their time. They just need a leader to provide structure and organize them.

    • BeeBee.BeeLeaves

      Great insight. Thanks for sharing.