Gil Cedillo – local hero or really good at political double talk
The following is an excerpt from his interview with LA Downtown News Online.
Q: What did you see?
A: A lot of drugs. Lots of drug abuse and alcoholism. I’m familiar with that. I’ve had my brother-in-law go through recovery Downtown. I don’t think there’s a family in America that is immune from the challenges of alcoholism or drug abuse regardless of their economic situation.
So from that emerged our desire to create a recovery zone – a place, a sanctuary, for people who do have the challenge of drug or alcohol dependency to seek treatment and to do so in an environment that does not tolerate drug dealers preying upon their vulnerabilities. We’re not liberal about that. We wouldn’t tolerate that anywhere in the city, why would we tolerate that Downtown?
[One of our bills] would create the drug free zone, and one would enhance penalties for drug dealers. Then we want to [create] a drug court that deals with people who are drug or alcohol dependent or people who suffer from mental illness and who can make those distinctions. And then not criminalize those people but make circumstances for them to make a recovery.
There’s also this question of dumping. Many people in this county, many people in this region and throughout the southwest send people to Downtown Los Angeles. They do not embrace their responsibility to members of their communities to provide services. Downtown cannot bear the burden of services for 13 million people.
Pardon me for beingCaptain Obvious, however, I thought that the law of the land made all of America a Drug free zone? Is there some special sanctuary for crack that I am yet unaware of? Does Skid Row exist in this magical land? Yes, I know my tone is obnoxious, but Good Lord Man! Could you stop using political Double Talk and just say the following:
“I want the police to enforce out drug laws. I want them to protect these laws with the same effort they protect the Earth Movers on Street Sweeping Days on the Row. I want the police to be a visible presence and occasionally look the residents of Skid Row in the eye. I want the police to see the residence as PEOPLE and not as PROBLEMS. The police might as well not exist when they are never here on the streets and when they are here like the people here are invisible to them.
I want the residents of Skid Row to see and respect and trust the police officers. I want the drug users to know that their use in not unseen so that they either seek help for their addictions and come out clean onto drug free streets, or use somewhere other than the row because we will not tolerate drug use.
I want the police to stop turning a blind eye to the Lexus and Mercedes that stop in the middle of the street on the 1st and 3rd of every month, roll down their windows and deal drugs from their cars. I want the police to stop racially profiling and if they have a need to discriminate anyone, let them investigate anyone with a car worth more than my annual wage. If they look scared then they are lost, if they drive a little too slowly they are looking to sell.”
Okay, wait: there is more. Lets talk about this :a drug court that deals with people who are drug or alcohol dependent or people who suffer from mental illness.
I would like to introduce you and Mr. Cedillo to a little thing we call Homeless Court. What follows is a quote from their site “
The Homeless Court (HC) program was created by the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office and advocates for the homeless including Public Counsel and the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA).
This program helps impoverished individuals with a history of homelessness to clear tickets and warrants for minor offenses such as traffic tickets, infractions, and various minor misdemeanors including jaywalking, riding the metro without a fare, sleeping in public places, illegal use of shopping carts, possession of an open container of alcohol in public, obstructing traffic on the sidewalk, sleeping on a bus bench, as well as any warrants that arise for failure to resolve these offenses”
Pardon me – I as am in an off mood today. As I read that article it brough back memories of eating at the Green Bamboo watching 8 police, yes, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 police officers arrest a homeless man who took a really long time drinking his coffee outside of Starbucks. The SWAT team was seated behind me at an outside table. They left and as they passed the short policeman leading the arrest, the SWAT leader said “We don’t want none of your kind of action.” My love for our SWAT team grew three sizes that day.