We, the Lennox Coordinating Council, representing the various citizens organizations of Lennox, feel that the Los Angeles Times article of Jan. 2 was unfair to the progress made in Lennox during the past couple of years by Supervisor Kenneth Hahn and the sheriff. It took a completely negative approach to the problems that we all recognize. The positive steps accomplished, as noted by some of the citizens interviewed, were not included in the article, so we will summarize them here so that readers can be made aware that a lot is happening in Lennox to help solve drug problems and improve the area.
During the past year the following has been accomplished through cooperation with Supervisor Hahn's office and the Lennox sheriff's station:
(1) The police applied pressure, as requested, on dope pushers and buyers with excellent results, but with the side effect that when the police tried apprehending the pushers, many of them ran through people's backyards. The Sheriff's Department is still continuing to support the community and promises to continue every effort to rid our area of drugs.
(2) We have organized the Concerned Lennox Citizens group to let all those in the community know that we want to return to a cleaner, safer and responsible community. The group has had three marches in the area during the last year to let people know that the citizens need the help of all the citizens to make our area cleaner and safer. Two of our marches were an attempt to symbolically clean up certain streets. With the help of the Sheriff's Department and Hahn's office, we actually had brooms, shovels, trash trucks and the spirit to do something constructive while letting the people know that we all have to chip in. As a result of this, the community would favor a periodic cleanup by the county to help get rid of unsightly, difficult-to-get-rid-of trash.
(3) An early goal of the citizens' group was to hold our meetings at Lennox Park and make an effort to make it a showplace by getting rid of the graffiti, improving the general appearance, more park patrols, more equipment and better supervision by Department of Parks and Recreation. Improvement has been made in each of the areas mentioned. The graffiti problem has been a constant challenge, but has definitely been improved.
(4) Job training has been made available for those who are motivated and interested. Results will be downstream, but will be as successful as the potential participants choose.
(5) The funds provided by the county to improve the business fronts on Lennox Boulevard, near the post office, has been truly a noticeable improvement. It represents the transformation of decaying eyesores into an organized beautification success. Complementary to those improvements have been the upgrading of the center island on Hawthorne Boulevard in the Lennox area. The installation of many trash receptacles throughout the area has kept a lot of trash off the streets. There has been a noticeable improvement in the general cleanliness of streets like Inglewood Avenue and Lennox Boulevard. The road department has made some improvements in the streets to help the traffic flow and improve the general appearance.
In summary of the positive steps and results, we recognize that official support by Hahn's office and the Sheriff's Department has been the best since we can remember. However, we recognize that the drug problems on Inglewood Avenue, the graffiti problem, and the general appearance is a result of cultural changes that have occurred during the last 10 to 15 years. All the money from the county and all the police from the sheriff's station will not change that. Only communication and upgrading by the citizens themselves will get things back to the way we older citizens remember them. We feel that a grass-roots approach and continued active support from Kenneth Hahn is a first step in steering this ship back on course. We need to get our citizens involved.
A large number of adults do not get involved with the community. This has been proven by lack of involvement in the PTA, Little League supervision, etc., during the last 10 to 15 years. As a consequence, they are unaware of what the community needs should be, what is available to improve their life, and how to become a responsible citizen.
We feel that Lennox is on an improvement trend and that we local citizens and Hahn's office must continue to keep it going in that direction by carrying on with our citizens' activities and utilizing the resources that Hahn's office can make available for supporting these activities and goals.
President, Lennox Coordinating Council