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Why Slow Growth Lost, What Will Happen Now

June 19, 1988

Assessing their defeat, supporters of Measure A identified the "deceptive advertising" of their opponents but overlooked a flaw in their own strategy. Their refusal to put any provision in Measure A that could have countered its possible harmful effects on the supply of low-income housing is symptomatic of something more fundamental.

Supporters said Measure A would protect their "quality of life." Yet the very quality of life for these relatively affluent county residents depends on dumping Orange County's worst social problems in Santa Ana or other inner-city areas, then pretending that appallingly overcrowded substandard housing--with woefully inadequate public works, schools, parks and amenities, as well as the resulting epidemic proportions of crime, drugs and gang violence--do not exist.

Measure A certainly would have done nothing to help (these social problems). By increasing economic segregation, it could very possibly have made them even worse. Voters in central county cities thus had no incentive to vote for such a measure.

Residents lucky enough to find traffic the No. 1 problem have indeed turned their backs on some really serious problems to which their own style of life has contributed. If they want voters in these far more troubled areas to support solutions to their relatively light problems at our own possible detriment, perhaps they should consider supporting solutions to ours.

LESLIE W. RABINE

Santa Ana

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