* Re "Anti-Gang Injunction Proposed for Valley Area," Sept. 23.
I was disturbed to read that $1.1 million may be allocated to the expansion of the anti-gang injunction. Blythe Street was the test case for this injunction, and we have had several years to evaluate the impact it has had on the neighborhood. There have been many lessons learned from that initial effort that we seem to be ignoring as we attempt to expand it into another Valley neighborhood.
The initial anti-gang injunction was implemented on Blythe Street as part of a comprehensive plan to improve the neighborhood. The community impact team, spearheaded by local law enforcement officials, brought together stakeholders (city departments, community leaders, local social service agencies and residents) to develop and implement a plan that would allow residents to "take back" their neighborhood and improve the quality of life for their families. The anti-gang injunction was but one part of a comprehensive community plan. The proposed $1.1 million that would be used for expansion of the anti-gang injunction to North Hills does not address any other critical needs or issues from this community.
There should be a comprehensive plan for North Hills that includes the injunction along with another $1.1 million for education, social services, job training or other needed services. The message we are giving to the youth in North Hills is that we would rather spend $1.1 million to incarcerate them than to educate and train them. The anti-gang injunction would solidify an already strongly negative image for this community. It has been hard enough to convince service providers to come into North Hills. It would be even harder, given the stigma of the injunction.
ESTER B. CADAVID-HANNON
Executive Director, San Fernando
Valley Partnership Inc.