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Council Considering Safe Streets Program

June 30, 1998|JILL LEOVY

A program that aims to combat neighborhood blight by organizing neighbors to file small-claims lawsuits is inching toward consideration by the City Council.

The program, Safe Streets Now, is supported by Councilman Joel Wachs. It was founded in Oakland and has since been embraced by 22 cities, including Long Beach. The program trains residents to combat neighborhood nuisances through the legal system.

The City Council's Public Safety Committee continued a hearing on the proposal for 30 days at a meeting Monday. Committee chairwoman Laura Chick, who represents the West Valley, asked for more study of how the program would be coordinated with existing city programs.

The program would require about $321,000 to pay for training and support services for neighborhood organizations.

Supporters say uniting neighbors under the umbrella of a neighborhood group helps shield them from retaliation, and that the program can be an effective at relatively little cost.

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