Re "CRA Backers Take Lead in Balloting," Dec. 21.
Based on the results of the Project Area Committee election, cheaters do prosper.
I'm a Latina who has lived and worked in the northeast 1/8San Fernando 3/8 Valley my entire life, and I was sickened by the way poor Latino immigrants were given slates and forced to stand in line like chattel. While in line to vote, I had a chance to ask several of them what they knew about the candidates, and they responded that they knew none of the candidates and were told that their lives would improve if they voted for those people on their handouts.
Before the election, I was open to the idea of redevelopment, but after seeing how Councilman 1/8Alex 3/8 Padilla and his staff manipulated the community, I've become completely disgusted.
The CRA's success in getting an incredibly naive councilman, Alex Padilla, to help it stack the Northeast Valley Project Area Committee with CRA sympathizers is just one more reason the CRA should be put out of business.
The CRA wants to declare 6,835 northeast Valley acres as blighted and in need of redevelopment but says in its own environmental impact report that it can revitalize the northeast Valley by developing only three acres a year for the next 20 years.
Then why does the CRA want to declare 6,835 acres as blighted? Simple. The CRA is an out-of-control spending machine that is close to insolvency. It needs lots of cash to keep operating, and by merely declaring 6,835 acres as blighted, it gets to keep every penny of new property taxes generated in that area for the next 45 years. That comes to more than $1.1 billion, even if the CRA doesn't raise one finger to help the community.
And if history is any gauge, the CRA probably won't lift one finger. Padilla has been duped, hoodwinked and out-flanked by a street-smart CRA. He should face reality and dispose of the CRA as fast as possible, for the good of his district and the rest of the city as well.
I applaud Councilman Padilla's efforts to redevelop our corner of the Valley.
As a longtime resident of Pacoima, I feel that the Valley is the most ignored part of the city. Residents of the northeast Valley such as myself are tired of septic tanks and going without sidewalks in front of our homes and businesses. 1/8Project Area 3/8 Committee Vice Chairman Jim Leahy says that the CRA is unfocused for selecting such a large area in the northeast Valley. I invite Leahy to Pacoima so that he can better "focus" on our desperate need for economic redevelopment.
Why is it that we read about and see economic redevelopment in every part of the city except for the Valley?
I strongly support the CRA redevelopment project in the northeast Valley and hope that other communities will benefit from the positive effects of such projects.