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Recreation Programs Can Ease Gang Problem

January 21, 2003

Re "Make This One Work," editorial, Jan. 16, on standing up to street gangs: Mayor James Hahn and LAPD Chief William Bratton have ignored (or are ignorant of) the missing element in solving most of our street gang problems. The amount of gang problems is inversely proportional to the amount of recreational facilities and programs in high-crime areas.

The Community Safety Operations Plan looks like just another lip-service program that the mayor and the chief will use to make it look like they are doing something to help the community. It will fail like the other failed plans unless our political leaders and volunteers steer gang wannabes toward training and jobs -- and to recreational facilities and programs. The subjective quality of our lives in the barrio is directly related to how well we can satisfy our basic human recreational need. Count me out unless our leaders are willing to recognize the total problem.

Arturo P. Chayra

Boyle Heights Improvement

Council, Los Angeles

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