We’ve heard that in many parts of this city, people are still afraid. As someone who grew up in inner city L.A., I’m not satisfied with our celebration of declining crime rates in recent years. Yes, it’s wonderful that crime is at its lowest point in this city in almost 50 years. But tell the people of Pico-Union, Boyle Heights, Pacoima, and Watts that our streets have never been safer. In these neighborhoods alone, there have been 150 robberies, 13 assaults, and 1 homicide in the last week. I don’t want to rest on our laurels in crime reduction; I want to continue to make progress across the whole city.
When I’m Mayor, I’ll double the size of our public safety force – not by hiring more police, but by empowering everyday citizens to protect their communities. That’s how we can change the culture of “policing” from one of incarceration to one of prevention and intervention. That’s how we build up, not tear down, our neighborhoods – by teaching our mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters to recognize those in need, reach out, and help them get the counseling and support they need.