An Open Letter to L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck
Ellie Guzman

Dear Ellie, 
Your story, while witty, clever and compelling, also breaks my heart. My dad was born in Los Angeles, and my sister and I were also born there. 2nd generation native Angelenos, a rare breed.

I have the benefit of being “a cadaver” and therefore got to actually enjoy Los Angeles for most of my life, having been born in the mid 1950s.

I watched it change gradually. At first it was MGM lot Three, in my Culver City hometown, being ripped out and replaced by condos. It was the rural fields down the street from our house that my parents paid $14,000 for, being turned into an ugly industrial park. The stables and golf course down the road being turned into a hideously ugly mall.

The trailer park and golf course down the other side of our street was turned into the mother of all concrete outdoor malls with big box stores, Toys-R-Us, Babies-R-Us and Shit-R-Us. The parking to get to the market is now a major cluster-fuck.

And so it went. Silverlake, Echo Park, Eagle Rock, Culver City, Venice (for God sake when I lived in Venice at the age of 19, people warned me I was taking my life in my hands it was so dangerous.) My friends just sold their 2 bedroom 1 bath 1100 sq. ft. house, 2 houses east of Lincoln with people defecating in their alley for $1,000,000.

I was lucky to grow up in L.A. when there was a vibrant middle class. Sadly the middle class has all but disappeared, only the upper class can afford to buy houses unless they got into the housing market years ago, and it is becoming so gentrified that everything is starting to look the same.

Because I am much older than you, I was able to get out. I moved up to the mountains and bought a cottage for under $100,000. I got the best of what L.A. had to offer when I was growing up and am so glad to be out of there. Even my parents left, after living in their house for 60 years! They couldn’t stand it any more.

You are left holding the bag - the great divide between the haves and the have nots and to rub salt in the wound, the haves who invaded your neighborhood, sterilized it, stripped it of its culture and uniqueness, are now complaining about the left over have-nots that they would prefer not to have to see or be aware of.

I think you’re right. There is going to be a revolution. And when it happens, I’m all in.