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While Attention May Have Faded, the Walk Goes On

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Thursday, January 03, 2008, at 10:42PM
IMGP0207.JPG Ed Fuentes

There are a number of factors one could point to when explaining low attendance at last night's January Skid Row Neighborhood Walk. The holidays were barely over and cold weather may have kept some inside. Just as large a factor might be the seemingly waning attention given to Skid Row. There are no court orders or civil rights issues for the homeless being debated at City Hall, and the number of high-profile leaders present for networking has fallen.

While the weather ended up milder then expected, the streets still had a winter urgency. Those homeless were found setting up shelters in personal sidewalk habitats or waiting in the alcoves of non-profits to get a room for the night. One could sense that the feeling was distinctly different from recent months, with “ownership” of street corners appearing to evolve back toward conditions seen before the Safer Cities Initiative of 2006.

When started by the Central City East Association, the walk was billed as a “historical” united stand of neighborhood empowerment march “to show that drug activity and the criminal element that it attracts to the area will no longer be tolerated.” It would be sad to see that walk turn down an abandoned street covered with grit of disinterest.

The next walk takes place February 6th (it's the first Wednesday of every month) and meets at 6pm outside the Midnight Mission. Those who [heart] Downtown L.A. should make sure to return to the Neighborhood Watch Walk in Skid Row. It shouldn’t require attendance by Councilwoman Jan Perry, Commander Andy Smith, and Chief Bratton to pull out participants.

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