As last night came to an end, I was surrounded by the sounds of sirens, looting, and burning buildings around me. Sadly this should have been a day of peaceful protests of the devastating and senseless murder of George Floyd and all who suffer the inequities of abject murder and racism. The murder of an innocent man, and the issues surrounding his tragic death, have been lost in the destruction of our neighborhoods.
The County and City of Los Angeles have instituted a curfew again tonight (Sunday) beginning at 6:00 p.m. until 6 a.m. on Monday morning. The curfew requires people within the City of Los Angeles to stay indoors tonight.
Today I toured the Beverly Fairfax district, which is my neighborhood. I found vandalism and destruction all along Third St., Beverly Blvd. and Fairfax Ave. Particularly disheartening was the vandalism to the Fairfax Jewish community. Fairfax is the center of the oldest active Jewish neighborhood in Los Angeles. Synagogues and Jewish institutions and Jewish-owned businesses were graffitied with anti-Semitic slogans and vandalized. The statue of Raoul Wallenberg, who saved thousands of Jews from the Nazi death camps, was vandalized as well.
However, it was absolutely heartwarming to see the number of community members who rose voluntarily this morning to help clean up the mess. They represent the best of Los Angeles and, I believe, the many peaceful demonstrators who had nothing to do with the violence and destruction that ensued as the evening went on last night.
There is a permitted demonstration scheduled tomorrow (Monday) in Westwood at the Federal Building. In order to help keep Westwood safe, I am asking that LAPD and the National Guard be posted at major intersections and that streets leading into the Westwood community be blocked.
However, I repeat what I said yesterday:
Black lives do matter. George Floyd’s story is only the latest of interminable tragedies caused by the worst kind of discrimination, xenophobia, and oppression.
We need to begin healing our society by examining every issue, whether it is healthcare inequality, economic inequality, or the harsh reality of abject poverty through the lens of racial, social, and economic injustice. It is every person’s right to expect and demand equality and the right to be treated with respect. It is also simply about love and compassion for our fellow human beings. After all, we are one humanity no matter the differences in the way we look, experience, vote, pray and/or love. Now let’s treat each other that way.
The kind of violence and vandalism we have seen is not the way to express that.
Here to Serve
My office, like all City of Los Angeles offices, is following recommended protocols such as social distancing and working remotely to slow the spread of the coronavirus. That said, my staff and I are always readily available to help with your questions, concerns, and needs during this difficult period. We can be reached by phone at 213-473-7005, 323-866-1828 (West LA), or 818-971-3088 (Encino) and through email firstname.lastname@example.org. Since we are experiencing a higher-than-normal volume of calls, feel free to email the staff member you wish to contact directly. The accompanying link contains those e-mail addresses.