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One Serious Problem Gone (Jewish Journal, February 1, 2012)

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The City Council's Shameless Pander (The Wide Angle, October 20, 2011)

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Stout Awards Honors Olney, Morrison and Mantle (The Wide Angle, October 20, 2011)

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Dance With Who Brung ‘Ya (Jewish Journal, September 28, 2011)

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Jury Got It Right in the ‘Irvine 11’ Case (The OC Register, September 23, 2011)

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'Irvine 11' Muslim student protesters found guilty on both charges (KPCC’s Airtalk, September 23, 2011)

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Voting Rights Act Outdated in Modern Day LA (The Daily News, August 21, 2011)

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What Los Angeles Can Teach the UK (BBC News World, August 15, 2011)

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When Did Carrying An ID Become A “White Thing”? (The OC Register, August 15, 2011)

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Bill Crafts Disneyland Version of History (The Sacramento Bee, July 14, 2011)

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An Education Game Changer (The Wide Angles, July 12 2011)

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A Flotilla of Fools (The Wide Angle Blog, July 8, 2011)

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Advocacy, the Academy and Mushy Thinking (The Wide Angle Blog, July 1, 2011)

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Tragic Fiction comes to Life (The Wide Angle, June 23, 2011)

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Coalition Sues to Keep Circumcision Ban Off Ballot (The Jewish Journal, June 22, 2011)

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The Circumcision Wars (The Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2011)

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Male Circumcision Ban Proposed in Santa Monica (The Jerusalem Post, May 25, 2011)

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Right Goal, Wrong Strategy (The Wide Angle Blog, May 11, 2011)

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The Bus Has Left the Station (City Journal, April 1, 2011)

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UCLA Leads the Pack (The Wide Angle Blog, March 29, 2011)

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Mixed Race Marriages and Our Attitudes (The Wide Angles, March 25, 2011)

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The Uncle Tom Accusation, Again (The Wide Angle Blog, March 18, 2011)

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A Forward Looking Decision in Civil Rights (The Wide Angle Blog, March 9, 2011)

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A Rising Wave of Anti-Semitism (Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2009)

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The Wide Angle, A Community Advocates Blog (July - September, 2009)

July… August… September…

Israeli Consul General, Palestinian Lobbyist Reach Mock Peace Agreement (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 6, 2009)

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Critical Issues Seminar—Mock Peace Summit in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, April 29, 2009)

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In Battle Between Teachers, LAUSD, It’s the Kids Who Lose (Daily News, March 6, 2009)

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L.A. at the Tipping Point (www.RonKaye.LA, February 13, 2009)

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Theatrics by the Teachers (Daily News, February 8, 2009)

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Chicago Vs. Los Angeles Their Supe Is Obama’s New Education Man. Our Supe is Nice But… (LA Weekly, January 23, 2009)

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Critical Issues Seminar—Millennials Remaking America with KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, January 21, 2009)

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The Good News About Gaza in America (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, January 21, 2009)

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What Oakland Should be Protesting (Los Angeles Times, January 19, 2009)

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Calling All Radical Reformers to LAUSD (Daily News, December 14, 2008)

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Attention Politicians: Pandering Won’t Fly (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, November 12, 2008)

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Presentation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali of Ziegler Prize for Courage of Conviction (Japan American Theatre, October 22, 2008)

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The Problems and Potential of South L.A., A Dust-Up Exchange between Joe R. Hicks and Earl Ofari Hutchinson (Los Angeles Times, August 11-15, 2008)

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Find Fresh Ideas to Battle Hate, Letter to the Editor (Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2008)

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Fast Food Freeze is a Good Choice for South LA by Jan Perry, Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2008)

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Do You Want Poppycock With That? by Tim Rutten (Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2008)

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Fast-food Moratorium is Meddling (Los Angeles Times, July 31, 2008)

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Critical Issues Seminar on the Role of Race in the 2008 Elections in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, June 27, 2008)

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Shalom is not Funny (Letter to the Editor, Los Angeles Downtown News, June 23, 2008)

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A Dangerous and Precedent Setting Intrusion (Jewish Journal, June 13, 2008)

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“Ziman and Lee” (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 16, 2008

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We Don’t Need More Gabfests on Diversity (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 2, 2008)

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Families Deserve More than a Moratorium (Los Angeles Times, Blowback, April 10, 2008)

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On Any Given Sunday, Rev. Wright is Wrong (www.theroot.com, March 26, 2008)

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Obama’s Minister (KPCC’s Airtalk, March 18, 2008)

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LA Gang Violence Spikes (Associated Press, March 6, 2008)

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Critical Issues Seminar on The State of the Black Civil Rights Movement Today in conjunction with the Los Angeles Public Library and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, February)

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Asking Too Much (Los Angeles Times, January 31, 2008)

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Playing a Frayed and Faded Race Card (Jewish Journal, January 18, 2008)

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Limiting Fast Food Outlets---Path to Better Health? (KCET’s Life & Times, December 20, 2007)

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The State Bar and Revealing Data on Minority Passage Rates (KCET’s Life & Times, December 18, 2007)

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Divisions in the Jewish Community—Talking About Jerusalem (KCET’s Life & Times, December 12, 2007)

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Do Los Angeles’ Anti-Gang Programs Work? (KCET’s Life & Times, December 6, 2007)

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Sharpton Leads Call for Federal Investigation of Hate Crimes (Los Angeles Times, November 17, 2007)

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Race Card Backlash (Los Angeles Times, October 30, 2007)

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Critical Issues Seminar on Charter Schools in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, October 5, 2007)

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The Private Lives of Public Officials (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, October 2, 2007)

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“Smart Growth” and Los Angeles Planning (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 20, 2007)

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Civil Rights in Louisiana (To the Point, KCRW-FM, September 20, 2007)

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The Racial/Ethnic Educational Achievement Gap (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 12, 2007)

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Board Vote Not Aimed At Students (Los Angeles Daily News, September 9, 2007)

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Healthcare Reform and Politics (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 5, 2007)

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The Constitution and Sex Offenders (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, August 30, 2007)

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‘Profiles in Courage’ ( Jewish Journal, August 24, 2007)

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Where’s the Fire? (Washington Post, August 2, 2007)

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Race and Politics in a Changing South LA (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 20, 2007)

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Gangsta Rap and its Impact (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 13, 2007)

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Mexican Americans and Drunk Driving (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 6, 2007)

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Baseball and the Decline in African-American Players (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 30, 2007)

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Los Angeles Unified’s New Board (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 23, 2007)

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Hollywood and its Impact on Political Discourse (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 16, 2007)

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New Times and the NAACP (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 9, 2007)

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Downtown Homeless and the LAPD (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 2, 2007)

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Immigration and the new Sanctuary Movement (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 25, 2007)

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The Teachers’ Union and School Reform, (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 18, 2007)

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Drop the Race Card (Washington Post, April 15, 2007)

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The Takeover of the Times (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 11, 2007)

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The Governor’s Health Care Plan (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, March 28, 2007)

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Racism in the LA Fire Department? (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, March 14, 2007)

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Critical Issues Seminar in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, February 26, 2007)

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“Has the Nanny State Gone Too Far?” (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, February 28, 2007)

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“Justice Takes A Beating In Long Beach Racial Hatred Case” ( Jewish Journal, February 16, 2007)

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“Gang ‘Marshall Plan’ - Will It Work?” (KCET’s Life & Times’ Kitchen Table Conversation, February 14, 2007)

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“Living Wages or Dying Businesses?” (KCET’s Life & Times Kitchen Table Conversation, January 31, 2007)

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“Gangs of New York and LA” (Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, January 26, 2007)

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KCET’s Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “The Future of the Middle Class in Los Angeles” (Life & Times, January 17, 2007)

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“Does Abe Foxman Have An Anti-Anti-Semite Problem?”, (New York Times Magazine, January 14, 2007)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Military Recruitment on Campus---Right or Wrong?” January 3, 2007

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Is There An Assault on Christmas?” December 13, 2006

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Racism Claims a Stretch" (Daily News, December 1, 2006)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “What is Racism Today?” November 29, 2006

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"Racism in Entertainment", (KCRW's "Which Way LA?", November 27,2006)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Border Fence---Boondogle or Barrier?” (life & Times, November 15, 2006)

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“LA’s Jews and Other Minorities---Oh How They Danced” (Los Angeles Jewish Journal, November 11, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Racial Profiling and a National ID Card" (Life & Times, October 18, 2006)

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Critical Issues Seminar in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, October 9, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Immigration Debate Divides Conservatives" (Life & Times, October 5, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Drugs in Sports" (Life & Times, October 3, 2006)

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Award Dispute", KPCC's Airtalk, September 15,2006

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"Two Faced On Terrorism", Los Angeles Times, September 14, 2006

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Award to Islamic Leader Hathout Stirs Dispute", KCRW's Which Way LA?, September 14, 2006

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "California's High School Exit Exam?", ( Life & Times, August 23, 2006)

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"4 Los Angeles Latino Gang Members Convicted of Anti-Black Conspiracy" (Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2006)

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"Muslim Council's Bias All Too Clear" (Los Angeles Daily News, August 1, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "UCLA's Minority Admissions, (Life & Times, July 19, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Celebrity Causes--Ego or Altruism?", ( Life & Times, July 13, 2006)

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Did Anti-Semitism Take Root at the South Central Farm? (Jewish Journal, June 23,2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversations regarding Immigration and Employment (Life & Times, June 21,2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of news segment on the South Los Angeles Farm controversy (Life & Times, June 6, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kithcen-table Conversation regarding the Mayoral takeover of the Los Angeles Unified School District (Life & Times, June 6, 2006)

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Letter to the Editor regarding Race, Religion, and Demographic Change (Los Angeles Times, June 4, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Hybrid Cars and Energy Conservation (Life & Times, May 23, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Teen Sex (Life & Times, May 18, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Black Brown Tensions in LA (Life & Times, May 2, 2006)

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Debate education policy, not race (Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Fatherless Parenting (Life & Times, April 11, 2006)

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Border Protests Not Fight for Civil Rights (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, April 7, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Black-Brown tensions (Life & Times, April 4, 2006)

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Civil Rights? How About Lawlessness? (Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Immigration (Life & Times, March 30, 2006)

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Differing Views of Race in L.A. Collide in 'Crash' (Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2006)

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Disputed Film Draws Muted Response (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, February 10, 2006)

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Blacks vs. Latinos at Work (Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2006)

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The Munich Concern Is Us--Not Film (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, January 20, 2006) with Dr. Michael Berenbaum

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NAACP Leader Turned Heads By Backing Tookie (Baltimore Sun, January 15, 2006) Joe Hicks quoted

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Munich Portrays Real World Issues (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, December 23,2005), with Dr. Michael Berenbaum

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New Farrakhan Embodies Old Message (Los Angeles Jewish Journal, October 21, 2005)

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Levees Let Loose An Ugly Flood of Black Paranoia (Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2005)

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Lessons From the Ruins (LA Weekly, August 12, 2005)

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Let's Make A Diploma Mean Something (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2005)

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Police Beating of Minister Disputed (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2005)

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We Only Burned Ourselves, Baby (Los Angeles Times, August 7, 2005)

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Knee-jerk Activists and Their Tantrum Politics (Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2005)

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"Crash" Is No Picture of the Real Los Angeles (Los Angeles Daily News, June 24, 2005)

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Hit Film Paints Inaccurate Picture of Diverse LA (89.3 KPCC Perspectives, June 23, 2005)
Joe Hicks, the vice president of Community Advocates, says the hit movie Crash ...
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Jackson Trial Reaction Shows How Unimportant Race Is in US (Los Angeles Daily News, June 19, 2005)

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"Reel Life" (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, June 10, 2005)

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Joe Hicks talks about the election results (89.3 KPCC AirTalk, May 18, 2005)
with KPCC's Larry Mantle and reporter Adolfo Guzman Lopez, Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Raphe Sonenshein, Bill Rosendahl, Rick Caruso, Antonia Hernandez, , Joel Kotkin and D.J. Waldie.
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Joe R. Hicks
 
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Downtown Homeless and the LAPD (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 2, 2007)


Val Zavala>> Los Angeles police are cleaning up downtown's notorious Skid Row. Over the past few months, the crackdown has led to a thirty-five percent drop in crime and sixty percent fewer homeless people on the streets. But recently, a judge ruled that some of the police tactics were unconstitutional, specifically stopping them and searching them without probable cause. Are they going too far?

At our Kitchen Table this week is Joe Hicks with CommUnity Advocates; LAPD Captain Andrew Smith who oversees police operations in downtown Los Angeles, including Skid Row; and Bob Erlenbush with the Los Angeles Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness. He believes the police have been too tough on the homeless. The Kitchen Table is made possible by Ralph Tornberg.

Joe Hicks>> Captain Smith, you recently wrote an Op Ed piece in the Los Angeles Times that kind of responded to something that the ACLU had written, an earlier piece about supposedly a crackdown in downtown. I guess the question is, what is this supposed crackdown producing in terms of reducing crime or even dealing with the issue of homelessness in downtown Los Angeles?

Captain Andrew Smith>> Well, I think there's been a tremendous series of accomplishments. First of all, I hope the crackdown is not being mischaracterized as a crackdown on homelessness or on homeless people. I think of it as a crackdown on crime and criminal behavior and the culture of lawlessness that we had down there in the Skid Row for decades now.

The fifty square blocks of Skid Row prior to our initiating the Safer Cities Task Force which is what we started here back in August was home to about thirty-eight hundred parolees, about four hundred thirty registered sex offenders. Virtually all the crime in downtown and virtually all the violent crime in downtown occurred in the Skid Row area or right next to it.

Well, I think if you look at what's going on in Skid Row today year to date in 2007, thirty-seven percent decrease in crime which is three times the decrease of any other division in the city. We're leading the city in crime decreases all the way across all categories. If you look at what it's like for a person living on Skid Row or walking through there, it's been a huge change, a huge transformation.

Joe Hicks>> Now, Bob, unless I'm wrong here, I think you might have a different take on what might be going on with what is presumed to be a crackdown. What do you think is being accomplished by these new efforts?

Bob Erlenbush>> Well, with all due respect, because I know how hard you're working and know how your offices work, I'd like to think, you know, it's not mean-spirited. But at the end of the day, from our take, it really is a crackdown, quite frankly, that innocent, homeless people who have no other place to go because there just aren't enough shelter beds, A, and there's clearly not enough affordable housing.

I mean, Skid Row is a nightmare of failure of public policy. We got sold, with all due respect, a bill of goods on the Safer Cities initiative. Lots of heavy emphasis on enforcement and -- I can't remember the exact way you said -- changing peoples' behavior. But also we were promised by the mayor and by Rocky Delgadillo that there would be services delivered as well.

The way that's evolved has been all the arrests that we've already heard about, disbursing people to other parts of town, going to county jail, receiving almost seven thousand of what we would call "quality of life" tickets or citations. And then the social services piece is limping along.

Captain Andrew Smith>> I'm in the law enforcement business, but there are other components to the Safer Cities initiative that get overlooked. One, as Bob was talking about, is an outreach component where not only do our officers walk with social workers, but we just got an increase in the number of social workers assigned to the station.

We also have an enhancement portion which is all the other city services, the street lighting and the street maintenance and the trash pickup and all that other stuff. All those folks are out there now all coordinating and trying to do other things besides the law enforcement part.

I'm in charge of the law enforcement part of that and we were the first part to go in because we thought we had to kind of change the culture of lawlessness that I described in order to make it safer for everybody.

Bob Erlenbush>> People are being caught up in -- I know you don't like the word "sweeps", but they're sweeps to us. They're getting caught up. You can't tell me that there are, you know, five thousand drug dealers in Skid Row. Basically, there are a couple of thousand drug addicts who are now being swept up and, for a little tiny amount of drugs, our understanding is that, for a small amount of drugs, people are being rolled up on and saying, "Hey, we're going to get you for possession with intent to sell" which is a felony.

Joe Hicks>> How do you respond to this notion that, you know, you guys not only just throw people against walls and harassing people? How do you react to this charge that this is, in many ways, simply harassment of sorts?

Captain Andrew Smith>> Well, you know, you saw my editorial about that. First of all, let me say that I agree with Bob on a lot of the points he made. Certainly we don't spend enough money on housing. Certainly there's not permanent support of housing. There's not the kind of social services that other cities have.

I agree with him that Skid Row is a disaster. It's a product of twenty or thirty years, maybe even more, of bad policy where all the folks that had mental health issues, drug addiction, alcohol addiction and other problems were all put into one kind of single place. After a while, and certainly when I got down there a couple of years ago, I thought to myself, "Geez, we can't allow other human beings to live like this. We just can't."

So what we're doing is going after the criminal element. The idea behind Safer Cities is that we go after the criminal element that is hiding in this population, that is thriving in this population and that is preying on this population.

Bob Erlenbush>> Look, you've given out almost seven thousand citations. A lot of those citations are to people who have no money in their pocket. It's seventy-five bucks. It's this vicious circle that you seem to have created where, you know, it goes to warrant and then, when you roll up on somebody and do a warrants check, sure enough they've got a warrant because they didn't pay the citation that you gave them in the first place. Why do that? Why create this downward spiral for people that's very difficult to crawl back out of?

Captain Andrew Smith>> A couple of reasons. Number one, as I mentioned in my article, we write citations to change peoples' behavior. I personally earlier this year stood over the body of a homeless man who had been hit by a car because he was walking in the road. Virtually all of the traffic deaths that occur in downtown Los Angeles are because a pedestrian walks into the road.

You know, there are simple rules. As the mayor said, we're a nation of laws. There are simple rules that need to be followed. The jaywalking, people walking in the roadway, littering. Tickets, you know, are certainly not done to pick on the homeless and certainly not done to try and create a warrant for them to go pick up later. It's to change peoples' behavior.

Bob Erlenbush>> But it changes peoples' behavior at seventy-five dollars a pop who don't have money, so it goes to warrant. They might be picked up. We flood the county jails and people can't get jobs because they've got outstanding warrants. They can't get a driver's license. I mean, isn't there another more creative and I would say more humane way to change behavior rather than just giving you a ticket that you can't do anything with except suffer the consequences?

Joe Hicks>> What's the answer to this chronic homelessness in a city like Los Angeles that Skid Row is probably unique in the nation? If you could wave some kind of magic wands, what's your answer to the ultimate problem here?

Bob Erlenbush>> The answer to me is, you know, housing, housing and more housing. We do not have a mayor right now nor do did we have a mayor before that or the mayor before that who were committed. Our current mayor has made, you know, gangs and potholes and police the top priorities. Putting people in jail and putting people in state prison cannot be the mayor's legacy instead of our affordable housing program.

Captain Andrew Smith>> Well, I agree with Bob that we do need more housing. There's not enough housing for all the people that are homeless downtown. Unfortunately, a lot of those folks that are homeless don't want to get into housing or don't want to get into some type of shelter and it takes a lot of prodding sometimes to get someone out from underneath the Sixth Street Bridge and get them into housing. Even if you were to offer them permanent supportive housing with a social worker, a lot of those folks --

Bob Erlenbush>> -- the first line of offering the services shouldn't be from a person who's wearing, in all respect, a gun and a badge. I mean, if you're the least bit paranoid schizophrenic which is the most common mental illness, of course, you're going to shrink back up under the Fourth Street Bridge.

So you shouldn't be delivering social services. We want to cut you loose to go do what you signed on to do, which is go after people with unlawful behavior and not go after homeless people who, as the first line to offering social services, let social workers do their job. We can't ask the LAPD to be social workers.

Joe Hicks>> Believe it or not, we're out of time, guys (laughter). Thanks for coming in and talking about this issue today. Appreciate it very much.

Bob Erlenbush>> Thanks for having us.

Joe Hicks>> Thanks.

Val Zavala>> So what do you think? We'd love to know your response to that story and you can post it on our blog. Just go to kcet.org and click on the Life and Times Blog.

 

 
   
 
 
   

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