Thursday, May 14, 2009

To Fight Gangs, Get Rid of Graffiti

Graffiti on walls and businesses is more than just an eyesore.

Some of the markings are messages sent back and forth between gang members.

While some of the spray paint is merely vandalism, other marks are communication between gangs. It may also be part of "ranking in," an initiation process.

To get into a gang, members may have to be beaten or "jumped in" by several gang members for several minutes, steal a car or break into one, or put graffiti in a noticeable place.

Unlike Santa Ana City Council, I don't believe in imposing fines on business owners who have had their property vandalized.

Imposing fines effectively makes the business a victim twice.

It's time for Santa Ana City Council to step up and begin the process of effectivly dealing with graffiti in our city by updating our outdated and uneffective graffiti ordinance.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Green Dot Santa Ana?

Matthew Cunningham over at the Red County posted a great read today about Charter Schools.

I'll excerpt a bit here: "Rather than plodding along the well-worn path of mediocrity and failure, SAUSD should adopt a radical approach like converting as many district schools as possible to charter status. Such a move would enable those schools to escape stifling red tape of the California Education Code, control their own budgets, and focus discipline and the fundamentals of a quality education"

Why not SAUSD?

I've seen radical change up in Los Angeles at several of the schools taken over by Green Dot, such as Animo Venice using six simple tenents.

1)Small, Safe, Personalized Schools
2)High Expectations for All Students
3)Local Control with Extensive Professional Development and Accountability
4)Parent Participation
5)Maximize Funding to the Classroom
6)Keep Schools Open Later

If it can work in Los Angeles, why can't it work in Santa Ana?