Take back our public spaces

Lake Elsinore City Councilman Robert “Bob” Magee frowns in a city park. Courtesy photo

Enough is enough. The images of major California cities that have been overrun with homeless drug addicts littering and defecating on public sidewalks is a national disgrace. The social engineering experiment, supported by the so called educated elite, has failed. Some people simply cannot take care of themselves, and others need to be locked up to protect society from them.

This experiment perpetrated on us first by Assembly Bill 109, the Jail Realignment Act; Propositions 47 which recategorized some felonies as misdemeanors and Proposition 57, which released some non-violent offenders, were presented to us through one branding campaign after another, but the one that really resonated was entitled: “The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act.” Safe? Do you feel safe now that there are more “non-violent,” “non-felons” on the streets and in our parks? Ask a school board member if their schools are really safer now with these new laws in place. Better yet ask a cop.

The city of Lake Elsinore has established a policy of “Responsible Compassion: A Hand Up not a Hand Out.” If you want help, we will help you with our partners including the Social Work Action Group. SWAG has successfully placed many former homeless individuals into a new living situation where they can safely pursue a new life. However, for those who prefer to live off the grid as a sort of urban outdoorsman flaunting the rules of a civilized society, we will ask you to leave and will hold you accountable for illegal activities in our city. Honest hardworking people have a right to feel safe in their homes, neighborhoods, parks and public spaces. We should not yield to the great unwashed hordes and allow them to intimidate us out of the very facilities our tax dollars have created, preserved and maintained. We are doing just that in Lake Elsinore.

Lake Elsinore City Councilman Robert “Bob” Magee stands behind his dirt bike. Courtesy photo

The recent closure of the rePlant Redemption Centers turned off the flow of easy money to the vagrant community almost overnight. The neighborhoods and shopping centers adjacent to these facilities formerly overrun by shopping cart stealing zombies have now been returned to the community – a glaring testament to the fact that the state’s bottle bill, Assembly Bill 2020, forced unintended consequences upon us and needs to be rewritten.

But the feelings of insecurity when you are greeted by these urban outdoorsman at your neighborhood supermarket or park or when they approach your car at a traffic signal – will pale in comparison to the epidemic that may be just moments away. The public health dangers presented to us by this population, a population released from institutional living, may now be bringing the plague to a neighborhood near you. And just how do you protect your family from these non-violent, non-felons who are non-rehabilitated?

Instead of pointing at the detention facilities at the border and decrying the situation as inhumane, we should be looking at the Third World conditions that currently exist in the largest cities, in the richest state in the most affluent country in the world. It is beyond a disgrace; it is a danger to our civilization, and it represents a very real public health crisis. It is time for the federal government to step in and save California from extinction.