Home­less­ness and the Games

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

Re “L.A. 2028 not a booby prize,” Ed­i­to­rial, June 11

Host­ing the Olympic Games is a very over­whelm­ing task for any large city. The great Peter Ue­ber­roth man­aged to do the unimag­in­able by, among other things, turn­ing a profit for Los An­ge­les with the 1984 Sum­mer Games. Traf­fic flowed al­most freely and peo­ple at­tended the events in an or­derly fash­ion.

To­day, Los An­ge­les is dif­fer­ent. The epi­demic of home­less­ness has wors­ened, and we can no longer avert our gaze from this is­sue. The prob­lem of traf­fic con­ges­tion seems to only in­crease daily.

What kind of city is more con­cerned about rev­enue and fleet­ing pres­tige than about the pri­or­i­ties of find­ing ur­gent so­lu­tions for home­less peo­ple? As re­ward­ing as host­ing the Olympic Games in 2024 or 2028 would be, it would be a far greater feat to de­feat home­less­ness. Take care of hu­mankind first, and the rest will fol­low.

We can’t hide th­ese peo­ple and pre­tend they don’t ex­ist, but we can help change their lives and re­ally be a shin­ing ex­am­ple of how a city should care for all its res­i­dents. Frances Ter­rell Lipp­man

Sher­man Oaks

The Times sug­gests that L.A. gra­ciously ac­cept­ing the 2028 Games, al­low­ing Paris to host the 2024 Olympics, could ac­tu­ally work to our ad­van­tage. Mayor Eric Garcetti could be in a bet­ter po­si­tion to push for con­ces­sions from the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee, sim­i­lar to then-Mayor Tom Bradley get­ting the IOC to waive its cost-over­run re­quire­ment for the first and only time be­fore the 1984 Games.

But is Garcetti strong enough to stand up to the IOC’s ex­pe­ri­enced ne­go­tia­tors and de­mand the waiver? He seems to so des­per­ately want the Games in L.A., putting the city in a poor po­si­tion to ne­go­ti­ate.

As his­tory has demon­strated, the IOC wants and wants and wants. Just ask the tax­pay­ers liv­ing in the cities where the Games have been held re­cently. Har­vey Barkan

Stu­dio City

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