June 6, 2022

EVEN THE NYT HAS NOTICED THAT DEFUNDING THE POLICE IS MOSTLY POPULAR WITH FRINGE WOKE WHITE PEOPLE: Democrats Face Pressure on Crime From a New Front: Their Base: Not long ago, the party was focused on police reform, but rising fears of violence, especially among communities of color, have led candidates to change course.

Alarming trends have changed the political conversation. In Baltimore, the city is on track to record more than 300 homicides for the eighth straight year, along with a rise in carjackings, robberies and other serious crimes. Concerns about police misconduct in the city have not evaporated seven years after the killing of Freddie Gray in police custody ignited protests and rioting, but persistent violent crime has pushed voters’ tolerance to the breaking point.

Those developments have transformed the Democratic Party’s discourse on matters of law and order, forcing the party to balance its determination to overhaul the criminal justice system with the imperative to protect its most loyal voters from a tide of violence. . . . “I think traditional politicians have just misread what the people in these disinvested communities want,” Mr. Vignarajah said. “They don’t want to unleash the police to do whatever they want, but they also don’t want you to tell criminals there are no consequences for their conduct.”

A study published in April by the Pew Research Center found that Black Americans were likeliest to name violence or crime as the top concern facing their communities, followed by economic issues and housing.

Shockingly, not trans rights or abortion or defunding the police.

Related: The Mall Mogul and Former Republican Who Could Lead Los Angeles.

“You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to make L.A. more livable,” Mr. Caruso said. “We’re going to have cleaner streets and better parks, and we’re going to have lower crime. And you’re going to be able to go for a walk and not worry about it.”

An idea so crazy it just might work! Plus:

Many complain about R.V.s parked for days or weeks on residential streets, people defecating in public parks, robberies in the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods.

“It’s just out of control,” Jay Sures, a Caruso supporter who is the co-president of United Talent Agency, said when talking about crime, citing a recent example of one of his employees getting held up at gunpoint near Universal Studios. “This homeless thing is also out of control,” he said. “We have to make it so our kids can go out in the streets. I think our city is in shambles right now.”

On a recent walk through Venice, a wealthy beach community and city neighborhood that has become a prime battleground over homelessness, Mr. Caruso, dressed in an impeccably tailored suit, listened as a resident, Marjorie Weitzman, lamented both the enduring presence of encampments and plans to develop more low-income housing in the area.

Ms. Weitzman said she considered herself “a reformed liberal.”

“There’s a lot of people like you,” Mr. Caruso said, nodding in agreement.

We can hope.

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