Stephen Maseda | Who Really Helps Those in Need

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Re: Josh Heath commentary, Feb. 14.

Apparently Mr. Heath believes that all “human cruelty” can be traced back to the “far right” and “social Darwanism.” Would that life were so simple.

Mr. Heath should reflect upon the fact that the policies that have led to the explosion of homelessness in California were put in place and have been practiced by the left, not the right, not even the center right. I have lived in California since 1966, I suspect longer than Mr. Heath has been alive. I can testify based on personal experience that the California I have lived in has never been governed by the far right (or even by the center right, since at least Ronald Reagan was governor in the 1970s).

He also overlooks the numerous faith-based organizations that have been reaching out to, and supporting, the poor and homeless throughout Los Angeles for decades, who have provided them food, clothing, shelter and other services.

As for the intellectually disabled, being the father of an intellectually disabled daughter, I would suggest that Mr. Heath again needs to reflect on history. It was Ronald Reagan and Frank Lanterman, both Republicans, who led the adoption of the Lanterman Act, which promised the intellectually disabled the support they need to lead, as best they can, meaningful lives. It is the Democrats who have spent the last 20 years underfunding this commitment.

In this connection he might talk with our mayor, Cameron Smyth, a Republican, who unsuccessfully attempted to convince the Democrat-controlled Legislature to reverse the funding decline. 

Those of us in the community have not forgotten what Lanterman and Smyth tried to accomplish for these less fortunate, and who has valued them as human beings who deserve our support. 

Stephen Maseda


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