Given our community’s involvement in charity events for the homeless and abused, the recent righteous outcry against our city council members’ efforts to comply with state zoning laws is disturbing. LCF should “walk the talk” of what our churches preach every Sunday, namely, “Charity begins at home.”
What does it say about us if we pour our energies into keeping out a tiny fraction of the less socially and economically fortunate rather than figuring out how to include them? The number of people served by the potential facilities in the proposed zoning areas would be a small fraction of LCF’s population.
Research has shown that as long as the desired culture remains above 80% of the population, that culture will prevail and influence the 20%. This is why placing poorly performing students in a surrounding environment of high academic expectations works well, whereas injecting large infusions of money into a surrounding environment of low academic expectations does not.
Acting as if we are not part of a larger society is arrogant and self-centered. With our community’s vast resources, we should work together to find zoning solutions rather than engaging in off-target rhetoric to keep out small numbers of people. We should model the practice of inclusiveness for our kids while preserving “safe zones” around our schools.
The slight, if any, decrease in real estate values should be considered a badge of honor rather than a catastrophe among we who materially have so much. Zoning to extend the benefits of our community is long overdue, and our hearts and minds will be enlarged by extending to the less fortunate the opportunities that LCF has to offer.
La Cañada Flintridge