…the readers/viewers to some of the complex issues, personalities and content related to gang work in the United States. My familiarity with this subject stems from my early childhood encounters with gangs in Los Angeles and specifically North East San Fernando Valley where I was raised as a toddler to early-teens. I moved to the Coachella Valley in the mid-1990s and was surprised to find a lot of gang activity existing in that idealic setting as well. I studied for a year under Susan A. Phillips and worked with community activists in Watts and South Los Angeles for a brief moment of time in my professional career. I’m not sure when it started but with my background I became extremely interested in literature, film and music pertaining to gangs even if I never got jumped into a gang myself. A part of me wants to understand this complex phenomenon that entraps youngsters and intervene some how, helping to change the world to protect immigrants and impoverished people like I was as a child.
My thoughts are that as long as there is an appetite for vices like drugs, gambling, and prostitution, there will be gangs and organized crime. It is said that what deters crime is the certainty of being caught but violent crimes in the last year seem to be trending up. There are cameras everywhere, and with that brazen criminals willing to broadcast their insidious handiwork. Even with advances in technology and surveillance, Cities have a lot of unsolved murders, rapes, theft, etc. I had a computer stolen about a few years ago and tried to recover my stolen computer and was practically laughed off the phone as that crime was tiny on the police blotter. This was Palm Springs, California which is a very safe City so that just puts things into perspective. In the next week, I will feature a few well-respected leaders in gang-intervention work with the resources available to me.