Going It Alone in the Ghetto

Los Angeles' poor may tax themselves for more police

Nobody fears urban crime more than the urban poor. In Watts and other rough neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles, residents are terrorized daily by gangs and gunfire, living in a virtual war zone where murder is the leading cause of death among young men. Since 1981 residents have twice voted for higher taxes to pay for more police officers, but each time the citywide referendum was defeated by voters in the more affluent and better-policed areas of Los Angeles.

Now the ghetto may decide to go it alone. Local activists have proposed a $21 million property tax levied against South...

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