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Issues local candidates should address 

SLO Town is often thought of as a place with few if any real problems or social maladies. And it’s true there aren’t many that are easy to see at first glance. But a closer look reveals much. For instance:

• An underbelly, still, of chronic homelessness. The homeless are kind of hidden now because of police and private security harassment of them downtown. They are chased to the margins, but they are still there and still many.

• Grossly high rents, both for residential and storefront commercial spaces. Many small businesses have come and gone, often citing high rents as a major reason for leaving downtown. High rents are also a major contributor to homelessness. Many people working full time can still not find affordable shelter. Sleeping in vehicles is banned.

• Costs/prices for food, utilities, gasoline, and practically everything else are high.

• Sexual assaults and rapes are all too common on and around the Cal Poly campus.

• The wealthy, privileged, and connected who commit crimes face only light and easy charges and penalties. The poor and powerless are treated to “strict law and order,” even if their offences are relatively minor by comparison.

• College students must pay exorbitant tuition at Cal Poly (Cuesta is not cheap either), forcing many into a lifetime of debt, dragging them down.

• Robberies and home break-ins are up. We’re not Detroit or LA, but things have gotten worse.

Look, SLO is a pretty nice place to live, no doubt. Compared to many other places it’s a virtual mini-paradise. But let’s not blind ourselves to the very real problems that are there. They need serious attention. Are you listening, candidates for office?

-- Jim Griffin - SLO

-- Jim Griffin - SLO

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