South LA Fast Food Ban? City Council 'Lovin' It!'
An LA City Council committee has made a unanimous decision to ban new fast-food restaurants in South LA for one year; the decision goes to the full council and the mayor this week. Spearheaded by Councilwoman Jan Perry, the ban would "prevent fast-food chains from opening new restaurants in a 32-square-mile area, including West Adams, Baldwin Village and Leimert Park. The moratorium would be in effect for one year, with the possibility of two six-month extensions."
Perry's reasons are two-fold: first, the near-monopolistic hold of fast food restaurants over the area's retail eateries. Small business owners and supermarkets have no incentive to invest in an area where Big Macs are prized above Mom's apple pie. Second, Perry cites concerns over "the health issues associated with fast food, such as diabetes and obesity."
As LAist has rightly pointed out in the past, it might be easier to buy a gun in South LA than to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. But as our previous editor also pointed out, why should South LA's citizens be protected from themselves? If fast food restaurants are flourishing in these areas, and providing important jobs to low-income communities, who are we to push our liberal-organic, HFCS-fearing agenda on an area of the city that seems perfectly happy to hug their hamburgers to their mountainous bosoms and call it a day? So what if they don't have a "choice" — they don't have the "education" to tell the difference anyway!
So let the free market economy call the shots on this one, and government intervention be damned. Fast food bans are just a bandaid on a shotgun wound. The stuff that shows up in our fuzzy-wuzzy fancy markets is just as likely to kill us as a stupid burger, anyway. It's a cheap, attention-grabbing ploy to make some city council people feel like they're making a difference, when we all know these problems are deeply rooted in decades of bad policy-making and corporate campaigns of misinformation. Loving it? I don't fucking think so.