South LA residents are concerned about upcoming sequestration

By Katie Lyons

Listen to an audio story from Annenberg Radio News.

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The highly controversial sequestration has finally arrived and will go into effect starting tomorrow. Unless Congress passes a last-minute deal, $85 billion will be cut from the federal budget putting as many 750,000 federal jobs at risk.

South Los Angeles residents are worried about how the cuts will impact their lives. One resident in particular, Barry Brewer, is worried about crime.

“The crime rate will go up. I think there’s just more frustrated people in the world, you know?” said Brewer. “Like I said crime, I just think that definitely, especially in our community, the urban community. Bills not being paid, kids not being able to go to school. They might not get the proper necessities they need.”

According to President Obama, sequestration will put teachers’ jobs at risk, leave the country unprepared for future military engagements, and create day-to-day inconveniences, such as long lines at the airport and shuttering of public parks.

Many residents of Crenshaw are unfamiliar with sequestration. Resident Randy Shrusbury is concerned with the amount of people that are unaware of the cuts.

“Oh, I think it’s going to hurt us heavily. And I think one of the big issues is that people aren’t informed, unfortunately,” said Shrusbury. “In fact, I heard a poll recently that onlly 25 percent of people are paying attention to it. So I think that’s the big issue and there’s going to be no pressure on congress.”

Sequestration will add additional pressure to schools that have already laid off staff. Resident Brian Fields wishes that schools had more staff for sanitary reasons.

“Like at one of the schools even over here, at King, they had to lay off the janitors,” said Fields. “So if you were to go over there and see how nasty those bathrooms are, you’d be like ‘Man, you could find a little bit of money to hire a janitor or two.'”

Obama is continuing to work with Republicans to create an alternative to cut spending.

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