NS Los Angeles City Council voted 13-2 to approve one ordinance The code was signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti on August 3 banning homeless camps from public areas. Council members Mike Bonin and Nitya Raman were the two dissenting votes.
This ordinance prohibits the homeless in a public right from “sitting, lying, or sleeping or storing, using, maintaining, or possessing private property”; This includes 500 feet from schools, parks, and libraries, 500 feet from an overpass, freeway ramp, tunnel, bridge, or subway, and 5 feet from an entrance. It also gives city council members the ability to ban camps in parts of their districts.
“While we know that the life expectancy for street dwellers is 20 years lower, when we know that they are much more likely to be the victims of violent crime… How kind is it to allow this?” Council member Joe Buscano said during the meeting.
Council member Kevin De Leon said Los Angeles has seen months of homelessness as “the worst humanitarian crisis the city has ever experienced.”
Residents say camps caused ‘increased violence’
More than 66,000 non-domesticated people in Los Angeles County will be affected by the measure, according to Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) in 2020. LAHSA reported a 12.7 percent increase in the number of homeless in 2020.
before the pandemic, Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) Sec. 56.11 and sec. 41.18 prohibited both cantonment and private property in most public places. According to officials, the measures were rolled back in early 2020 as an attempt to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The lack of enforcement caused an outcry among residents, particularly in Venice Beach, who said garbage, needles, feces, pollution, fire, violence and camps were negatively affecting the community.
“Interestingly, when COVID-19 happened, we knew we had to stay indoors. But as we look right outside our windows, we saw the camp grow to over 100 people,” Venetian resident Chi Lun told The Epoch Times in a previous interview.
“And people keep coming and going throughout the night as we used to do throughout COVID,” she said.
Lunn said the neighborhood saw an increase in parked RVs and “an increase in violence” along the parks.
“And even our park was labeled by Mike Bonin and as a place to go during COVID to make kids feel safe and use the internet, but still in the same park We had three RV explosions and drug use,” she said.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) statistics Data provided to the Venice Neighborhood Council shows that robberies have nearly tripled compared to last year. Homelessness-related robberies increased by 260 percent, homelessness-related attacks with a deadly weapon by 118 percent, property crimes and area thefts by 85 percent, and grand theft autos by 74 percent.
Mixed Reactions From Angelenos
Proponents of the ordinance argue that the measure will clear sidewalks and public areas, ensuring that people can easily access business and public transport. Dozens of residents called during the meeting to show their support or protest.
One caller said, “There has to be a balance between having a whole heart for those who don’t have a home, and also having a full heart for our community and neighborhood and our sense of security.”
Council member Paul Krekorian, one of the authors of the code, said last month The ordinance “does not make homelessness illegal,” but that it would put non-domestic and users of public transportation “in the event of interaction with automobiles, in the vicinity of loading docks, driveways, etc.” This guarantees access to our fire hydrants, entrances to buildings.
Krakorian’s office did not respond to a request for comment by press deadline.
Those opposing the ordinance criticized the city council’s approach to homelessness, with some saying politics has a disproportionate impact on homelessness policies in Los Angeles.
In a Twitter thread on Wednesday, Raman said city council members who receive a large amount of homelessness complaints can ban camps in most areas of their districts, move to non-residential places in other districts and low-income areas. Huh. Raman argued that the council should focus on “real solutions,” such as housing, outreach and services, rather than making “harmful and misleading ‘quick fixes’.”
Both Raman, whose districts include Hollywood and Silverlake, and Bonin, whose districts include Venice Beach, are currently subjects of? recall campaign by residents. Organizers cited conducting a recall election as the main reason for the authorities’ handling of the homeless crisis.
Others in the opposition argued that the approach to homelessness should focus on housing rather than shelter. When the council requested the city’s counsel to draft an ordinance on June 29, the council asked the city administrator’s office to implement a 30-day street engagement strategy to provide shelter, temporary housing or permanent supportive housing to the homeless. advised to do.
Bonin said the ordinance at the last meeting shows people where they can’t sleep, but doesn’t show where they’re allowed to sleep; Nor does it provide shelter or accommodation. Bonin shared his own experience of homelessness, saying, “I can’t tell you how demoralizing and dehumanizing and defeating that experience when you don’t know where you’re going to sleep.”
Daniel Conway of the LA Alliance, a human rights coalition, said the focus on cleaning up public spaces is just one piece of the equation. The LA Alliance, a group of stakeholders and residents, sued Los Angeles County last year. Requesting the county to house more than 66,000 non-domesticated people in the county.
“NS [city council] I am convinced that this is an unresolved crisis, and this is reflected in the policies he has implemented,” Conway told The Epoch Times.
Conway called on the county to act on the issue, saying the lack of involvement was “shameful.”
“We are missing a true partnership between county and city,” Conway said.
Both Raman’s office and Bonin’s office did not respond to a request for comment by press deadline.
News Originally From – The Epoch Times