UPDATE: Los Angeles Passes Measure Cracking Down on Homeless Tents

'Before the unhoused are restricted from occupying public space, they should be ... offered a suitable alternative for housing...'

UPDATE 7/2/21 6:45 AM via AP: The Los Angeles City Council passed a sweeping anti-camping measure Thursday to remove widespread homeless encampments that have become an eyesore across the city.

The measure was billed as a compassionate approach to get people off streets and restore access to public spaces in the city with nation’s second-largest homeless population, though critics said it would criminalize the problem.

“I can’t think of any reason why we would not unite in support of what the people of Los Angeles want us to do,” said Councilman Paul Krekorian, coauthor of the measure. “Restore order to our streets, while also uplifting and providing services to those in need.”

Among other limits, the ordinance that passed 13-2 would ban sitting, lying, sleeping or storing personal property that blocks sidewalks, streets and bike lanes or near driveways, fire hydrants, schools, day care centers, libraries, homeless shelters and parks.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: (Associated Press) Los Angeles city leaders are poised to pass sweeping restrictions Thursday on one of the nation’s largest homeless populations, making it illegal to pitch tents on many sidewalks, beneath overpasses and near parks.

The measure before the City Council is billed as a humane approach to get people off streets and restore access to public spaces, and it wouldn’t be enforced until someone has turned down an offer of shelter. It would severely limit the number of places where homeless encampments have been allowed to grow and become a common sight across the city.

“There are right ways and wrong ways to disrupt the status quo and improve conditions on the street,” Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas, coauthor of the measure, said in a statement. “I am governed by a fundamental position: Before the unhoused are restricted from occupying public space, they should be … offered a suitable alternative for housing.”

Among other limits, the ordinance would ban sitting, lying, sleeping or storing personal property on sidewalks that block handicap access, near driveways and within 500 feet of schools, day care centers, libraries or parks.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

The measure, which was unexpectedly announced at Tuesday’s meeting, would replace a more punitive anti-camping proposal. Police would only get involved if there’s a crime, Ridley-Thomas said.

An advocate for the homeless said the measure is loosely written to allow broad interpretation for enforcement and will make most of the city off-limits to people living on the street.

“Draconian is definitely the correct word,” said Pete White of the LA Community Action Network. “I think it’s impossible to comply.”

White said that an ordinance that limited where people could park RVs and sleep in cars overnight left little more than 5% of streets available for parking.

Homelessness has become a crisis of “epic proportions,” the measure says. It remains near the top of political agendas across the state.

California is home to more than a quarter of the nation’s homeless people, according to federal data. The city of Los Angeles has an estimated homeless population of more than 40,000.

A federal judge directed the city of LA to offer housing to thousands of homeless people on notorious Skid Row by this fall, though an appeals court put that on hold.

Two Republican candidates seeking to replace Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom in a recall election came to LA County this week to announce their plans to address the statewide problem.

While the crisis is widespread across Los Angeles, a dispute about how to solve the problem has become a flashpoint on Venice Beach, where an encampment exploded in size during the coronavirus pandemic and has left residents weary and worried for their safety after several violent incidents.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva, whose deputies patrol unincorporated parts of the county, entered city turf with a homeless outreach team to announce a plan to get people into housing by July 4.

His lofty overture, which has moved some people off the boardwalk but is unlikely to meet his goal by this weekend, was met with resistance from much of LA’s political establishment, particularly Councilmember Mike Bonin, whose district includes Venice.

Bonin, who criticized an approach that could lead to housing at the jail Villanueva runs if people don’t leave, launched his own plan days later. That effort is being rolled out in several phases into August and promises to move people into temporary shelter and then permanent housing.

Bonin was among councilmembers opposing the measure Tuesday in the 12-3 vote, saying the city doesn’t have 20,000 beds needed for the homeless. He also said the plan should show where sleeping and camping would be allowed.

If the measure doesn’t receive unanimous approval on Thursday, it will face a second vote later in July before it can take effect.

- Advertisement -


Justice Department Sues Texas for Racial Discrimination Over New District Maps

(Headline USA) The Justice Department sued Texas on Monday over its new redistricting maps, saying the plans discriminate against minority voters, particularly Latinos, who...

Bob Dole’s Body to Lie in State at US Capitol on Thursday

(Associated Press) Sen. Bob Dole's casket will lie in state in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday as congressional leaders honor the former Republican presidential...

Biden Declares Diplomatic Boycott of Beijing Olympics, China Shrugs

For anyone keeping score, it’s not even close, but to recap: China covered up the initial outbreak of COVID and continues to deny any...

Trump Tax Cuts Helped Lower-Income Families, Biden Helps The Elite Rich

(Bethany Blankley, The Center Square) Democrats have argued that the tax reforms implemented through the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) only benefited...

Smollett Testifies: Says He Paid For Nutritional Advice, Not A Hoax Assault

(Headline USA) Former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett testified at his trial that he wrote a $3,500 check to a friend for nutrition and training...

Oregon Moves to Make Mask Mandate Permanent

Oregon could be the first state to make its indoor mask mandate permanent. Last week, the Oregon Health Authority assembled a Rules Advisory Committee to...

AOC Denies There’s a San Francisco Crime Wave

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., claimed last week that widespread theft in San Francisco is not actually a problem. “A lot of these allegations of organized...

San Francisco Restaurant Apologizes For Kicking Out On-Duty Police Officers

A San Francisco restaurant that bragged about kicking out three police officers last week is now apologizing for denying the officers service. Hilda and Jesse...

Omar ‘Confident’ Pelosi Will Move to Strip Boebert of Committee Assignments

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said she is confident House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will hold a vote this week to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert,...
- Advertisement -