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Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Los Angeles City Council approves funding for Skid Row cleanup

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Skid Row in downtown L.A. will get additional clean up crews and trash cans thanks to $3.7 million approved Tuesday by the City Council. 

The funding is part of Operation Healthy Streets, which was created after a court decision limited how and when city crews can remove personal belongings from the streets and sidewalks of Skid Row. The money — about double what the city was budgeted to spend this year — will provide additional bathroom facilities, storage for homeless residents, and increase the frequency of trash collection. 

"Our responsibility ... is to ensure that the public health and safety of all people in public spaces are protected and well served," said Councilman Jose Huizar, who represents the area. "It is a disgrace on Skid Row and we have not done a good job.

"A few years ago, when we started Healthy Streets, it did a lot to clean up a very disgraceful place."

Still, Huizar called the additional funding "a drop in the bucket."

The funding was opposed by members of the Los Angeles Community Action Network. One activist with the group, General Dogon, expressed concern that too much of the funding would go toward salaries or other costs that do not directly benefit Skid Row residents. 

"West of Main Street, you have got street furniture, exercise equipment, parklets, green gardens and dog water fountains," he said. "East of Main Street, we ain't got nothing."

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