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Hundreds in Venice discuss proposed Bridge shelter with LA mayor, City Councilman, LAPD

The auditorium at Westminster Elementary School in Venice was packed Wednesday night for a town hall on a proposed emergency shelter a few blocks away.
The auditorium at Westminster Elementary School in Venice was packed Wednesday night for a town hall on a proposed emergency shelter a few blocks away.
Matt Tinoco/KPCC

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Hundreds in Venice packed into Westminster Elementary’s auditorium, while others watched from a designated overflow area, for a town hall on a proposed temporary homeless shelter - part of Mayor Eric Garcetti's "A Bridge Home" initiative.

The mayor, City Councilman Mike Bonin, and LAPD Chief Michel Moore spoke and fielded questions from the crowd for about three hours before mics were cut and attendees were encouraged to follow up with the speakers. 

This plan - and even this town hall - have caused a lot of controversy in Venice. The conversation was heated, and often punctuated with chants of "Venice says no!"

Some opponents of the project wore black t-shirts that said "FIGHT BACK VENICE" and held red signs that said "STOP DUMPING ON VENICE." Some supporters stood outside, holding signs that said "BEDS NOT SIDEWALKS" and holding electric candles.