People experiencing homelessness in Echo Park are asking Los Angeles Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell to give them permission to camp out in Echo Park. Residents penned a letter to the public official titled, “Dear Mitch, Don’t Evict Us.”
The letter states that the group of about 60 people feels harassed and persecuted by local law enforcement and city employees. It calls on O’Farrell to work with the residents to develop a community contract. As part of the contract, the groups says it will keep the park clean and be respectful of neighbors in return for the dismissal of late night police raids and unpredictable “clean ups,” conducted by the city. According to Curbed L.A., LAPD officials have said they will work with those currently living in the park to try to find a solution. O’Farrell’s office issued a release last week saying he “wants to ensure that all City parks be kept clean, safe, and accessible for people of all ages and income levels.” It says his plan to address the situation at Echo Park includes staffing public restrooms facilities 24-7, provide mobile hygiene units and activate an emergency shelter in the area. Today on AirTalk, we learn more about the situation and what those living in the park seek in an agreement. Do you have thoughts? Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722.
Jed Parriot, community organizer with Street Watch LA, a coalition from Democratic Socialists of L.A. and the L.A. Community Action Network that provides outreach and support to vulnerable populations; he tweets @Juggolantern
Darcy Harris, chair of the Echo Park Neighborhood Council
Lloyd Edward, lives at Echo Park Lake