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LA City Council Weighs Controversial Proposal That Could Ban Homeless Encampments In Certain Areas




People walk past a homeless tent encampment in Skid Row on September 16, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Skid Row is home to thousands who either live on the streets or in shelters.
People walk past a homeless tent encampment in Skid Row on September 16, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Skid Row is home to thousands who either live on the streets or in shelters.
Mario Tama/Getty Images

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The Los Angeles City Council was due to vote last week on whether to amend local laws to effectively ban homeless encampments in certain parts of L.A. But after a long and contentious meeting, it instead decided to push the motion until November 24, with Council President Nury Martinez saying she wants council members to come up with "real solutions" during that time.

Supporters of the controversial motion say it will help get homeless people off the streets and into shelters, while opponents say the changes will criminalize homelessness. Last week, council members Bob Blumenfield, Joe Buscaino and others introduced a motion instructing the City Attorney to amend two city laws, L.A. Municipal Codes 41.18 and 56.11. Those laws prohibit camping and having “bulky” items in public places, but recent court rulings prevent the city from enforcing anti-camping laws without having adequate shelter beds available.

The proposed changes would allow the city to ban sitting, sleeping or lying down within 500 feet of freeways, freeway ramps, tunnels and certain homeless services facilities opened after January 1, 2018. They would also allow a ban on storing personal property in any of those areas. The motion faced harsh public comment from homeless advocates during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Today on AirTalk, we discuss the proposed amendment. Do you have thoughts or questions? Call us at 866-893-5722. 

With files from LAist. Read the full story here

Guests: 

Mike Feuer, city attorney of Los Angeles; he tweets @CityAttorneyLA

Mike Bonin, city councilmember representing LA’s 11th district, which includes Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Ladera, and Venice; he tweets @mikebonin

“General” Jeff Page, skid row community activist commonly known as the defacto mayor of skid row, he’s also the chair of the Skid Row Neighborhood Council Formation Committee; he tweets @GoSkidRowGo 

Va Lecia Adams Kellum, president and CEO of St. Joseph Center, which works with working poor families, and homeless men, women and children; they are based in Venice and service LA County; she tweets @VaLeciaAdams