May 20, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

L.A. May Remove Criminal Penalties For Homeless Who Break Personal Property Law:

The Los Angeles City Council will consider a recommendation today to remove criminal penalties from a controversial city law that prohibits the storage of personal property, including items belonging to the homeless, on sidewalks and other public areas.

Advocates for the homeless rallied at City Hall last week to urge city leaders to strike out misdemeanor and financial penalties imposed on those who violate the law, which allows the city to give 24-hour notice before homeless encampments would need to be dismantled or personal items moved to a storage facility.

“We hope that you will take action that day to decriminalize homelessness, decriminalize the possession of property in public areas,” Becky Dennison, a co-founder of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, told council members Friday.

Dennison and others have been calling on the full 15-member City Council to support recommendations by the Homelessness and Poverty Committee to remove criminal penalties from the law, known as 56.11.

The removal of the misdemeanors faces resistance from some residents groups, as well as some council members. Mark Ryavec of the Venice Stakeholders group said criminal penalties are needed to enforce the law.

“The misdeameanor penalty must remain or campers will not comply with orders of city workers to remove their belongings to effectuate clean-ups,” he said in an email.

But pressure on city leaders to change the encampment laws could also come from another source, other than local advocates for the homeless. The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently revised their funding criteria to penalize grant applications from municipalities that criminalize homelessness, which could hurt Los Angeles’s chances of receiving federal funding, some city and county officials have said.

Dennison’s group, LACAN, and more than 100 other groups and “civic leaders” are also urging the City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti to set aside $100 million per year to build permanent supportive housing for the homeless and those who are low-income, and to stop spending an estimated $87 million per year on law enforcement programs affecting the homeless.

The council is also expected to set up a fund account today, but Dennison said none of the promised $100 million expected to go into it has yet to be identified.

City leaders also announced in September that they plan to declare an emergency, or more accurately, a “shelter crisis,” around homelessness, which could ease rules that currently slows down the ability to make shelter or housing available to the homeless.

Under state law, the city can declare a shelter crisis to more easily provide beds and put roofs over those who would otherwise be living on the streets.

The city, however, has limited itself by adopting a law that restricts the declaration of a shelter crisis to the winter months, even though the state law does not restrict the allowable duration of the crisis. An ordinance would need to be drafted to allow the shelter crisis to be declared for the year- round homelessness problem.

Declaring the shelter crisis, as described in a motion by several City Council members, would allow the city to more quickly convert public city facilities into shelters, and also could open up parking lots and allow owners of private property, such as churches, to make space available to the homeless.

If the City Council moves forward with a motion to declare the shelter crisis, the City Attorney would still need to draft the ordinance and bring it back to the full council for another vote.

A shelter crisis is different from the more commonly known “local emergency,” which can be initiated by the mayor and would grant him or her wide powers to use personnel, supplies and other resources to “protect life or property.”

in News
Related Posts

Shared Mobility Plummets in Santa Monica

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Recent report also shows that nearly half of riders make over $100,000 By Sam Catanzaro Shared mobility use in Santa...

Christopher Dishlip Selected as Santa Monica’s New Assistant Director of Public Works

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Public Works Director Rick Valte announced the selection of Christopher Dishlip as Santa Monica’s new Assistant Director of Public Works....

Letter to Editor: Response to Himmelrich’s “We Walk the Talk” Column

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

By Beau Marks As a Santa Monica resident, I am dismayed by Sue Himmelrich’s response (“We Walk the Talk,” Santa...

Motional And UberEats Launch Autonomous Deliveries In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

There Are Plans For Expansion Into The Rest Of Los Angeles Motional, a global driverless technology leader, and Uber Technologies...

Winston Pies Opening Third Location In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

The restaurant used to be known as ButterCrust Pies Winston Pies is staying in Santa Monica when opening their third...

Only 10 Vaquita Porpoises Survive, But The Species May Not Be Doomed

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

Hope remains for the porpoise species not only survive but thrive with human help. By Stuart Wolpert The vaquita porpoise,...

The American Cinematheque Brings “Bleak Week” To Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre And The Los Feliz Three Theatre

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

33 Films From 18 Countries In One Week. By Dolores Quintana Sometimes when things are tough and you’re feeling down,...

Man Who Murdered His Family Members Pleads Guilty To Five Other Killings

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Escobar injured an additional seven other people as well.  By Dolores Quintana A man, Ramon Escobar, has pleaded guilty to...

The price of gasoline in Los Angeles County Has Experienced The Largest Increase Since February

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Gasoline prices in Orange County Have Also Increased By Dolores Quintana Regular self-serve gasoline in the county of Los Angeles...

Santa Monica Travel Summit Of 2022 Returns To Take On Tomorrow

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

The Event Was Held At The Jonathan Club On Santa Monica Beach By Staff Writer The 2022 Santa Monica Tourism...

City Council Extends Santa Monica’s Parklet Program: Santa Monica Beat – May 16th, 2022

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* City Council Extends Santa Monica’s Parklet Program * Santa Monica High School Students...

1221 Ocean Avenue Complex Sold For Record Price

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Sold for a record price of $330 million. By Dolores Quintana The Irvine Company has sold 1221 Ocean Avenue to...

Office Construction Is Starting To Rise In Los Angeles

May 15, 2022

May 15, 2022

Property vacancies are still affecting growth.  By Dolores Quintana In March, the Los Angeles Metropolitan area had 3.2 million square...

Santa Monica City Council Selects Doug Sloan as New City Attorney

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

At its meeting this week, the Santa Monica City Council appointed Doug Sloan to serve as Santa Monica’s next City...

Landmark Theater Closing in Former Westside Pavillion

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

Theater will close at the end of month By Sam Catanzaro The Landmark Pico theater at the former Westside Pavillion...