Los Angeles (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles City Council will consider a proposal Tuesday to replace mandatory cleanups of homeless encampments with a more voluntary, service-based approach.
The proposal, submitted in January by council members Nithya Raman and Mike Bonin, calls on the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation to develop standards for street engagement and sanitation, emphasizing voluntary compliance whenever possible.
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In particular, they will not cover law enforcement.
Cleanup events are held regularly and include services such as litter pickup and public education. The camp will also be equipped with portable showers, bathrooms, COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, and comfortable, shaded structures.
The petition also calls for non-resident Angelenos to be hired to keep the grounds clean between cleanings and to make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities.
Raman and Bonin argued in the motion that the Los Angeles administration should be guided by the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm. They contrasted this with the policy of forced purges in Los Angeles, where unwanted residents had to dismantle their tents and move their belongings.
Bonin caused a stir earlier this month when he asked the city to consider setting up tiny houses for the homeless in several coastal communities, including Pacific Palisades and Venice. Temporary locations included Will Rogers State Beach, Dockweiler State Beach, Fisherman’s Village in Marina del Rey, and a site owned by the City of Culver.
The decision follows a controversial operation in Echo Park in late March in which dozens of people were arrested in protest of the removal of a large encampment of homeless people in Lake Echo Park and the indefinite closure of the park to repair an estimated $500,000 in damage.
Last week, Reseda residents expressed anger over a community of about 50 tiny houses being built in their neighborhood to house the homeless.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, in his annual address to the city Monday night, proposed a budget plan for the next fiscal year that would allocate nearly $1 billion to combat the ongoing homeless crisis.
Several Los Angeles neighborhoods supported Raman and Bonin’s proposal, including Atwater Village, Arroyo Seco, Del Rey, Eagle Rock, East Hollywood, Echo Park, West Congressional District, Greater Cypress Park, Greater Valley Glen, Hollywood Hills West, NoHo and Mid City. The Los Feliz Neighborhood Council said it would support the proposal if the cleanup is mandatory and not voluntary.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. City News Service contributed to this report).
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