Los Angeles State of Emergency

Last week, during Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass’ first days in office, Bass said emergency state on the spiraling homelessness crisis in the city. It is intended to last at least six months, although it will need to be re-approved by the Los Angeles City Council every 30 days.

It should be simple, except that the city council is embroiled in a series of controversies stemming from racist statements made by several council members over a hot mic in the fall. During this incident, several members of the Latin American council, including former California State Senate leader Kevin de León and the head of the LA Federation of Labor, were caught using racist comments disparaging the African American son of a white council member during a conversation about how to shape council district boundaries in a way designed to increase the political power of Latinos in the multiracial metropolis. The protesters swore to close city council meetings until de León resigns, which he refused to do. Several council members also refused to participate in meetings with de León, thus depriving the council of a quorum to conduct business. Earlier this month, a hat-wearing Santa Claus from León walked into a physical fight with an anti-racist activist; the resulting images, captured on a cellphone, went viral via Twitter.

Bass’s office, however, is working on the assumption that the council will at least be functional enough to hold meetings in the coming months – and that at those meetings they will approve his declaration of a state of emergency in order to channel more resources in the effort. to alleviate the catastrophe of homelessness in Los Angeles.

The declaration of the new mayor is, above all, intended to reduce red tape. It’s built around a strategy called “Inside Safe,” which aims to expedite the movement of homeless people into city-leased motel rooms and apartments and would require applications for affordable housing and shelter placement be processed within 60 days instead of the current six. -at nine months.

At the same time, Bass is strengthen coordination between city departments working on homelessness and non-profit organizations and other organizations on the ground, with daily meetings scheduled to deal with the crisis. His goal is to house at least 17,000 of the city’s more than 40,000 homeless during his first year in office.

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