VOICES--One year has passed since LA voters approved $1.2 billion in Measure HHH to end LA’s homeless crisis — and the City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti have failed to erect a single unit of homeless housing.
Now, the backlash: On Monday, on camera, homeless activist General Dogone dramatically ripped up an “award” handed to him by a frozen-in-place Garcetti, saying the opening of a small toilet facility on Skid Row was, “10 years late, and it’s 300 too short.” (Watch the video.)
Then Wednesday, LA’s failure went national as Washington Post reported LA’s crisis is driving up the U.S. homeless rate. LA residents are being pushed to the streets — not people from Jersey seeking sun.
Coalition to Preserve LA urges the media to commit to reporting how L.A. electeds hand out zoning favors and cut red tape so luxury developers can “gentrify” LA, which is pushing our renters to the streets. Yet they dither for months over building any homeless housing.
“WIMBYs — Wall Street In My Back Yard — today grip City Hall, where the Mayor, Council President, and Planning and Land Use Chairman take hundreds of thousands of dollars from luxury developers,” said Coalition to Preserve LA executive director Jill Stewart. “Our political leadership then insists LA’s glut of $3,000 luxury units is ‘trickling down’ to create affordable housing. No, guys, it clearly is not.”
City leaders rely on WIMBY groups such as Abundant Housing and Beacon Economics to tout failed trickle-down “supply and demand” theory even as renters are evicted — and homelessness surges.
Dogone’s slam on-camera — as Garcetti touted 6 new showers and 8 toilets for Skid Row — was an expression of rising hopelessness. Garcetti has twice proclaimed, “We will end homelessness!”
City Hall’s refusal to slash its red tape and quickly use HHH money on this profound emergency makes clear: LA’s political will is the crisis.
(Ileana Wachtel writes for 2preservela and is an occasional contributor to CityWatch.)