Candidate Newhouse stands out as the “man with a plan” on ending the encampment crisis here in Venice and beyond!
By Nick Antonicello
No matter what office one is seeking, there seems to be only one issue on the minds of voters and that is rampant homelessness and the rising crime that comes with it.
Here in CD-11, to speak about anything else is to literally waste your breath and speak to yourself as all polling indicates this is a “one-issue” debate and voters want solutions and answers to a crisis that seemingly is getting worse, especially here in Venice, where outgoing and exiting incumbent Mike Bonin has turned this neighborhood into a permanent, homeless containment zone!
Insider council candidate Greg Good seems to be even abandoning a message on this issue as his latest mailer talks about the environment, climate change and alike as if city council members can truly impact what is really state and federal policy?
But isn’t homelessness truly an environmental and health safety concern?
Talking about “cool blocks” and “diverting food waste” doesn’t really seem to cut it as average residents who are seeking a plan or solution to the obvious!
Homelessness. Homelessness. Homelessness!
Former Venice Neighborhood Council President Mike Newhouse seems to get it, as in his first mailing is concise, specific and accountable with a plan that has a “start and finish” date that no one else is currently suggesting or offering:
- Announce a uniform and coordinated 30-day notice to clear all encampments in CD-11 at the same time
- Provide transitional shelter with addiction and mental health services for all unhoused
- Daily and individualized outreach by health professionals during the notice period, and for as long as needed once sheltered
- Structured path to permanent housing while increasing the speed of construction
- Enforce existing no-camping laws following the initial 30-Day notice period
Newhouse wants to end the status quo, create new results and stray away from the extreme rhetoric of some that does nothing to actually solve the problem on the streets of Venice today.
Plans that are easy to understand, that require timelines and specifics are what Venetians have been seeking for the better part of the last four years as the streets of Venice have exploded with out-of-state transients, especially in venues such as Centennial Park east of the Library where I asked the Homeless Committee of the Venice Neighborhood Council to pass something, anything las week to remove this criminally-infested ghetto from existence only to watch the committee water down and castrate the original resolution to meaningless dribble that will change nothing!
While certain members of the committee wanted to pass the resolution “as-is,” the majority debated about the coarseness of the language rather than address an issue this committee has ignored for months. Instead of going on the record and supporting the neighborhood and the community, they are more concerned with image verus results!
The meeting was surreal, and quite frankly detached from the realities of street life here in Venice.
For the voters of Venice have had it and rightly so, and for once a candidate is actually addressing the only issue in this race to succeed Mike Bonin and his failed and miserable ways.
For Newhouse is offering a plan that prioritizes outreach and engagement, while finally enforcing existing laws and clearing the encampments once and for all.
For isn’t that what everyone wants and seeks?
To end the scourge of the streets and the criminal behavior and activity that comes with it?
Candidate Traci Park is correct in that City Hall is ignoring us as she correctly displays in a recent mailing.
But as I have stated for months since the advent of her candidacy, “where’s the beef?”
Park claims she isn’t afraid to fight City Hall, but who will she be fighting?
We will have a new mayor and she could potentially be a the new council member, and what is she proposing that will “end the inhumanity of encampment living?”
Park speaks to having twenty years of experience as a public law attorney, but what does that mean?
Being a candidate for the Los Angeles City Council brings great responsibility and opportunity. Just what is her resume and record to become a legislator in one of America’s largest cities that has become woefully dysfunctional, and in dire need of new leaders that have the answers and solutions on day one?
And didn’t we find out in 2016 what happens when you elect a president with no prior elected or political experience?
Is simply being a lawyer the answer to what we need as a community and city?
She has never been a legislator and has no experience ever serving in government at any level in an appointed or elected position.
She is asking for your vote as someone with no tangible or practical experience to say nothing of the fact she has no local record of community involvement here in Venice.
For this is the typical campaign rhetoric you would read in any campaign brochure:
- End encampment living
- Improve public safety
- Support local businesses and help create good-paying jobs
- Reduce car traffic and improve roads and sidewalks
- Champion sustainability
While all this sounds noble, how will she improve public safety? How will she “help create good-paying jobs” or reduce car traffic?
These proclamations and promises seem to be the same “throwaway lines” you read every year, in every campaign.
And while it should be noted the Park campaign did not pay for this flyer, is the usual rhetoric in a campaign going to change anything?
This year is different.
We have a singular issue in rampant homelessness that must be addressed on day one and no longer analyzed, examined or discussed.
There is one issue.
We have roughly three weeks before the June 7th Primary and voters will be receiving their ballots shortly.
Hold those accountable who are providing the correct solution and demand from the rest a viable proposal that can be compared and contrasted as we enter the final days of this very important contest so we don’t make the same mistake and elect someone who would replicate a third-term of Mike Bonin.
Nick Antonicello is a longtime Venetian who serves on the Oceanfront & Outreach Committees of the Venice Neighborhood Council. He is covering the CD-11 race for council and can be reached at email@example.com