By Nick Antonicello
Reverend John Palko Is In Contact With CD11 Councilmember Traci Park’s Office
The situation along Venice Boulevard and in particular in front of the First Lutheran Church has been challenging for this spiritual community and its preschool population, but with a change in political leadership comes the opportunity to make things better for the unhoused and those living in these permanently parked vehicles.
The Reverend John Palko, who heads the First Lutheran Church and his preschool community has been impacted by the RV dilemma, but has been in contact with the office of recently elected Councilwoman Traci Park (CD-11) and believes help is on the way through the city legislative action that can solve the problem of permanently parked RV’s.
“We’ve made many efforts to work with Traci Park’s office to address the steadily growing population of RVs and abandoned cars along with their ever-growing piles of material and garbage in the area of 815 Venice Blvd. We’ve tried to work directly with the people in the RVs, but they weren’t interested in talking with us or they just refused to talk at all. The problem continues to get bigger,” observed Palko.
But Palko believes legislative action by LA city officials and in particular Councilwoman Park is the kind of leadership they have not received in the past.
“The City of LA had posted No-Parking signs between 2 and 6 am in this section of Venice Blvd according to L.A.M.C. 80.69.4. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to matter, even though there continues to be a school here. Our hope is that with last Friday’s passing of a new ordinance in the LA City Council addressing the RV situation in Venice, Traci and her office will sense that they can finally do something to address this situation.”
In a brief phone interview, Palko was impressed by Park’s “mastery” of the homeless and encampment dilemma and sees things finally improving for the betterment of this neighborhood.
With the LA City Council now taking action, Palko believes the current RV situation can be addressed and rectified for all concerned and as we have witnessed in other Venice neighborhoods, the homeless population here in Venice is decreasing.
Last month Park in a public address noted that some 150 homeless individuals had been housed in and about Venice and that the surge to continue to address the issue while slow to solve is ongoing as her office asks that Venetians remain patient and vigilant as help is in fact on the way.
Park has conducted two ZOOM presentations on the status of bridge housing as well as collaborating with the VNC’s Homelessness Committee as members of her legislative team addressed residents on their goals and objectives moving forward.
Since assuming office, Councilwoman Park in partnership with LA Mayor Karen Bass has made significant progress cleaning and eliminating encampments on Flower, Hampton, and Third as Venice remains second in this encampment crisis only behind downtown’s Skid Row.
Since becoming the new mayor, Karen Bass has made homelessness a citywide emergency priority and progress is visible and evident in cooperation with Park, an attorney and resident of Venice who replaced councilmember Mike Bonin in December of last year.
Park is the first Venetian to sit on the LA City Council since retired councilmember Ruth Galanter.
A thirty-year Venetian, Nick Antonicello is covering the encampment and RV crisis here in Venice. Know of a new encampment or RV issue? Feel free to contact Antonicello via e-mail at email@example.com