May 27, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

(Opinion) The Purpose of Anti-Camping Designations

Here’s What Mark Ryavec, President Of Venice Stakeholders Association, Believes About Anti-Camping Designations.

Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky has missed the point of Los Angeles’s ban on camping in certain sensitive areas (Municipal Code Section 41.18).

In introducing her Motion for a study of the camping ban, she said her intent was for the city to get “a clearer picture as to how 41.18…has been applied and whether or not its reducing homelessness.”

The point of designating certain sensitive sites as off-limits for any homeless camping is not to reduce homelessness; it is to protect the 99% of us who are not homeless from the burden and dangers inherent in the homeless population.

The anti-camping designation around schools and child care centers, parks and beaches, tunnels and underpasses, and areas of prior deaths, violent crime and sex trafficking is intended to keep school children safe, allow the public to return to our parks and beaches in safety, secure safe passage for the vulnerable – especially children and the disabled – through subterranean passages, and to disband encampments that have in the past been incubators of murder, overdoses, assaults and other crimes.

While assessing the cost of printing and installing the 41.18 signs may be a valuable exercise, Ms. Yaroslavsky’s Motion posits a false purpose for the current version of 41.18.  The goal is to make public spaces safe and comfortable for the great housed majority, not to reduce the number of the unhoused, which is being accomplished separately by construction and purchase of thousands of units of housing, the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars on services, and programs like Mayor Bass’ Inside Now program, which is successfully moving homeless individuals into housing.  It is time for the councilwoman to stop expecting something of 41.18 for which it was not designed.

Mark Ryavec, President, Venice Stakeholders Association

Former Legislative Analyst, Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst, Los Angeles City Council

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