Two readers wrote about the L.A. City Council voting to continue City Emergency Resolution that was first passed in March 2020 during the Covid pandemic and now comes up for a vote every 30 days. At the August 26 meeting, the City Council passed the resolution with 10 ayes and 1 no, even though the resolution appears to ignore CDC guidelines.
Reader one asked, “Why is continued passage of a state of emergency justified by L.A. City?” The reader noted that the resolution requires masks in Rec centers and City libraries [but not county libraries]. “What exactly is the state of emergency?”
When the L.A. City Council votes every 30 days to extend this State of Emergency, a second reader said, “It provides justification for RV dwelling and camping in public areas.”
The reader, who is a landlord wrote, “It allows renters to not pay rent without repercussions. A renter could make more money than the landlord and avoid eviction if they chose to not pay rent. A landlord could be homeless and not be able to occupy their property.”
CD 11 Candidate Traci Park responded:
COVID has had an impact on our daily lives, the way we live and how we think about and approach tomorrow. It has had a lasting impact on us all, including our city leaders. But that’s no excuse for freezing in place. Our elected leaders need to take a hard look at what was enacted during the COVID emergency, what worked and what is no longer necessary. When I am elected to the City Council, if they haven’t done so already, I will take a hard look at all of the emergency orders to determine which are no longer necessary, beginning with renter/landlord protections.
I will introduce an ordinance that will finally call for a Renters Bill of Rights that will also include protections for mom-and-pop landlords, who did not receive adequate relief while their own taxes, insurance, maintenance, and other costs continued to rise. We know that nearly two-thirds of Angelinos rent, and they deserve a level of “certainty,” along with our mom-and-pop landlords who need and deserve the same. That also holds true for our small businesses.
Like my strong support for 41.18, the City Council action to create a 500-foot buffer away from our schools and children, my position on encampments is equally clear: when elected, I will focus on the inhumanity of encampment living with the urgency this problem demands. We must get people off the streets, for the health and safety of the entire community. We will not criminalize poverty, addiction, or mental health disorders. But we must insist on clean and safe streets, parks, and neighborhoods. This is not an unsolvable problem; it is a matter of resolve and leadership. I will take swift action to get the unhoused into safe settings and restore the full use and enjoyment of our parks, libraries, and recreation spaces to their intended public uses.
Lastly, when I am sworn in, I will hold our state legislators accountable for the promises they made to us all – small business owners, renters and landlords. They need to follow through on their promises that ensures renters get the relief they need, and landlords get the lifeline they were promised and deserve.
CD 11 Candidate Erin Darling Responded:
The 2022 LAHSA Homeless count released this week showed that District 11 saw the largest decrease in homelessness anywhere in LA. But this decrease is not enough, we must get people off the streets and inside. Unfortunately, people are entering homelessness at a faster rate than they are exiting it. To stem the tide, we must strengthen renter protections and then let the Covid-emergency protections end. As Kristina Dixon, Co-Executive Director of LAHSA said in an interview with the L.A. Times, “If the greater L.A. area could stop people from falling into homelessness, we could end homelessness in three to four years.”