Two Councilman’s Different Views on the Palisades Fire

Photographer Gary Baum captured the fixed-wing MD-80 plane, laying down fire retardant at the Palisades Fire.
(Photo may not be used without Baum’s permission).

Councilmember Mike Bonin in CD 11 wrote on Twitter:

“Arson is a heinous felony and the person responsible for setting the #PalisadesFire and risking the lives of residents and firefighters should be prosecuted and held fully accountable. Intentionally setting a fire to cause harm or damage is a despicable crime and must be punished.

“Arson is a crime committee by an individual and not a person’s housing status. Suggesting the suspect’s housing status is a contributing factor to the crime is irresponsible, and implies other people experiencing homelessness are inherently more dangerous or more likely to commit arson than housed people.

“I cannot recall a public official or the media every highlighting that a fire was set by, or a crime committed by, a housed individual, although most are. This was not an encampment fire; it was arson. The arson’s suspect’s housing status is no more relevant than his race, his religion, or his sexual orientation. Exploiting this incident to stoke anti-homeless sentiment is irresponsible and harmful.”


Councilmember Joe Buscaino in CD 15 wrote in a message he shared with the press:

“This morning the Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed that the suspect in the Palisades fire has been charged with arson and was identified as a homeless individual.

“Our homelessness crisis is destroying neighborhoods and endangering the lives of the housed and unhoused. Over sixty percent of the fires that the LAFD has responded to this year have been related to homelessness. Allowing unregulated sprawling encampments is not compassionate, it’s reckless.

“That’s why we must act now on passing regulations that will return the rights of every Angeleno to enjoy our public spaces, and prohibit encampments whenever people are offered shelter. We must support safe and clean sidewalks, parks, and beaches. We must support a livable city where we can raise our children without being subjected rampant crime on our streets.”



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5 Responses to Two Councilman’s Different Views on the Palisades Fire

  1. Taylor says:

    Joe is right. Our homeless situation is out of control. Enforcement needs to be Brought back into the equation. Our streets look like a garbage dump. 90% or higher of LAPD’s calls for service are homeless person’s committing a crime or having a mental health crisis. Our streets are less safer, less cleaner and our resources are draining. Our Politicians need to act and like yesterday! Clean up our streets. Venice Beach used to be a tourist attraction. Now it’s a dump and an embarrassment.

  2. Nancy Saloff says:

    Sorry Mike – but I think it’s you who is irresponsible and harmful.
    These are the facts: Roughly 50% of the fires recorded in 2020 were homeless related. There was a 77% increase in homeless related fires compared to the same period in 2019.
    The fact that this arsonist is homeless is totally relevant. Facts are facts and if you haven’t gotten the message, your constituents are mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.
    Joe Buscaino – you have my vote.

    PS. Mike – can we please put an encampment in your backyard?

  3. Steph says:

    I guess Bonin doesn’t have a subscription to the LA Times.

  4. Sarah says:

    Bonin has some sort of pathological need to see everything through the lens of “housed vs. unhoused.” How about examining tough issues through the lens of “law-abiding vs. non-law-abiding” like most rational people, not to mention the completely overwhelmed police and firefighters? It has gotten to the point where I am truly fearful of what kind of damage this nut-job can actually do to his district…

  5. Grant Loucks says:

    Re-call Bonin

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