Venice Bullies Put a Target on My Back when I Lived in an RV

Re: “It’s Getting Scary Out There,” Letters to the Editor, June 20

I’m tired of hearing about extreme situations of homelessness where a combination of mental health, drugs and misery create a hostile encounter between some homeless residents and the housed residents of Venice. Never mentioned are less extreme and more common situations like the service people who work in Venice and live in their RVs with co-workers.

I know this because I myself slept in my car in Venice while being fully employed, yet not making enough for rent and not having the network and support from friends and family to get housed. As a female I became an easy target for the residents of Venice who wanted to make an example out of me. As a woman of color, I was especially unwelcome and utterly hated by the new residents of Venice who didn’t see me as a valuable productive citizen.

For every story about a “crazy homeless person” there’s a story about a crazy Venice resident vigilante — those just don’t get published because homeless people don’t have access to communication tools.

I no longer sleep in my car in Venice, but when I did I never once had a Venice resident talk to me like a human being, although I probably worked alongside them in the entertainment field. Had they talked to me they might have learned that I was fully employed at a studio, made OK money, lost my last apartment in a flood that made the unit uninhabitable, paid my taxes, and that it’s incredibly expensive to be a car dweller. They would have also learned how my family is not supportive and highly dysfunctional, that I had tried all available avenues for housing, and how overwhelming it feels to have deposit, first month’s rent and last month’s rent only to be turned down again and again for housing.

I finally left Venice, but I will not reveal those circumstances so that I do not encourage such behavior by housed residents towards other car dwellers. I was not the “crazy homeless person,” yet Venice residents took it upon themselves to create a narrative where I was just that. I cannot speak for the population of unhoused people who are literally sleeping on sidewalks, but I can speak about being a car dweller. Venice residents are more focused on being petulant bullies than on finding real solutions to this crisis. Until they change their attitude, they get back what they put out onto the streets of Venice.

Sivon Jolie,

Former “crazy” Venice homeless person

Fight Sacramento for Local Control

Re: “HOT TAKE: It’s an RV Free-for-All in Venice,” News, June 20

If this article strikes a chord, you better be paying attention to AB-516. That is the proposed state law that the city council voted to oppose last week. The proposal prevents peace officers from enforcing parking limitations. If it passes, parking on our streets is going to be a free-for-all. While I was happy to see our city council vote to oppose, that vote is irrelevant. It’s a state law that is being proposed. This is another in a line of crazy state laws being pushed by people like state Sen. Scott Weiner (who tried to throw out local planning restrictions with SB 50) because he thinks we all live like he does in San Francisco. There is no way the state should be dictating local land use policies. One size does not fit all.

Tracy Thrower Conyers

Westchester

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Quick — Tell Us Your Favorite Bartender West of the 405 …

Gregg Edwards: Liz Holiday at The Shack.

Kimberly Rockwell Clark: West of 405 is Jeff at Baja Cantina; also Matt — so hard to pick one.

Dan Ductor: John and Zac at Barkowski.

Lauren Kate Kush: Melissa and Carlos at Hinano.

Bahaa Mikhail: Alphonso at Upper West. Everyone is great there!

Mel Smyth: Mary at Big Dean’s in Santa Monica.

Shannon McLendon: Brandon Brocato at Cabo Cantina is a great bartender and hilarious comic.

Rob Klyver: Ryan at The Shack. Rocky at Prince O’Whales, of course. Anyone at The Triple.

Annie Spradley: 100% Rocky Hart!! POW for life.

Pete Kasper: John Henry Binder!

Joann Massillo: Pete Kasper at Joxer Daley’s. He’ll get you Kaspered.

Paul Holman: Brett at Baja Cantina.

Ludovic Francois: Marc at Zinque.

Lyndsey Adams: Joey (at The Shack).

Y-Vonn Teh: Jules, Julia & Angela at Truxton’s in Westchester.

Todd von Hoffmann: Dakota Rayfield at Surfside Venice.

Luann Callea Casillas: Todd Salkoski, Westchester Elks Lodge.

Suzanne Thompson: Dennis Murray at James’ Beach.

Julie Murray Porter: Robin Jackson at Oldfield’s.

Karen Pordum: Shannon Cooper-Robb at Tony P’s.

Phil Santos: Joan Pleasant at Tattle Tale and Peggy Sue Cremer at Scarlet Lady.

… Now vote for them in our Best of the Westside 2019 survey at argonautnews.com/best.

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