Sunset over Venice Pier. Credit: Kris Dahlin

Re: The Homeless
Editor:
Hi, Mayor Garcetti, a perfect solution to the homeless problem from Angus MacDonald. Wake up, do it! You are still on L.A.’s payroll.
Jeanne Parker
Palms

Corrections
Editor:
On July 1 you published a letter from Mr. William Hicks, claiming to respond to what I had earlier written in a letter to the editor. Unfortunately, the statements he responded to were not what I wrote. Let me clarify:
I did not “promote building private housing for the homeless.” I do support subsidized clean and safe housing for those who cannot afford the rents in our cities, that are built in proximity to jobs and mass transit, regardless of who the owner is.
I gave, as one example, Venice Community Housing Corp as an excellent provider of housing and support services, and VCHC is a nonprofit organization. Most nonprofits operate with various types of government support; in civilized countries, the government provides housing for the poor.
I will note that I have been a landlord-tenant law attorney for numerous nonprofits throughout Los Angeles, including VCHC. My clients do the work of reducing homelessness. I have also been an LA Superior Court pro tem eviction judge, as well as a law professor.
It is, in fact, unconstitutional to decree mandatory destination housing for the homeless. In addition, the government can’t move someone off the street unless it has someplace to offer to house him/her, or if they commit a crime, they can be arrested. Being homeless is not a crime.
And, aside from the legal issues, think of the morality of advocating what are similar to reservations for Native Americans or mandatory camps for minorities or those who offend the so-called norms of the majority.
Thankfully, America is not a “majority rule” country, in which everything the majority wants, goes. Our legal system is designed to protect the rights of unpopular positions, lifestyles and minority members of our society from oppression from “the majority”. Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia were prime examples of “majority rule”, as is modern-day China.
Lastly, forced relocation may be fascism or communism, but is not Socialism. I have no beef with democratic socialism. Every poll of satisfaction/happiness shows that countries with socialistic programs and safety nets come out on top. In those countries, life expectancy is longer than ours and infant mortality is lower than ours. I like Medicare and Social Security, thank you.
Thank you for allowing me to clarify.
Jack Schwartz
Venice

Venice & Homelessness
Editor:
I’m confused, Venice is one of the most resilient cities. It has always been home to the middle class, St. Joseph Center, Phoenix House, the Rose Cafe and the homeless.
I started my business in 1995 on Rose, next to the nonprofit cafe. In 2000, Phoenix House had a fire that destroyed their kitchen. I was in a larger kitchen, still in Venice, and sent them a proposal to do their cooking while their kitchen was being repaired. This is what we did. From the biggest name artists to the residents, we were a family. The homeless problem was there, but we managed to all get along.
The problem today is drugs have affected more than the homeless and the help is on the shoulder of the same organizations, with the same funds or a little more. We have shut down more facilities for the mentally handicapped and they, too, are in the same pockets of Los Angeles; Venice is one of those pockets. And it is crowded and with very little funds.
The wealthy have paid off public officials, police organizations and neighborhood organizations to keep the homeless out of their neighborhoods. So there are a lot of people to blame and once we start calling out those cities and communities that are refusing to help the homeless, we are not going to solve anything.
Police reform is needed to help our police be trained for these added issues and to bring in trained medical “Peace Officers” to help the mentally challenged.
Venice, be the example, stay strong!
Sylvia Mendoza
Los Angeles

Who Is the Victim? Who Is the Criminal?
Editor:
A letter to the “haters”:
Why should our taxes pay for an extra unnecessary recall election that could be done just once in the November election?
Why recall a councilman who is a humanitarian and is trying to get housing for those who need it the most?
What cities have solved the homeless solution in their city, and not by throwing them out to the desert or other cities?
If you do not want homeless people camping on our streets, why are you fighting building the necessary housing to house them and get them off the street, which overall, helps everyone?
Who shut down the health care services for the mentally ill that puts them on the street?
If a worker is paid minimum wage of $15 an hour, the monthly income being $2,400 a month deducting $200 for taxes, and a one room or a one-bedroom rent is $2,200 a month, what does he have left? The steel or his car? And if he has a family?
Or is it the greedy landlords who charge rents what the market will bear so they make as much money as they can?
Or is it the businesses that hire people but are not being responsible to pay a living wage?
Where is the famous “Artist Community” that newcomers think still exists?
It is so easy to criticize and point fingers, but I notice the “haters” have not offered any realistic or doable solutions.
Venice Community Housing has a great track record for successful services and housing in Venice! St. Joe’s also has a great track record! Check it out!
Emily Winters
Venices

Homeless Solutions Response
Editor:
Building Our Town cities on federal land to house formerly homeless people is a viable solution. To compare this to gulags of the former Soviet Union or China is silly and preposterous. We must provide the alternative to living on our streets and beaches. Build Our Town cities, home for the approximately 600,000 homeless Americans.
What’s your solution, Lisa Edmondson? You and your demographic feel bad and pretend to care but do nothing. How about a prayer service to seek divine intervention?
William Hicks, Our Town cities must be constructed on federal land, not prime real estate. Housing for tiny homes using existing land parcels must be only available for low-income healthy people. Mentally ill and drug addicted homeless must be transitioned into therapy or detox and rehab, as appropriate. We must go big or no home!
It would be good to conduct a public forum discussing and advocating ways to solve the homeless problem.
Angus MacDonald
Palms

Covid-19
Editor:
It has been common knowledge for years that all major developing countries have possessed the ability to conduct germ warfare. The Wuhan crisis is no exception.
Was a virus created in the lab and deliberately leaked into the local wet markets for experimentation on the people of Wuhan? This is totally consistent with China’s poor record on civil rights and its complete lack of concern for all of the Chinese people.
The virus created in Wuhan is by no means a poor reflection on all Asians, especially Asian-Americans. It is simply a reaffirmation of the Communist Chinese government’s inhuman disdain for human life. They are the ones to blame.
Now, we the American people are required by our government to get the vaccine without being told what are the short/long-term side effects. This is inherently a violation of our civil rights.
The one benefactor from the spread of the virus is the environment. Consider how working from home reduces the amount of carbon emissions caused by the automobile.
Joe Bialek
Cleveland

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