Storm of the decade carved 7-foot cliffs at the Rose River in Venice. Photo by Kris Dahlin

Community statement opposing Council File 14-1057-S9

We are an organization representing Mar Vista stakeholders living in zip codes 90034, 90064 and 90066. Our membership urges the Council to vote NO on the inhumane motion within Council File 14-1057-S9.

The sole purpose of this motion is to criminalize vehicle dwelling. Supporters will argue that compliance with the “free permit” structure of the proposed ordinance is easy and straightforward. This is not the case. First, Angelenos will be forced to move away from their neighborhood to an unspecified non-residential area, cutting them off from basic amenities, schools, jobs, public spaces and support networks like family, social services and doctors.

Second, obtaining a “free” permit is contingent on receiving outreach services. With caseworkers in LA handling upwards of 50 to 100 cases each and the majority of unhoused people going without any outreach, this hurdle makes it impossible for most vehicle dwellers to obtain a permit. Moreover, the permits would expire at some unspecified interval, forcing people into the same frustrating cycle. And of course, the people who find themselves in violation of the ordinance are likely those who are least able to face the increasing fines and criminal penalties.

Every day, far more Angelenos are falling into homelessness than exiting homelessness, and experts project a 50% increase in homelessness as housing protections lapse. For many people, living in their vehicle is the first scary step into this morass. They are evicted, newly homeless, and have to squeeze their family and belongings into their car. In short, they are barely hanging on, and this ordinance pushes them into deeper crisis. Vote NO on this inhumane and unworkable motion.

Mar Vista Voice
Los Angeles