The anti-camping ordinance passed by the L.A. City Council prohibits sitting, sleeping or storing possessions on public property at many locations in the City | Photo by Bill Hendrickson/Boulevard Sentinel

Anti-camping law passes City Council; NELA councilmembers vote in favor

2021 August Editions More News

By T.A. Hendrickson

Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León, the city councilmembers representing Northeast Los Angeles, voted with a majority on the City Council on Wednesday to prohibit homeless camping on public property near schools, day-care centers, parks, libraries, designated freeway underpasses and other locations.

The City Council also pledged to couple the ordinance with “street engagement” polices to connect homeless people to services and housing, a strategy intended to promote compliance with the ordinance.

The Boulevard Sentinel emailed Cedillo and De León to ask why they supported the ordinance and how its passage would affect Northeast L.A.

In an email response, Cedillo said that the vote in favor of the ordinance “leads with compassion to achieve compliance for safe and clean public right of ways that are completely obstructed,” adding, “To do nothing is not compassionate for anyone.” He said that the ordinance represents progress, not perfection. The goal, said Cedillo, is to offer services as part of the efforts to clear public property, not to punish homelessness.

Cedillo said that his District 1, which includes Highland Park and Glassell Park, will continue its successful efforts to combat homelessness. These include having the most built permanent supportive housing of any district in the city, daily mobile laundry and showers, two safe parking sites and several sites for housing the homeless under programs such as Project Roomkey and Homekey. He said that the anti-camping ordinance is “work we must do together to find a balance to make progress for all.”

De León did not respond to the Sentinel’s request for comment. On the floor of the City Council before the vote, De León said he supported the ordinance because its passage would be followed by a vote in the City Council in the week of Aug. 9 on his plan to provide 25,000 housing units by 2025, thereby linking the anti-camping ordinance to a housing component.

De León did not respond to a question from the Sentinel about how the anti-camping ordinance would dovetail with his plan to establish a pallet shelter community for the homeless on Figueroa Street in Eagle Rock. The ordinance prohibits camping within 1,000 feet of a homeless shelter, which implies that the current encampment under the 134 Freeway on Figueroa could be removed if it is still there once the pallet shelters are established. However, the ordinance requires that enforcement in any location can take place only if the City Council votes to take action, a provision that has raised questions about its impact. In Eagle Rock, a recurring question about the pallet shelters has been whether they will reduce the number of homeless encampments or add to the homeless population.

Councilmember Mike Bonin and Councilmember Nithya Raman voted against the anti-camping ordinance. Mayor Garcetti has said he will sign the ordinance.

T.A. Hendrickson, a native of Eagle Rock, is the editor of the Boulevard Sentinel and a former member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times.

T.A. Hendrickson
T.A. Hendrickson, a native of Eagle Rock, is the editor of the Boulevard Sentinel and a former member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times.

12 thoughts on “Anti-camping law passes City Council; NELA councilmembers vote in favor

  1. This is empty talk. De Leon will still b recalled and voted out. This would never happen except
    for the recall. Eagle Rock needs new councilman and new council voters. De Leon cant even responed to this newspaper and betting he wont. There is all ready a no camping no sleeping law in place so don’t act like {wow look what i did}. People are fed up with this no reply on emails, posing for pics for newspapers that he stayed in lil houses with body guards right behind him. Pure trash. Way to late

    1. You are right. There are already laws. No one is fixing the REAL problem. Elections are coming. That is why the lets pretend we are doing something is happening.

  2. It is about time that the city council voted against homeless camps near schools, parks and neighborhoods. Residents are tired of having to deal with mentally ill drug addicts when they go to the grocery stores and the E.R. post office.

    1. For what ? So the homeless can just move down to the next street? That solves nothing.

      1. Homeless people need professional help. People who are going about their everyday lives are entitled to feeling safe. The homeless people aren’t all temporarily down on their luck. They have chosen their life style. There is also a percentage of them who are criminals and are armed with weapons, like knives and guns.

  3. @Aj: I don’t think the necessary number of signatures will be collected to trigger a recall election, let alone to remove KDL. There’s a lot of heated rhetoric on both sides of the homeless issue, but no major candidate to take his place. Based on what I hear and read on local social media, a majority of CD 14 voters favor the tiny homes projects and providing more & more services to the encampments. What evidence do you have that KDL would be voted out, and who would replace him?

    1. Don’t worry West Eagle Rock,
      We probably won’t have him in office much longer anyway. His announcement for mayor will be coming up soon (spoiler alert-BD announcement). He may leave on his own accord if he is voted in by the rest of the City of LA. He will count on his name recognition, Hispanic surname, & his hard choices regarding the homeless in his back yard (Oh, & don’t forget the BRT. I’m sure he already decided to bring it to Eagle Rock as a progressive idea to a more transit reliant community venture). The Valley vote will push him over the top, he has already discounted the area that put him in office…just my prediction.

  4. I don’t have anything against KDL. The politicians need to do their jobs and actively represent the people who have a real stake in their areas. The “Tiny Homes” aren’t going to be a positive addition to the families in the immediate area. There are homeless people who have spaces in “Tiny Homes” while keeping tents on the streets, because they don’t want to show up for the 10 PM curfew. This information was on the local news.

  5. Once the homeless people are removed from our sight I fear we will pretend their plight has improved, and our cruelty justified.

    1. The homeless will NEVER be out of sight. They will just move down the block.

    2. The homeless will not be removed from our sight. They will just move down to the next block over.

Comments are closed.