Thursday, July 11, 2019
A Recall Campaign is Underway Against Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for Mishandling the Homeless Problem
A notice of intent to recall Mayor Eric Garcetti was filed on June 19. It is the first step in a recall campaign against the Mayor. The recall is based on his failure to control the exploding homeless population and the resulting public health crisis in the City of Angels. He quotes statistics to show what LA has done. Here’s the question: Do you believe your eyes or him? Piles of trash Proliferating rats Homeless camps Filth Feces Needles City attorney contracting typhus from fleas accompanying the rat infestation with no response from the Mayor’s office. Police officers sickened at the Downtown Central Police Station. I was wondering when voters in LA, San Francisco, and Seattle would rebel. Voters in blue cities will put up with a lot from their leaders, but pervasive public health, sanitation and safety problems tilt the scales. Homeless encampments, tent cities, drugs, needles, rats, typhus, crime, hepatitis with police looking the other way, failing to arrest, or even ticket, for quality of life offenses. No easy answers exist for the homeless problem in America, but to residents Enough is Enough. They see the homeless encampments expanding out of the skid rows (origin Seattle) into commercial and residential neighborhoods. San Francisco is inundated with urine and poops on the city streets. Check the interactive app for San Francisco. The problem is public health and safety, especially sanitation. Politicians such as Mayor Garcetti and Governor Gavin Newsom are empathetic, warm, fuzzy, feel good politicians. They are great when the good times are rolling. They can be all things to all people. They lack leadership ability when crisis arise. Mayor Garcetti and Governor Newsom were eyeing the presidency. They took their eye off the ball. Garcetti visited Iowa and said they are just like us Angelenos. I’m not an Angeleno living in The O.C.) Mayor Garcetti’s father, District Attorney Gil Garcetti, failed during the O. J. Simpson trial. He made a number of poor decisions resulting in the acquittal of OJ. Mayor Garcetti promised to solve the homeless problem in LA. He convinced the voters to approve a ¼ cent increase in the sales tax to fund $350 million annually, and a $1.2 billion bond issue to fund 10,000 units for the homeless. The Mayor said in 2016: “we can bring these numbers down.” He added “This could be the year we bring the numbers down.” He followed up in 2017: “Our city is in the midst of an extraordinary homeless crisis that requires an extraordinary response.” 2½ years have passed, and no units have been completed as of June 2019. $1.2 billion for ten thousand units = $120,000/unit. What are they building? Shelters don’t cost that much! It’s even worse. LA has now reported that $810 million has been committed for 5,388 units, which comes out to $148,474.10 per unit. 1200 of the units will be low income residents. Absolutely no control over money in the city – a common problem for public expenditures in California. We have an example of poor leadership. Bill Bratton was Police Chief of Los Angeles from 2002-2009. He said the homeless was “the worst situation in America.” It has escalated during Mayor Garcetti’s administration. He didn’t even respond when the homeless hung out at City hall, with the trash and rats piling up and stench pervasive. Steve Lopez, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, wrote about downtown Los Angeles: “A mountain of rotting, oozing, stinking trash – stretching a good 20 yards along a skid road alley. Rats popped their heads out of the debris like they were in a game of Whack-a-Mole, then scampered for cover as a tractor with a scoop lurched towards them ….” Mayor Garcetti did not utter a peep. Leadership has two components. The first is public and the second is private. Winston Churchill during World War II and Mayor Rudy Giuliani were the epitome of public leadership in crises. The private aspect of leadership is following through, to be personally involved, to make something happen. Liberals believe the panacea to most problems is money – just spend throw money at the problem – problem solves, time to move on to the next issue. Mayor Garcetti’s approach to the homelessness problem was to periodically listen to reports of his political appointees and bureaucrats. There was no follow through or personal involvement. It’s shocking that after 2½ years not one unit has been completed. It’s more shocking that in answer to a reporter’s question, the mayor did not know what the status was. He ignored the escalating crisis, focusing his eyes on Iowa and a possible run for the Presidency. The state declared unsanitary the 42 year old LA PD Central Division Station, where officers had become ill. The police union – not the city- bought a $5,000 robot to clean the facility. Having shown an inability to handle over a billion dollars for the homeless, Mayor Garcetti is now leading a mayoral campaign for Congressional enactment of a $13 billion Ending Homelessness Act, sponsored by President Trump hater Representative Maxime waters. This is a typical liberal act. The solution to every problem is ever more money with little accountability. Mayor Garcetti and Governor Newson is true political shifting the blame modus operandi have attacked President Trump for “political cheap shots” from criticizing the homeless problem in their jurisdictions Homelessness is a crisis and a modern American Tragedy (to steal from Myrdal), with little understanding of the problem and its causes. The filing of a notice to recall is the first step in the process. The next step is to file a petition with roughly 315,000 valid signatures to trigger the recall. Then comes the election. Will voter fury coupled with the radio support of John and Ken recall the ineffective Mayor Newsom? A warning shot was fired last May to big city mayors. Denver voters faced Proposition 300, the Right to Survive proposition which would have allowed the homeless to camp on public property. They soundly defeated it by a 5 to 1 margin. Mayor Garcetti responded to the recall petition: “People know the difference between political games and actually doing the work – and I’m doing the work.” Who do you believe? Your eyes and nose? Or The ineffectual mayor” Too early to predict, but it is a necessary step in sending a message to the political leadership in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle that the time to take effective measures is now.