During a press conference this past Wednesday, Alex Villanueva, the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, issued statements calling out a group of political rivals and urging elected officials to declare that there is, in fact, a crisis concerning homelessness in the area as a local state of emergency.
Villanueva issued a defense of his plan to clear the tent cities, currently lining the famous Venice Beach boardwalk, by July 4th, and described the ordeal in the area as “a microcosm of what’s going on throughout the entire county of Los Angeles.” This has angered several activist groups and progressive politicians, however, who have stated their concern with his strategy that Villanueva says is currently based on the idea of “regulating public space.”
Villanueva stated that local politicians have “handcuffed” the police forces of Los Angeles from enforcing the law, going on to add that their lax policies are luring larger groups of homeless people from areas out of state, which makes L.A. “the recipient of a national problem.”
The Sheriff also set up a multimedia presentation that included various images of the homeless tent cities, a selection of news clips of violent confrontations and fired from all over Venice neighborhoods, and multiple graphs that he stated proved that “the failed formula applied year after year” just does not work at all.
Villanueva boldly called out L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, the L.A. City Council, and the powerful L.A. County Board of Supervisors as “the architects of failure,” and claimed that they just do not want any law enforcement agencies taking part in the solutions with the homeless issues. He also stated that their inaction and outright refusal to change any of their policies as we see the numbers of homeless rise over the years has forced the hand of the Sheriff’s Department to take action.
“This is a crisis; we need to take it seriously,” stated Villanueva. “These are existential threats to the lives and livelihoods of L.A. County residents, and all I get from our architects is indifference because it’s not part of their agenda. It’s not part of their woke rationale that we need to leave law enforcement out of the homeless problem”
He went on to sling accusations at the city and county governments of outright wasting taxpayer money through their associations with select groups of nonprofit organizations and issued the call for greater transparency.
“I guarantee you the more money that gets thrown at the homelessness, the more of these mystery fly-by-night operations are going to start appearing,” he continued. “We have no idea who they are, what they are, or where the money goes.”
Yesterday I asked the @LACountyBOS to declare a state of emergency regarding the homeless crisis.
Please read: https://t.co/ThyOf1uwxl
— Alex Villanueva (@LACoSheriff) June 24, 2021
This past Thursday, Sheriff Villanueva put out a statement in the form of a letter that he sent directly to the Board of Supervisors. In which he requested that they declare a local state of emergency and by doing so allow the county to apply for funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“Residents and business owners should not be subjected to walking around piles of trash and human feces in their neighborhoods, businesses, parks, and communities,” reads the letter sent to the Board. “Failed policies, self-interest groups, and political agendas are enabling a national crisis to fester within our communities.”