Residents express concerns over gentrification as LA City Council takes more steps to make it illegal to be unhoused.
Every week, Knock LA provides live coverage of Los Angeles City Council meetings from our Twitter account. While you can follow along live, we’ve also put together this breakdown of what’s happening at the highest levels of power in our city for those who don’t have 12 hours a week to spend on City Council meetings (including regularly absent city councilmembers).
Fighting Gentrification in South LA
During April 12 and April 13 city council meetings, several callers urged CD 8 Councilmember Marqueese Harris-Dawson to fight gentrification and displacement in Los Angeles by following up on his plan for an affordable housing overlay zone or neighborhood stabilization overlay ordinance. The city had passed a motion back in October to offer incentives for affordable housing projects, including allowances for greater density. The motion called for a report researching these strategies and how they’ve been implemented in the cities of Berkeley, CA, Cambridge, MA, and Somerville, MA.
At these meetings, callers from Harris-Dawson’s district said the city is not moving forward quickly enough on this plan, and that South LA communities cannot wait years for anti-displacement actions like a replacement provision to the motion. The callers, connected with community organizations SAJE, USC Forward, and ACCE, told city councilmembers they needed to take action sooner, that even 30 days is a long time for them to wait.
Some of these callers spoke in Spanish, and only fragments of their comments were translated into English.
LA’s Position on State and Federal Issues
On April 12, the city council voted to support several pieces of state and federal legislation and issues. This included California’s AB 3121, which has actually already been signed into law, to create a task force on the country’s first-ever reparations program for Black Americans. Ketanji Brown Jackson had already been confirmed to the US Supreme Court, but LA City Council still voted to symbolically support her.
CD 13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell spoke in support of a motion to establish and protect the Chumash Heritage Marine Sanctuary as a National Marine Sanctuary, noting that it will be the first indigenous-led sanctuary with that designation.
On April 13, city council continued its strategy of attempting to end homelessness by just making it illegal for people to sleep on the streets or in their cars. They banned RVs at 40th Place between Figueroa and Flower between 2 and 6 AM, and used 41.18 to ban sleeping outside near the Lincoln Theatre or the King Solomon Home for the Elderly.
In a discussion about garbage on the streets of LA, CD 14 Councilmember Kevin de León said, “Los Angeles is the trashiest city in America.” His fellow councilmembers Paul Krekorian, Curren Price, and Gil Cedillo all framed the issue as one of personal responsibility, meaning that the solution is enforcement of illegal dumping laws.
Continuing to Fund Climate Destruction
On April 6, a hundred riot-geared cops descended on four scientists who had chained themselves to the JP Morgan Chase building in downtown Los Angeles to protest the bank’s funding of climate destruction. In a small item on the April 12 agenda, city council voted to continue to do business with JP Morgan Chase by leasing city properties from that bank. JP Morgan Chase is the largest funder of new fossil fuel projects, which the scientists say are rapidly leading to the collapse of ecosystems around the world – but there is time to stop it.
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