Cops are getting your money again.
Last March, Los Angeles County voters passed measure H, which forever ended homelessness in LA with a simple ink punching at the ballot booth. Or did it???
In a recent mind-blowing exposé by Knock LA editor Spike Friedman, Angelenos learned for the first time ever that their tax dollars aren’t being used in the manner they thought they would be (Ed. note: I think John just owned me for not blowing minds hard enough). Fret not though fellow citizens, because Knock LA is here to keep you updated on all the muck raking the bigwigs over at publications like the Los Feliz Ledger (Ed. note: we love the Ledger) don’t want you to see.
I’ve been doing some research based on a prophecy from my local soothsayer claiming that LA City Council would shuffle money around to divert funds from homeless services to the LAPD, and here’s what I found:
Last month members of Ground Game LA, LA CAN, and DSA-LA all gave public comment at the LA City Council’s Homeless and Poverty committee meeting. We spoke out against the further funding of LAPD HOPE teams (to understand these better just picture the opposite of whatever the word “hope” means to you), especially when it means diverting money from Measure H, which was passed to raise money for homeless services. Members of the committee along with a representative from the county assured the room that no money from H was going towards LAPD HOPE teams. The committee unfortunately voted to approve further funding of HOPE, with Councilmember Mike Bonin being the only no vote.
We heard at the hearing, and since from speaking to some service providers, that the amount being sought by LAPD is relatively small (for now at least), so we shouldn’t worry too much. The problem isn’t just that money is being taken away from where it’s needed most, but that it’s going to fund programs that will actively work in opposition to the other essential programs. Saying we shouldn’t worry about a program that will raise hundreds of millions for homeless services where only $1.5 million will be going to LAPD is like saying we shouldn’t worry about a construction crew building a $10 million dollar home and only giving $5 to fund gasoline and matches for firebug teams.
It should be (and dog gone it will be!) noted again that nowhere in the wording of Measure H was it suggested that any of the money raised should go towards homeless policing programs.
The next week the motion came to a vote before city council. As public comment was given when the subject came up in committee, the full council was able to refuse to give time for comment. This is a common tactic used by the city to suppress dissenting voices on issues that will make them look like the Indiana Jones train car full of snakes that they are. The motion passed and money was approved to be taken from Crisis and Bridge housing (temporary emergency housing for the homeless) to fund HOPE teams. Once more Bonin was the only naysayer.
Well, last week city council realized that Crisis and Bridge housing was unexpectedly underfunded. But where oh where would they come up with the money to replenish said funds? Why from measure HHH of course! The measure we passed last November to build mostly PERMANENT supportive housing for the homeless.
So, bravo Los Angeles City Council. You did it. You managed to stay true to your word and technically not take money from Measure H or HHH and give it to the LAPD, while still effectively taking money from the homeless and giving it to the LAPD. This is after all what Crisis and Bridge Housing was most certainly created for: to launder tax revenue for the LAPD.