At the January 23rd rally we heard from people who have been actively engaged in outreach to unhoused people.
Olga Lexell challenged the Council Members to attend an actual sweep in person. She said “I think attending a sweep is really important because you have to be able to see what you are doing to these people that you are dehumanizing.” She described what really happens at a sweep. It’s not pretty. After a sweep, all those who are the guests of honor of the sweep, have an increased risk
Nancy Barba works with PUMA. She pointed out that the Culver City Council’s Emergency Declaration was not being used by our Council to streamline housing, as Mayor Bass intends to do with her City’s Emergency Declaration. In Culver City the Declaration is being used to strip away all belongings except a pillow and blanket or sleeping bag. Nancy counseled instead “investing in maintaining our humanity.”
January 23rd was a very chilly night on the City Hall terrace, and speaker after speaker invited us to imagine sleeping outside after your tent and coat had been taken by order of the Council.
Concerns from Former Mayors
Former Mayor Daniel Lee said, “We are told that this is a declaration of emergency or homelessness emergency, but it really is a declaration of war on the unhoused.” And who specifically are they? “Statistically the unhoused population is very, very Black.” Also there are increasing numbers of female Seniors and the LGBTQ. “We don’t have systems of care, we have systems of enforcement.”
Former Mayors Meghan Sahli-Wells and Alex Fisch give us their takeaways from the January 23 Council Meeting here:
Advisory Committee on Housing and Homelessness
Our Club member Bubba Fish has served on the Advisory Committee on Housing and Homelessness since 2021. In normal order, the Council would work with that Committee on an issue of this nature. Not this time.