‘Pre-Presidential’ Eric Garcetti Focuses on Tackling Homelessness

Jack Black and Eric Garcetti (Vivien Killilea / Getty Images for My Friend's Place)
Vivien Killilea / Getty Images for My Friend's Place

Fresh off a two-day “pre-presidential” trip to Iowa, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti delivered a State of the City address at City Hall on Monday where he touted Los Angeles as being central to America’s future.

“I want to say to anyone who wants to understand who Americans are: Don’t look to D.C. — come to L.A.,” Garcetti said, according to the Los Angeles Times. He reportedly touted “an era of growth and of change in L.A.”

While he praised the City of Angels for passing a slew of progressive political policies, including hiking the minimum wage and tightening gun laws, Garcetti appeared to place the greatest amount of focus on the homeless epidemic. He reportedly announced he would commit $20 million as part of an overall increase in spending to address the issue.

Garcetti has stated he hopes to end street homeless by 2028.

“We need to stand up more emergency shelters fast and we need to do it now … shelters that serve as a rest stop on the path to permanent housing,” Garcetti reportedly said.

According to the New York Times, California leads the nation with about 118,000 people — roughly one-quarter of America’s homeless population — experiencing homelessness on an average night.

Last month, Breitbart News reported that the City of Los Angeles has offered to pay property owners to renovate their garages and build backyard houses to rent out to the homeless.

L.A.’s homeless epidemic may prove to hurt Garcetti’s presidential prospects if his initiatives fail to put a dent in the problem.

In February, the Times noted, “The number of those living in the streets and shelters of the city of L.A. and most of the county surged 75% — to roughly 55,000 from about 32,000 — in the last six years.”

The publication added, “The problem has only gotten worse since Mayor Eric Garcetti took office in 2013 and a liberal Democratic supermajority emerged in 2016 on the county Board of Supervisors.”

Also in February, Breitbart News California editor Joel B. Pollak observed: “[I]f Garcetti cannot show better progress, his trips to Iowa and New Hampshire will be little more than sightseeing.”

Adelle Nazarian is a politics and national security reporter for Breitbart News. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.