L.A. Residents Launch Recall of Mayor Eric Garcetti over Homelessness

Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti and Suzette Quintanilla attend the ceremony honoring her late sister, singer Selena Quintanilla, with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 3, 2017, in Hollywood, California. / AFP PHOTO / TARA ZIEMBA (Photo credit should read TARA ZIEMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
TARA ZIEMBA/AFP/Getty Images

A group of Los Angeles residents launched a petition Wednesday to recall Mayor Eric Garcetti over the city’s failure to deal with the growing problem of homelessness during his administration.

CBS Los Angeles reported:

A press conference was held by Alexandra Datig, the leader of the recall effort, on the steps of City Hall announcing the filing of a formal notice of intention with the city clerk and calling for Garcetti to step down over “failed leadership” on the homeless issue.

“Because of Eric Garcetti’s failed leadership, becoming homeless in Los Angeles has become a death sentence, for some. We ask that you accept your failure and that you step down,” said Datig.

She cited a reported 75 percent increase in homelessness citywide over the last year, and for every 133 people housed, 155 more become homeless, according to Datig.

In order to have the effort certified, the group will need to collect nearly 315,000 signatures from registered Los Angeles voters.

Garcetti has repeatedly promised to end homelessness throughout his tenure — and repeatedly fallen short, despite local taxpayers voting for more taxes and bonds to devote to the purpose. As the Los Angeles Times recently noted: “During his first mayoral campaign in 2013, he vowed to end chronic homelessness. Once in office, Garcetti said he would find housing for the city’s homeless veterans, first by 2015 and then 2016, before scrapping a timeline altogether.” He has promised to end street homelessness by the time the city hosts the Summer Olympics in 2028, but faces skepticism.

Last month, a local count revealed that the number of homeless in L.A. had risen 12%, to nearly 59,000, in a year. The city has also seen an outbreak of flea-borne typhus — even in city hall — and some downtown areas have suffered rat infestations. At least one expert has warned that the city could see an outbreak of bubonic plague as a result — a public health threat that last appeared in the city in the 1920s.

Actor Robert Davi drew attention to this issue by calling out Garcetti and Hollywood community:

Partial transcript:

I want to speak to you a moment about something that I think is a national emergency in certain ways. I live in Southern Cali as some of you know. You also know that downtown LA has been festered with an epidemic of homeless; as is San francisco and as is Portland, Oregon; as is Seattle, Washington. There is an epidemic of people living in tents in streets and settlement camps, so to speak, on the streets here. And there has not been a time where we have had as much garbage, excrement, human waste on the streets of downtown LA.

Now Dr. Drew Pinksy came out and said this on TV the other night: there has been typhus, tuberculosis; and he suspects there’s going to be an epidemic of bubonic plague…. Bubonic plague is spread by fleas or squirrels — could be several other things. … If bubonic plague comes is — do you realize the danger for the community, for the nation? there’s a big danger here. … Where is [Governor] Gavin Newsom!? Where is Garcetti!? Where is Rep. Maxine Waters!? Where is Rep. Adam Schiff!? How come you’re not talking about this!?

Though he was re-elected in 2017 with over 80% of the vote, Garcetti’s struggles to deal with the growing homeless problem was a major drag on his nascent presidential ambitions, and he eventually ended plans for a 2020 campaign.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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