L.A. Mayor-elect Karen Bass Clears Homeless From City Hall for Inauguration

Los Angeles City Hall and homeless (Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)
Chris Pizzello / Associated Press

Los Angeles Mayor-elect Karen Bass is set to be inaugurated on Sunday — and so city crews have been moving a homeless encampment from outside City Hall, hoping to avoid any unpleasant visuals when she is sworn in.

The Los Angeles Times reported:

Unhoused residents who have been living at 1st and Spring streets, some for several months, were loaded into vans Thursday and whisked to the L.A. Grand Hotel, a temporary homeless facility on Figueroa Street that is scheduled to shut down Jan. 31. Several said they were told that they needed to relocate in the run-up to Bass’ swearing-in, which had been scheduled for Sunday outside City Hall.

“They said that they were going to be coming through here and cleaning this whole section out, because the mayor is having her inauguration,” said Robert Fulps, 47. “I don’t know what cleaning this up has to do with that, but I assume … it’ll be on the news and they want it to be clean.”

The operation underscored the magnitude of the challenge ahead for Bass, who will lead a city where more than 40,000 people live without permanent shelter and frustration is at a boiling point. The crisis bedeviled Eric Garcetti for much of his time in office. Bass has promised to act with renewed urgency, declaring a state of emergency as soon as she takes office.

On Thursday evening, Bass announced that the ceremony would be moved to an indoor venue due to rain:

During her campaign, Bass acknowledged homelessness as an issue, but offered few specifics. Under outgoing Mayor Eric Garcetti, the city’s approach has been to use a windfall from federal pandemic funding to rent or buy hotels.
Drawn to L.A. by generous public services, lax law enforcement, and the warm weather — or pushed onto the street by drugs, mental illness, and high housing costs — the homeless population has only grown.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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