Homelessness committee meeting recap

On Tuesday, February 18th a number of us went to the homelessness committee meeting at city hall. It was eye opening on a number of levels.

First, our members showed up – all from different perspectives. A couple came from Globe Ave., concerned about the vagrancy crisis at Venice/405. Another couple came from behind the AmVets building, concerned about turning it into a homeless shelter. And a couple multifamily landlords showed up.

We all got to see how our issues are tied by this new housing policy and the insanity of it. Tevis Barnes, Culver City’s housing administrator, was committed to the idea that the vagrants spilling into our city are actually local residents driven out by rising rents. She insisted this was the case even at the Venice/405 camp.

This assertion is our biggest bone of contention, and doesn’t match personal or professional experience. When we challenged her assertion, Tevis said this was according to LAHSA statistics. Which are disputable at best. Even our own law enforcement have said most people are on our streets, not because they can’t afford our rent, but because they can’t afford any rent.

We have to fight them at this root level, if any of us are to have any solution to the vagrancy issue in Culver City.

Mark Lipman argued for a “housing for everyone” approach – we have close to 300 homeless in Culver City by last count. A 2br apartment for each at the HUD rate of $1944/month comes out to $7 million/year. Other committee members dismissed Mr. Lipman, and have put forward a “feasible” plan of a homeless shelter for 20 people.

The problem is, they also say that unless we have a place to send them, we can’t touch them. And that place has to be within city limits. So a shelter of that size would not even put a dent in the problem. This ironically makes Lipman’s proposal, frightening as it sounds, the most consistent.

Of course we countered with our own argument – namely, that if he do have somewhere to send someone, but they don’t want to leave that piece of sidewalk they’re living on, do we have any compulsory power over them? Both Tevis and the attending police officer said no, we don’t want to be in the business of wrestling with someone into a police car and shuttling them off to a shelter.

This is the second part of the problem, which we need to address. Even if we were to have housing for everyone on our streets, we have no power to get them off our sidewalks. Most people understand this is not a tenable policy. It leads to a patchwork of unannounced rules where only the politically well connected get to have vagrant-free streets.

So we need a clear policy of compulsion, one that applies equally to both Lafayette Pl. and Globe Ave. It needs to be clearly delineated by council, and consistently applied by both the city manager and the police department. Otherwise we could build all the free housing in the world, it won’t stop our streets and parks from turning into tent cities.

We need to come to terms with the fact that we are a city of limited size and resources. We will do what we can to help those who want help. We will actively monitor anyone who has actually been driven out by rising rents. We can even abide by the basic Boise decision that someone has a right to sleep on the street at night. But at some point we need to say no, you don’t get to build a permanent residence on public land. We need the legal authority to compel them to leave.

Most of all, we need a council that’s ready to assert that legal authority in the face of any legal challengers.

NO on measure CC – our position

The problem seems simple, with a simple solution. Because of certain hiring practices during the 90s, we have unfunded pension liabilities that ran away with us. In order to meet them without going bankrupt, we need to extend a temporary sales tax increase, set to sunset in 2023, into 2033. If we don’t do this, we’re in trouble. Council saw fit to declare a fiscal emergency for this, and got this on the March ballot with a unanimous vote – the only way to get it outside a general election.

The problem is, we currently also have a council that certainly doesn’t act like we have a budgetary crisis. A few hundred thousand for a coyote study, to tell us what we already know. A few hundred thousand for the first few months of their rent control board, a program nobody ran on. A million or two for Metro bike shares, when a private company is willing to pay us for the privilege. All in the last year.

And let’s not talk about their plans of combatting homelessness – which sounds increasingly like building a home for everyone that stumbles into our city. A bottomless solution for a bottomless problem.

Meanwhile, they not only push for all this, they plan on pushing a business tax increase in November.

It’s reminiscent of a drunk asking his dad for rent money, and then going and spending it on more booze. Worse, he goes and tells everyone at the bar what a big jerk his dad is, when he should be cleaning up and getting a job.

So in urging a NO vote on CC, we are really having a vote of no confidence in our current council and its profligate spending. It’s time to tighten the purse strings.

Of course we’ll expect to hear the usual scare tactics – outsourcing the police department, cutting vital and popular services. This council does it anyway, even without this budget issue. Budgets are priorities, and they reveal theirs with their threats.

The good news is, a future council is free to ask us to pass it again. Since the sunset isn’t until 2023, we have a few years. A future council can put it on the 2022 general by majority vote. Or they can unanimously declare an emergency again, and hold a special election for this at any time.

We’re told such a special election is a bit costly – about $100,000 to run. But we agree that some things are worth the cost.

Council to allow minors on commissions?

Monday night city council proposed allowing minors and non-registered voters on city commissions and boards.  We at Protect Culver City are vocally opposed to the idea.  We see it not as an extension of the franchise, but a disenfranchising of Culver City residents and voters by means of court-packing.  Indeed, it’s court packing of the worst kind – by using impressionable children as political pawns.   

Culver City Unified was already embroiled in scandal under Kelly Kent, when she used school district resources to organize a women’s march.  This is not the only case.  Mayor Meghan and others from her slate frequently use our schools as an organizing tool. 

We made our cases known by e-mail.  And our representative Anthony Rizzo gave our position on A-2 at the beginning of the meeting.  Council had the exact reaction we expected.  Even with all this, Alex Fisch claimed during the A-2 “I don’t see any opposition to this.”  When vice-mayor Eriksson raised the issue of verifying residence status, Mayor Meghan brushed it off.  

People should see this as par for the course for an agenda-driven council whose very inaugural meeting was a Brown Act violation.  Mayor Meghan regularly uses outside agitators to support her, when she wants something passed.  And the majority of council under her has, over and over again, callously shut out the will of residents.  Indeed her machinations to revamp our government dance around the illegal.

And Fisch’s comments, while frustrating, are unfortunately quite expected.  Indeed, this council sees no opposition to what they do, because they ignore opposition to what they do.  We’ve already said there is no conversation with this council – indeed we formed our PAC over this very premise.  Perhaps he won on this technicality, because we didn’t realize e-mail comments aren’t read aloud at meetings.  But we’re learning. 

Not that it matters. 

Rather, the lesson should be for the other groups who are still hoping against hope that this council will have a conversation with them and listen to reason.  We’re rooting for you, and if somehow you win a concession through conversation, we salute you.   

But we think it’s futile.  When people show you who they are, believe them.  This council has plainly demonstrated they have an agenda – one that flies in the face of the better interests of our residents.  And they will stop at nothing to get it.  We’re already planning for a scenario where our rent control ballot initiative passes, and council will still ignore it.  Because that’s who they are. 

The only way to push our interests as residents of Culver City on this council is by electoral force.  The only conversation we have is with our fellow residents.  That means talking with our neighbors, circulating our ballot initiative and PAC literature, and publicizing scandals like with CCUSD. 

We are confident that as we make our council’s actions more public, we will continue to grow and make our voices truly heard. 

Our opposition to minors on commissions

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The following was submitted by Jennifer Alvarez regarding council’s agenda item to allow minors and non-registered voters on commissions and boards:

Culver City Council Members,
We are writing in opposition to the agenda item A-2. This will expose our young impressionable children to one sided political pressure. Children should not be involved in politics. This ordinance is not child led, its adult led in an effort to gain an extra voice to advance the LEFT’s political agenda in our city.  Children should not be sitting on Culver City Commissions or Committees making policy for the public.  CCUSD should not be working with City Council in an effort to push our children into political issues.  
CCUSD already struggles with its own politically one sided leadership that uses our children to help promote left leaning political groups and ideas inside our schools.  
Kelly Kent, CCUSD former Board President, abused her power by using the CCUSD logo without permission from the district office to advertise and push a political Women’s March event at Robert Frost Auditorium on April 20, 2019. 
Through the California Public Records Act we were able to uncover the truth surrounding the planning of this highly political event.  We exposed the overreach and blatant disregard from the district office that the use of the logo for this event was NOT APPROPRIATE. Kelly Kent obtained the logo by other means and used it anyway. Please see the link below for video of my public statement and Kelly Kent’s public apology for misusing the CCUSD logo at the September 24, 2019 school board meeting  (forward to 3:33).

Even after her public apology, Kelly Kent used social media to spread fake news and misrepresent my public statement.  Soon after Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells retweeted the fake news post.  
This is how these elected officials running our City and schools handle opposing views. By bullying opposers.  I’m afraid to think of how they will treat our children who are sitting on Commissions and Commiittees who don’t agree with them.  
Stop using our children to advance your ONE sided politics in our community and our schools.  
– Jennifer and Danny Alvarez 

Kelly Kent rebuts Alvarez … and later deletes this tweet.
Mayor Meghan retweets with her own commentary

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Gun Violence Near Culver City’s Globe Avenue

While the Mayor, the City Manger, and their small band of  privileged, elitist supporters insist we have a “homeless crisis” and lecture us on compassion and morality, we on Globe Avenue have to deal with the consequences of criminal vagrants and the violence they leave in their wake.

They have been at least two previous shootings in the area under siege under the 405 overpass at Venice Boulevard. One in February 2019, the other in July of the same year.

This afternoon, January 11, 2020, there was a third such incident. LAPD received reports of a man with a gun in the area.

For the residents, our first hint of trouble was the low, insistent rumble of a police chopper that sliced through the quiet of a Saturday afternoon. When we went outside—I to drop off books at a nearby library—we were horrified to see yellow crime-scene tape cordoning off our street a few feet before it intersects with Venice and a second one blocking off an alley that leads to Sawtelle.

“There’s been a shooting. Someone has been shot,” the officer I approached informed me as he lifted the crime scene tape for me to pass through.

Out on Venice Boulevard, CCPD’s black-and-white SUVs blocked the eastbound lanes. A police vehicle was parked at the head of Globe where it intersects with Venice on the Culver City side and several more vehicles were parked alongside the vagrant encampments on the Culver City side of the 405 overpass.

Two Culver City Paramedic vehicles passed by, turning left to go north on Sawtelle.

It’s taken several conversations with officers to ascertain what exactly went down.

Was this an officer-involved shooting?

Yes.

Was it the officer doing the shooting?

Yes.

Was it a vagrant who got shot?

Yes.

We understand the vagrant had a gun and thought it a good idea to resist the LAPD.

He thought wrong.

He ended up dead at the Shell Station on the southwest corner of Venice and Sepulveda.

What if he had run down Globe? What if one of us or, God forbid, our children should have been caught in the crossfire? What if any civilians had been injured?

This is why we complain about vagrants camping in such close proximity to us.

 They are violent. They are armedand, no, they’re not just exercising their second-amendment right to keep and bear arms. They are dangerous.

To call this a homeless crisis is an outrage.

I grew up in India. I’ve seen extreme poverty. I’ve seen people living on the streets and in slums. I have even, as a journalism student, visited with such people and spoken with them.

Not one of them was on drugs. Not one of them was violent. Not one of them was armed. Not one of them was encased in filth either. In a country that is hot and humid and without regular access to clean, running water, these people were still able to keep themselves clean and to retain their sense of dignity.

I’ve lived in four different Indian cities, visited quite a few others.

But I have never seen human feces on the streets, never seen people defecating in full view of the public, and never, as I walked through the streets, a lone woman, have I felt unsafe. Even in New Delhi, a notoriously unsafe place for women.

Here in Culver City, I hesitate to walk under the overpass. I would certainly never take my children—ranging in age from 4 through 8—through it to go to the store at the Shell Station or to walk to Vet’s Park as we used to before the bums—I don’t apologize for using that term because that’s all they are—took over our neighborhood.

To call this a homeless crisis is both an outrage and an insult to the residents who live here and are exposed to this situation every day of their lives. To suggest that all that’s needed is a shelter and a few services—and, of course, rent control—flies in the face of common decency.

And even if there really were a housing crisis, the city’s actions—enriching itself and its cronies—would certainly do nothing to alleviate it.  The Mayor has said—this in a letter in response to mine—that the city plans on spending $925,000 to study the situation.

Another $190,000 goes to pay the bloated salary of an official who will “coordinate services.”

None of this money goes toward actually providing services that those down on their luck might need—job training, job opportunities, for instance.

Why not? Because the people under the overpass don’t want a job. Nor do they want shelters. What they want is to be able to sell drugs and engage in illegal activities like drug-dealing and prostitution. Yes, we’ve seen this as well in Harry Culver’s city.

And our Mayor living in her privileged bubble is as well aware of this as you or I.

It’s easy to preach compassion when you don’t have to deal with or even see the situation on the outskirts of the city. It’s easy to tell other people what they should or shouldn’t do.

But I’m yet to see any of the people preaching compassion actually walking the walk.

Enabling drug abuse is not compassionate. Enabling young girls to be prostituted is not compassionate. And leaving the mentally ill to fend for themselves out on the streets is not compassionate either.

If anyone wants to preach compassion to the residents of Globe Avenue, let them volunteer to put up the violent, criminal vagrants under the overpass on their street—or better still within their homes.

Hammering out the vagrancy crisis

A number of us met with Mayor Meghan, city manager John Nachbar, and police chief Bixby to discuss the Globe Ave. vagrant camp situation. We had the expected results – mostly an impasse, with some promise of progress. As you can imagine, these three city officials had very different responsibilities, and therefore different slants on we can do about these camps.

First we confronted the case that started the whole crisis – the Martin v. Boise ruling. This upheld the 2006 case declaring it “cruel and unusual punishment” to cite someone for sleeping on the sidewalk, if they have nowhere else to go. A number of us asserted that Boise case only allowed people to sleep anywhere – it didn’t allow them to set up permanent residences. But city government stuck to the principle that if we force vagrants to do anything, we’ll get sued.

Nachbar made the challenging assertion that, though the 2006 ruling doesn’t technically apply to daylight hours, an activist plaintiff will claim that they need to sleep during the day, because they’re afraid of sleeping at night. And they would most likely win that case. He may very well be right. But even if he’s wrong, we would need a very assertive council to be ready to defend our laws against a lawsuit.

So while we had an impasse on that, this issue should definitely be on Culver City residents’ radar for the 2020 election. If we want to keep our streets and parks clean, we need a council that’s ready to assert our right to do so.

We also went back and forth on whether the mayor is disciplining police for “harassing the homeless.” Meghan has denied any such policy change, but we’ve definitely heard from officers saying they got reprimanded from her for “harassing the homeless” – meaning checking for warrants and suspicious activity. We will follow up on this and get to the bottom of the issue.

Our final question, after much heated back and forth on “long term solutions” and their efficacy, was “what can we do about this now? Today?”

With that, we stuck to the crime element. While CCPD can’t single-handedly patrol the area 24/7 for us, we can be proactive. That means setting up a Neighborhood Watch for the block, which alerts CCPD on any suspect or known activity. Based on our reliable testimony, they can have reasonable suspicion to talk to suspected dealers, pimps, people defecating on the streets, or any criminal activity.

Our policy will be simple – whatever rules exist in a shelter, exist on our streets. If you want to live on our streets, you follow our laws, or you find another street. Nobody will be able to deal drugs or women, or harass local residents, without our watchful eye catching it.

Hopefully, if we stay vigilant, at least the worst elements will be discouraged to ply their trade elsewhere. We will be contacting CCPD’s liaison officer Yabko to set this up as soon as possible.

Protecting Residents is Immoral!

Yes, that’s essentially what Mayor Sahli-Wells and City Manager John Nachbar told residents this evening at a meeting at the Police Station.

“Immoral?” expostulated one resident.

“Yes, immoral,” the Mayor repeated. With her hand over her heart and her features arranged into an expression of deep compassion, the Mayor told residents it would be immoral to get vagrants out from the area of Venice under the 405-overpass.

Apparently, they can deal drugs, use the neighboring streets as open-air toilets, engage in prostitution, and do drugs on our streets, and it would be immoral to prosecute them.

“What can you do?” residents repeatedly asked. “We’ve heard what you can’t do. But what can you do tomorrow to make us safer?”

“Well,” the City Manager exclaimed, “we can’t tell them to go—!”

“What can you do?” we asked again.

Residents had been invited to meet with city officials and the Chief of Police to figure out solutions to the criminal vagrancy problem that afflicts the borders of Culver City, but it turned out to be a waste of our time.

The Mayor’s heart bleeds for the criminals who do drugs and sell drugs. But not for the tax-paying residents who pay her salary.

According to her, it would be both IMMORAL and UNCONSTITUTIONAL to protect our rights against criminals.

Keeping residents safe and streets clean apparently goes against the constitution. One has to wonder what our founders would have thought of that!

To give him credit, the City Manager did have a solution. It was in the form of an annually recurring $190,000 payment to a Homeless Czar!

One presumes that for that kind of money the appointee in question will have more refined excuses as to why nothing can be done.

At any rate, the solution does several things:

  • It enables the city and its council to act upon Rahm Emanuel’s advice to “never let a good crisis go to waste.”
  • To throw good money at a crisis and insist to residents that they’re doing something
  • And, best of all, it’s a lovely excuse to raise taxes

You see, the city’s declared a state of fiscal emergency. But somehow, despite the shortage, it did manage to find a spare $190,000 lying around. And it’s counting on having that spare cash available every year, with a little change to spare.

After all the Homeless Czar’s salary will need to go up every year. One hundred and ninety thousand dollars won’t go as far in 2021 as it does in 2020. The poor man—or woman—will absolutely need more each passing year to cope with rising costs.

Other than that City Manager John Nachbar was extremely candid in confessing he had No Answers. “I don’t know,” he repeatedly said.

Apparently, it never occurred to him to come prepared to the meeting or to do some research to figure out what our options are.

That would be too much to expect of an overpaid, underworked city official.

Is Property Racist?

by Anthony Rizzo

Our City is in the process of updating its General Plan. Part of the plan focuses on our zoning and housing development. 

In anticipation, some councilmembers and their supporters have been showcasing Culver City’s hstoric racism. 

Some are advocating that the council make a formal apology for its racism while others have gone so far as to suggest rezoning single family residential neighborhoods to allow for “affordable” housing as a form of reparations.

In my opinion, minorities of Culver City do not want an apology for the racism of the past nor do we want rezoning for “affordable” housing.

What we want is a commitment from our elected council to protect our rights to have the same quality of life that the past residents of this beautiful suburb enjoyed during its heyday. 

Culver City has overcome racism. And, the people in Culver are evidence of it. The diversity in our City reflects this.  As a minority, I was not prevented by laws or intimidation from purchasing a single-family home in Culver City. The couple that sold the house to me was white and they were excited for me to make this City my new home.  However, what I have observed is that the City has steadily reduced its commitment to protect residents’ rights to have the same quality of life as those who began this great city.

For example, I purchased a home in Sunkist Park – a single family residential neighborhood. It has beautiful, quiet, tree lined streets. At the center of this perfectly planned neighborhood is a small elementary school and park. However, over the past 10 years the City (school district and city) has stopped protecting our right to enjoy the same quiet, low density neighborhood for which it is zoned and was designed.

Every week after school and during the weekends, the streets around the school are flooded with cars coming in and out to use the school field.

The City, without notice, consent, or proper planning repurposed the field as a recreational park.  

Permits are sold to sports associations to use the field as a recreational park. The volume of traffic in the neighborhood has tripled, the level of pollution in the neighborhood has increased 10-fold, the streets are no longer quiet, and kids cannot safely ride and play in the streets.

Sunkist Park neighborhood is not a recreational park.  It was built for single family homes. It is designed for families to walk their kids to the small elementary school and for families and kids to walk or ride their bike/board to play at the neighborhood park.  

Unfortunately, this isn’t the only area the City has fallen short:

  • Traffic in Culver City in now a crisis. In neighborhoods and on the main streets. Encampments in our parks and streets and the sale and use of drugs is permitted.
  • Kids’ safety is a major concern of parents – playing outside or traveling to school.
  • City regulations have increased exponentially i.e. requirements for building/remodeling your home, bans on plastic bags, straws and e-cigarettes, rent control (proposed rent control board), ban on certain utilities (proposed ban on gas appliances), etc.
  • Local taxes have been on a steady rise with the looming debt of pension liabilities.
  • Government growth is out of control for a small City like ours.  We are flooded with increased costs to implement the avalanche of state laws and special interest programs; i.e. the planners to hire for the planning department, costs for programs to come out of the revised general plan, homeless czar, etc.

Isn’t it ironic that the same City that prevented minorities from purchasing homes is now preventing minorities from having the same quality of life.  

As a matter of fact, it’s not just minorities that suffer, all residents are prevented from experiencing this same quality of life. 

Instead of an apology, I am suggesting our City go back to the drawing board and take care of the basics:

  • Enforce the laws on the books to remove encampments, and drug dealers from our streets.
  • Manage growth and traffic so we can enjoy the peaceful oasis of Culver City.
  • Reduce crime in our City so our streets are safe.
  • Stop the state and surrounding cities from forcing their agenda on us.
  • Solve our financial crises and get a handle on our pension liabilities.

The truth of the matter is that the minorities disenfranchised by the historic racism of Culver City’s housing policies are now living in Culver City neighborhoods, in single family homes.  Once the discriminatory laws were removed, we were able to purchase homes wherever we wanted.

The issue was never “affordability” it was “accessibility”. 

Therefore, save the apology and the progressive agenda to “up-zone away poverty”.

Please just protect the beautiful City we love and preserve the amazing quality of life it has to offer us all.

In Mayor Sahli-Well’s Backyard, Being Mentally Ill is a Crime!

Some months back in August, parents of Lin Howe’s students received a note from CCUSD telling of an untoward incident that the children had been witness to. Naturally, the newly appointed principal of the school found herself bombarded with enquiries. What exactly had happened? What had the children seen?

To her credit, Principal Eva Carpenter provided a detailed response via email. Since the message was sent out to every Lin Howe parent, I have no hesitation reproducing it here:

I have gotten inquiries about the details of today’s events.  There was a man who was believed to be mentally ill walking down the street in front of our school acting erratically.  The police were called as he was also seen walking on to neighbors’ properties.  The police came and tried to quell the situation but had to subdue him forcefully.  Unfortunately some of our students saw what happened but were moved away from the area safely.  The suspect was taken into custody without incident, staff members who witnessed the event gave their eyewitness statements. I am working closely with CCUSD Security Director, Superintendent Lockhart and the culver City Police to ensure we keep all students safe. 

Note some key words and phrases here. The man was “mentally ill” and merely “walking down the street.” The individual, referred to as the “suspect” was “taken into custody.”

But being “mentally ill” isn’t a crime. Neither is walking down a public street. So, why was this person arrested? Why was he violently subdued when there were children watching?

Now Globe Avenue residents would never call about a “mentally ill” person simply “walking down the street.” There’s not much point calling about one of these individuals sitting on your property drinking from an open container, either.

Police dispatch—who will rush one of CCPD’s finest to your home if your cat’s stuck up a tree or your neighbor’s using his camera and the flash disturbs your afternoon nap—invariably ask: “But what’s he/she doing?”

In other words, what’s the crime?

You can be mentally ill. And you can walk down the streets. Well, all right, as long as you’re not endangering either yourself or others. At any event, one doesn’t expect such people to be arrested. One merely expects them to be confined in an appropriate asylum and to receive the treatment they so badly need.

Now we have called about the mentally ill when we’ve witnessed them accosting passersby or relentlessly following pedestrians, while shaking their fists and acting aggressive. We’ve seen and called about the mentally ill violently reaching out and trying to grab moms walking their babies, growling at and clearly scaring them.

We’ve called because it was the civic-minded thing to do.

Do the police come? No. After dispatch has finished arguing with you about whether you’re well and truly a Culver City resident, you’ll find out—as my husband and I did on one occasion—that your call was never even relayed to the police department.

(In case, you’re wondering, dispatch is outsourced to South Bay, which handles both non-emergency and 911 calls for Culver City and a couple of other cities.)

We’ve also called about mentally ill people blocking traffic, erratically crossing from one side to the other on Venice Boulevard—at risk of becoming yet another statistic in a hit-and-run. But Dispatch has again wondered whether CCPD had jurisdiction or LAPD. Ultimately, no one has been sent out.

Disrupting Traffic–This Person’s Erratic Behavior Spanned the Culver City and LA Side of Venice Blvd.

The compassion the authorities supposedly feel for the “unhoused” doesn’t apparently extend to saving the lives of the mentally ill and the “unhoused” they profess to care for. Who knows, maybe it’s more compassionate to let them die!

Why is there one law for Police District 1—the Mayor’s neighborhood—and quite another for the rest of Culver City?

The Constitution guarantees equality under the law and equal treatment by the law. But Mayor Sahli-Wells and her council are doing everything they can to undermine those constitutional guarantees.

When a Crime Occurs, We Should . . .

Build more shelters, of course!

It’s a no-brainer. At least, according to Mayor Sahli-Wells and her brethren of four.

This past Monday, a neighbor spoke at the council meeting of receiving not one but three threats from the “unhoused”—to borrow Councilman Lee’s term—members of Culver City. (Never mind that many of these have never rented or owned a residence in Culver City. And for quite a few, their last residence was more likely than not to have been behind bars.

The city council proudly claims them all as residents.) Our neighbor has also narrowly escaped being attacked on two or three separate occasions. And she mentioned this as well.

Getting Ready to Shoot Dope on Globe Ave.

I spoke of our children seeing people shoot dope; of seeing the “unhoused” openly selling drugs; of our children having to find human feces on our street—a quiet residential cul-de-sac—and used needles; of seeing “unhoused” men using our street as an open-air public restroom; of property thefts and seeing suspicious individuals of the “unhoused” variety peering into car windows and trying car-door handles to see if any of the parked vehicles were unlocked.

To these complaints, the Mayor had but one response: “We have a housing crisis. We’re providing more services and we’re building a shelter.”

What, you might wonder, is the connection between death threats, property thefts, and the like to housing and the availability of shelters?

To be sure, these crimes are perpetrated by the vagrants whom the city council persists in referring to as “homeless.” But other than that what connection is there?

How does more and free housing keep our residents safe? How does it prevent us from receiving death threats?

How does more and free housing prevent substance abuse? What does it do to combat drug dealing?

Shooting Dope On A Residential Street in Culver City

How is more and free housing an adequate response to the fact that our streets are being used as vast, open-to-the sky toilets?

If the connection eludes you, don’t worry. We’re at a loss to understand it as well.

Some further questions might have occurred to you: Who will build these shelters? Where? How much will they cost? When will they be available?

More importantly: In the interim, what will be done to keep us safe? What is to prevent someone who issues a death threat from carrying it out?

And finally, when those shelters are built, what if the “unhoused” refuse to move into them, citing one reason or another? What happens, then?

We do have shelters and we do provide services—and the “unhoused” frequently refuse them. This happens often enough and poses a sufficiently troubling legal conundrum that many California cities and counties have joined to file a brief asking the Ninth Circuit to provide some clarity on the matter. If the “unhoused” refuse to go into an available shelter, can this be taken to mean that no shelter was available?

Not Culver City, however. Our city council seems largely untroubled by the issue. Who cares when the issue doesn’t touch Police District 1, where police officers can—and do—tackle the “unhoused” to the ground in front of watching children?

The rest of Culver City can just suck it up, pay their taxes, and go to hell!