On Tuesday, March 6, day 20 of Kaleb’s hunger strike, Councilman Jose Huizar came to Skid Row to visit Kaleb and talk with him about the homeless crisis. He told Kaleb that he would like for him to attend City Council Meetings and voice his support for initiatives that Huizar wants to implement (including in Skid Row) to ease the crisis, and he asked Kaleb to consider ending his hunger strike. Since Councilman Huizar would not commit to meeting the demand of the Skid Row community’s counter to the city’s DTLA 2040 plan, nor convert and use the 150 vacant buildings on Skid Row to house the homeless, Kaleb declined.
Also, this LINK is to an article in today’s L.A. Times that reveals that in 2017, LAPD made more than 14,500 arrests of homeless people, a ten percent increase over the previous year.
An excerpt: “Los Angeles police on Tuesday defended stepped-up enforcement against the city’s exploding homeless population, saying that despite officials’ anti-criminalization stance and adoption of alternative strategies, arrests and citations are needed to meet the crisis.
‘As a last resort, a tool, one tool of many tools, we turn to enforcement,’ Cmdr. Dominic H. Choi, the LAPD’s homelessness coordinator, told the Police Commission during a discussion of the department’s year-end homelessness report. ‘We have to have a balanced approach.’
The report said LAPD officers made 14,500 misdemeanor arrests of homeless people in 2017, a 10% jump from the year before. It attributed the increase in part to crackdowns on “quality of life” violations barring sleeping and storing personal property on sidewalks. Trespassing and nonviolent drug possession arrests also rose, the report said.”