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Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino Wednesday requested the city resume its ban on sidewalk encampments.
- In Hollywood now with more for us, Rick?
RICK MONTANEZ: And Pat, the enforcement efforts to stop people from setting up tents on sidewalks went away when the pandemic hit Los Angeles. Tonight, council member Joe Buscaino says that with this proposal and bringing it back, it would help because the city, for now, is in a free-for-all.
Right now, there is no enforcement effort underway to prevent people from setting up tents and essentially living on Los Angeles city sidewalks day or night. From downtown LA to Venice Beach to Hollywood, encampments have popped up all across the city.
MICHELLE RIZO: Right now, I feel like I want to leave this neighborhood until I can afford a place that doesn't have as many homeless people because I don't really feel that safe here.
RICK MONTANEZ: LA City Councilman Joe Buscaino proposed Wednesday to immediately revoke the emergency ordinance that allows for the unhoused to set up tents on public property between 6:00 AM and 9:00 PM unless it's raining or below 50 degrees outside.
JOE BUSCAINO: --a free-for-all. You have unregulated encampments sprawled throughout the city of Los Angeles. You have high-crime areas. You have the most vulnerable who are being victimized by sex crimes. This is what's happening every single day.
RICK MONTANEZ: Buscaino is also running for mayor, putting homelessness on top of his agenda.
JOE BUSCAINO: With one action, we could start making a difference in the city of Los Angeles.
RICK MONTANEZ: Union Rescue Mission CEO Andy Bales says it's a great plan, but the city shouldn't stop there.
ANDY BALES: It's a step toward order. But more importantly, we need a semipermanent to a permanent roof over people's heads, not get in an argument or a spat over hours that you can have a tent.
RICK MONTANEZ: After the meeting, fellow city councilman Mark Ridley Thomas tweeted, quote, "Focusing on enforcement alone diverts our attention from the real solutions needed to end this crisis, and may further make matters worse," end quote.
A lot of people we talked with say they shouldn't have to worry about dangers posed by someone who lives on the street. But how it's addressed is their main concern.
- So part of me says, I want to be compassionate toward them. They're human beings.
RICK MONTANEZ: Buscaino also says he launched 75 tiny homes in his district today. He says if this enforcement is restored, then it will help teams continue to go out and offer temporary and permanent housing options. Live in Hollywood tonight, Rick Montanez, KCAL9 News.
- Rick, thank--