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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilman Mike Bonin Explain the “Bridge Home” Project for Venice at Town Hall Meet

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Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Mike Bonin, along with Alex Cohen, Spectrum reporter and moderator for event, met in the Westminster auditorium Wednesday night to sell Venetians on the ideas that they need and would appreciate “Bridge Housing” on the MTA lot at Sunset and Main for 154 homeless.

The site in surrounded by residential as is the Venice Median and Thatcher Yard, proposed affordable/PSH housing, which are also proposed for Venice. Venice has only occasional strips of commercial. This is unlike other other council districts set for the bridge housing concept.

The auditorium was packed and there was overflow seating outside the auditorium. The gates were not opened until 5 pm and many people arrived around 4 pm to secure a seat. There was seating outside for those who would not be able to be seated inside. Whether the area was used or not, this reporter does not know. People were standing in the auditorium.

The Mayor and Councilman were more than 30 minutes late and people in the nonairconditioned auditorium started to shout “Venice Go.” The meeting was scheduled for 6 to 8. It was announced that the guests would stay as late as their were questions. Later that evening they turned on the air conditioning and it was cool.

In the evening when people were leaving there was a group of people holding battery-operated candles to show their support for the project.

The Mayor spoke for 20 minutes and then Councilman Bonin spoke, followed by the Chief of Police Michel Moore. They all pitched that this was the humane way to get people off the streets faster than waiting for permanent housing … It would free Venice of the encampments. Venice has the largest concentration of homeless in the City other than Skid Row and possibly Hollywood.

One of the greatest problems people spoke about was the crime. Chief Moore mentioned that crime was down and people tried to explain that crime is not being reported and there is lack of enforcement.

One good outcome of the meeting was that Chief Moore said he would start honoring the beach curfew as of that night. Curfew is midnight to 5 am. Homeless have been sleeping on the beach for months now and the curfew has not been enforced

Questions were then opened to the audience. Each seat had a question paper for one question. The question slip was filled out and then given to Cohen for selection. Questions were about misdemeanors, the environment, the cost of the bridge, the crime now and later increased around the site, the type of Venetian homeless, lack of knowledge of the Venice homeless.

Following are some of the individuals who spoke. Videos will be inserted as soon as finished. The first one got a standing ovation.

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