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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

We Didn’t Start the Fire, Venice is Burning


Special thanks to Billy Joel, Performed by Mark Lennon of the band, Venice,
Produced by Nico Ruderman, Lyrics by Sean Obrien

Mike Bonin, Sheila Kuell, Gavin Newsome, what a fool
Autum Burke, Ted Lieu, Ben Allen have no clue
Garcetti, Eunuch in a trance, Scott Weiner in his pants
Third St., Boardwalk, Oakwood cant get a cop
Needles, feces, drug dealers, ocean breeze
Rubbish fires, Baseball bats chop shops, tons of rats
Encampments, Cherynoble, Carol Sobel thinks she’s noble
Rape, murder, suicide, no bail, it’s genocide
We didn’t’ start the Fire
Venice is burning, since Bonin’s been earning
We didn’t’ start the Fire, Venice is blighted, as we tried to fight it.
Blue tarps, Got Junk, Venice in a funk
Out of State, imports, no support, Supreme Court
Prostitution, vandalism, saturation, devastation
Sanitation, hesitation, Venice annihilation
Nero on the roof, Government has no proof
Pelosi, ice cream, I just want to scream
Harris, VP, abandoned us to live her dream
People squatting on the Beach, methamphetamine
We didn’t’ start the Fire
Penmar is burning, since Bonin’s been learning
We didn’t’ start the Fire, Venice is blighted, but we’ve tried to fight it.
RV’s, heaps of trash, they wonder why we clash
Rising crime, too much grime, brother can you spare a dime
Hair cuts, trim suits, bureaucratic lawsuits
Jones Act, Boise, failed leaders, crazy
Tax base shrinking, City Council winking
Zombies peeing, Residents fleeing
Puppet show, quid pro quo, no go, Skid Row
Rezone, methadone, Venice a containment zone
We didn’t’ start the Fire
Third Street is burning, since Bonin’s been churning
We didn’t’ start the Fire, Venice is blighted, but we’ve tried to fight it.
Dogtown upside down, violent shantytown
Dereliction, mental crisis, drug addiction, hepatitis
Heroin, weed, booze, storm drains full of ooze
Echo Park clean up, Venice remains a dump
Covid, Bonin’s dream, no Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream
Sirens daily, Where’s The Guy who plays the ukulele
We didn’t’ start the Fire
The Boardwalk is burning, since Bonin’s been earning
We didn’t’ start the Fire, Venice is blighted, As we’ve tried to fight it.
Homeless advocates, vagrants dropping pants
Sunset, Hampton, shelter box with a gun
Developers lobby, residents groggy
Venice a containment zone, I can’t leave my home
Tents around the school, beach and Rose cesspool
Venice strives, Lost Lives, but they all have knives
Too much alcohol, cant containment them all
Back again, bohemian, Monster on the Median
We didn’t’ start the Fire
Venice is burning, since Bonin’s been earning
We didn’t’ start the Fire, A new day will dawn,
Venice goes on and on and on and on and on and on an on and on and on and on

From Councilman Mike Bonin Regarding Housing the Homeless Using City Facilities and Properties

Dear Friends,
In the middle of this public health crisis, there is no time for delay or hesitation: we must immediately find ways to house our unhoused, and we must do everything to prevent more people from falling into homelessness.
Yesterday, City Council approved a series of measures I co-authored, directing city agencies to immediately use city facilities and properties for housing, to push the state to move faster on housing people in hotels and motels, and in the meantime, to open more restrooms and showers for people who are still unsheltered, and to stop evicting people from tents and leaving them without protection from the elements. People living outdoors cannot follow public health advice, putting everyone – unhoused and housed – at risk of contracting and spreading the virus.
At the same time, we directed our City Attorney to draft a broad emergency ordinance to halt evictions and prevent tenants from falling into homelessness in the middle of this public health crisis. We also directed City Attorney to craft ordinances: giving greater protections to workers being laid off as a result of emergency measures to halt the spread of the virus; and giving more health protections to the front-line service workers at LAX who risk exposure to COVID-19.
Thank you to Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Gilbert Cedillo, Los Angeles City Council President Emeritus Herb J. Wesson, Jr., Paul Koretz, Jose Huizar and Council President Nury Martinez for their great partnership on these pieces of legislation. And kudos to all my colleagues for the other smart, strong actions taken today to help address this crisis. And much, much love to the grassroots and neighborhood leaders demanding action and forcing progress. 
This is a defining moment for our city and our neighborhoods — and it demands leadership and action. Thank you for your patience and partnership as we get through this crisis together. Please find some helpful information and links below. 

Taxpayer Lawsuit Filed to Force Housing of All Homeless in Less Expensive Facilities

Attorney Elizabeth Mitchell of the law firm of Spertus, Landes and Umhofer, representing the homeless, property owners, residents and the disabled, has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court to force the City and County of Los Angeles to house all of its homeless in less expensive facilities as soon as possible.

The suit contains 14 causes of action, including:

The City and County have breached their duty to their citizens to keep their communities’ streets open and available for movement of people and property.

Mandatory Duty
Basic shelter is “medically necessary” insofar as it is “reasonable and necessary to protect life, to prevent significant illness or significant disability, or to alleviate severe pain” and the City and County’s failure to provide the same to its homeless population constitutes a breach of its duty under California Welfare & Institution Code Sections 17000 and 10000.

Public and Private NuisanceThe City and County have caused a substantial and unreasonable interference with the enjoyment of citizens’ property, whether that be a building owned or room rented; each have suffered and continue to be threatened with respect to their health and welfare, by reason of the constant threat of disease and the experience of human waste, trash, and encampments outside their property.

Inverse Condemnation
The actions by the City have limited, damaged, and/or burdened the owners’ property and/or business so substantially they rise to the level of a regulatory taking, yet no compensation has been provided.

Waste of Public Funds and Resources
The City and the County have spent enormous amounts of public funds on the homelessness crisis in ways that have had little or no effect on the crisis, and thereby wasted those public funds.

Violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)
umerous acts by the City constitute a “project” under CEQA, including the power-washing scheme which flushes thousands of tons per year of toxic substances into our oceans. The City’s decision to settle Mitchell v. City of Los Angeles is another example of a “project” in the Skid Row area; permitting unlimited property accumulation in the area has caused untold amounts of human waste, trash, debris, and toxic substances to wash into our waterways. Substantial evidence exists that the growing homelessness crisis may have a significant effect on the environment. Yet no review has ever been done, in violation of the CEQA.

Violation of the California Disabled Persons Act and American with Disabilities Act
The City and County are failing to uphold their obligations to maintain clear and accessible sidewalks and public rights-of way for its disabled residents and visitors, resulting in regular violations of the California Disabled Persons Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. These violations are obvious and known to the City and County both through their own inspections and various reports of blocked sidewalks due to encampments through its own reporting mechanisms, such as 311. Defendants and its agents and employees have failed and continue to fail to provide reasonable accommodations for disabled persons using public sidewalks.

Violation of Due Process and Equal Protection
By enforcing the law in some areas and declining to enforce the law in others, and by abdicating their duties under the law, the City has arbitrarily determined where homeless encampments may or may not be located and what communities should be affected, without following their own respective procedures and in violation of both state and federal law. This has placed a disproportionate burden on some persons, communities, and businesses over others.

Violation of State-Created Danger Doctrine
Defendants have affirmatively created or increased the risk that citizens would be exposed to dangerous conditions, which placed these citizens specifically at risk, and these citizens were harmed as a result.

Uncompensated Taking
The actions by the City have limited, damaged, and/or burdened the property owners so substantially they rise to the level of a regulatory taking, yet no compensation has been provided.

Municipal Liability for Unconstitutional Custom or Policy
The City and County acted with deliberate indifference, and conscious and reckless disregard to the safety, security, and constitutional and statutory rights of citizens.

Towards the objective of housing all unsheltered homeless persons as soon as possible, the suit asks for immediate funding and of proven less-costly housing models, including:

1. Large membrane tents capable of housing 100 people that may be constructed in a few months (cost: $10,000 per bed), e.g., the Union Rescue Mission just erected one at that price.
2. Large military-grade inflatable tents (cost: $6,000 per bed).
3. Pallet shelters (cost: $2,000 per bed).
4. Tent “Kits” capable of housing a family of four, with furniture, refrigerator, heater and electrical generator (Cost: $500 per bed, $2,000 per kit).
5. SHARE Collaborative Housing, two persons per bedroom in existing single-family homes and multi-family buildings (Cost: $500 to $700 monthly rent self-financed by each individual’s SSI, General Relief and other benefits; $8,000 cost per annuum per person for management, peer-counseling and other social services).

The suit would also require the City to maintain 36-inch ADA access on all sidewalks all the time.

Housing and the Money and Politics from Frontline

This is a Frontline Documentary explaining how builders make money building housing for the government and the voucher system.