For Immediate Release: May 31, 2022


LOS ANGELES — Today, Councilmember Nithya Raman voted in opposition of a proposed amendment to LAMC 41.18, and issued the following statement: 

I’m the parent of six year old twins. I want them to be safe; I think about it all the time, it’s a matter of deep concern to me. I also feel strongly that, as this body, we need to be making effective policy. We need to stop misleading our constituents, and making promises that the City simply cannot deliver on — we need to work towards real solutions backed by real resources that will result in lasting change on our streets. 

What we’re doing in my district, in terms of housing people at encampments, taking tents down, putting things into storage, and keeping sidewalks clear because everyone has been housed at those encampments — that takes real resources and real work. That takes more beds and more housing units than we currently have available to us in the City of Los Angeles.

It’s been almost a year since the anti-camping ordinance was passed. This policy was supposed to come with new resources and a strategy for getting people off the street, rather than just shuffling people around. None of those resources have been meaningfully implemented. Most encampments in prohibited zones have either moved down the street or not moved at all. And now, despite the lack of success of this project, Council moved today to add thousands of new zones to the list.

We don’t have a system in place right now where we have adequate numbers of shelter beds, we don’t have our street strategy adequately and fully resourced. We don’t have outreach workers that go out with CARE+ to make sure that people are given notice and adequately informed about cleanups. None of the other structures that we need to have in place in order to make this City’s response to homelessness and effective response to homelessness are currently in place right now, and the results of that are sadly too visible on our streets. I don’t want to pass policy where we create new rules that we really don’t have the capacity to enforce.

I see 41.18 signs all the time with encampments right underneath them. I see signs for no parking for RVs with a string of RVs right underneath them. The thing that’s preventing us from actually being able to end homelessness in Los Angeles is not having the resources that we need to end homelessness in Los Angeles — it’s not the lack of laws dictating where a person can and can’t be homeless in our city.

I don’t want to see any encampments around schools, daycares, or anywhere else in LA. And that is why my team has prioritized actually getting people in encampments in these areas into housing and shelter. What happened today will not bring us closer to that goal.