Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took aim at county Sheriff Alex Villanueva on Tuesday amid an ongoing political battle over how to best combat the homelessness crisis in the city’s Venice neighborhood, according to a report. 

Earlier this month, Villanueva had called Garcetti and all five county supervisors “architects of failure,” for hampering the LAPD’s efforts to prevent people from camping on the beach and sidewalk. 

“I’m not going to get into a p—ing match with the sheriff, I welcome him here,” Garcetti said Tuesday in Venice. “If he doesn’t want to have press conferences but he wants to have results, we housed more people yesterday than he had all week. And one could ask the same thing, where has he been? This is not about throwing stones around.”

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Homeless encampments line the boardwalk on Venice Beach in Los Angeles. Residents and business owners have said the encampments have led to an uptick in crime and other quality of life issues. (Reuters)

Homeless encampments line the boardwalk on Venice Beach in Los Angeles. Residents and business owners have said the encampments have led to an uptick in crime and other quality of life issues. (Reuters)

Homeless outreach teams with the sheriff’s department were recently dispatched to Venice to address an influx of homeless encampments along the Venice Boardwalk – an area near the beach that has concerned residents and businesses due to a recent increase in crime. Authorities said there have been shootings, fights, harassment, arson, and other incidents related to the encampments.

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In a news conference last week, Villanueva asked the county Board of Supervisors to declare a state of emergency to fight the region’s homeless crisis. With a declaration, the county would be able to apply for funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

“Do I want to be in Venice? Of course not,” Villanueva said during the news conference. “Do I have to be there? Yes, because the system, the way it’s set up, and the architects of this failed plan are forcing us to take a different approach.”

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Tuesday was the first time FOX 11 saw Garcetti tour the area of Venice during this homeless crisis, the station reported. He was seen walking up and down the famed boardwalk.

“I’m here, I’ve been here quite a bit, I just don’t call the press when I do it,” Garcetti told FOX 11’s Sandra Endo.

When asked to give an exact number of times he visited, Garcetti said he had been to Venice “countless times” as mayor, and “regularly during the crisis.”

“I mean I can’t tell you how many times during the pandemic specifically, but to me, this is not about a press conference, it’s about placements, people, and housing,” he added. 

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As the nation’s most populous state, California has the most people – roughly 161,000 – experiencing homelessness.

Villanueva said his deputies have found housing for at least 15 of the estimated 200 people on the boardwalk, according to the station. 

Fox News’ Evie Fordham and Louis Casiano contributed to this story.

Source Link:
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/los-angeles-mayor-garcetti-venice-homeless-crisis-sheriff-villanueva

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