It was like a sketch from a spoof movie: sanitation crews, outreach workers, and other government employees descended upon downtown LA last week to remove the vast homeless encampments surrounding Los Angeles City Hall in preparation for the inauguration of recently elected mayor Karen Bass.
But there was one thing they forgot to plan for in Southern California–rain.
Once forecasters announced that a large storm was expected Sunday, the Bass inauguration was moved inside to the Microsoft Theater in the area, and the effort to clean up City Hall was abandoned. The homeless encampments reappeared even before they were fully gone.
Homeless encampment near LA City Hall cleared ahead of Bass inauguration https://t.co/Z489TThQiF
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) December 9, 2022
We saw a similar scene before last year’s Super Bowl at SoFi Stadium. The city ignored massive tent cities until the national media’s cameras were turned on; then all of a sudden they paid attention and quickly cleaned up the evidence of their policies–only to see the hordes return once the big game was over.
The irony is hard to ignore–officials clean up these sites when people are paying attention, showing the metropolis as a shining city on a hill, but when the lights go down and only the people who actually have to live here are left, they let it return to the grime, violence and third world degradation.
I’ve been to City Hall and downtown many times, recently to cover a protest against mask mandates, more often for jury duty. I can tell you firsthand that it’s a treacherous journey, with tent encampments for blocks and people on the streets openly doing drugs, fighting, and talking to themselves loudly.
But have no fear, Angelenos–Bass is now here, and she vowed to declare a state of emergency over the crisis. Note that Governor Gavin Newsom still has the state under emergency declaration nearly three years into the COVID pandemic. That hasn’t worked out so well.
We can guess where she stands on mask mandates:
Today’s inauguration of @MayorOfLA @KarenBassLA looks more like a funeral for freedom than it does a celebration for a new leader. At least we don’t have to guess what her post-election position will be on mask mandates @LACity parks & schools! @UprisingLa pic.twitter.com/UglATnNM3L
— Houman David Hemmati, MD, PhD (@houmanhemmati) December 11, 2022
While I wish her the best in her efforts to find solutions to the massive homeless crisis in the City of Angels, I confess I’m not holding my breath. Here’s one of her cohorts, Governor Gavin Newsom, promising to fix the problem—in 2012:
Now it’s all going to be different, supposedly, as she promised in her inauguration speech:
“Los Angeles has called me to serve at an infliction point in our history,” Bass said, explaining that the country just went through a pandemic, inflation and the cost of living is rising, and 40,000 people are sleeping in the streets. “No matter what, we never give up. We have never given up and that’s our LA magic.”
The question is: how did we get to a point where there are 40,000 homeless people (probably an undercount) roaming the city? Answer: progressive, woke policies. It’s hard to believe that a woke progressive, Democrat new mayor is suddenly going to fix things. Next election, she will most likely run for another term in office by promising that this time, she means business, and we should vote for her because she’s really going to do it!
The leftist Los Angeles Times briefly mentioned the challenges Bass will face, but found it much more important to fawn over the genders, sexual proclivities, and race of the participants as if that will somehow solve the city’s crime and homelessness problems:
The first Black woman elected mayor of Los Angeles was joined by the first female vice president, the first woman to lead the California Senate and California’s first female lieutenant governor.
Harris is also the first Black or Asian American vice president, and Senate President pro tempore Toni G. Atkins is the first openly LGBTQ person to lead the statehouse’s upper chamber.
Conservative radio host and former gubernatorial host Larry Elder had thoughts:
(I would have been the first “black person to be elected” governor of California, but, apparently, not “a big deal.”) pic.twitter.com/H3kPMoCt1p
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) December 11, 2022
I hope Karen Bass keeps her promises and does become an effective leader able to deal with the challenges the city faces. But if the past is any indication, I’m going to be writing a similar column four years from now.