LA Democrat sounds alarm about homelessness, crime before Super Bowl LVI: ‘A disaster and an embarrassment’

Los Angeles Democrat city councilman Joe Buscaino said Tuesday that the homelessness crisis is a “disaster” as officials try to address the problem in advance of the massive crowds that will arrive for Super Bowl LVI.

“It shouldn’t take a Super Bowl to connect people to services and clean our streets. We need leaders that address the homelessness crisis 24/7, 364 days out of the year,” the L.A. mayoral candidate told “Fox & Friends.”

Buscaino, a former police officer, vowed to take the homelessness issue to the ballot, arguing the problem needs a “FEMA-like response.”

“We are going to have some benchmarks. If council members, mayor, city attorney don’t meet certain benchmarks by connecting people to housing and services, we will dock their pay,” he told host Steve Doocy.

LA COUNCILMAN PROPOSES PAY CUT FOR ELECTED LEADERS IF HOMELESS ENCAMPMENTS ARE NOT BANNED

FILE - In this March 24, 2021, file photo a woman eats at her tent at the Echo Park homeless encampment at Echo Park Lake in Los Angeles.

FILE – In this March 24, 2021, file photo a woman eats at her tent at the Echo Park homeless encampment at Echo Park Lake in Los Angeles.

Buscaino submitted a proposed ballot measure that would reduce the salaries of city officials if the pervasive issue of homelessness is not sufficiently addressed in the city. 

“We have an emergency situation playing out on our streets, and this ballot measure offers an all-of-the-above approach to addressing it,” Buscaino said, according to CNS

FILE - This is a general overall interior view of SoFi Stadium as the Los Angeles Rams takes on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif.

FILE – This is a general overall interior view of SoFi Stadium as the Los Angeles Rams takes on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Inglewood, Calif.
(AP Photo/Kyusung Gong, File)

Under Buscaino’s plan, homeless encampments in LA would be banned, temporary emergency shelters would be made a priority, the mayor would be given additional land-use authority during a state of emergency related to homelessness, and the city would achieve functional zero homelessness within three years. 

If such goals are not sufficiently met, elected city leaders would face docked pay. 

Buscaino submitted language for the proposal to the Los Angeles city clerk on Friday. The city clerk and the city attorney will then review the proposal before organizers are potentially allowed to gather 65,000 signatures in order for the measure to hit the ballot in November.

A homeless encampment near SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California was cleared out Tuesday. The venue is slated to host Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13. 

A homeless encampment near SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California was cleared out Tuesday. The venue is slated to host Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13. 
(Fox 11 Los Angeles)

Los Angeles has long faced a homelessness issue, most notably in Venice Beach and Echo Park Lake. An ordinance took effect in September that banned sleeping and homeless encampments in certain parts of the city, but the issue has continued. 

Just last week, the city worked to clean up homeless camps ahead of this year’s Super Bowl, which will be held at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, but the move was slammed as a “Band-Aid” solution. 

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Buscaino said Los Angeles needs law and order on the streets.

“It is a disaster and an embarrassment what we’re seeing here,” Buscaino said.

“Open drug use, crime, enough is enough. … People are dying in our streets and half the fires the fire department is responding to are encampment-related,” he said, endorsing the recall of liberal Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.

“The message is being sent to the criminal element on the street: do crime and get away with it.”

Fox News’ Emma Colton contributed to this report.

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