Building Skid Row West

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Mike Bonin Calls in City Council Motion for Managing Public Spaces in Venice like “Skid Row” and a UN-Sanctioned “Refugee Camp” with a “System of Portable Public Restrooms” to Be Placed at the City’s Sole Discretion

In keeping with the old adage “never let a good crisis go to waste,” Bonin seized on the Hepatitis A outbreak yesterday with an emergency city council motion calling for the rapid installation of “a system of portable public restrooms” (with attendants) in two (and only two) Los Angeles locations — Skid Row and Venice – stating, unbelievably that the need for bathroom facilities for the homeless is even greater in Venice than it is on Skid Row and calling upon the city council to bring “conditions” in Venice up to “the standards the United Nations sets for refugee camps.”

Bonin further moved for the city attorney to find ways “to enable the city to permit the placement of portable public restrooms in designated locations” – including “public right[s]-of-way” and “city-owned parking lots” – “when a determination is made that no other location is suitable or practicable.” In other words, Bonin wants to be distribute his “portable public restrooms” in a way that provides maximum support for the continued growth of his world famous tent encampments (or “Boninvilles” as they are commonly known) and the RV parks he deliberately created (all along Venice Boulevard but especially in Venice) by legalizing car-camping this year.

In addition, our own Venice Neighborhood Council is looking at rolling out mobile health clinics to complement the suite of parking and restroom services Bonin is providing, and Bonin is planning 3 massive housing projects (spanning 8 acres) in Venice, which sit within 2 blocks of the water, which cannot be reserved for Venice homeless and which are being paid for in part through the sale of public land that could itself be used for homeless housing in wealthier Westside communities.

Meanwhile, no efforts are being made to distinguish recreational “travelers” and “van lifers” from people who are truly in need. Parking laws are waived for RVs and other vehicles used as dwellings. And Bonin voted against funds (which the overwhelming majority of the city council supported) to clean encampments.

The result of all this? The homeless population in Venice increased by 34% (growing faster than the homeless population in Skid Row) last year, while dropping by 5% in the rest of Bonin’s district, including a 50% drop in Pacific Palisades.

The bottom line is that Mike Bonin has decided to make Venice a designated homeless hub for LA west of Skid Row and he is well on his way to making his twisted dream a reality.We have to fight back. For our kids. And for our community.

Join us!


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