New LA mayor says ‘first act’ is to declare emergency to deal with over 40K homeless people

During an inaugural address that spoke more to Democrats’ thirst for centralized power than a desire to address voter concerns, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass (D) promised to tackle one of the city’s biggest problems with an emergency declaration that could see the commandeering of private property.

(Video: Fox 11)

Reminiscent of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s 2010 line regarding Obamacare that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it,” public officials and spectators who had gathered at the Microsoft Theater to honor the new mayor rewarded Bass with a standing ovation Sunday when she announced what she would do as her first act Monday.

After getting sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris, the former congresswoman took to the podium and declared, “I will start my first day as mayor at the city’s Emergency Operations Centers, where my first act as mayor will be to declare a state of emergency on homelessness.”

Without stating specifics on what the emergency declaration would entail, the mayor continued, “My emergency declaration will recognize the severity of our crisis and break new ground to maximize our ability to urgently move people inside, and to do so for good. It will create the structure necessary for us to have a true, unified and citywide strategy to set us on the path to solve homelessness.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, Bass, who promised to get at least 17,000 of the estimated 40,000 to 69,000 homeless off the streets within her first year, can use the declaration to “activate an emergency operations team and act as its director; expedite development permits, contracting, procurement and hiring; suspend certain rules and regulations, and let affordable housing projects already allowed by law skip lengthy additional review by city departments and city and area planning commissions.”

“Department managers,” the outlet went on, “will become part of Bass’ emergency team, and they will be under her orders to facilitate housing plans.”

More dramatically, the Times also asserted, “The emergency declaration will also give Bass the ability to commandeer private property for housing, but she is not interested in doing that. ‘You’re going to end up tied up in court forever. I’m looking for the quickest way to do this.'”

“Los Angeles has called me to serve at an inflection point in our history,” Bass also said. “Today too many Angelenos have no choice but to crowd multiple families into one home and to work multiple jobs just to barely pay rent.”

“When a parent is hospitalized, when a job is lost, when the rent can no longer be paid, this is how and why so many Angelenos wind up losing their housing. When life is hard for some Angelenos it affects all Angelenos,” she argued.

However, what she didn’t make note of were the myriad progressive policies that had been driving the purchasing power of residents down in LA for years. The most recent and wide-reaching examples being, of course, COVID restrictions which shut down businesses, taking away livelihoods, and expansion of the welfare state encouraging homeless from other areas to relocate to the city.

Upon Bass’ signing of the emergency declaration, the City Council is required to ratify it, and the Times reported that it is expected to be approved.

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