Home>Articles>City Of Los Angeles Sued Over Mayor Karen Bass’ Homeless Crisis Emergency Powers

Democratic U.S. Representative Karen Bass at a Get Out The Vote rally for 2016 Hillary Clinton in Leimert Park Village Plaza a day before the California Primary. (Photo: Joseph Sohm, Shutterstock)

City Of Los Angeles Sued Over Mayor Karen Bass’ Homeless Crisis Emergency Powers

Bass has kept her state of emergency orders on homelessness in place

By Evan Symon, September 27, 2023 2:27 am

The city of Los Angeles was sued by the non-profit group “Fix the City” on Tuesday over Mayor Karen Bass’ far reaching emergency powers in trying to alleviate the homeless crisis in the city.

Since becoming Mayor in December, Karen Bass has made homelessness her main focal point. The flagship project of her homelessness campaign has been Inside Safe, which has aimed to open up motel rooms and low-income apartments for homeless to provide long-term shelter and housing. Over the last 10 months, the results of the project have been mixed.

On the plus side for Inside Safe, 14,000 homeless people in the city have been given shelter space or more permanent housing under the program. The number of encampments have also gone down in the city, although actions by the City Council in increasing encampment limitations have helped there as well.

However, the program has faced a severe negative response as well. Many homeless people, particularly working homeless, have grown frustrated with the plan, leaving many the difficult choice between having housing or keeping their current job. Motel owners have also hated the plan, with owners saying that the initiative ignores safety concerns and other vital issues. And, while the city has said that they have housed thousands of homeless, thousands more have also left the program, leading to severely misleading figures.

Since being given emergency powers to help solve the crisis, Bass has had mixed success in keeping her programs going, with her ultimate aim to end street homelessness in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics. While she has won exceptions from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to have applicants give documentation of their homeless status for city-assigned housing, the City Council has reigned in Inside Safe to the extent that they now need to give frequent reports as to how they are doing.

Even with the changes, Bass has kept her state of emergency orders on homelessness in place, which she had drawn up just after becoming Mayor. According to the orders, Bass has the power to, amongst other things, commandeer property and use it for temporary housing, suspend competitive bidding on contracts that last less than a year and issue orders and directives aimed at addressing the housing and homelessness emergency. Many groups have seen that particular part allows Bass to go beyond what she had originally planned, especially when it comes to the speed at which things are done and what is propping up Inside Safe.

This led to the announcement on Tuesday by Fix the City that they have filed a suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the city.

A suit against the city

According to the lawsuit, Bass’ emergency powers enable her to overstep her authority by wielding emergency powers that stretch beyond their intended scope. They also hope to get rid of three executive orders issued by Bass that have been a major part of her homeless agenda. These include two that were written to speed up the city’s approval of homeless shelters and affordable housing, as well as a third that directs moving the homeless off the streets and into temporary and permanent housing.

In a statement on Tuesday, Fix the City said that “The mayor can unilaterally execute contracts, suspect competitive bidding laws, issue new rules, orders, and regulations that take effect immediately, and commandeer property, all without any due process, any requirement of public hearings or public involvement of any kind including the city’s own neighborhood councils.”

While the suit has been filed, the Mayor’s office has yet to give a notable reaction as of Tuesday evening. The Mayor’s office has only said that “The complaint was just filed and we will take time to review it.”

Should the suit progress, it stands a chance of severely damaging not only the powers that Mayor Bass has in deciding on homeless measures, but her Inside Safe program could be hurt as well, potentially even forcing her to abandon the project in favor of something else.

Opponents of Inside Safe told the Globe Tuesday that they hope that the lawsuit will lead the Bass administration to switching tactics and embracing different ideas that stand a chance at working.

“Bass just tried to be the Robert Moses of homelessness and was caught big time,” said Maurice, who helps run a church-based shelter in LA. “All the issues raised by the suit are what we have been telling people since she first put up those emergency powers. More and more people are realizing just how far she has gone with these things and how Inside Safe was just a terrible program. Hopefully now she will have people advisor her who actually know what they’re doing.”

More on the suit is expected to come out soon.

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3 thoughts on “City Of Los Angeles Sued Over Mayor Karen Bass’ Homeless Crisis Emergency Powers

  1. The homeless problem in LA has been prevalent for the past 40 years. Since the early 1960s money from the HUD agency has been allocated for the very homeless people now on the street. Through those years the money was stolen by corrupt and racist actions. Now that a Brass (a black woman) has decided that she will house and use the money properly, she is being sued. She permanently house me,after years of homelessness. And all this negative talking suing her of course., believe in her she can’t do this problems just give her another 40 years.

  2. Fix The City – hating on bike lanes, new housing, and pretty much anything that would … fix the city. Bass was not my choice for mayor but aside from her crony homelessness spending, she has been cranking on clean-ups and my neighborhood smells less like human waste cooking in the sun.

  3. Another liberal effort at using the homeless “problem“ as justification for massive and unconstitutional overreach. That’s the goal of every liberal politician. To be a king or a queen. It’s retarded. She’s a criminal, everyone supporting her is an idiot, and pretty much she deserves to go to jail. Watch closely, and if there is any kind of investigation, it will get shut down because I guarantee you she is corrupt as well. The “Homeless“ population started in the 60s because our liberal government started paying people to be homeless. Literally paying them money and giving them food and transportation. What we need is vagrancy laws and work camps. You start rounding up these monkeys and throwing them in a field where they can chop cotton or milk cows and be out in the sun all day and they will all go back to where they came from. Some retard Hillbilly opioid state like Arkansas, or Ohio or Indiana, what the liberals have done to LA is destroy it. They rang the free lunch bell at the end of the 60s and every alcoholic drug attic, shiftless criminal across the country came a Runnin. A large percentage of the homeless population and I mean over 80% come arrive from other states to be homeless here. They need to be kicked out. They need to do hard labor for vagrancy for at least 90 days and then be assigned a social worker, whose only task is to research them And make calls to relatives and find a way to ship them back to where they came from. Put them on the bus and say this is your one chance. If you come back you’ll do your full sentence +6 months. Then we can start doing graffiti removal and clearing fields and use them for whatever we want. But the idea that they can flaunt our laws and pollute our streets is dead. That needs to go away forever.

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