Carol Schatz, she of the zillion dollars an hour paycheck, just this evening with respect to Council file 14-1656-S1, on homeless people’s property, had a letter to the Council appear, advocating a change in conjunction from “and” to “or” in the proposed statute. Here’s what Carol Schatz had to say about the current proposal:
The ordinance from the City Attorney transmitted to the PWGR committee1 only leads to a violation if a person refuses to remove a tent and obstructs removal.
And why is this bad, Carol? Pray, do tell:
This is unreasonable in light of limited city resources. It would require the continued involvement of the LAPD to have tents deconstructed on a daily basis, which is not practical or the best use of resources. It also does not meet the City’s goal of decriminalizing homelessness.
And not only that, but look:
This is unfair to homeless individuals, business owners, residents and other community stakeholders.
You read it here second, friends! Carol Schatz is concerned that some City law is unfair to homeless people.2 Carol Schatz, the homeless people’s friend! Well, anyway, that line about the proposed law not decriminalizing homelessness is true, at least. Arresting homeless people because they won’t remove their tent and obstruct its removal “…does not meet the City’s goal of decriminalizing homelessness.” After all, it provides a way to arrest people, and only homeless people are affected. So what’s her solution? We are glad you asked! Read on for details:
The ordinance as amended by the PWGR committee leads to a violation if a person refuses to deconstruct a tent or obstructs removal. This makes the ordinance more likely to be enforced since it allows ECOs3 to conduct spot-checks across the City and ask for tents to be deconstructed. This slight amendment will encourage voluntary compliance with daily tent deconstruction which should be the City’s goal.
See the logic? If the law is harsher it will encourage voluntary compliance. The unstated implication, unstated because it would be a lie, is that this change somehow does meet the City’s goal of decriminalizing homelessness. But really, if homeless people were in a position to respond to incentives like this, they already wouldn’t be getting arrested for sitting on sidewalks, drinking beer on sidewalks, pissing on sidewalks, and doing other things that are necessary to sustain life on sidewalks and for which dozens of homeless people are arrested every day in Los Angeles. Everyone knows, and the Venn diagrams above make it painfully clear, that if you separate the elements of a crime with an “or” rather than with an “and” you’re going to arrest the same number or, more likely, far, far more people. Arresting more people also doesn’t meet the City’s goal4 of decriminalizing homelessness. But then, she never said it did. That’s how to lie while not saying anything false, and that’s why she gets paid a zillion bucks an hour and we don’t.
Image of Carol Schatz is a crop of an image from Jose Huizar’s Flickr stream. He claims it’s copyrighted but we think it’s in the public domain because it’s a public record. You can quote us on that even though our words actually are copyrighted.
- Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee
- Actually not people, but “individuals.” Like so many of her fascist BID-buddies, Carol Schatz has been infected with the cop-speak virus. Individuals, activities, and so on.
- Environmental Compliance Officers.
- We’re giving it to Carol for the sake of argument that this really is the City’s goal, although if actions speak louder than words, and we think they do, it couldn’t possibly be.