News, In West L.A., two lawyers clash over an open City Council seat, encampments and policing : detailed suggestions and opinions about In West L.A., two lawyers clash over an open City Council seat, encampments and policing .
Earlier this year, a homeless encampment along a Venice Boulevard median mushroomed to 60 tents — bringing thefts, fires, fistfights, drug use and a pronounced division in the heart of Venice.
By June, the city of Los Angeles shut down the squalid urban village and relocated roughly two-thirds of the residents, mostly to motel rooms. The rest scattered to other locales and a chain-link fence went up, closing the unauthorized campground around Centennial Park and the neighboring public library.
Now the clearing of the park has emerged as yet another point of contention between two lawyers running to represent historically tolerant Venice and much of the Westside on the Los Angeles City Council. Traci Park supported the Centennial Park cleanup, rooting on police, outreach workers and others who did the work. Erin Darling called the closure a failure, saying it was done without adequate planning on where to move unhoused people.
“For me, it exemplifies the Whac-A-Mole approach,” Darling said. “Instead of focusing our energy on housing people and providing care, we’re just pushing people one or two blocks over.”