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Council Denies Parking Lot for Clothing Drive

December 05, 1985

TORRANCE — The City Council this week denied a request by a group wanting to collect clothing for the homeless at a city employee parking lot. The clothing drive was to be part of a protest of a Los Angeles County policy that penalizes welfare recipients who do not seek work.

City Manager LeRoy Jackson recommended against the request by the Homeless Organizing Team, which erected a tent city for the homeless in downtown Los Angeles last year, because he said it would cause traffic congestion and the group could not afford to buy liability insurance to protect the city.

Councilman Dan Walker said he also opposed the request because of the political implications and questioned the motive behind the clothing drive.

"What you are trying to do is admirable, but what you are talking about is using a public parking lot for a political purpose," Walker said.

Approved Elsewhere

Santa Monica, West Hollywood and Los Angeles have given approval for drop sites on their property, according to Ken Gaugh, a spokesman for the group. Gaugh said those locations, like the one in Torrance, were specifically chosen because they are near regional county offices. He said requests are pending in Pasadena, Long Beach and Van Nuys.

Walker said approval by West Hollywood and Santa Monica, cities with liberal reputations, "give reason for even more caution in how we look at these things."

Gaugh said his group will probably look for a church or other private location to set up the clothing drop site.

Recipients in the county general relief program who fail to seek work are denied aid for 60 days.

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