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Community Digest

Long Beach : Council Votes to Keep Anti-Camping Ordinance

June 03, 1993

The City Council voted 6 to 2 Tuesday to keep Long Beach's anti-camping ordinance, which enables police to quickly clear public property of homeless encampments.

Councilman Alan S. Lowenthal proposed repealing the ordinance, which was approved in March, 1992, saying it made criminals out of people simply because they are homeless. Councilman Thomas J. Clark joined Lowenthal in the minority.

Supporters of the law said that homeless encampments can create public health risks and that the ordinance allows police to take quick action.

Violators of the law can be charged with a misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of fines or jail time. Police Chief William C. Ellis said some homeless people have been cited but no one has been arrested.

Homeless people were among those who spoke Tuesday, calling on the council to repeal the ordinance. A spokesman for the Greater Long Beach Assn. of Realtors was among those who called for the ordinance to remain in effect.

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