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The City Council and the homeless

September 25, 2006

Re "Attempt to Settle Skid Row Suit Fails," Sept. 21

Where are the homeless to go? The shelters are full and housing is unaffordable. Yet the Los Angeles City Council stays firm in its position that the homeless should be thrown in jail for resting on our sidewalks.

Low wages, rising housing costs and a severe lack of shelter space have exacerbated the homeless problem. We need smart people on the City Council who can develop solutions to these problems, not provide a Band-Aid approach by throwing our homeless population in jail. The council policy of cleaning up skid row by criminalizing our homeless is more suited to Dickensian England than 21st century Los Angeles.

Our tax dollars are better spent serving those in need by providing affordable housing and social services, rather than throwing the homeless in jail and capitulating to wealthy developers whose primary objective is to sell million-dollar condominiums downtown.

SUSIE SHANNON

Los Angeles

*

Thank goodness the L.A. City Council finally found the backbone to take a stand on the homeless issue. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is regularly reversed on ACLU stupidities by higher courts, and I am gratified to see that the council will not take the latest atrocity from the American Civil Liberties Union and the 9th Circuit without a fight.

The ACLU is so plainly in the wrong on this issue that there should be no contest in a reasonable court. What is so sad about this is that the 9th Circuit is so predictably unreasonable. We deserve better than that as citizens, yet the 9th Circuit seems completely unresponsive to reason and justice. Did Rose Bird get appointed to that court without anyone noticing?

BILL ELSWICK

Santa Monica

*

Excuse me for asking, but how many homeless people are allowed to camp outside the offices of the ACLU each night?

JEREMIAH J. FLANIGAN

Long Beach

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