Los Angeles residents were outraged over a transit park fence intended to prevent homeless encampments
Los Angeles residents are up in arms over a Democratic city councilor’s decision to remove a fence built to prevent homeless encampments.
The fence, which was put up around Echo Park in March 2021, was intended to prevent numbers of homeless people from living there. It was installed after nearly 200 homeless people were removed from Echo Park amid cleanup efforts.
City Councilor Hugo Soto-Martinez said the fence will be removed at the end of March.
“We will take down the fence, and we will carefully fix it, with more clarity, so that the city can see once and for all that criminality and segregation do not solve homelessness,'” Soto-Martinez announced in the statement.
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But Echo Park residents told FOX 11 Los Angeles they want the fence to stay up, fearing vandalism, assaults and drug use could increase as a result.
During the 2021 Echo Park cleanup, crews removed 723.5 pounds of biological waste and 300 pounds of hazardous waste, including drug paraphernalia.
“It looks like it should be. It’s a family park. And I think kids feel like they can come to a place and not worry that they might get needles. found in the playground,” said resident Joey larva.
“For no particular reason, I don’t find a clear benefit to fence down. Nothing but problems later,” said resident Paul Chong.
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But the city council member doubled down on his decision, arguing that helping the homeless and keeping Los Angeles clean are not mutually exclusive.
“In our most recent campaign just a few months ago, we knocked on thousands of doors in Echo Park and won all the precincts around Echo Park Lake with our message that we don’t have to choose between our homeless neighbors help and be safe, clean and safe. accessible parks,” Soto-Martinez told FOX 11 Los Angeles.
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“We will not allow the dangerous conditions that occurred at the park under the previous one to return,” he said.