July 18, 2024 Your Source for Brentwood News

New Lawsuit Seeks to Repeal the City’s Homeless Emergency Declaration

Westside Non-Profit Has Filed Lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court

By Dolores Quintana

A nonprofit organization from the Westside of Los Angeles, Fix The City, has filed a lawsuit in LA Superior Court. This lawsuit opposes the Los Angeles Administrative Code (LAAC) 8.33, titled “Local Housing and/or Homelessness Emergency.” which was enacted by Mayor Karen Bass shortly after taking office. This lawsuit seeks to end the emergency declaration and all actions that the City and the Mayor have taken under the powers given to them by the Los Angeles Administrative Code (LAAC) 8.33.

The City Council passed LAAC 8.33 on July 5 of this year, which gives the Mayor the power to declare a “local emergency” not related to unforeseen events like earthquakes or fires but pertaining to chronic homelessness and housing supply issues.

According to the group Fix The City’s press release, “The lawsuit alleges that LAAC 8.33 violates state laws regarding declaring local emergencies (Govt. Code S. 8630), requiring competitive bidding for contracts over $5,000 (Public Contracts Code Sec. 20162), and allowing the Mayor to “commandeer property” violating eminent domain protections enshrined in our Constitution.”

The lawsuit goes on to allege that “The implications of LAAC 8.33 are substantial. Under LAAC 8.33, the Mayor can unilaterally issue new rules, regulations, and orders that take effect immediately, commandeer property, unilaterally execute contracts, and suspend compeƟƟve bidding – all without any checks and balances, any requirement of public hearings or in fact public involvement of any kind, including the City’s own neighborhood councils.”

Laura Lake, a board member of Fix The City, stated, via a press release, “LAAC 8.33 is fatally flawed. It violates state law and allows for the declaration of a local emergency for chronic problems normally reserved for incidents such as earthquakes, floods, and fires. The city already has a declared ‘Shelter Crisis’ (CF 15-1138) in place, providing authority and substantial tools to address homelessness without LAAC 8.33. Allowing any mayor to grant themselves emergency powers for chronic conditions abandons representative democracy in favor of governance by fiat.”

Fix the City has filed several lawsuits against the city since the time of its founding and most recently lost a lawsuit against the City related to the development of the E-Line in 2021.

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