LOS ANGELES - Westchester residents are accusing Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin and his staff of being "hypocrites" after an email from the Acting District Director Hanna Levien was made public.
"What bothers me the most is that they can try and get homeless that are disturbing them from their front doorstep and yet when it’s our safety, our kids safety, our homes, they don’t care and they call us NIMBYs," said Westchester resident Lucy Han. "Well, she’s a NIMBY herself."
The email written by Levien was sent to the City Attorney’s office complaining about a man who has been living outside Mike Bonin’s field office on Manchester Avenue.
The leaked email says, in part, "We have a person permanently staying in front of our office who disruptive to our ability to work and blocks the entrance. Would this be considered an interference with the business trespass? Please let me know as soon as possible."
While asking for help to get an unhoused person removed from a specific location may not seem like an unreasonable request, Westchester residents say it’s pure hypocrisy.
They say for months, citizens have been complaining about the growing number of homeless people at their community park but Councilman Bonin has refused to help.
"They’re always saying we can’t do anything, we can’t do anything, we can’t do anything. But now that they’re trying to come back to the offices, they’re trying to do something," Julie Zaller said.
When we tried to question Levien about her email, she refused to answer our questions. Dexter O’Connell, a Bonin staffer, also interfered while saying continuously, "We’re not doing this, this evening."
Mike Bonin’s Chief of staff issued the following statement:
"Councilmember Bonin didn’t know about this and it isn’t how he personally would have handled it. He believes our response to homelessness and encampments on public property needs to lead with housing and services, not enforcement. That’s what he was fighting for today at City Hall, and that’s the approach we are taking as we are housing dozens of unhoused residents of Venice Beach this week with our Encampments to Homes program."
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