Hundreds March in Hollywood Demanding Action on City's Homeless Crisis
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Hundreds of demonstrators marched down Hollywood Boulevard on Saturday evening demanding that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declare a state of emergency and spend $100 million to alleviate the city's homelessness crisis.
Watched over by about two dozen LAPD officers on foot and bikes, lines of protesters walked past the historic Pantages Theatre with signs accusing the mayor of breaking a pledge to address the crisis swiftly and forcefully.
"Hey, Garcetti, keep your word! Keep our homeless off the curb!" demonstrators chanted as they crossed Hollywood and Vine, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Alisa Orduna, the Los Angeles mayor's homelessness policy director, marched with the demonstrators, saying Garcetti needed public demonstrations to push through his homelessness agenda.
Garcetti proposed spending $138 million to address homelessness, but the source of half the money is uncertain. Food kitchens and other grass-roots relief efforts could help the mayor implement his homelessness agenda.
LAPD Officer Aaron Nunez, of the department’s Hollywood division, estimated about 1,500 people participated in Saturday’s march.
Los Angeles County has the most homeless people without shelter in the nation, studies have found, and over the years local officials have made tackling the problem a top priority. One tally released earlier this month found that nearly 47,000 people were living on the streets and in shelters countywide, with about two-thirds of those living in the city.