One of the biggest issues in California over the last few years has been homelessness.
Los Angeles, San Francisco and other California cities have been overrun with communities of people living in tents on the sidewalks.
It’s a public health hazard, and Gavin Newsom has done next to nothing to solve it.
Now that he is facing a very real political threat in the form of a recall election, he suddenly cares.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Newsom, in recall fight, says it’s ‘not acceptable’ for homeless to camp on streets
Gov. Gavin Newsom expressed strong support Thursday for increased efforts around California to remove large homeless encampments, calling them unacceptable and saying the state will need more federal help to create additional housing and expand services for homeless people.
Newsom’s comments come at a time of growing alarm over the homelessness crisis, which has become a focus of criticism by Republican candidates running to replace him in the upcoming recall election.
Newsom took on the state’s most vexing and politically potent issue when he became governor, pouring billions into building more shelters and housing. The latest state budget commits $12 billion over the next two years to not just more motel purchases and funding for mental health care facilities but also encampment cleanups and hazardous waste removal.
But the governor, in an interview Thursday with The Times as he watched state workers clear a homeless encampment here, made clear that tents along freeways and in public parks are not OK and that California needs to develop humane processes for moving people and clearing camps while also creating more housing options.
Newsom applauded the removal of homeless camps from Echo Park Lake and Venice Beach in Los Angeles, staking out a position that reflects a change in the public political dialogue about homelessness in California.
This is too little, too late.
If Gavin Newsom had done something about this problem a few years ago, he wouldn’t be facing a recall election today.
People are not going to believe that he suddenly cares now that his future is on the line.