Ballot Measure Language

An initiative proposal for the citizens of the City of Los Angeles to add Sections 8.27.5, 8.30.5, 8.30.6, 19.180, 19.181, 19.182, 19.183 and 19.184 to the Los Angeles Administrative Code and to amend Sections 41.18 and 56.11 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code.

Section 1. Name.
This measure shall be known as A Safer & Cleaner LA.

Section 2. Findings and Declarations.  

WHEREAS, an estimated 41,290 people were experiencing homelessness in the City of Los Angeles during the last point in time count conducted in January 2020; and 

WHEREAS, many dwell in tents and makeshift encampments outdoors on City public streets, exposed to severe weather, crime, and other dangers; and 

WHEREAS, individuals experiencing homelessness face disparate health outcomes compared to the general population. The average homeless person has a life expectancy of 47, compared  to 77 for the population as a whole; and 

WHEREAS, many suffer from underlying physical health, mental health, and substance abuse challenges that prevent them from obtaining and maintaining permanent housing; and 

WHEREAS, it is next to impossible to help people suffering from mental illness or substance abuse when they are living on the street in tents or makeshift encampments; and 

WHEREAS, such structures have been used to shield criminal acts from public view,  threatening the safety of the general public and, especially, of persons in or near the structures; and 

WHEREAS, stable interim housing provides the best chance for people suffering from severe mental illness and drug addiction to get the help and treatment they need; and 

WHEREAS, large encampments which now occupy our sidewalks, streets, and other public places are unsafe, unsanitary, and a hazard to people walking and traveling in their  neighborhoods; and 

WHEREAS, homeless persons have used heating or cooking devices in public places, which devices present a fire hazard threatening the safety of the general public and, especially, of persons near the devices; and 

WHEREAS, more than half of all the fires the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to in 2021 were related to homelessness; and 

WHEREAS, unsheltered homelessness poses a direct and immediate threat to the health,  safety, and welfare of our City and its residents; and

WHEREAS, in 2019, the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit handed down its  precedent-setting opinion in the case of Martin v. City of Boise, restricting a jurisdiction’s ability to enforce anti-camping laws if it does not have enough homes or shelter beds to offer those living outdoors; and 

WHEREAS, the immediate provision of interim housing, along with a prohibition on camping in all public areas is necessary to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all residents of Los Angeles, and 

WHEREAS, it shall be the policy of the City of Los Angeles that everyone lives indoors; and 

WHEREAS, achieving functional zero for chronic homelessness shall be the top priority of the City’s elected officials; and 

WHEREAS, failure to achieve this objective should result in penalties including withholding and forfeiting a portion of elected official’s salaries; and 

WHEREAS, the California Emergency Services Act (ESA), adopted by the legislature in 1970, confers upon the Governor and upon the chief executives and governing bodies of  cities enhanced emergency powers to mitigate the effects of natural, manmade, or war-caused emergencies which result in conditions of disaster or in extreme peril to life, property, and the resources of the state, and generally to protect the health and safety and preserve the lives and  property of the people of the state; and 

WHEREAS, it is necessary to update the Los Angeles Administrative Code to allow the Mayor to fully exercise the emergency powers contemplated in the Emergency Services Act, and marshal the full resources of the City government to respond to the homelessness emergency, by expediting the provision of emergency interim housing; and 

WHEREAS, a mandatory, 1000 foot no-camping zone around each shelter, City-approved camping sites, tiny home villages and other forms of emergency interim housing is necessary to ensure the safety of the residents therein and to prevent impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods,  

The people of the City of Los Angeles declare that it is necessary and in the public interest to adopt the “A Safer & Cleaner LA” proposed ordinance and for it to be implemented in the most expeditious manner possible. 

Section 3. Chapter 18 is added to Los Angeles Administrative Code Division 19 to read as follows: 

SEC. 19.180. PURPOSE.  

The purpose of this chapter is to require the creation, implementation, and funding of a comprehensive and effective plan to end chronic homelessness within a target timeframe in the City of Los Angeles.  

SEC. 19.181. DEFINITIONS. 

“Functional zero” means the City of Los Angeles has sufficient interim housing for the chronic homeless population within the City as defined by the most recent point in time homeless count conducted by the Los Angeles Homelessness Services Authority available at the time of adoption of this measure.  

SEC. 19.182. COMPREHENSIVE PLAN.  

(a) Within 60 days of assuming office, the Mayor elected at the November 7,  2022 general election shall submit to the City Council a Comprehensive Plan to reduce  unsheltered chronic homelessness by achieving functional zero in three years. In the  event this measure is passed at a subsequent election, the Mayor shall comply with this  provision within sixty days of its adoption.  

(b) The Comprehensive Plan must contain, at a minimum and not limited to, the  following elements:  

1) The total number of beds needed to reach functional zero;  

2) The types of interventions to be utilized;  

3) Locations of housing;  

4) The number of beds or camping spots allotted in designated areas;  

5) Ensuring transportation is available for persons and a limited amount of  personal property upon accepting housing; and  

6) A proposed budget.  

(c) The City Council shall adopt the Comprehensive Plan within 60 days of  presentation by the Mayor. Following adoption of the Comprehensive Plan, the  City Council shall provide adequate funding for successful implementation  through the annual budget process and as necessary thereafter.  

(d) The City Council may modify the Comprehensive Plan by substituting a  proposed emergency interim housing location with another location, provided that  it is in the same community and serves the same number of unsheltered  persons.  

SEC. 19.183. OVERSIGHT.  

(a) The City Controller is hereby designated the responsible party for monitoring  and evaluating implementation of the Comprehensive Plan.  

(b) The City Controller shall retain an independent auditor to review and report on  the results of the Comprehensive Plan covering the first six months following  adoption by the City Council. This report shall be presented to the Mayor and the City Council no later than seven months after adoption by the City Council. 

Thereafter, the independent auditor shall provide quarterly reports to the Mayor and City Council. The independent auditor’s report shall provide an accounting of the actual number of beds secured that are needed to reach functional zero as provided for in the Comprehensive Plan.  

(c) Audit reports required by this section are public records pursuant to California  Government Code § 6250 or its successor statute.  

SEC. 19.184. ACCOUNTABILITY  

(a) If the independent audit report provided for in Section 19.183(b) finds that at  eighteen months into the Comprehensive Plan the City has not reached 50% of  the required number of beds required to meet functional zero within three years, the salary requirement provided for in Charter Section 218 shall be deferred for  

the period between the beginning of month nineteen and the end of year three of the Comprehensive Plan in an amount equal to the percentage that the goal was not achieved. If at the end of year three, the independent audit report provided for in Section 19.183(b) finds that the City has met functional zero, the deferred salary shall be disbursed. If at the end of year three, the independent audit report provided for in Section 19.183(b) finds that the City has not met functional zero, the deferred salary shall be deemed forfeited. Thereafter, pay will be withheld annually in an amount equal to the percentage that the goal was not achieved until an independent audit finds that the City has met functional zero.  

(b) The office of City Controller is excluded from the potential deferral of salary  described above. 

Section 4. Section 8.27.5 is added to Los Angeles Administrative Code Division 8,  Chapter 3 “Local Emergencies” to read as follows:  

SEC. 8.27.5. HOMELESSNESS LOCAL EMERGENCY  

Notwithstanding any other provision of the Charter, Administrative Code, Municipal Code or statute, the elected or appointed Mayor shall have the sole authority to declare a local emergency when the numbers of unsheltered inhabitants in the City affect the health, safety and welfare of the unsheltered and the other inhabitants in the City. The Mayor’s declaration of such an emergency shall continue until such time as the threat to the health, safety and welfare has been abated in the determination of the Mayor.  

Section 5. Section 8.30.5 is added to Los Angeles Administrative Code Division 8,  Chapter 3: “Local Emergencies” to read as follows:  

SEC. 8.30.5 POWERS DURING HOMELESSNESS LOCAL EMERGENCY  

Notwithstanding any other provision of the Charter, Administrative Code, Municipal Code or statute, in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of all inhabitants of the City, during the homelessness local emergency the procurement of facilities to provide shelter shall be the first priority. Facilities may be leased, purchased or constructed without regard to usual procurement procedures, committee reviews, zoning restrictions, or environmental examination as the health, safety and welfare of the City’s inhabitants is of overriding importance. The usual procedures for procurement and location of facilities shall be suspended during the existence of the emergency with the goal of offering shelter to all homeless inhabitants. 

Section 6. Section 8.30.6 is added to the Los Angeles Administrative Code Division 8,  Chapter 3: “Local Emergencies” to read as follows:  

SEC. 8.30.6 PROVISION OF HOUSING TO UNSHELTERED INHABITANTS  

During the declared homelessness emergency each unsheltered individual who was housed in the City of Los Angeles for one year before subsequently becoming unhoused shall be offered housing in a residence such as a house, apartment or hotel room and until such facilities are available a temporary shelter such as a recreational vehicle, residential trailer, tiny home, or a tent in a City-provided or authorized location.  

Every qualifying unsheltered individual shall be offered two options for housing and will have an obligation to accept one of the options or be subject to removal from the individual’s unsheltered location. The offers may include congregate shelter and  transitional housing, among others.  

Each offer of housing shall be provided by any City employee whose duties  include such activity or by employees of any contract agency retained to work in concert with City staff. Each offer of housing shall be reported to the Emergency Operations  Organization in order to maintain records of the offers provided.  

Any unsheltered inhabitant who refuses to accept housing will be prohibited from  remaining at the unsheltered location as the City may invoke the Martin v. Boise  doctrine by having made the offer of shelter.

Section 7. Section 41.18 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code is amended in its entirety  to read as follows:  

SEC. 41.18. SITTING, LYING, AND SLEEPING IN PUBLIC AREAS.  

(a) At no time shall any person obstruct a street, sidewalk or other public right-of-way open for pedestrian travel:  

(1) by sitting, lying or sleeping, or by storing, using, maintaining or placing personal property in a manner that does not allow for passage as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-336,  104 Stat. 328 (1990), as amended from time to time; or  

(2) by sitting, lying or sleeping, or by storing, using, maintaining or placing personal property within ten feet of any operational or utilizable entrance, exit, driveway, or loading dock; or 

(3) by sitting, lying or sleeping, or by storing, using, maintaining or  placing personal property with 1000 feet of a facility, opened after January 1,  2018, that provides housing shelter, supportive services, safe parking, or storage  to homeless persons.  

(b) Upon resolution adopted by the City Council and the posting of signage, at no time shall any person sit, lie, sleep or store, use, maintain, or place personal property in or upon any street, sidewalk, public right-of-way, or public property within the radius  specified in the resolution (up to a maximum of 500 feet) of a designated freeway  overpass, underpass, ramp, tunnel, or pedestrian subway where the City Council  determines that the public health, safety, or welfare is served by the prohibition,  including without limitation by finding that lodging unsheltered, in tents, or in makeshift  shelters and storage of personal property near freeways is unsafe or incompatible with  the critical route provided by the designated infrastructure.  

(c) At no time shall any person who has been offered adequate shelter sit, lie  or sleep in or upon any street, sidewalk, or other public right-of-way, or publicly owned  property.  

Violations of this section may be eligible for referral to any applicable prosecutorial-led diversion program.

Section 8. Subsection 56.11.3(i) of the Los Angeles Municipal Code is amended to read  as follows:  

(i) No Person shall Store any Bulky Item in a Public Area. Without prior notice, the City may remove and may discard any Bulky Item, whether Attended or Unattended, Stored in a Public Area unless the Bulky Item is designed to be used as a shelter. For any Bulky Item that is designed to be used as a shelter but does not constitute a Tent as defined in Subsection 2(q), with pre-removal notice as specified in Subsection 4(a), the City may remove and discard the Bulky Item, whether Attended or Unattended. If the Bulky Item violates Subsection 3(d)-(h) herein, even if it is designed to be used as a shelter, without prior notice, the City may remove and discard the Bulky Item, whether Attended or Unattended.  

Note: Enforcement of this subdivision is currently suspended, pending the outcome of the City’s appeal of the preliminary injunction issued in the case entitled Garcia v. City of Los Angeles, United States  District Court, Central District of California, case number 2:19-cv-06182- DSF-PLA.

Section 9. Subsection 3(j) of Section 56.11 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code is  amended to read as follows:  

(j) No Person shall Store any Personal Property in any area designated by resolution adopted by the City Council and upon which signage has been posted pursuant to Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 41.18(b) or (c) as an area where at no time shall any person sit, lie, sleep, or Store, use, maintain, or place Personal Property in or upon any Street, Sidewalk, public right-of-way, or public property. Without the prior notice specified in Subsection 4(a), the City may impound Personal Property Stored in violation of this subsection. Post-removal notice shall be provided as set forth in Subsection 4(b), below. 

Section 10. Subsection 10 of Section 56.11 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code is  amended to read as follows:  

  1. Unlawful Conduct.  

Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 11.00 shall not apply to violations of this section except as follows:  

(a) No Person shall willfully resist, delay, or obstruct a City employee from moving, removing, impounding, or discarding Personal Property Stored in a Public Area in violation of Subsections 3(a), (b), (c), (f), (g), or (h).  

(b) No Person shall refuse to take down, fold, deconstruct or put away any Tent that exists in its configured or erected state between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., in violation of Subsection 7, or willfully resist, delay, or obstruct a City employee from taking down, folding, deconstructing, putting away, moving, removing, impounding, or discarding the Tent, including by refusing to retreat from the Tent.  

(c) No Person shall refuse to remove any barrier, string, wire, rope, chain, or other attachment that violates Subsection 8, or willfully resist, delay, or obstruct a City  employee from deconstructing, taking, down, moving, removing impounding, or  discarding the barrier, string, wire, rope chain, or other attachment, including by refusing  to vacate or retreat from an obscured area created by the attachment.  

(d) No Person shall willfully resist, delay or obstruct a City employee from removing or discarding a Bulky Item Stored in violation of Subsection 3(i), including by refusing to vacate or retreat from within the Bulky Item or from an obscured area  created by the Bulky Item.  

Note: Enforcement of this subdivision is currently suspended, pending the outcome of the City’s appeal of the preliminary injunction  issued in the case entitled Garcia v. City of Los Angeles, United States  District Court, Central District of California, case number 2:19-cv-06182- DSF-PLA. 

(e) A violation of Subsection 3(d), prohibiting Storage of Personal Property in a manner that does not allow for passage as required by the ADA.  

(f) A violation of Subsection 3(e), prohibiting Storage of Personal Property within ten feet of any operational and utilizable entrance, exit, driveway or loading dock.  

(g) A violation of Subsection 3(j), prohibiting Storage of Personal Property within any area designated by City Council resolution and posting of signage as an area where the public health, safety or welfare is served by the prohibition of sitting, lying, sleeping or the Storage of Personal Property.  

(h) A violation of Subsection 9, prohibiting illegal dumping.  

Violations of Section 56.11 may be eligible for referral to any applicable prosecutorial-led diversion program. 

Section 11. Severability.  

Any part, provision, representation or section of this measure which is prohibited or which is held to be void, unenforceable or unconstitutional shall be ineffective to the extent of such prohibition or unenforceability without invalidating the remaining provisions hereof.