LANCASTER, Calif., Dec. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — City of Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris (R) and the City Council have declared a state of emergency against Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass’ plan for a mass movement of homeless individuals to the Antelope Valley. This controversial plan has sparked widespread outrage and concern, and Lancaster is taking immediate action.
Mayor Parris speaking with Lancaster residents.
“I strongly oppose Mayor Bass’ plan to move the LA homeless population to a village in the Antelope Valley. This kind of inhumane and degrading treatment of individuals who are already struggling is unacceptable and must be stopped. How can you claim that your city is a sanctuary city while sending your own citizens away,” said Mayor Parris. “Instead of isolating and ostracizing people who are homeless, we should be providing them with the support and resources they need to get back on their feet. We must reject this cruel and misguided approach and work towards a more compassionate and effective solution to homelessness.”
“In Mayor Bass’ recent speech about her plan to curb the LA homeless problem, what she failed to mention is a relocation strategy, which wouldn’t adequately solve the issue and one that we stand firmly against,” said Mayor Parris.
In an LA Times article, Bass said, “There’s a big chunk of land in Palmdale and maybe we could create a village out there.” Moving homeless individuals to Palmdale and the Antelope Valley will only serve to create new problems for the homeless community in these areas, such as a lack of affordable housing and adequate resources to properly address mental health and addiction issues. Lancaster City Council stated Tuesday night that instead of moving the homeless out of sight, Mayor Bass and the city should focus on providing them with the resources and support needed in their home communities.
“It’s a war we’re going to be engaged in with the City of Los Angeles to prevent this from happening. We’ve worked extremely hard to increase the quality of life for our residents. Mayor Bass’ plan to move the homeless to the Antelope Valley is irresponsible and inhumane,” said Mayor Parris. “Our community will not stand for this. These individuals should not be forced to leave their home communities against their will to an area that is already strained to provide services. The Antelope Valley’s health care system is already overextended and poor people in the Antelope Valley die years, sometimes decades, earlier than those living in Los Angeles.”
Creating a homeless village in the Antelope Valley will negatively impact the surrounding community. A large homeless population in one area could lead to increased crime and safety concerns and potential damage to property values. This could be a major concern for residents and businesses in the area, and it’s an issue Lancaster has already been struggling to support with its existing unhoused population. There are also serious health concerns for the homeless population who would be moved from a climate ranging from 60-80 degrees annually to the high desert which experiences extreme weather highs and lows.
“Ask yourself, do you want this in your community?! Mayor Bass’ plan is a short-sighted and misguided attempt to solve a complex and challenging issue,” said Mayor Parris. “We must come together as a community and ensure that the city we built isn’t driven into the ground by this attempt to sweep their problem under the rug. She’s looking for an easy way out of a hard problem. Buckle up.”
Mayor Bass’ intended treatment of the homeless community in Los Angeles is chronically hypocritical, beginning with her swearing-in ceremony where she forced the homeless out to make way for Vice President Kamala Harris’ visit. The Lancaster City Council has declared a state of emergency and is urging immediate action to halt Mayor Bass’ plan. “We cannot stand by and watch as Mayor Bass and the City of Los Angeles push the homeless out of LA,” said Mayor Parris. “It is time to take action. We will not expose our community and the LA homeless population to this gross humanitarian crisis without a fight.”
Lancaster is a diverse community of nearly 170,000, leading the future through science, technology, art, culture, and collaboration. Home to astronauts, rocket scientists, families, and innovative businesses large and small, we are leading the USA with innovation. Combined with spectacular landscapes and clean air, Lancaster has the confidence, expertise, spirit, and imagination to transform tomorrow. We are: Creating a better tomorrow. Together. Visit us at www.cityoflancasterca.gov.
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SOURCE City of Lancaster