We just received the City and Plaintiffs’ term sheet, and although we have not received the final terms of the agreement, what the City and Plaintiffs have put out today looks exactly like the back room deal we would expect: property owners and politicians attempting to use mathematical equations as legal and political cover to enforce the City’s anti-camping ban. This strategy is designed to erase the visible evidence of decades of failed housing policy, while doing virtually nothing to actually end homelessness.
The “settlement” announced today is nothing more than a collusive agreement that both sides have been pushing for since before this case began. It prioritizes criminalization and policies that promote structural racism and segregation, while ignoring solutions that will actually address this City’s housing and homelessness crisis.
We are not surprised. This “settlement” is not the result of an actual adversarial legal fight. Although we are a party to this case, in fact, as Judge Carter said, we “are the only party that represents the interests of unhoused persons,” we were excluded entirely from these negotiations. And it’s no wonder. The negotiations appear to have been little more than the political dealmaking that happens every day in
Los Angeles-property owners and business interests, sitting in a back room with politicians, inking out a deal that advances their own interests, not the interests of this City. The only difference was that this back room was at the Federal Courthouse, not City Hall.
This settlement may be trumpeted as a win by Skid Row property owners and politicians who are looking no further than the next election, but it’s the same failed approach the City has been investing in for decades, and it’s an actual loss for everyone else, housed and unhoused, who trusted that this case was a chance to make a real difference in the City’s housing and homeless crisis.
We expect to have more specific objections once the final terms of the agreement have been released.