News |

WTAS: Kevin Faulconer Sets The Tone With Homelessness Plan In Recall Race

“You can throw all the money in the world at this. If you don’t have the political will to make a difference … it’s not going to change.”

Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer continued to separate himself from the field in this recall election with the unveiling of his “Streets to Shelters” plan in Los Angeles and Sacramento yesterday.

Mayor Faulconer’s plan – which features providing a right to shelter and an obligation to use it – represents a much-needed departure from the status quo under Gavin Newsom, where homelessness has continued to grow worse.

Here are some highlights of the coverage:

Fox 11 Los Angeles reported on Mayor Faulconer’s rollout in Los Angeles, across the street from a tent encampment:

In their report, The Los Angeles Times detailed how Mayor Faulconer’s approach would have an impact on homelessness in California:

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Kevin Faulconer released a plan to address homelessness on Tuesday that would couple the creation of more shelters across California with significantly stricter enforcement of no-camping laws in public spaces.

The former San Diego mayor’s proposal is modeled after actions he took in that city to reduce the number of people living on the street by 12% at a time when encampments were on the rise, but drew criticism for his reliance on law enforcement to clear them from sidewalks.

“I did not allow tent encampments on the sidewalk, because we care about people,” said Faulconer, who intends to run in the recall election to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom. “If you let people live in a tent on your streets and sidewalks, you’re condemning them to die in that tent.”

Under his plan, Faulconer would use an executive order to form a state-run network of temporary shelters on state property and push for a “right to shelter” law that could allow local governments to bar people from sleeping in streets, parks and other public spaces once they have been offered a shelter bed.

Fox 40 Sacramento covered Mayor Faulconer’s rollout event in the area later that day as he visited a large homeless encampment:

The AP noted how Mayor Faulconer’s innovative plan differs from past approaches on homelessness:

Faulconer’s plan centers in part around a federal court order that says cities can’t criminalize people for sleeping on the street if adequate shelter isn’t available. He wants to put that ruling into state law, along with a measure that gives the state power to require people to vacate public spaces if they refuse shelter. He called for extra state funding to help local governments build shelters and to put some on state-owned land. There’s no price tag attached.

He’d bypass the Democratically controlled state Legislature with an executive order to create a “network of state-led shelters” by working with local governments and nonprofits. He wants to create a new California Highway Patrol unit to work on homelessness and encourage people to get shelters.

Encampments could be cleared and people arrested after warnings if they refuse shelter. Former San Diego police chief Shelly Zimmerman, who joined Faulconer, spoke about the creation of a new city police division aimed at helping the homeless. The goal, she said, was to get people the help they needed and to intervene when people don’t want to accept it.

And Fox News highlighted Mayor Faulconer’s scathing criticism of Newsom, and how he has not delivered after declaring himself the “homeless czar:”

Republican California gubernatorial candidate Kevin Faulconer unveiled his plan to fix the state’s homelessness crisis Tuesday, just over a month after Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom took heat for his plan that breaks down to spending roughly $75,000 per homeless person.

“The governor has failed. He called himself the homeless czar,” Faulconer told Fox News in an interview. “You can throw all the money in the world at this. If you don’t have the political will to make a difference … it’s not going to change.”

Read more about Mayor Faulconer’s “Streets to Shelter” plan HERE.