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Is it possible to turn California red?
Let’s rephrase that: is it time to turn California red in 2020?
Ted Hayes – an advocate of the homeless – seems to think that Trump could, and should, turn at least one of the Golden state’s biggest cities, Los Angeles, red with just one executive order: declaring the LA homelessness crisis a national emergency.
Watch what Mr. Hayes has to say about homelessness in LA and his call for President Trump to take action here:
President Trump is currently in California on a rare campaign visit where he has pledged to tackle the huge homelessness epidemic in the state.
The Hill has more to say on this:
President Trump on Tuesday pledged to take action to address homelessness in California, lamenting that residents are “fed up” with the crisis.
“We can’t let Los Angeles, San Francisco and numerous other cities destroy themselves by allowing what’s happening,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One.
“And I’m speaking to tenants — in some cases foreign people, foreign tenants — but they have where they’re tenants in buildings throughout various cities in California and other places ... where they want to leave the country,” he continued. “They can’t believe what’s happening.”
Trump said he would be speaking with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson about the issue while he’s in the state, but he does not currently have any public events scheduled to meet with local officials or discuss the issue further.
Trump painted a picture of decrepit cities where homeless people are driving away more affluent residents.
“We have people living in our ... best highways, our best streets, our best entrances to buildings and ... people in those buildings pay tremendous taxes, where they went to those locations because of the prestige,” he said.
“In many cases they came from other countries and they moved to Los Angeles or they moved to San Francisco because of the prestige of the city, and all of a sudden they have tents,” he continued. “Hundreds and hundreds of tents and people living at the entrance to their office building. And they want to leave.”
“And the people of San Francisco are fed up, and the people of Los Angeles are fed up. And we’re looking at it, and we’ll be doing something about it,” he added.
Even the left-leaning New York Times which has repeatedly smeared President Trump had to admit that the homelessness crisis in California's big cities is a problem that Dems can side with Trump on (though, the Times also noted that for some reason, Dems don't plan on cooperating with Trump's efforts to clean up their streets):
Open-air heroin use. Sidewalks smeared in human feces. Blocklong homeless camps and people with severe mental illnesses wading through traffic in socks and hospital clothes.
You would be forgiven if you thought that those descriptions of California’s urban ills came from the mouth of the state’s biggest detractor, President Trump. After all, as the president jetted off to the Bay Area on Tuesday for a fund-raiser, he took a moment with reporters on Air Force One to fulminate against “people living in our best highways, our best streets, our best entrances to buildings.”
But no, the worst descriptions of homelessness here frequently come from San Francisco’s archliberal politicians, who found themselves this week uncomfortably in agreement with the president they loathe. Mr. Trump’s sudden fixation with California’s homelessness problem is the rarest of cases where the state’s left wing actually recognizes a problem that the president feels strongly about.
Numerous protesters and politicians said they found Mr. Trump’s sudden interest in homelessness to be disingenuous and an example of the administration trying to score political points at the state’s expense instead of actually grappling with a humanitarian crisis that has become the driving political issue in state and local politics. The Department of Housing and Urban Development is, after all, putting into effect new regulations that could turn thousands of legal residents and citizens, including 55,000 children, out of public housing.
Still, the shared diagnosis of California’s housing problem left many policymakers here in the deeply uncomfortable position of conceding that the Trump administration has made some fair points.
That does not, however, mean they have any intention to cooperate with the administration on a solution, given the cauldron of mistrust and mutual distaste that exists between the president and large sections of California. For all of his talk of homelessness, Mr. Trump indicated to reporters that his sympathies rested with the taxpayers, rich immigrants and business leaders forced to wade through California’s urban detritus.
“In many cases, they came from other countries and they moved to Los Angeles or they moved to San Francisco because of the prestige of the city, and all of a sudden they have tents,” Mr. Trump exclaimed to reporters before disappearing behind the cloistered mansions of Silicon Valley. “Hundreds and hundreds of tents and people living at the entrance to their office building. And they want to leave.”
That did not endear the president to politicians already indisposed toward his overtures.
“Donald Trump is a slumlord who has spent his presidency pushing people into homelessness by taking away health care, food assistance and affordable housing funds,” said Scott Wiener, a Democratic state senator from San Francisco. “He has no credibility on housing and homelessness.”
Few people like to acknowledge it, but there are things the Trump administration and California policymakers basically agree on. On Monday, the president’s Council of Economic Advisers released a 40-page report on homelessness that was full of grisly and true statistics, such as California being home to 12 percent of the country’s people but about half of the nation’s unsheltered homeless. The report also blamed many of California’s own policies, like its strict building and environmental regulations, for creating it. That is a fact that the state’s legislative analyst’s office and politicians from Gov. Gavin Newsom on down routinely affirm.
So, what do you think?
Is it time to turn CA red and is an executive order on homelessness a step in the right direction?