LA Councilman Kevin de Leon Issues Statement on Homelessness Lawsuit

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – City Councilman Kevin de León, who hasn’t attended a council meeting in a month and has defied calls to resign for his role in the City Hall racism scandal, issued a statement Monday regarding the delay of a lawsuit settlement over local governments’ response to the homelessness crisis.

De León, through a representative, provided a statement to City News Service on U.S. District Judge David Carter’s indication on Monday that the city and county of Los Angeles could do better in figuring out how to bring increased housing, outreach and supportive services to the thousands of people living on the streets.

“While there are many worthy elements in the settlement agreement, I think Judge Carter’s decision underscores my position that for a county where thousands of unhoused Angelenos face severe mental illness and substance abuse problems, 300 beds is simply not enough,” de León said. “Skid Row alone has the highest concentration of homelessness and poverty anywhere in the nation and there are simply too many people there that can’t live on their own without services.”

In its March 2020 lawsuit, the L.A. Alliance for Human Rights accused the city and county of failing to do its part in addressing the crisis. Both the city and county had agreed to settlements, pending a judge’s approval.

De León formerly chaired the council’s Homelessness and Poverty Committee until he was stripped of most of his committee assignments last month. He attended the county’s briefing announcing the settlement agreement on Sept. 12 — a month before recordings of him taking part in a conversation including racist comments and attempts to manipulate redistricting with two other council members and a top county labor official were leaked.

De León and Councilman Gil Cedillo were censured by the council last month. Their colleagues have indicated that neither would be welcomed back to the council should they attempt to resume attending meetings. Protesters have regularly disrupted council meetings since the scandal broke, demanding the council not meet until the two resign.

Nury Martinez, the third council member on the recordings, resigned days after the leak.

The council is in recess this week for the National League of Cities City Summit in Kansas City.

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