Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti talks during an interview with the Associated Press in Los Angeles on Thursday Aug. 16, 2018. Garcetti, who already has visited the important presidential states of Iowa and New Hampshire, told The Associated Press he’ll likely make a decision on his candidacy in the first three months of 2019. He also talked about his efforts to resolve chronic issues LA issues of traffic and homelessness. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
At a 5 p.m. press conference Thursday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Kathryn Barger announced a “stay at home” order for Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles starting at 11:59 p.m. Thursday for one month. Just minutes after their press conference ended, California Gov. Gavin Newsom held his own press conference from Sacramento and ordered all Californians to stay home, and all businesses to close (with exceptions for workers in federally-defined critical infrastructure sectors).
Garcetti came across as far more personable and calm than Newsom did in his press conference, assuring Angeleos that his administration wanted them to have as many normal activities as possible, like enjoying time in their yards, walking their dogs, and having the ability to leave the house to buy groceries, pick up prescriptions, and care for family members in need.
Just an hour later, while appearing on Fredo Cuomo’s show, his tone was different and included one big piece of information that wasn’t mentioned in the press conference.
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, who earlier issued a stay-at-home order for his city, says he supports the governor's statewide order.
"There's nothing that will protect us besides moving swiftly in what public health professionals tell us to do, which is to limit that social distance." pic.twitter.com/nb6UpYGs0N
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) March 20, 2020
Mr. Mayor said:
I started with the premise tonight that human life is precious. If we don’t start there, I don’t know where we ever start. What’s the price of that life of that loved one who’s battling cancer or who has a pre-existing condition…I think that we hopefully as human beings believe that all human lives are precious.
Fredo then asked how his order would be enforced. Will it be enforced? Garcetti referenced a question he was asked at the press conference that was along the lines of, “Is this an if you see something, say something situation?” Garcetti then said:
Yes. But don’t call a cop. Go and tell somebody they shouldn’t be doing that. Then if there are cases where people are blatantly violating this order, yeah, we’ll visit them.
Would that be a visit or a “visit”? Garcetti continued his explanation, and shared how he would find the personnel to enforce his order.
You know, people are getting guns. They’re going crazy. I’m saying crime is actually way down and generosity is way up. This is different than a riot or a public safety emergency; this is a public health emergency, and we have to remember that it’s on all of us to do this.
But we’re certainly going to deputize many city employees to walk those streets, to drive around. If we see any folks that are still open, we’ll just pay them a visit and let them know that this is something they have to comply with and it’s for their own health.
In the very rare cases where somebody doesn’t comply, of course we can enforce that.
Aside from the fact that it’s a terrible and expensive idea to deputize the city’s bureaucrats, who understand that corruption is the ticket up the corporate ladder, and task them with “walking the streets” (heh) and driving around looking for “violators” to harass, Garcetti’s assertion that these drastic measures are needed to blunt a deadly public health crisis because “all human lives are precious” is a massive hypocritical slap in the face to the families of more than 1,000 homeless people who died on the streets of Los Angeles last year. But hey, maybe Garcetti can give the families whatever belongings their loved ones – many of whom suffered from untreated mental illness – had stored in rolling storage bins Garcetti’s administration spent millions of dollars to purchase.
Millions of dollars that perhaps could have been spent on increasing funding for mental health clinics in areas near Skid Row or other known homeless encampments.
Garcetti’s plan to deputize city employees and have them walk and drive the streets looking for violations of his order that could harm the health of others – because each human life is precious – effectively gives the middle finger to all of the people, most of whom were either city employees or LAPD officers, who contracted typhus in 2018 and 2019 due to the filthy conditions in the downtown area.
Garcetti’s plan to enforce his current “stay at home” order by any means possible and using gun owners who are “going crazy” as the reason for this need sends the worst possible signal to the law-abiding, hard-working citizens of his fair city who would just like the ability to meet with friends for lunch in Hollywood without having to fear that a bucket of diarrhea will be dumped on their head, and who would like to drive through Chick-fil-A without having a machete-wielding psychopath carjack them. Garcetti’s plan tells these people, who have watched the city they love crumble before their eyes during his term, that they really don’t matter.
Garcetti’s words on Fredo’s show demonstrate that he will only act when he can be the center of national attention. Even then he won’t give the whole story, and he sure as hell won’t begin to consider the role that his own ineptitude and inaction played in the situation and risk all of Los Angeles residents currently face (and really, everyone living in a five-county area in Southern California faces because of commuting patterns).
Garcetti won’t admit that over 80,000 homeless people living in extremely unsanitary conditions are at extreme risk of death because he felt that the “dignity” they experienced taking a s**t on the street, sleeping in a tent on concrete, and being sexually assaulted by other homeless people was ultimately more important than getting them the help they needed so they could then find a safe place to lay their head.
And Garcetti will never, ever admit that he would rather send his Paul Blart workforce out to harass people who are doing their level best to deal with a once-in-a-lifetime health and financial crisis than to take his responsibility for public health and safety seriously all of the time. Larry O’Connor, a columnist at our sister site Townhall, gave the TL;DR:
Arrest people who drive to the beach with their kids but look the other way when people live, shoot up, urinate, defecate and fornicate on city sidewalks.
Eff U. https://t.co/0vBvBaCNbe
— Larry O'Connor (@LarryOConnor) March 20, 2020
There are rumors that Garcetti is looking to make a presidential run in 2024. We need to make sure that doesn’t happen.