Supervisor Backs Assembly Resolution Urging State of Emergency on Homelessness

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas hailed a proposed California Assembly resolution urging Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency on homelessness.

House Resolution 56, authored by Assembly Majority Whip Miguel Santiago and Assembly Budget Chairman Phil Ting, is poised for a vote Thursday.

“I want to commend the state Assembly for answering our call to take the homelessness crisis right to the governor,” Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said. “The time for action is now, and it’s time for leadership to prevail if we are to succeed in addressing the most compelling social issue confronting Californians.”

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, acting on a motion by Supervisors Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl, voted unanimously this month to ask both the state Assembly and Senate to seek an emergency declaration from the governor.

Assemblymembers Santiago and Ting responded with House Resolution 56, which states, “Homelessness has risen to historic levels throughout the state, and now is the time for state action.”

“California is too prosperous a state for so many to suffer from homelessness,” said Assemblymember Santiago, whose district includes Skid Row.  “We will not end their suffering until we think differently and commit to action, as an emergency requires.”

“We need a statewide solution to help people get into housing and services rather than have each city go it alone,” added Assemblymember Ting, who represents San Francisco.

On behalf of the Board, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas will travel to Sacramento for the vote on H.R. 56 – his fifth visit to the state Capitol in as many weeks to rally support for addressing what he has called the “defining civil rights issue of our time.”

One out of every five homeless people in the US lives in California, and Los Angeles County alone accounts for 47,000 of the state’s homeless population of 115,000.