Homelessness was the most discussed topic at Eagle Rock’s 12th annual State of the Town address last month. Councilmember José Huizar, who delivered the address and took questions, told the audience that helping the homeless was one of his top policy priorities. He said he supports proactive outreach teams, expanding emergency shelters and more permanent supportive housing, which combines housing with social services. Within a week of the address, Mayor Garcetti signed a law that was championed by Mr. Huizar to allow motels to convert to housing that is linked to County services for the homeless, and to fast-track procedures to build new housing for the homeless.
Some audience members wanted to know what more could be done to clear the homeless from the sidewalks, underpasses and freeway ramps. Mr. Huizar said that more storage would be needed in Northeast Los Angeles to allow for clean up to happen within the laws and guidelines set by the city.
Youth and parks were also high on Mr. Huizar’s list. He plans to create a Growth Development Department to focus on youth services, with the goal of keeping children in the district away from gangs and other trouble. He noted that $30 million has been allocated for parks in the district. He has seen to fixing the baseball lights at the Yosemite Recreation Center and has committed future funds for repairs at the Eagle Rock Recreation Center.
Among other highlights of the past year, Mr. Huizar cited removal of graffiti, resurfacing of roads and a slight decrease in crime, by 1.5%. Looking forward, he said that construction will begin on the Eagle Rock Dog Park in May and that the $10-million-plus awarded to improve Colorado Boulevard will kick in.
The State of the Town address is sponsored by The Eagle Rock Association, an improvement group.