ONE BIG THING: THE RIGHT TO A LAWYER FOR RENTERS FACING EVICTION
Did you know that even though everyone in the US has the right to a lawyer in criminal court, that right doesn’t apply to eviction court?
Let’s take a look at some stats showing how that results in devastating consequences for working families across LA, and how it makes our homelessness crisis worse:
• 60% of people in LA are renters, and that number is over 80% in CD13. These are the essential workers who brought us through the pandemic, and the city cannot leave them behind.
• Just 3% of LA renters had an attorney in eviction proceedings, but landlords had legal representation in 88% of cases. That results in an uneven playing field where corporate landlords can illegally evict tenants without informing them of their full legal rights.
• Right to Counsel laws are proven to keep people from falling into homelessness. After New York City gave renters the right to a lawyer in eviction court, 84% of tenants represented by those city lawyers were able to remain in their homes.
• In San Francisco, eviction filings declined 10% in just one year after they passed a Right to Counsel law. That’s because when renters get legal representation, it not only reduces the number of evictions - it deters landlords from illegally evicting tenants in the first place.
• We already have the funding for this program. Measure ULA, which voters approved this past November, allocates 10% of its money each year toward a Right to Counsel program for lower-income tenants threatened with eviction. Now, it’s up to us to get it up and running.
3 Highlights From This Week at City Council
1. Real Accountability for the Police
Friday at City Council, we introduced a motion to remove a loophole that currently allows police officers who committed serious misconduct to stay on the job.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the LAPD “has 69 officers on its payroll whose misconduct was so egregious that the chief would have fired them if he had the authority.” With this motion, we’ll be able to change the system so we can actually hold these officers accountable, and we can stop paying millions of dollars to officers who were deemed unfit for service by their own Chief of Police.
2. Our Safe Streets Motion Gets Approved by City Council!
This week, our critical transit motion that will allow us to identify the most dangerous streets in the district for safety improvements was approved by the full City Council.
Cars are the leading cause of death among children in LA, and one person in LA dies from traffic violence every 30 hours. With some of the deadliest intersections in the entire city in our neighborhoods, we will make our streets safer, especially near schools, through protected bike lanes, better crosswalks, and slower car speeds in residential areas.
Our motion will specifically:
- Identify the top 10 most dangerous locations for pedestrians in CD13.
- Order a list of bike infrastructure projects that could be completed in the district within 18 months.
- Report on ways to improve our bus network and install bus shelters.
We’re looking forward to sharing the results of this report and starting to make the streets of CD13 safe and accessible to all!
3. Working with The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)
Our team had an incredibly productive meeting this week with The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA). Since 1986, CHIRLA’s work has been critical to advancing the human and civil rights of immigrants and refugees.
As chair of the Civil Rights, Equity, Immigration, Aging, and Disability Committee, we’re so excited to work closely with them to achieve a more inclusive and just LA.
ONE LAST THING - HAPPY BIRTHDAY HUGO!
Before we go, the CD13 team wanted to let you know that yesterday was a very special day – Hugo’s 40th birthday!
Even though he might be starting to feel old, our team is reminding him that he’s still young in politician-years 😉. Here’s a picture of our office after surprising Hugo for his big 4-0 – and thanks everyone for the birthday wishes!