Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed forming a politically unlikely partnership Tuesday to take on the city’s homeless crisis: with President Donald Trump.
The Democratic mayor whose downtown streets have become home to drug-infested encampments for thousands of people issued a public invitation for the president to walk the streets with him and see firsthand the suffering and desperation.
“I welcome federal involvement in helping us solve homelessness,” the mayor said, noting that cities both Democratic and Republican have too many people on the streets.
“If he wants me to come to the White House and sit down … if he wants to come here and walk the streets together, I’m ready,” the mayor added.
Garcetti’s offer came a day after the president called the homeless crisis in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other big cities disgraceful and threatened to intercede, although he provided no specifics on steps he was considering.
Trump faulted the “liberal establishment” for the problem in an interview with Fox News.
“We’re looking at it very seriously. We may intercede. We may do something to get that whole thing cleaned up. It’s inappropriate,” Trump said.
The mayor told KNX Radio in Los Angeles that he’s not interested in scoring political points and wants to work with Trump to save lives. It’s a good day when the president talks about homelessness, he said.
The number of people living on the streets in Los Angeles has surged, and encampments have spread across the city.