Lancaster Declares ‘Emergency’ Fearing Bass Will Send L.A.’s Homeless

L.A. Mayor Karen Bass spoke of creating a “village” for the homeless in Antelope Valley, and Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris freaked out

In her first post-election address to the city, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass famously boasted that she would “solve homelessness” and she declared the crisis a “state of emergency” at her swearing in ceremony. Bass also made an offhand comment on the campaign trail eight months ago about the possibility of creating a “village” for unhoused people in Antelope Valley.


Now, Republican Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris and the Lancaster City Council have offered an equal and opposite hunk of rhetoric, declaring that the city and their roughly 170,000 constituents are also under a state of emergency thanks to the state of emergency declared by Bass.

“I strongly oppose Mayor Bass’ plan to move the LA homeless population to a village in the Antelope Valley,” Parris announced in a press release. “This kind of inhumane and degrading treatment of individuals who are already struggling is unacceptable and must be stopped. How can you claim that your city is a sanctuary city while sending your own citizens away?”

He also accused Bass of willfully omitting the purported Lancaster Option from her homelessness strategy in public statements following last month’s election.

“In Mayor Bass’ recent speech about her plan to curb the LA homeless problem, what she failed to mention is a relocation strategy, which wouldn’t adequately solve the issue and one that we stand firmly against,” he said.

Parris continued, “Instead of isolating and ostracizing people who are homeless, we should be providing them with the support and resources they need to get back on their feet. We must reject this cruel and misguided approach and work towards a more compassionate and effective solution to homelessness.”

It’s a matter of opinion whether sending people to Lancaster would, in fact, be cruel and misguided, but Bass never quite outlined such a plan. As Fox LA reports, Parris seems to be referring to—and exploiting the hell out of—a statement Bass made to the Los Angeles Times in May.

“There’s a big chunk of land in Palmdale,” she said, “and maybe we could create a village out there.”

While talk of villages is proven poison for Democratic candidates hoping to win over anyone beyond the choir, when asked a reporter asked her about the Lancaster emergency proclamation recently, Bass replied, “I heard about that. We’re trying to get building—housing built in the City of Los Angeles. So I’m not sure what that was.”

Mayor Bass—whose critics would still like to hear some specifics to match her strong talk on the homeless crisis—noted that Parris’ rigamarole, “Sounds a little bit like a stunt,” adding, “But nobody has ever said anything about moving anyone to Lancaster.”

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