Tuesday, June 11, 2019

As Homelessness Crisis Worsen, Democrat Presidential Candidates Stay Mum

You'd think homelessness would be in the Democrats' policy wheelhouse, but it's not.

And that's no surprise. Homelessness hits white working-class families particularly hard, and the Democrats hate white people.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Homelessness is a crisis in California. Why are 2020 candidates mostly ignoring it?":
When new figures released last week showed a jarring rise in homelessness around Los Angeles, the response throughout Southern California was shock and indignation.

The reaction from the crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates: silence.

While White House hopefuls crisscross the country, making big promises on issues such as college debt relief, climate change and boosting the working and middle classes, they have largely ignored an issue — the soaring number of unsheltered Americans — that has reached a crisis point in communities on the West Coast and elsewhere.

The reason, said Sam Tsemberis, is simple.

“It doesn’t have a constituency or an advocacy group that has enough money,” said Tsemberis, who leads Pathways Housing First, a Los Angeles nonprofit that works to end homelessness. “The National Coalition for the Homeless is not the National Rifle Assn.”

Not that voters are uninterested. In California, for instance, a sizable majority of likely voters — Democratic, Republican and independent — consider homelessness a big problem, according to a recent survey by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.

But even as presidential candidates pay greater attention to California, mindful of its early March 3 primary, none has seized on the crisis as a rallying cry.

The silence is particularly notable coming from California’s Sen. Kamala Harris, who lives in L.A. Her campaign declined requests for comment on the latest homelessness figures. Harris and her rivals broadly address issues relating to homeownership or rent affordability, but offer little aimed at the desperate plight of those already living on the street.

Harris has two housing proposals: One is a subsidy for renters paying more than 30% of their income on housing. The second is a monthly cash stipend for low- and middle-income workers.

Both plans, her campaign says, would target the neediest and save people from evictions, a leading cause of homelessness.

The twin issues of affordable housing and homelessness are a “crisis [that is] not receiving the kind of attention that it deserves,” she said in a speech to the National Alliance to End Homelessness last year before she launched her candidacy.

Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, the former mayor of Newark, is the only one with a housing proposal that specifically talks about eliminating homelessness nationwide, by doubling funding to $6 billion for federal grants geared toward serving that population.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s housing plan ties in factors like affordable-housing scarcity, housing discrimination and the needs of people who require substance-abuse treatment, all issues that influence a person’s vulnerability to homelessness.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign website features his stands on 25 issues, but housing is not among them. When he ran for president four years ago, Sanders called for increased federal spending on rent vouchers for the poor, repairs to public housing projects and construction of low-rent housing.

In March, Sanders tweeted that the country has “a moral responsibility to make certain that no American goes hungry or sleeps out on the streets.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign did not respond to requests for the candidate’s plans to address homelessness.

Julián Castro, who was Housing and Urban Development secretary under President Obama, stood out among Democratic rivals by highlighting homelessness on the campaign trail. On an April visit to Nevada, he toured a storm-drain tunnel beneath the Las Vegas Strip where hundreds had set up encampments.

“This is not the kind of issue that a lot of people open their arms to, but they should,” Castro said Thursday in an interview.

He is set to release his housing agenda, including plans to reduce homelessness, in the weeks ahead...
They're all a bunch of idiots and losers.