This week, City Council voted 12-1 to pass the resolution I authored with Councilmember Joe Buscaino opposing Assembly Bill 516 which is currently under consideration in the State Legislature. AB 516 is extremely misguided as it will undermine the City's ability to enforce parking and vehicle registration rules that protect neighborhoods and drivers.
AB 516 effectively bars cities from removing vehicles from streets as a result of five or more unpaid parking citations, non-registration, or immobility for over 72 hours. Supporters of AB 516 such as the ACLU and Councilmember Mike Bonin (the sole vote against my resolution) argue that citations and tows such as these are burdensome on individuals and drive them into or otherwise exacerbate poverty and homelessness.
Understanding that a ticket can be difficult to pay for someone who is either homeless or struggling financially, the City does offer alternative and deferred payment options to those for whom a ticket presents real financial hardship. If the rationale behind AB 516 is to help those in financial need, the more sensible approach would be to expand programs like the ones the City has created rather than completely tying cities' hands with respect to enforcement.
If AB 516 were to go into effect, it would become open season on L.A. streets. Too often, the State Legislature takes a broad brush in mandating or prohibiting what cities can and cannot do at the expense of our communities as a whole rather than taking aim at specific solutions. The bill is now pending in the State Senate Public Safety and Transportation Committees. Please join me in calling on our state legislators and the Governor to oppose this bill.
You can find information on how to contact the office representing your neighborhood, here.