By Dennis J. Freeman
LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti met with members of the black press Oct. 18 in a wide-ranging roundtable discussion about issues concerning and affecting African Americans living in the city. Among the many topics that Garcetti tackled included how the city is working to address the homeless issue, particularly when it comes to African Americans.
African Americans disproportionately make up biggest number of those who are homeless in Los Angeles County, with a dramatic increase in numbers on Skid Row.
“I just want to share some of the work we’re doing around the homelessness … because the bridge-project is not abstract, and we have one up and running,” Garcetti said, referring to his plan to build one temporary homeless facility in each of the city’s 15 City Council districts.
While the homeless issue was a major point of discussion during the hour-plus conversation with representatives from the Inland Valley News, Pace News, Los Angeles Wave, and Los Angeles Sentinel, it wasn’t the only topic that Garcetti spoke about.
Garcetti also answered questions as it relates to the effectiveness of community policing, his thoughts on the relevancy of Black Lives Matter and the organization’s tools of civic engagement, and how the city is working to assist local or small black businesses affected by the ongoing development of the Crenshaw Rail Line in South Los Angeles.
The discussion was an open forum for members of the black press to informally sit down with the Garcetti and express chief concerns within the city that affect its black residents. Garcetti, with his gracious style, navigated the conversation with aplomb.
For a more comprehensive report on the conversation with the mayor, see next week’s Wave.
This article originally appeared in the Los Angeles Wave.