To drive home exactly who the city is allowing to live in our community and is building facilities for on 3rd Street at Rose:
As I was walking past Gusta yesterday at 11am on a sunny Saturday morning, just a little over a block from where me and my partner live, a homeless man suddenly rushed up to me and thrust his middle finger in my face and said 'fucking faggot, you're the faggot we beat up last year, and you better watch it faggot we know where you live!'
And then raced off to the mess of the 3rd Street encampment. I was stunned, shocked, and terrified.
Twenty-four hours later the whole thing seems surreal, happy couples getting lunch at Gusta, people headed to Gold's for a workout, while at the intersection of 3rd and Sunset I'm being gay bashed and physically threatened. And going through my head is the fact that the city is in the process of giving people like this a permanent home in my community. I will now fear every time I go to Gold's gym or head over to Gusta for a sandwich that this guy is watching me, this guy may come at me again, and maybe this guy will decide to follow me home.
As some of you on this string may recall, I was assaulted as my partner and I walked our dogs down 3rd less than a year ago.
In my 25 years of living on the west side of Los Angeles I had never been physically or verbally threatened for my sexuality, yet now, twice in less than a year, one block from our home, this has happened by the homeless occupiers on 3rd.
The city and Mike Bonin condone and facilitate these people living in our midst and threatening our way of life, our values, and our very existence.
The people we put in power, the people we pay tens of thousands of dollars in taxes to, do nothing to protect us, and in fact take our resources to facilitate the occupation of our neighborhood by people that threaten and assault us.
Mike, I call on you not as a fellow gay man (although I assume you have felt the same fear of such threats in your own life), but as an elected official who is responsible for your constituents' safety. I ask you to responsibly and quickly address the homeless situation in Venice and to responsibly spread the resources of the city not only in addressing the short-term issues of safety, but the long-term issues of the distribution of homeless solutions across the entire city, not predominantly in Venice at the expense of the life and safety of the citizens who live here for your own political expediency.
I've had to live in some rough neighborhoods in my life, but never in my life have I been so scared to walk out my own front door. Please do more and please do it now, before I or someone else gets really hurt.