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Morning Brief: New Rules For LA’s Unhoused, Wildfires In SoCal, And Pink Floyd

A woman wearing a black dress, black stockings and sneakers stands in front of a homeless encampment. She appears to be placing a coffee cup on it. The encampment is sheathed in blue and white tarps, and several empty cardboard boxes are in front of it.
A group of unhoused folks clean up and organize their belongings after accepting hotel couchers from the city.
(Chava Sanchez
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Good morning, L.A. It’s September 6.

L.A.’s unhoused population will be significantly impacted by two recent legal provisions.

In one, a law went into effect allowing city operatives to clear homeless encampments, as long as the city has offered shelter to the people living there. In another, a court ruled that those same operatives can’t throw away bulky items being used by people on the streets.

The first, which allows the city to conduct so-called “sweeps,” in which unhoused people and their belongings are forcibly removed from a given area, went into effect on Friday.

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Encampment sweeps have been a pain point in the ongoing debate about L.A.’s housing crisis; homeless people and activists say sweeps do nothing to help people find shelter, and in fact only make their lives more difficult and dangerous.

Those in favor of sweeps say encampments can become dangerous to residents who live both near and in them, and that they may pose public health concerns. In a joint statement, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, the City Council and the L.A. Police Department said they won’t start clearing homeless encampments until an outreach strategy targeting those who live there is in place.

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The second recent legal provision, which says unhoused peoples’ bulky items can’t be summarily tossed by the city, has been making its way through the courts since 2019. That year, advocates for the unhoused sued to overturn a policy that limits what individuals can store in public areas, saying the policy violates the Fourth Amendment.

The courts agreed, and last week, yet another panel ruled in favor of the rights of the unhoused.

"We agree with the district court that … this provision, on its face, violates the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable seizures," they wrote.

It’s not clear how these two provisions will impact one another, if, for instance, city officials attempt to clear bulky items from homeless encampments.

Most of the LAist staff is off today in honor of Labor Day, so the Morning Brief will return to your inbox on Wednesday. Thanks for reading!

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.

What Else You Need To Know Today

Before You Go ... Pink Floyd Exhibit Opens In LA

Black and white image of the four members of Pink Floyd.
Learn about the history of the iconic British rock band in an audiovisual museum experience at the Vogue Multicultural Museum.
(Capitol Records)
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Attention all lost souls swimming in fishbowls: a new exhibition at the Vogue Multicultural Museum in Hollywood will bring some of your favorite lyrics to life. "The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains" includes handwritten lyrics, musical instruments, letters, original artwork and stage props, tearing down the wall between fans and one of the most influential bands of the mid- to late-20th century.

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