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Trump Wants to Deal With California Homeless Crisis

Oakland mayor accuses him of 'political posturing'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2019 5:27 AM CDT
In this photo taken on Friday, May 17, 2019, a person leaves a makeshift dwelling at a homeless encampment in Oakland, Calif.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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(Newser) – President Trump is taking a strong interest in California's homelessness crisis—but some of the state's politicians don't trust his motives. Officials have confirmed that the administration sent a team to Los Angeles for a "fact finding" tour Tuesday, CNN reports. Sources tell the Washington Post that Trump, who has often used the issue to attack the state's Democratic lawmakers, wants the federal government to be more involved and is considering moves including demolishing homeless camps and moving people into government facilities. Trump "has taken notice of the homelessness crisis, particularly in cities and states where the liberal policies are combining to dramatically increase poverty and public health risks," says White House spokesman Judd Deere.

A spokesman for Gov. Gavin Newsom criticized the administration's policies, but said the state is "ready to talk" if Trump is offering "real investment" in housing. Mayors of cities with rising homeless populations also said they were wary of the president's motives, but they would be glad to receive resources from the federal government to deal with the crisis, Politico reports. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf accused Trump of "pre-election political posturing at the expense of our most vulnerable residents." But she added: "We’ve been asking for federal assistance to address homelessness for years, and certainly I would welcome a change in heart from the president on this issue." (The crisis in Los Angeles has been called a "disaster of epic proportions.")

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