RV’s – a nightmare for some a dream for others

By Della Franco

What is up with Venetians these days? It seems as if the spirit of this community is being broken down little by little just like the affordable housing and the free speech zone it really seems like it is all just being bulldozed away.

The latest crap bringing me down is residents wanting to get rid of RV’s, camper vans, anything that looks like one could live out of it. Well for many people owning a RV is a small slice of heaven in this crazy world. For many people it is their only choice. They simply cannot afford to rent, lease or buy anymore. Or anywhere.

It is a shame, actually it is a sin that it is illegal to live in them in Venice. And I thought that was one of our rights as Americans - The pursuit to happiness. The great American dream. Well, for some it is to own a house on wheels. Venice Beach should embrace that. But it doesn’t. It opposes it. And residents and right wingers are pleading with the City to help them eliminate a persons right to live and sleep where they want.

So now what we have is a bunch of paranoid people sending mass emails and holding meetings calling on home owners to protect their neighborhoods. Letters telling people to take note of license plate numbers, to follow the movements of vehicles parked in their street. Become spies and report your fellow man. But don’t get too close. It is dangerous the newsletters say. Call the cops and be very careful. Don’t get too close. I mean COME ON VENETIANS – Stop all the hating, stop blaming the homeless. Let’s work together and all live in harmony. What happened to LOVE thy NEIGHBOR? Or does that only apply if they live in a house?
Rich home owners are going insane. They really believe that people who live in their vehicles are all rapists perverts drug dealers dirty dirty people.

The trash in the streets, they claim, are from people who live in their cars. Definitely not the thousands of tourists visiting Venice every day. No - all those paper plates from pizza slices, and all the empty coffee cups from expensive double lattes they all come from the poor people living in camper vans. But these home owners are insisting it is so So – So send them away! Don’t allow them into our city! Beg permission from the Coastal Commission and block them from entering Venice Beach and our streets forever!

The city wants evidence of unsanitary conditions. Residents ridiculously blaming all the piss on the street on the homeless. Sure there are people who piss on the street. But so does your cute little dog. And yours And yours And yours more times than any homeless person. But there is no call for a law against dogs peeing outside. BUT - maybe if there were toilet facilities open 24 hours. Maybe if there was more public facilities for the amount of people in Venice there wouldn’t be so much pissing in the streets.

And as for the drug dealers. I doubt that they are all buying RV’S and Volkswagen vans to sell their crack cocaine. They are hidden away in the million dollar houses overlooking the view in Malibu and Marina del Rey. I really wonder how many times the police have been called to break up a raging party coming from a camper van or to tell the person in the RV to turn down their base. That is coming from your freakin’ house. From the apartment building having a bloc party. The noise till 4am is the drunk laughter coming from Apt 2.
And as for Perverts – well they unfortunately are everywhere. Look at your priest or local school teacher. They are probably the ones you should be protecting your kids from. Like that guy masturbating on the beach the other day while my kid ran naked. He probably lives next door to you – yes, you, in your nice clean apartment building. Not in the bright peace sign painted camper parked outside. Perverts and drug addicts are everywhere. That is the nature of any city. Cleaning them up is an on-going project that should involve the community. Singling out RV owners and people who chose a different lifestyle is only the road to further segregation and separation between the people who all make up Venice.

Homelessness is not a sin. For many their only reality. Many beautiful and kind people live out of their vehicles, who are true artists and peaceful activists. Rent is too fucking high in Venice. People are being driven out. The ones who have made Venice the unique community that it is. What an irony. To live in a place because of its diversity and free quality, only to then try to destroy it because you don’t like the look of the car parked outside your house.

The city’s request for people to become spies on people living in the cars, to watch them and document their activity is an infringement of privacy. We all fight for parking spaces. Everyone who lives in Venice. Blame the developers for the lack of space. They are replacing affordable housing with their greed for 5 Star Hotels.
Blame the real estate agents, the big money makers who block the streets with their concrete and bulldozers. There are many open spaces that could be used for additional parking. The are solutions out there to the so called problem. Hating and blaming only starts wars.

I heard about some RV owners that started a community garden. In a vacant lot they planted flowers and tomato bushes. They use recycled water to water an unwanted site. A site that home owners and renters just walk by and ignore.

People have the right to make their lives the way they dream it to be. For some it is without a landlord, without the pressure of walls surrounding them. We as Venetians should not question that, should not persecute that. We should support it. Let’s all share. One world.

Posted: Sat - September 1, 2007 at 07:45 PM