Should playgrounds be closed to adults without kids? That’s the question at the heart of what has been politely called a “robust conversation” in Los Angeles, with some talking child safety and others voicing fear about ulterior motives and government overreach.
Councilman Mitch O’Farrell has proposed a motion that would, if passed, allegedly create a “safe haven” for children on the city’s many brightly colored play structures, the Los Angeles Times reports.
But some are asking whether the move’s about protecting kids — or discriminating against the homeless.
Tony Arranaga, a spokesperson for O’Farrell, told the Times that the councilman had proposed the law after hearing complaints about drug dealers at the Selma Park playground in Hollywood. Selma Park, the paper notes, is surrounded by homeless encampments.
“It’s about pushing the homeless away,” a local homeless man told the Times. (Advocates for the homeless frequently document how U.S. cities pass laws that criminalize living on the streets.)
Arranaga denied that. And last week O’Farrell took to Facebook to defend the proposal.