(FOX40.COM) — Sacramento County District Attorney Thien Ho announced Tuesday he was suing the Sacramento city government over what he describes as a lack of enforcement of ordinances regarding homeless encampments.
Ho and Sacramento city leaders, including Mayor Darrell Steinberg, have been engaged in a public battle over who is responsible for enforcing city ordinances regarding encampments on certain city properties.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Ho discussed the impacts of homelessness on city residents and on unhoused people themselves.
“Living on the street is not compassionate for the unhoused or the housed,” Ho said. He was joined by city residents, some of whom shared their experiences reporting encampments and crimes, but allegedly did not receive a proper response from city officials or police.
The District Attorney’s Office has laid out a number of requests for the city regarding homelessness including expanding an existing ordinance that only allows camping around City Hall at night to the entire city and sharing real-time data on available shelter beds to every department.
Ho said that his goal is not to cite the unhoused, but that he wants the city to enforce existing rules.
“We need to start with the compliance,” Ho said.
The office of Mayor Steinberg issued a statement in response to the lawsuit, saying that the city has opened hundreds of emergency beds and entered a partnership with the county to address homelessness, as well as added affordable housing units, and that the lawsuit will not help get people off of the streets.
“We are working day and night to enforce our laws and provide relief to our community while avoiding the futile trap of just moving people endlessly from one block to the next,” the statement says.
“Frankly, we have no time for the District Attorney’s performative distraction from the hard work we all need to do together to solve this complex social problem plaguing urban centers throughout the state and nation. The city needs real partnership from the region’s leaders, not politics and lawsuits.”