Story at a glance
- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) sanctioned the city to cut utilities for homes breaking quarantine protocols.
- A city council member introduced the same proposal on Wednesday.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) is cracking down on residents gathering for private parties amid the pandemic, announcing that residents who choose to host large social gatherings could lose water and power.
CBS Los Angeles reports that on Wednesday, Garcetti confirmed that he authorized the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to shut off utilities in “egregious” instances where homes continue to ignore public health protocols and hold large social gatherings and parties amidst the pandemic.
California is experiencing a massive regional outbreak of the coronavirus, centered in Southern California. Los Angeles County in particular leads the country in confirmed COVID-19 cases.
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CBS notes that Los Angeles City Councilman David Ryu introduced a similar motion on Wednesday. It proposed an increase in penalties for houses that host parties, calling it “a creative method to proactively remedy non-compliance.” These penalties include shutting off the water and power supply and revoking certificates permitting a certain amount of occupancy in the property. It cited a 2019 ordinance that allowed the city to disconnect utilities from establishments illegally seeking cannabis.
It is not clear if Garcetti’s and Ryu’s motions are connected.
“Despite a pandemic that has killed thousands in Los Angeles, some homeowners are choosing to put everyone at risk by renting out their homes to massive house parties,” Ryu said. “This is irresponsible bordering on deadly, and it must be stopped.”
Officials have recently said that young people hosting parties despite social distancing orders are perpetuating the spread of the virus, with California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) blaming them for the surge in new cases.
“Whether it takes shutting off utilities or revoking their permits, we must do what it takes to shut these party houses down,” Ryu concluded.
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