Frequently Searched

A Path Forward for Cleaning Up California's Cities?

May 22, 2023

Californians are fed up with watching homeless encampments take over their streets. Vast swaths of once-beautiful cities are now overrun, with violent crime skyrocketing and needles and feces littering the sidewalks. Local leaders aren’t helping—in fact, their refusal to enforce the law leaves law-abiding citizens to clean up the mess their own government created.

But does good news from the desert mean hope is on the horizon? Does a Phoenix judge’s evisceration of liberal-run cities’ failure to adequately address homelessness show a path forward for California?

Like their counterparts in California, residents and business owners in downtown Phoenix’s homeless “Zone” have dealt with unimaginable hardships as one of the nation’s largest homeless encampments continues to expand. Murder, rape, arson, theft, public drug use, and prostitution are common occurrences. It’s not fair to business owners who have found dead bodies on their property and been forced to seal their windows and doors to keep out urine and feces. Nor is it fair to the homeless themselves, who face a hazardous environment riddled with violent crime and human waste.

Read the rest of the op-ed at The Orange County Register.

Austin VanDerHeyden is the Municipal Affairs Liaison at the Goldwater Institute, which has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of business and property owners suing the city of Phoenix for maintaining The Zone.



More on this issue

Donate Now

Help all Americans live freer, happier lives. Join the Goldwater Institute as we defend and strengthen freedom in all 50 states.

Donate Now

Since 1988, the Goldwater Institute has been in the liberty business — defending and promoting freedom, and achieving more than 400 victories in all 50 states. Donate today to help support our mission.

We Protect Your Rights

Our attorneys defend individual rights and protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Need Help? Submit a case.

Get Connected to Goldwater

Sign up for the latest news, event updates, and more.