Bill Wells, founder of Mayors for Safe Cities and mayor of El Cajon, California, appeared on Intercessors for America’s monthly prayer conference call on Friday, where he baselessly asserted that liberals have created a “great exodus from the prisons of California,” which has, in turn, he said, swollen the state’s homeless population. Consequently, he claimed, liberals in his state are trying to “normalize the concept of homelessness.”
“If you come from a reasonable state, it may not make any sense to you, but in California, the belief is that people are incarcerated not because they’ve committed crimes, but because society in general is racist against those people” Wells argued. “Because so many people in prisons are minorities of some kind or another,” he continued, “the feeling is that they are only in prison because of that. So there has been a great exodus from the prisons of California, and that has swollen the ranks of people who are homeless.”
Wells pointed to Proposition 47, a ballot measure passed in 2014 that reclassified various nonviolent offenses as misdemeanors as another attempt to normalize the homelessness “lifestyle,” saying that, “Proposition 47 was passed, and it says that if you steal less than $950 a day, it’s a misdemeanor, not a felony, and you can’t be arrested for that, all you can do is get a ticket.”
“Now, of course, the homeless people don’t have ID, so the police officer says ‘what’s your name?’ and the guy says ‘John Doe’ and we give John Doe a ticket and he throws the ticket in the trash and it’s all over and nothing else can happen,” he said.
It is not true that homeless people have no ID; many do, especially in California which has a law that makes it easier for people without fixed addresses to obtain legal identification.
Wells then blamed the liberal lawmakers in Sacramento for attempting to “normalize the concept of homelessness,” declaring that “our liberal lawmakers here in California believe that homelessness should be a viable option, and that it’s a lifestyle that’s perfectly acceptable, and the problem with homelessness is that people are too mean to the homeless folks and they don’t understand that this is a viable lifestyle.”