Civil Rights Lawyer Carol Sobel to Communicate at Venice Neighborhood Council Homeless Assembly

Attorney Carol Sobel will present on Zoom for the VNC Homeless Committee this Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.

By Sam Catanzaro

Prominent civil rights attorney Carol Sobel will join the Venice Neighborhood Council’s homeless committee on Tuesday to speak about the sidewalk living in Venice, among other things.

Sobel, a Santa Monica resident, has been known to sue the city of Los Angeles on behalf of the homeless. She also recently represented people arrested by police during the George Floyd protests last May. According to VNC, Sobel will join the Homeless Committee to deliver a talk on the LA Alliance lawsuit and sidewalk camps in the Venice area.

Last week, federal judge David O. Carter ordered the Alliance – officially known as the Alliance for Human Rights v. City of Los Angeles et al. – that the City of Los Angeles provide accommodation for unaccompanied women to residents of Skid Row within 90 days and children, within 120 days for families and within 180 days for the general population. People who live on Skid Row can turn down these offers on Carter’s orders.

“Los Angeles has lost its parks, beaches, schools, sidewalks, and freeway systems to the inactivity of city and county officials who have given our homeless citizens no other place to turn,” Carter wrote. “No harm is more serious or irreparable than loss of life, and every day five homeless people die on Skid Row.”

Following Carter’s April 21 ruling, both the city and county appealed to the US 9th Court of Appeals, asking Carter to stay the sentence pending a 9th count ruling on her appeal. The city argues in the appeals court that plaintiffs in the case, LA Alliance for Human Rights, cannot blame homeless people on Skid Row for injuries because they are third parties. On Sunday, April 25, Carter denied the city’s request for hiatus.

The VNC meeting takes place at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Click the link HERE to attend the webinar. The Ad Hoc Homelessness Committee is one of 17 VNC committees and usually meets on the last Tuesday of each month. The task of the committee is to “analyze and address the various sides of homelessness and its effects on the Venetian community. Using experience, understanding, data and inclusive resolutions, the committee will work closely with service providers, local authorities, law enforcement agencies and, most importantly, Venice stakeholders to propose solutions that meet everyone’s needs, ”states its mission statement. Further information can be found at

Sobel worked for the ACLU Foundation in Southern California for 20 years before starting her own law firm in 1997. She has served as the senior homeless attorney against the City of Los Angeles on several cases.

“In these cases, quality of life regulations that criminalize behaviors such as sleeping in a vehicle or leaving property unattended have been found to be unconstitutional and protect the rights of the homeless. For example, she tried the landmark Jones v City of Los Angeles case in 2006, in which the Ninth Circle ruled that it is illegal to arrest people sleeping on the street when there are no available beds, ”it says it in an article on Sobel from An Event in 2020 where she spoke for the Yale Club of Los Angeles.

More recently, Sobel was co-councilor in Mitchell vs City of Los Angeles, repealing a 2016 ordinance that restricted the belongings of the homeless to what could fit in a 60-gallon bag.

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