Regen Wilson Announces Plan To Address Homeless Crisis 

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Regen Wilson, running as a Democrat to represent the 44th Assembly District on the L.A. County Central Committee, outlined his vision today for addressing three policy priorities with homelessness first among them. 

“The epidemic of homelessness in this county is incredibly complex, but the failure of our system to address it is not,” said Wilson, a U.S. Air Force veteran and small business owner. “Complex problems require creative solutions and thus far our attempted remedies have been anything but creative.” 

He cited a “one size fits all” approach as part of the problem. Referencing the success a county pilot program has had in addressing veteran homelessness—achieving a 38% percent decrease last year—he called for addressing homelessness one subpopulation at a time rather than trying to tackle the crisis all at once. 

“We didn’t get here overnight,” Wilson said. “When I first moved here a decade ago, homelessness was at 44,000. Then it hit 66,000. A year ago, it stood at 75,000. Clearly, what we’ve been doing hasn’t been working so it’s time to take a different approach. 

“Applying a public-private partnership solution to the veteran subpopulation has clearly worked, so why not try it with other vulnerable subpopulations like foster youth, or re-entry [formerly incarcerated individuals re-entering society].” 

Wilson, who’s been endorsed by the California Democratic Voter Guide, says the public- private approach can be applied to other policy initiatives he’s been advocating, including rebuilding the middle class of the performing arts, and helping veterans transition from the service to civilian status once they leave the military. 

In advocating for a publicly-administered, privately-financed mentorship program for the performing arts, Wilson compares it to an evolution of the old studio “contract players” that ended in the 1960s. Under that system, individuals pursuing careers in the performing arts were trained in their profession under a form of apprenticeship, after which contracts were issued to qualifying individuals for jobs that paid a living wage. 

“Sadly, the vast majority of individuals arriving here to pursue careers in the performing arts are not able to support themselves in their chosen profession,” Wilson explained. “Creating an organized, regulated mentorship program would go a long way toward producing a larger professional class of working performers, thereby growing the industry’s middle class which benefits society as a whole.” 

The third policy area where Wilson believes the public-private approach can work is with veterans transitioning to civilian life after leaving the service. Many veterans, including those who experienced combat, find it difficult to translate their military service into civilian resumes. This failure to successfully transition can have devastating consequences. 

“Failure to land on your feet once you hang up your uniform can lead to chronic unemployment, which can lead to homelessness, which can lead to the ultimate transition failure: Veterans dying by suicide,” Wilson said. 

But by leveraging and expanding existing programs that partner government with industry, veterans can be paired with “sponsors” who can help facilitate their transition back into civilian life. “It’s like reverse boot camp,” he explained. “Training men and women to use their experiences as soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines to be successful as civilians.” 

Wilson says his unique blend of experience in both the public and private sectors, as a member of the military, the entertainment industry and in business, positions him as a voice for creative change when it comes to complex policy challenges. 

“I’m speaking not just as an observer, but as someone with lived experience,” he said. “I’ve faced the same challenges that I’m seeking to address as a candidate, which in turn informs my overall approach. 

“This is a creative town with a lot of creative people, so it’s the perfect place to implement some creative solutions.” 

For more information, contact the candidate directly at 323.823.6896 or Regen@RegenAndSparky4LA.com or visit the campaign website at www.RegenAndSparky4LA.com.