The late Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives, once said, “All politics is local.” If true, that insight could come to haunt Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s presidential dreams if he can’t get a grip on the growing homeless problem in his city

Garcetti is trying but running up against neighborhood resistance.

In the spring, Garcetti launched A Bridge Home, a plan to find safe places to sleep for the estimated 25,000 homeless in the city. The bridge metaphor is designed to indicate that the homeless will make a transitional step to more permanent housing once tax increases already passed by Los Angeles City and County voters are turned into permanent housing options for the homeless. Garcetti’s A Bridge Home plan is scheduled to have a three-year lifespan.

The problem is residents have been very vocal in opposing homeless shelters in their neighborhoods. Not too long ago, citizens of the section of Los Angeles called Koreatown loudly protested inclusion of a new homeless shelter in their area. Protests have also erupted the breadth of the city from Sherman Oaks in the San Fernando Valley to San Pedro in the harbor district.

Last week, Garcetti appeared in the sea-side area of Venice with local city council member Mike Bonin and LAPD chief Michael Moore to explain the need for a homeless shelter at an abandoned bus yard. They were greeted with angry protests and hours of objections from Venice residents.

Garcetti’s plan calls for all 15 city council districts to host a homeless facility in his Bridge Home plan. In Venice, Garcetti argued that the shelter is being constructed in the area where homeless already congregate and that the location is the logical place to put it.

The great majority of neighbors who came to the meeting were not buying it—complaining about lawlessness and filth in the neighborhood brought by the homeless.

Garcetti didn’t change many minds with his appeal.

And these local actions would likely make an appearance if Garcetti pursues a run for the presidency, which his travel schedule indicates remains his goal.

The beginning of the presidential election is coming soon, but if the homeless problem and the local residents’ attitudes are not mollified a presidential campaign will have a difficult thicket to fight through.

Political consultants already have suggested ads showing the Los Angeles homeless problem is ready-made material for any opponent of the Los Angeles mayor on the campaign trail. A typhus outbreak in L.A.’s homeless encampments is already making headlines. Couple that with pictures of angry local residents resisting the solution offered by Garcetti to the homeless problem and Speaker O’Neill’s old bit of political wisdom would come home to roost.