Grant Historical Status to the First Baptist Church of Venice!
The First Baptist Church of Venice located at 685-687 Westminster Avenues in what is known as known as E.L Holmes Square is 109 years old. Established 45 years after slavery was abolished, it was the first and premier social and spiritual refuge for African Americans fleeing extreme racism dynamics in the South. This historical community landmark was fraudulently sold and is now under the danger of being reduced to a private home for a single multi-millionaire family. Venice, CA is in a state of "hyper-gentrification." The once vastly racially and economically diverse community is quickly becoming a homogeneous playground for the rich. Gentrification is not a force of nature. It is not the result of the natural ebb & flow of social migration. It is the result of coordinated policies and ingrained procedure. From restrictive covenants, redlining, gang injunctions, the crack epidemic of the 80s/90s, to selectively enforced broke windows policies, the Black and Brown community of Venice has endured many aggressions since it was founded in the early 1900s. We need YOUR help. We are working to have First Baptist Church property restored to its original function as a community serving space. We are asking and for Los Angeles CD 11 Councilman Mike Bonin to keep his word to save the church, and to also continue on to the second phase of the path set by former Councilwoman Ruth Galanter to designate the First Baptist Church of Venice/E.L. Holmes with historical status. Some Quick Facts The First Baptist Church of Venice space has been a community spiritual space, refuge, and institution for over 109 years. In 2000 the intersection of Westminster Ave & 7th Ave in Venice was designated as a permanent ceremonial location and named Bishop E.L. Holmes Square after the longtime pastor of the First Baptist Church of Venice. The church property was illegally sold by former pastor Horace Allen. The unscrupulous pastor then sold it to Jay Penske, son of automotive billionaire Roger Penske, and his wife. The congregation filed a lawsuit against pastor Horace Allen for the illegal sale of the First Baptist Church. The lawsuit is still pending. In August 2017 Councilman Mike Bonin promised to help save the First Baptist Church of Venice. To date he has been silent and a no-show in keeping his word to help us. Historical Designation Status for 685-687 Westminster Ave.Respect Black History in Venice!
Don't Slash LAPD Budget
The Los Angeles Police Department is already underfunded and understaffed as it is. Cutting their budget by $250 Million will hurt Public Saftey. The proposed budget was $1.86 billion, it's being slashed down to under $1 billion. That's an effective cut over $800 million! The budget should be increased from the $1.86 Billion currently or at a the very least be kept the same. We should invest in more Community Policing Programs, increase Diversity Training and expand De-escalation Training. The recent Protests decrying the murder of George Floyd and other inoccent persons of color at the hands of Law Enforcement are a great example of why we need to invest in LAPD. When LAPD is trying to facilitate peaceful protests, opportunistic criminals take advantage of the fact that they're understaffed and loot businesses only a few blocks away. The City's most basic responsibility is to keep us safe. How can LAPD fulfil their mission with massive budget cuts? Investment in African-American Communities is of utmost importance. Yet, it shouldn't come at the expense of Public Saftey. Talk of gang databases are irrelevant to the average person. What matters is having a fair and effective Police Department. https://www.npr.org/2020/06/03/869242938/amid-protests-against-police-violence-la-mayor-eric-garcetti-announces-cuts-to-I
Venice Beach Encampment Crisis! Immediately Restore Safety for All.
During the pandemic, Los Angeles City and County officials have allowed a humanitarian crisis to overtake iconic Venice Beach. Help us stop the growing catastrophe of hundreds of homeless encampments concentrated along the beach and its world-renowned boardwalk. We are community members with a 24/7 view of the crime and suffering on our beach. The most susceptible people are unhoused, living in tents and makeshift structures. They are not getting the care and services they need. Neglect is posing as a civil right while LA’s most vibrant, welcoming, and accessible beach park devolves into a zone of lawlessness and inhumanity. Homicides, robberies, rapes, assaults, fires, and drug ODs are skyrocketing. THIS MUST STOP NOW. Please join us in sending an urgent message to Los Angeles City and County officials that camping on Venice Beach and boardwalk must stop immediately to make the park safe for everyone. Our public beaches and recreational parks are not set up to provide the necessary care for unhoused individuals. As the pandemic ends, we want to welcome the world back to a safe and lawful Venice Beach. Prioritize safety and housing over government inaction! Please join with Friends of Venice Boardwalk and Team Venice by signing your name today! Thank you for your support!
Tell Legado To Fit In Or Go Home
Tell Legado To: Follow Our Rules For Development Fit In With The Scale And Character Of Our Community Don’t Pump Poison Through Our Town or GO HOME! Legado Companies proposes to build a project that’s 48 ft. high (plus additional 10ft. architectural features), with 72 apartment units and 7,500 sq. ft. of retail at 138 Culver Blvd. in Playa del Rey, CA. Playa del Rey is the last true small beach community left in Los Angeles. For over thirty years our community has followed a plan, The Lagoon Specific Plan, which has kept building heights in this area to a maximum of 37 ft. or 3 stories and used the required Coastal Act standards for parking which are designed to self park new developments and are about 40 % more than the requirement of the city parking standards and about 40% more than Legado is proposing. While there may be some variations, the standards for our area which includes The Esplanade, The Jungle, Beachfront and Commercial districts were crafted to work together to maintain the unique character and scale of our community and to provide for reasonable, responsible development. When you look at Playa del Rey you know you are not in Marina del Rey, Venice or Manhattan Beach. The City of Los Angeles Planning Department should reject this project and examine, among other things: How it affects the land use rules in our area and the potential cumulative impact on our community if the rules are changed for this one developer. How the dewatering required for their subterranean parking could move the gradient of the known PCE plume under the old Del Rey Cleaners 500 ft. in directions unknown spreading this Volatile Organic Compound thru downtown and towards the project site and potentially into the Ballona Wetlands. The Water Board has recently received a grant to analyze the plume and is very concerned with the potential for vapor intrusion. Legado’s proposal has substantial visual impacts on our protected scenic and coastal views. Our stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, the coastal bluffs and the Santa Monica mountains will be forever destroyed if this project is built. Legado’s request for an alley vacation (reversion to acreage) that is currently used by the residents and coastal visitors for parking. The applicant has no plan to replace those or any other parking spaces the community will lose as a result of the approval of their project. Legado is also requesting to take 10’ of Culver Blvd. and clogging up traffic by leaving one lane east on Culver Blvd. from Pacific to Vista Del Mar. If one building, like this building, is allowed to break the rules which have held our close community together for decades, we can without a doubt anticipate the “domino effect”. There will be an onslaught of developments riding on the back of the first project allowed to break the rules. Our community should not be forced into ill-conceived and potentially harmful changes as one developer after another shows up and asks to break the rules, again and again. If the Coastal Act is allowed to be broken in Playa del Rey the Coastal Act can be broken in other coastal communities.
Stop the Unsafe Streets Project on Venice Blvd.
STOP the Great Street Project on Venice Blvd. in MAR VISTA Petition to Councilman Mike Bonin, City of Los Angeles Summary We the undersigned stakeholders of Venice Blvd. - commuters, visitors, tourists, businesses, area residents, bicyclists, pedestrians and everyone else - strongly object to the removal of the car lanes on Venice Boulevard. The removal of a lane on both sides of Venice Blvd. has Increased TRAFFIC exponentially on a Major street artery along the Westside. What was meant to create a safer street, promote alternate forms of transportation, and increase patronage for locally-owned businesses has actually resulted in the opposite. It INCREASES traffic congestion, becomes a safety hazard due to confusion and drivers' impatience, causes drivers to search for alternate routes home and work, increases vehicle spillover into the residential neighborhood (which creates SAFETY HAZARDS for local residents and children), makes it difficult for LAFD and LAPD to respond quickly, and causes decreased support of businesses along Venice Blvd. as local residents choose alternate routes to avoid the gridlock that previously wasn't there. The residential streets are now thoroughfares because of this pilot project. The Waze app redirects drivers to use residential side streets to avoid the gridlock on Venice Blvd. With one less lane on Venice, the Waze app users will undoubtedly increase traffic 10x on the residential side streets. This is unacceptable. Imagine this summer when crowds of non-area residents travel this major artery to go to the beach. Already a major congested street in the summertime, Venice Blvd. will become a nightmare! Please sign if you support changing this imminent nightmare before It becomes permanent! Lisa Young ZulloLos Angeles, CA Report a policy violation
Say NO to Mike Bonin's Plan for a legalized tent encampment at Mar Vista Park.
Say NO to Mike Bonin’s proposal to allow tents encampments at Mar Vista Park and other public areas. If Bonin's motion (seconded by Mark Ridley-Thomas) is approved by the City Council, people who are homeless for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to drug addiction and mental illness will have the legal right to live permanently at Mar Vista Park with no rules or laws to control them. Homelessness is a legitimate social problem but this half baked idea is not the solution. In fact, aside from moving tent encampments into Mar Vista Park - there is absolutely no related joint plan to evaluate and assess the needs of the people occupying these tent encampments or to help these individuals get back on their feet and out of the encampment. And unless there's a complete package - you know nothing will happen. The problem will just fester at the park. Here's some of my other concerns: 1. Tent encampments will continue to grow around Mar Vista Park, outside the park, under freeway overpasses, sidewalks, parking lots and other areas around Mar Vista. There is absolutely NO guarantee that moving these tent encampments into Mar Vista Park will eliminate or lower the number of encampments on the street. There will be no improvement. Just look to the Venice Beach for a glimpse as to what will happen here. (Another Bonin disaster.) 2. The tent encampments will be a permanent fixture in Mar Vista Park. Bonin is essentially creating the same situation that developed organically in Echo Park. Why create this mess that will only cause more pain for everyone involved in years to come. 3. There will be no restrictions against alcohol and drug use in a public space in the tent encampment at the park - in fact there will be no way to monitor drug and illegal alcohol use in public - Bonin is against it - and expect more fires like what happened at the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve near the Playa del Rey oil field on March 23 or under our freeway overpasses. 4. Bonin will be creating a lawless crime zone right in the middle of our residential neighborhoods. Local law enforcement is already taxed and LAPD can take up to an hour to show up - if they even show up - for a tent encampment related complaint. Their current position is not to respond - especially if you are complaining about non-violent petty crimes like porch thieves and bicycle thefts. 5. Health and safety concerns. Mar Vista park is a local gem used by families all around LA. Families with children, picnickers, softball teams, soccer teams, skaters and people with dogs all come to the park for fun, exercise and birthdays and celebrations. But Bonin's encampment plan puts all of us at risk. It doesn't matter that trash bins, showers and toilets will be there. We have all seen the mess by Venice Blvd under the 405 overpass. It makes no difference. 6. There will be NO curfew for the tent encampment at Mar Vista. There will be NO rules of conduct for the tent encampment even though everyone else in the park must follow park rules when they are visiting the park. Simply look at Venice Beach and it is clear this plan is misguided and will harm this community. PLEASE HELP KEEP OUR COMMUNITY SAFE AND FORCE OUR ELECTED COUNCIL MEMBERS TO COME UP WITH A VIABLE SOLUTION TO THE TENT ENCAMPMENT PROBLEM. MOVING TENT ENCAMPMENTS TO PUBLIC PARKS AND BEACHES IS NOT THE SOLUTION. CONTACT MIKE BONIN'S OFFICE: Vishesh Anand / email@example.comField Deputy Mar Vista & Del ReyCouncilmember Mike BoninCity of Los Angeles(213)444-3508 | 11thdistrict.com Feel free to read the actual motion. (BUT PLEASE sign this petition and help us keep our community safe.) Thank you for your support. https://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2021/21-0350_misc_03-31-21.pdf
Mayor Garcetti, LA City Council, Recreation and Parks: Don't Redesign Pershing Square: Restore Pershing Square!
For nearly 150 years, Pershing Square has been the public square in the center of Los Angeles, at the heart of the city's social, cultural and political life. But a series of insensitive redesigns, beginning in the 1950s, has resulted in a confused and ugly park that is a blot on the redeveloping Downtown. We the undersigned applaud the civic drive to fix Pershing Square. But Pershing Square doesn't need another redesign. It needs to be restored to the classic, beautiful design that was torn up in 1951 to build the parking lot and bomb shelter: with a central fountain, sculptures placed in their historic locations, diagonal paths, shade trees, benches and street-level views and pedestrian access. Don't Redesign Pershing Square: Restore Pershing Square! * For more info, please visit our blog.
Clean and Protect the Famous Venice Beach Handball Courts
The four 3-wall handball courts located within the Venice Beach Recreation Center have had issues with homeless people living on them for years. This has become exponentially worse during the pandemic. The law clearly states that nobody is allowed to stay in the park after dark, yet this has never been enforced. This has caused the actual users of the facility to have to clean them ourselves on a daily basis, even cleaning away urine and feces, obviously potential hazards to our health. These handball courts are so important to so many - the daily regular players, players from around the world, the tourists that love to watch the hard-fought matches, and all the models that use them for photo shoots. Handball is fantastic exercise, enjoyed by young and old, and easy to learn. The regulars are always teaching people how to play. Our tournaments always draw many spectators. It is not fair that the paddle tennis courts (located only a few feet away) are currently being enjoyed as they are protected with fences and our beloved handball courts are not. We ask the same: Protect our handball courts! The solution can be as easy as building a fence around the courts and the bleachers, or a collapsible gate that stretches across the courts.
Protect Marina Plastic Surgery Associates from Eminent Domain Bullying!
Cedars-Sinai Hospital, a $3,300,000,000 in revenue and $415,000,000 in profit behemoth, is hiding behind its technical "non-profit" status and claiming power as a "quasi-governmental" entity in order to use an obscure eminent domain law, break legal leases, circumvent contractual rights, and oust community-serving businesses in Marina Del Rey / Del Rey at 4644 Lincoln Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292. This includes Marina Plastic Surgery Associates and Marina MedSPA, which has served the Westside in this location for 32 years since 1986. Cedars is trying to throw Marina Plastic Surgery and its award-winning plastic and reconstructive surgery practice out on the street, even though Marina has THIRTEEN (13) years left on their lease. Being tossed out without fair compensation by abusing this eminent domain loophole would mean 36 staff members without jobs with no ability to relocate nearby and no way continue to serve West LA and beach cities patients. Marina Plastic Surgery has consistently been ranked Best of the Westside year after year: Best Plastic Surgeon, Best Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Practice, Best MedSPA, and Best Skin Care. Marina Plastic Surgery Associates contributes to their community, serving generations of local families, employing 20+ single mothers, working on countless pro bono cases, and training dozens of fellows. Dr. Grant Stevens has consistently given back to the local community, having received commendations from the City, County, and the State of California for enthusiastic work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Venice and service on the Medical Board of California. Outside of Los Angeles, Marina Plastic Surgery partners with a hospital in Uganda to fund their medical staff, cutting maternal mortality in half. Our goal: continuing to serve our patients on the Westside. All we are asking is one reasonable thing: for Cedars-Sinai to pay our full moving costs, seeing as they are breaking our lease and not currently offering fair compensation. Eminent domain is a constitutional issue, with a requirement of just compensation. Thomas Priselac, Cedars-Sinai CEO, who makes $3,750,000+ per year, why won't you fairly compensate Marina Plastic Surgery Associates for ousting them from their legitimate lease using a dubious legal tactic usually used by fat cat capitalists who don't care about the public? Marc Rapaport, Chair of the Cedars-Sinai Board, multi-millionaire financier, why don't you believe in fair business practices on behalf of the "non-profit" board you chair? Councilmember Mike Bonin (who represents the area where Marina Plastic Surgery resides), Councilmember Paul Koretz (who represents the area where Cedars-Sinai is headquartered), and County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas (who represents the area where Marina Plastic Surgery resides), WE, your CONSTITUENTS, are asking for YOUR help! We are asking that you encourage Cedars-Sinai to provide fair compensation to the neighborhood-serving businesses they are trying to eminent domain and that they are kicking out of legitimate leases. YOU can help this be a fair outcome. WE just want Marina Plastic Surgery Associates to be able to continue to provide top-tier medical care to the Westside of Los Angeles and YOU can help.
Keep Urban Campers & Tent Dwellers Off Sidewalks Adjacent Residential Areas & Schools
The residents of Mar Vista and Venice, are being assaulted by drug addled vagrants who sleep in tent towns in and around our neighborhoods and roam our streets for opportunities of vandalism and petty theft of parcels and bicycles. The majority of them break our laws on a daily basis, pay no taxes and create health and other hazards on our streets and sidewalks. Many of these urban tent towns are centers for drug sales and use. It is time take action and show our elected officials that if they do not act we will. This is only the beginning of the process of becoming politically active and taking back our community.