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!
Unhomeless the Homeless in California
Declare Homelessness State of Emergency in California L.A. County Homeless On any given night, there are over 148,000 homeless people in California - 23% of the entire nation’s homeless population. This year’s Count revealed that 23% of the unsheltered people experiencing homelessness—more than 9,200 people—were homeless for the first time last year. The majority (53%) cited economic hardship as the cause. Los Angeles County has the second largest population of homeless people of any region in the United States, according to a government report released Wednesday. In Los Angeles, 600,000 people are considered "severely rent burdened," which means they spend half their income on rent. More than 8,000 people became homeless here for the first time last year, according to the 2017 Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority report. "We are reaching levels of inequality that we have not seen since the Gilded Age," said Tracy Rosenthal of the Los Angeles Tenants Union. The union helps organize tenant boycotts against things like rent increases and gentrification. Los Angeles County's total — 55,188 — was behind only New York City's 76,501, according to the 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. However, 95 percent of people experiencing homelessness in New York City were sheltered, the report found, while only 25 percent of those experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles were sheltered in 2017. The HUD report findings were similar to the results of the 2017 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count released in June by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which put the county's homeless total at 57,794 — an increase of 23 percent over the previous count. The HUD report found that on one night in January, nearly one of every four people experiencing homelessness in the United States was in New York City or Los Angeles. According to the report, overall homelessness increased nationwide this year for the first time in seven years, by slightly under 1 percent compared to 2016. On a given night across the country, 553,742 people were homeless, with nearly two-thirds housed in shelters or transitional housing programs and one- third living on the streets, according to the report L.A.'s big increase in homelessness had a significant impact on the national numbers. Between 2016 and 2017, individual homelessness increased by 9 percent (15,540 people) in the nation's major cities. Los Angeles accounted for 60 percent of this increase. According to the report, Los Angeles County ranked: - second nationally in the percent of unsheltered homeless, at 84.3 percent; - first in the number of individuals who are homeless, at 47,082; - first in the number of unaccompanied homeless youth at 5,163; and first in the number of homeless veterans (4,476) and percentage of unsheltered veterans (76.1 percent). California had 134,278 homeless people, and while the Golden State has the nation's largest population, the rate of 34 homeless residents per 10,000 people was twice the national average, according to the report. Of those, 68 percent were living on the streets, by far the worst percentage. The report said half the nation's homeless live in California, New York, Florida, Texas or Washington. Counties across the state are facing a pervasive and deepening homeless crisis that imminently endangers the health and safety of tens of thousands of residents, including veterans, women, children, LGBT, youth, persons with disabilities and seniors. Nowhere is this more evident than in Los Angeles County at least 134,278 men, women and children -- 10,000 to 12,000 in Downtown, including more than 8,000 parents and children in the San Fernando Valley alone -- are without homes.More than 53,000 homeless people, or 40 percent of the state’s total, live in Los Angeles County. That number is up from about 36,000 just six years ago. There are beds for less than one third of the homeless in Los Angeles county, comprehensive services are available to far fewer than half, and the county jails are routinely used as a substitution for mental health facilities. In Los Angeles county the tremendous scale of homelessness threatens the economic stability of the entire region by burdening emergency medical services and the social services infrastructure. It is time to treat this crisis like the emergency it truly is. The increasing numbers of displaced homeless people and the lack of ongoing resources to stably re-house them require immediate and extraordinary action. That is why We in LA County are taking the lead in a statewide effort to ask Governor Brown to declare a state of emergency in California to address this growing humanitarian crisis. Please join us! Sign our petition urging to declare the homeless crisis a state of emergency and bring the concerted effort and resources needed to tackle this crisis in a meaningful way. Homelessness, Humanitarianism, Social justice, Human Rights, Economic Justice, Homeless crisis, Affordable housing, Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and the Right to Live Free of prejudice. No human in our country should be homeless. Let's take the first step together. Everyone deserves a safe place to call home. Then Share this petition with your friends on social media to spread the word even further. 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
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.
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.
Create the Public Bank of Los Angeles #PublicBankLA
We call on Los Angeles City Council to create a feasibility study and business plan for a Public Bank of Los Angeles. We want the City to use our public funds to benefit our local communities and the environment, not private Wall Street banks.It’s time for a municipal public bank, owned by, and accountable to the People.It’s time for the City to use our massive financial portfolio as leverage to create powerful, long-lasting and positive changes. We want a bank that takes into highest consideration the greater good of the community when deciding who receives loans, which projects receive investments, and who benefits.Placing public deposits into a public bank will help create affordable credit to fund local small businesses, build affordable housing, create solutions for homelessness, and improve public infrastructure.Bank revenues must be reinvested to benefit people and planet, instead of being funneled into the pockets of private shareholders and Wall Street executives.A Municipal Public Bank with a socially and environmentally responsible mission at its core would ensure that our bank operates with strong ethical standards for its financial and investment practices, geared towards economic prosperity, environmental protection, and social justice.According to the City Controller, the City of Los Angeles paid $109,821,552 in fees to private banks in 2016. The establishment of a Municipal Public Bank can keep our money in the community, instead of allowing it to be extracted to Wall Street.A city-owned bank will enable Los Angeles to keep its interest to reinvest locally. Costs are reduced and taxes can be cut or services can be increased. Banking and credit become public utilities sustaining the local economy rather than mining it for private gain.One of the single most effective actions we can take to give power back to the people is the development of a public banking system. Many of the systemic problems of the world are directly fueled by private banks- from war to fossil fuels to private prisons- creating a public bank would provide an alternative savings and loan service with a socially responsible charter where the people are shareholders and bankers are public servants.We request that the City of Los Angeles fund a study and business plan to determine the economic impact of divesting from private big banks and placing public deposits in the city’s own public bank.#PublicBankLA
Support a More Sustainable Colorado Boulevard for Eagle Rock!
As friends and neighbors of Eagle Rock, we are happy that Metro has plans to bring our community high-quality transit and support better transit on Colorado Boulevard. We want to ensure Metro implements BRT in a way that will complement and enhance our neighborhood. Metro has developed a plan to connect the San Fernando Valley and the San Gabriel Valley. Officially known as the “North Hollywood to Pasadena Bus Rapid Transit Corridor” (NoHo-Pasadena BRT), the proposed line would run from North Hollywood to Pasadena, passing through Burbank, Glendale, and Eagle Rock. The 18 mile route fills a key gap in Metro’s network and will bring the first significant public transit investment to Eagle Rock since the days of the streetcar. We ask that Metro include the following within its plans for BRT on Colorado Boulevard through Eagle Rock: Dedicated Bus Lanes: Include dedicated bus lanes on Colorado Blvd. between Eagle Rock Plaza and Townsend Avenue and elsewhere on Colorado Blvd. as feasible. Improved Transit Service: Metro’s plan should provide improved transit service to and from Eagle Rock, including more frequent bus service and faster service between Eagle Rock and major destinations in adjacent cities. Streetscape Enhancements: Incorporate beautification efforts such as trees, public seating and well-designed transit stops with adequate shade cover for transit riders that are both useful and attractive. Adequate Transit Stops/Stations: Provide BRT stops at key locations in the neighborhood. Locations should include the existing proposed stops at Eagle Rock Plaza, Colorado Boulevard/Eagle Rock Boulevard, and Colorado Boulevard/Townsend Avenue. Maintain Convenient Car Parking: Avoid commercial parking loss to the extent possible, and mitigate any loss of parking by creating new on-street parking spaces within easy walking distance. No Loss of Trees: Replace any loss of trees on Colorado Boulevard with new trees along the boulevard that will be watered and maintained for a minimum of 3 years or until the trees are established. Maintain Medians Where They Exist: While medians may need to be modified, they should be maintained in some form where they currently exist. Maintain Bike Lanes Where They Exist: Bike lanes are an essential tool for connecting riders to transit, and the bike lanes should remain where they exist but can be modified and enhanced to accommodate BRT. Pedestrian Improvements Near BRT Stations: Make sidewalk improvements where necessary or helpful to ensure all stations can be easily and safely accessed by foot and wheelchair. Limit Boulevard Disruption: While construction for BRT is likely to be minimal, the construction phase should be done in a manner that avoids and minimizes disruption to traffic and pedestrian flow. Also, measures should be taken to support local businesses while minimizing disruption to existing businesses through the duration of construction. Want to help us support a more sustainable Colorado Blvd? Send a message to equitableBRT@gmail.com.
Save Lincoln Blvd from proposed WALL - 6-story, 78 foot tall project!
A mixed-use building consisting of very few housing units, offices, commercial spaces, and parking problems, the likes of which we have never seen before. In less than one week LUPC will be meeting to review the proposed Transit Oriented Community Ordinance (TOC) mix-used project at 1808-1816 Lincoln Blvd: a six-story (78-feet high) building with retail, café, office space, and housing (8 very large luxury units and 1 affordable unit), reduced parking for offices and retail and only 5 parking spaces for 40 bedrooms. It has been referred to as a ‘by-right’ project, but no infrastructure of traffic studies has been performed to assess the impact of the project on the surrounding area. Furthermore, there has been no evaluation of the cumulative implications of future, similar TOC projects that are bound to follow – a potential wall of office buildings with few housing units creating parking and infrastructure problems like we have never seen before! Councilmember Bonin, we are requesting that you open an important dialogue between community residents, and the Venice Neighborhood Council and the City Planning Department, before letting sub-optimal TOC projects deteriorate Lincoln Blvd and the entire Venice Community, while subverting the City’s housing goals and the mandate supported by voters of Measure JJJ. We support development. We DO NOT support thoughtless development! We ask you to urgently implement an Interim Control Ordinance to stop any future TOC project in Venice. We need time to explore a community vision for Venice and Lincoln Blvd and resolve the conflicts that exist in the Venice Community Plan, CDO and TOC. Please push the PAUSE button on the proposed 1808-1816 Lincoln Blvd TOC Project and let the community be heard! (CASE #: DIR-2019-1133-TOC-CDO)
Officially designate the corner of Sawtelle and Mississippi Ave “Jamal Khashoggi Square.”
The brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of the Saudi regime must never be forgotten. As Angelenos who hold dear the values of free speech, a free press, the rule of law and civil discourse, we call upon Mayor Eric Garcetti and civic representatives to designate the street corner beside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Los Angeles, “Jamal Khashoggi Square.” An official sign will mark the memory of the brave journalist who died in the cause of truth and freedom. This square will be a lesson to despots here and abroad that the voices of conscience can never be exterminated, or ignored.