Benefit Network

3,686 supporters

We produce public benefit projects that raise awareness for worthy causes such as: human rights, civil liberties, social and economic justice ie. homelessness, peace, environment, constitution.

Started 7 petitions

Petitioning Mike Bonin


The Abbot Kinney Hotel project that we fought so hard to stop, back in 2014, has resurfaced as VENICE PLACE, and will now be heard by L.A. City Planning on Thurs. September 22 @ 9:30 am at WLA Municipal Building, 2nd Floor Hearing Room, 1645 Corinth Avenue, West Los Angeles. Watch video of the VNC meeting Feb. 18, 2014 when this project was first heard by the community - including a presentation by hotel developer, Dan Abrams... ...And, as it happens, Westminster Elementary School is located at 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, DIRECTLY ACROSS the street from the location of this proposed 80-room hotel with 200+ restaurant seats, 2,534 sq ft of ground floor retail space, a 1,735 sq ft spa, 3,371 sq ft of office space!  And that's just the tip of the iceberg.... We MUST STOP this development!.  Here's why: - Abbot Kinney Blvd. is a main thoroughfare with a traffic flow of up to 10,000 vehicles a day.  Traffic is especially heavy from 7:30 am - 8 am and 2:30 pm - 6 pm, just when children are arriving and departing to and from the school campus.  The project is estimated to generate at least 688 more car trips per day on this already gridlocked street! -  The specific traffic impact of the project, per the Mitigated Negative Declaration is increased by 545%, creating dangerous conditions for children and their parents walking to and from school, crossing Abbot Kinney Blvd., Electric Ave., Brooks Ave.  This HUGE increase in traffic will endanger children, pedestrians and bike riders, alike. - There's just NOT enough parking!  At capacity (and esp. during special events), 167 parking spaces is NOT enough for this 80-room hotel, 200+ restaurant seats, 2,534 sq ft of ground floor retail space, a 1,735 sq ft spa, 3,371 sq ft of office space, and all the development's employees! - The developer seeks to tie EIGHT (8) LOTS together, setting a DANGEROUS precedent for future development, since in the Venice Specific Plan, the current number of lots allowed to be consolidated are THREE (3)!  The developer apparently hopes to get around this by separating the buildings along existing lot lines (but connected by catwalks which are only accessible through the buildings). - The developer is seeking approval for a full line of ALCOHOL for ON-SITE & OFF-SITE consumption operating 7:00 am to 1:00 am, provided in the hotel rooms' liquor cabinets, by room service, and through the hotel lobby, outdoor courtyard, hotel lounges, and hotel business center! - The hotel will, thus, be serving ALCOHOL -- directly OPPOSITE Westminster elementary SCHOOL from 7 am - 1:00 am daily, and could well become a haven for predators, to observe and stake out our school CHILDREN!!! - The development will SIGNIFICANTLY increase traffic. The one traffic study seen states the project will generate 688 NEW CAR TRIPS a day. Much of this traffic will end up on Abbot Kinney Blvd., but ALL of it will originate at Electric Ave, where the parking garage entrance is located, causing GRIDLOCK at peak times on Electric Ave. and on surface streets in Oakwood. And unlike other recent retail/residential projects on Abbot Kinney, the hotel will be OPEN 24 hours a day, bringing with it TRAFFIC very late at night and early in the morning. - By adding 4 "apartments", it appears the developer is trying to create the illusion of a mixed-use residential/commercial development, rather than strictly commercial. - The project has INADEQUATE off-street loading - a MERE 600 sq. ft. off-street commercial loading area off Broadway! It’s way too small for such a HUGE COMMERCIAL OPERATION. Additionally, there will be only TWO (2) on-street loading areas, also on Broadway.  Even now, with only a couple of restaurants currently operating on site, loading and garbage collection often partially or completely BLOCKS Broadway Ave. Let’s make sure our voices are heard and our presence is felt. COME TO THE ZA PLANNING HEARING THURS SEPT. 22, 9:30 a.m. West Los Angeles Municipal Building -- 2ND Floor Hearing Room. 1645 Corinth Avenue, WLA  If you CAN or CANNOT attend PLS SIGN THIS PETITION TO SEND AN EMAIL to City Planner, Juliet Oh, and Councilman Mike Bonin telling them "NO WAY!"

Benefit Network
1,165 supporters
Petitioning Mike Bonin


The proposal of a Business Improvement District (BID): City File #16-0749(CD11) in Venice was initiated by ex-president of the Venice Chamber of Commerce (VCC), Carl Lambert, in 2013 when he first brought his proposal to the Ocean Front Walk committee, a committee stacked with his business cronies. Go here to watch video Since then, the BID proposal has been working it's way through City Hall and is now surfacing as another giant step in the gentrification of Venice. Many residents, property owners, business owners and stakeholders, are concerned about the impact of the proposed BID and how it will be enforced in Venice.  Here are just some of the reasons why this is not a good idea for Venice, with it's Bohemian past and history of free-spirited, uninhibited ambiance: 1. The process for establishing the BID has not been public or transparent. 2. BIDs in the City of Los Angeles, and particularly their private security forces, have a history of hostility toward homeless and low-income residents resulting in several lawsuits since their inception in the late 1990s regarding unconstitutional practices. 3. BIDs are a form of privatization that harms those that don’t own property and limits democratic control over resources. 4. BIDs are not feasible for all businesses or property owners to pay, particularly non-profits and small business owners. 5. The founding premise for the BID is faulty. It is claimed that a BID is needed because the City of Los Angeles is not providing the proper public services. While it is true that the city is not providing services, the solution is not privatization. We oppose privatization of our public spaces and services. 6.  In 1904, Abbot Kinney deeded Ocean Front Walk to be a public park in perpetuity, which also included sharp restrictions on commerce; therefore the city has no authority to approve a Business Improvement District on this section of Venice. We DON'T WANT A BID IN VENICE - it will destroy the last vestiges of freedom that remain in our community!!!

Benefit Network
730 supporters
Petitioning Laura Guglielmo (HCIDLA, Executive Officer)


The Vera Davis Center accommodates Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, Latino Resources, Venice Arts, H.E.L.P.E.R.S. (formerly Venice 2000) public computers, distributes free groceries to the needy twice a month and assists area residents with Food Stamp applications. These services and all the good done by the aforementioned groups will be terminated, and efforts to find alternative sites have yet to provide new quarters for these much needed and appreciated community services. Below is CD 11 Councilmember Mike Bonin's explanation for why the Vera Davis Family Center, which has served the under-served population of Venice for decades, will no longer serve the community but will be transformed into a performing arts center for the new wealthier 'demographic' that surfaced after the 2010 Census ;) Bear in mind: the building that houses the Vera Davis Family Center, the former Venice Library and a historic building, belongs to the City of Los Angeles (COLA)  (not Mike Bonin and his cronies) and should have been properly maintained by the City and not allowed to fall into disrepair, in the first place.  This is a classic example of how COLA has systematically allowed public property to fall into disrepair or stand empty and unused (as in the case of the Westminster Senior Center) in order to work deals which, ultimately, favor a more privileged demographic that has evolved thanks to the rampant takeover of Venice by developers ie. the gentrifiers. Mike Bonin 5/2/16: "Since before I took office, the demographics for the surrounding neighborhood no longer qualified for the type of funding that was used to operate the Vera Davis Center.  The housing department has carried the facility on a shoestring budget for the past couple years, with the understanding that the city would be issuing an RFP for someone to manage and operate the facility. That has been discussed in at least three city budget cycles, and over the years I personally have had discussions about it with various members of the Venice Neighborhood Council, so I know people have been aware of it. Despite that, no action has been taken. 

Last week, during city budget deliberations, I asked that the departments of Housing and of Cultural Affairs each separately prepare a report detailing how an RFP would be issued and what the timeline would be, and when the center could potentially be under new management. (I asked Department of Cultural Affairs to do a report, because according to a 1998 voter approved measure called Proposition K, the facility can receive $500,000 in capital funds when it is used as a youth arts center -- something that has been foreseen and on the books for a couple decades.)

 I also asked the housing department, which currently manages the facility, to give me a detailed report with the structural and rehabilitation needs for the building, which I am told is in the millions of dollars. The facility has a number of issues, including handicapped access issues -- and as a result the federal government may prohibit organizations receiving federal funds from operating out of the facility. 

In short, once I get a sense from the two city departments about potential timelines, I will determine which agency should be responsible for the RFP, share the information with neighborhood Council and the community, and the city will prepare the RFP for an organization to operate that facility as a junior arts center, open to the community. I'd be happy to have Debbie Dyner Harris of my office to report on all this to the neighborhood council.  Mike" Read this 2011 article in Venice Beachhead: DON'T LET THE CITY OF L.A. GET AWAY WITH THIS --- PLS SIGN OUR PETITION TO DEMAND THAT THE VERA DAVIS CENTER CONTINUE TO SERVE THE UNDER-SERVED COMMUNITY IN VENICE ie. low-income, poor, youth and seniors

Benefit Network
544 supporters
Petitioning Charlie Beck


October 23, 2015 -- LAPD/C.L.E.A.R officers are targeting African American and Latino MALES that are either walking, driving, skateboarding or sitting at Oakwood Park. The men who have been stopped for the last few nights have reported that "LAPD / C.L.E.A.R officers are stopping Latino and African American Males on bicycles, driving, skateboarding or sitting in Oakwood Park, and informing them that they are taking them to jail just because, "All of you think who think the gang injunction is gone, well we're here to tell you it's in full force, and we are here to let you know it." The officers are stopping men of color when they are by themselves handcuffing them, lifting up their clothing and checking them for whatever it is they choose when they are by themselves...? If the gang injunction is being enforced by these officers: why are the men being stopped when they are alone on their choice of transportation (bike or skateboard, driving)? Why are the men being handcuffed immediately and treated as if they are committing a crime? Many of the men are not being asked by the officers if they are on probation or parole, (the ONLY reason that the officers would have to instantly handcuff them). The men are handcuffed immediately, and then they are asked if they are on probation or parole. We are educating our young men and women to cooperate and follow the rules that are being given to them by C.L.E.A.R and LAPD. We are determined in Venice to not live through another 'unwarranted killing' by your officers, with their unlawful stops of men and women of color, who are being treated like criminals when they are not on probation or parole, just being targeted because of the color of their skin. We are keeping our officials informed concerning the actions of C.L.E.A.R. and LAPD, so let there be no misunderstanding that LAPD officers are harassing civilians as they walk, skateboard, sit in Oakwood or ride through our Community, and yes Venice is still our neighborhood that we love! We are demanding that LAPD officers respect the public and, as they patrol our streets, do not assassinate peoples' character by arresting them, without just cause, as they move and flow through the streets of Venice. We are standing up and letting our voices of concern and love for all in Venice be heard...LAPD/C.L.E.A.R does not have the right to stop people just for the COLOR OF THEIR SKIN!!!

Benefit Network
514 supporters
Petitioning CA State Attorney


The next biggest secret is out - Venice Beach CA has in EXCESS of 120  alcohol licenses in a 3.1 square mile area, which translates to 40 per square mile, whereas in Los Angeles the average is 4 per square mile! This is outrageous, and an abuse of our neighborhood...and still they just keep coming...! 

 Many of you already know about the 320 Sunset project which is applying for a full-line ON-SITE alcohol and OFF-SITE beer and wine license, right next to a residential area with families and children. The same is also happening at 259 Hampton Drive, 15 feet from residents. Another at 600 Mildred Ave (ex Kim's Market) is trying to force a sit down restaurant with alcohol, a mere 3 FEET from a family home, and in a very dense residential area. There are further examples of this up and down Abbot Kinney Blvd., Rose Ave, Washington Blvd. and soon, if things keep escalating as they have, we will see a bar on EVERY corner. Is this the kind of Venice we want to live in? Where peace and quiet enjoyment in our homes is sacrificed, and our neighbors are not neighborly but noisy, inebriated, party-goers until 1 or 2 AM?  Not to mention the problems which present along with these licenses. No parking (or very little) is being provided by the operators, forcing their patrons to crawl our residential streets in search of parking, then noisily return to their cars and drive through our family neighborhoods inebriated. Venice may be considered a tourist destination by the City of LA, but it is also our home, and needs to be protected as such! Where will it end? In tract #2733, where the ABC license application is in process for Gjusta, 320 Sunset Ave, there are 3,695 residents and 16 alcohol licenses, maybe more. That means 1 license per 230 people. The ABC regulation is one per either 2000 or 2500, depending if it's an on/off-site sale license. BUT there are way too many ABC licenses already here!

 Please help us bring a MORATORIUM on alcohol licenses in Venice to safeguard the future of our community, our families and our children! SIGN OUR PETITION TO SEND EMAILS TO DECISION MAKERS. THANK YOU!

Benefit Network
201 supporters
Petitioning Mike Bonin


OPPOSE the liquor license application for a FULL LICENSE "restaurant" with TAKE OUT beer and wine sales at Gjusta, 320 Sunset Ave., Venice - in a small, quiet artist neighborhood -- close to Google --- with extremely limited parking and just 13 feet from people's homes!It's obvious that the developer is making this move to capitalize on being so close to Google and if he's allowed to do it, there will be others following in his path - commercializing and congesting the tiny little intersection at Sunset and 3rd Ave.  Added to which, the developer has misrepresented his project from the very beginning - passing it off as a "bakery with accessory retail".  If this place does anywhere near as good as Gjelina's it will create constant traffic from dawn to dusk.  This is going to be a big operation with up to 110 capacity (staff + customers) with takeout food, beer & wine traffic added on.Some may think that sounds like a good idea - but not in this location which backs onto a residential area and has very little parking!From a neighborhood resident: "TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT!  The applicant, who also owns Gjelina's on Abbot Kinney and next door, GTA, has caused serious/serial problems to the surrounding neighborhood for the past 8 years!He exploits the neighborhood for his own financial gain, and has no regard or concern for how to be a good neighbor...and it looks like he's planning on doing the same and possibly MUCH worse in this quiet corner of Venice at 320 Sunset Ave.He has misled the neighborhood from the start, leading them to believe he was opening a local "bakery", while ALL ALONG he was planning a fully licensed restaurant seating 90 people, with outdoor patio dining, and a staff of 30 employees per shift.He plans to open 19 hours per day, from 6AM to 1AM, with full bar AND OFF-SITE (takeout) beer & wine sales. A fact that he HID from the community until he was exposed, and which will drastically change our neighborhood FOR THE WORSE.This out of character development in this M-1 (manufacturing) zone will ruin residents' daily lives due to noise pollution from patrons, equipment and traffic.Not to mention the acute lack of parking which all the neighbors experience...and he has no intention nor obligation to provide any!  If he has a massive turnover of patrons per day, it would be a huge drain on local street parking, which is already scarce, forcing us all to park several blocks from our homes. Not safe at all.Plus, Sunset Ave. would not allow for ease of traffic flow from all the added congestion to and from his business. Pedestrians, and cyclists alike would be in jeopardy safety-wise from that kind of traffic obstruction.He maintains that he would be cleaning up the area and doing "us," the neighborhood a huge service, when really we know he is just coming in to exploit our neighborhood as he did with Abbot Kinney Blvd. and the surrounding residential streets.WE NEED TO SPEAK UP NOW AND LOUDLY!

Benefit Network
377 supporters
Petitioning Jerry Brown, California State House, California State Senate, California Governor, Eric Garcetti


California Homeless Crisis Grows As State Is Reluctant To Use Powerful Law (CA. GOVERNMENT CODE SECTION 8698-8698.2) Homeless spike in rural California linked to Silicon Valley:  "California’s Central Valley is best known for supplying nearly 25% of the country’s food, including 40% of the fruit and nuts consumed each year. Yet today, backcountry places such as Patterson, population 22,000, are experiencing an increase in homelessness that can be traced, in part, to an unlikely sounding source: Silicon Valley. The million-dollar home prices about 85 miles west, in San Francisco and San Jose, have pushed aspiring homeowners to look inland. Patterson’s population has doubled since the 2000 census. Average monthly rents have climbed from about $900 in 2014 to nearly $1,600 in recent months, according to the apartment database Rent Jungle, compounding the hardships of the foreclosure crisis, the shuttering of several local agricultural businesses and surging substance abuse rates." Shelters across California have only enough beds for a small fraction of homeless people turning away hundreds each night for this reason leaving them to fend for themselves. But one of the state's most powerful tools to assist this vulnerable population is hardly being used. Buried within California's legal codes is a 25-year-old statute that allows counties and municipalities to declare a state of emergency when a "significant number" of homeless people exist in a community, allowing them to convert public facilities into shelters and even to change zoning codes to site shelters in most neighborhoods. Yet since the law was passed in 1987 -- and as the homeless population increased -- few communities have invoked the statute, and when they do, it is almost always just to set up temporary winter shelters. As a result of a lack of political will, neighborhood resistance and budget constraints, this law has rarely been tapped to ease the suffering of the dispossessed." "It is almost unparalleled in its potential," National Coalition for the Homeless executive director Neil Donovan said about the statute. "But it's a challenge [for California] because of the financial crisis that they're in. Other communities use similar statutes far more effectively. I'm thinking of Boston, which opens up its armories when overcrowding happens." The reluctance to take action frustrates advocates for homeless people. "It's a very powerful statute in the sense that once a shelter crisis has been declared -- it could be done on a statewide level by the governor or on a county level -- there are just about no restrictions to housing the homeless anywhere," said civil liberties lawyer Mark Merin. "But there are very few instances where it has been invoked. Any mayor or board of supervisors which has not declared a shelter crisis should be asked - Why not?"

Benefit Network
155 supporters