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 10 petitions
SAVE THE VERA DAVIS FAMILY CENTER FOR THE UNDER-SERVED VENICE COMMUNITY
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: https://freevenicebeachhead.org/2011/04/01/vera-davis-center-faces-uncertain-future/ 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
STOP LAPD RACIAL PROFILING IN OUR VENICE OAKWOOD COMMUNITY
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!!!
A MORATORIUM ON ALCOHOL LICENSES IN VENICE, CA
The next biggest secret is out - Venice Beach CA has 108 alcohol licenses in a 3 square mile area. This means we have 34 per square mile, whereas in Los Angeles the average is 4 per square mile! This is outrageous, and an abuse of our neighborhood. 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 Rose Ave, Washington Boulevard 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 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 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. THANKS!
STOP FULL-LICENSE RESTAURANT / BAR WITH TAKE-OUT BEER AND WINE SALES AT 320 SUNSET AVENUE, VENICE
OPPOSE the application for a FULL LICENSE "restaurant / bakery" with TAKE OUT beer & wine sales at 320 Sunset Avenue, Venice in a small, quiet artist neighborhood -- close to Google --- with very limited parking!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. 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:"The applicant, who also owns Gjelina's on Abbot Kinney and next door, GTA, has caused serious problems to the surrounding neighborhood for the past 7 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.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 license 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 was NEVER divulged to the community by him or LUPC, which will drastically change our neighborhood FOR THE WORSE.His restaurant will have an open air patio at the rear of the building, on the alley which backs immediately onto residential Vernon Avenue. This out of character development 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 massive 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 also intends to take away the street parking out front, for his exclusive use as a loading zone.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 and the surrounding streets.WE NEED TO SPEAK UP NOW AND LOUDLY.We have the potential AT THIS POINT to make him go way back on this proposal. It is imperative at this stage of the process that we SHOW UP in person to the next LUPC (Land Use and Planning Committee) meeting and physically demonstrate to them that this is NOT ACCEPTABLE for Venice!
CALLING FOR A MORATORIUM ON MANSIONIZATION & SMALL LOT SUBDIVISIONS IN VENICE, CA
We the undersigned call for the following: - an immediate moratorium on the 'McMansionization' of VENICE - an immediate moratorium on Small Lot Subdivisions (SLS) in VENICE - a denial of all Small Lot Subdivisions currently pending for VENICE - no building permits to be issued for Small Lot Subdivisions prior to recordation of final map In VENICE - FULL public notification and participation, as set forth by Federal, State, and Local Law, in any and all proposed developments in VENICE. Additionally, we the undersigned call for full enforcement of the California Coastal Act, the Mello Act, and the Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan, because the cumulative effect of recent development in VENICE is diminishing the quality of life for it’s residents, and negating the purpose of said protections put in place to preserve the Coastal Zone. Here are 3 consistent and repeated ways that the City is ignoring and violating Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan (VCZSP):1. City Planning is interpreting the Small Lot Subdivision Ordinance (SLSO) to trump the Specific Plan, although the law says that specific plans always trump ordinances. The City is interpreting the Small Lot Subdivision Ordinance to allow more units on lots than the Specific Plan allows, and is not requiring any guest parking at all, and is allowing tandem parking that people often don't use, rather than side-by-side parking.2. Allowing buildings to be constructed to the maximum possible size even when the proposed building is totally out of scale with the neighborhood i.e. three story buildings that block all of the neighbors' sunlight in a one-story or two-story neighborhood. The Specific Plan requires an evaluation of the compatibility of the mass and scale of the proposed building with the other buildings in the neighborhood. The Planning Department does not do this, and they have set up a process where there is no appeal. If the Planning Department continues to get away with this, soon Venice will be all 3-story compounds with very little sun or air between the buildings. 3. The Planning Department is issuing illegal DIRs that blatantly violate the Specific Plan. Then the City says that there's no appeal because the 14-day deadline has passed. The community has no real notice and no opportunity to respond. The City refuses to email citizens a .pdf of the DIRs as they are issued, they only send a mailed copy.Whereas per The CA Coastal Act. Section 30116 Sensitive Coastal Resource Areas – Venice has the following characteristics:b. areas possessing significant recreational value.c. Special communities or neighborhoods which are significant visitor designation areas.Areas that provide existing coastal housing or recreational opportunities for low- and moderate income-persons.The public has a right to fully participate in decisions affecting coastal planning, conservation and development.From Section 30250 Location; existing developed area:“In addition, land divisions, other than leases for agricultural uses, outside existing developed areas shall be permitted only where 50 percent of the usable parcels in the area have been developed and the created parcels would be no smaller than the average size of surrounding parcels.”Section 30251 Scenic and visual qualities:“Permitted development shall be sited and designed to protect views to and along the ocean and scenic coastal areas. Section 30252 (e) and enhancement of public access:Where appropriate, protect special communities and neighborhoods that, because of their unique characteristics, are popular visitor destination points for recreational uses.”
Support Free Safe Storage for Homeless People's Belongings in Venice, CA
March 14, 2015 - Posted on FB by Occupy Venice: Longtime Venice Beach activist and un-housed resident Dave Busch was arrested last Friday morning (March 13) in an act of civil disobedience to fight the increased criminalization of the homeless and expose the boardwalk sweeps for what they are - an ongoing campaign to purge the homeless from the boardwalk and larger community. Venice has a free safe storage program, but it's full and needs to be expanded. Until then, where are people supposed to store their stuff? During these sweeps, sanitation workers under protection of the police apply selective enforcement when confiscating and disposing of personal possessions like sleeping bags, tents, etc. They target the un-housed/homeless and leave tourists' and other people's possessions along the beach alone during the sweeps, clearly a violation of equal protection under the law. Dave took upon himself to block sanitation vehicles and at one point was facing a $100,000 bail on Friday (an absurd amount), but has been released. More on his arrest via the LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-venice-cleanup-20150313-story.html Please sign this petition to send a message to Councilman Mike Bonin that he should follow through on this pledge to provide permanent storage facilities for homeless people in Venice! ------------------ July 11, 2014 - The Free Safe Storage Program in Venice needs our support. The program is under threat of being closed down at the end of the month and needs our help to remain open year around. Currently it serves the community from 5:30-6:30 every day. The storage is free and the total annual cost is a few hundred dollars of liability insurance - that's it.Please put your full support behind keeping the storage facility open and operating all year by signing this petition to Councilman Mike Bonin. Thanks! ...and also let Mike Bonin know you support using Westminster Senior Center as a permanent facility for unhoused people to store their belongings and receive other, urgently needed, services. It just makes good sense to use that empty building, owned by the City of L.A., for such a program. Jan. 20, 2014 - A message from Venice Community Housing Executive Director, Steve Clare:"VCH is seeking the support of Councilman Mike Bonin and VNC to obtain the vacant Senior Center building at Pacific & Westminster as a PERMANENT resource for the unhoused to provide storage and other services...The benefits to both the unhoused and the Venice community of a large scale permanent program that can receive and store a large quantity of property are many and obvious."-------------- Jan. 3, 2014 - It's a new year and a new day -- "rumor" has it that Councilman Bonin is already back-tracking on his pledge to honor VNC's vote on where to place storage bins - at the Westminster Senior Center -- in favor of the Baptist Church at 7th & Westminster, as far away from Venice boardwalk as possible -- and certain business interests. PLEASE sign this petition - which has been recently modified to reflect the latest turn of events - to urge Bonin to keep to his word and do what Venice community wants - for a change! ...and forward widely, thanks. TBN The Venice storage program gives homeless people a place to keep their belongings - good idea :) Some Venice residents/business people don't like the idea and think it is enabling more homeless people to be in Venice. But L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin supports the program and has put aside the opposition voiced by the "grinches" of Venice and is going ahead with the much needed program this winter. Argonaut December 24, 2013: Storage unit for belongings of shelter users draws criticism: Even some who support the program say it should be located somewhere other than the Venice boardwalk. A plan to once again allow homeless men and women to store their possessions in a container on the Venice boardwalk has been met with nearly unanimous opposition — a rare moment of agreement for the beachside enclave on matters pertaining to the homeless. Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin announced on Dec. 11 that he would follow in the footsteps of former Councilman Bill Rosendahl and authorize a temporary storage unit for belongings of homeless people who spend the night in winter shelters. Bonin also proposed using the same location, an area behind the paddle tennis courts near Ocean Front Walk and 19th Avenue. Many residents and business owners, however, object to staging the storage program on the boardwalk for a variety of reasons. Members of the Venice Neighborhood Council voted Dec. 17 to recommend allowing shelter users to instead store their belongings at the nearby Westminster Senior Center on Pacific Avenue. There were eight votes for the senior center and three for the First Baptist Church, which already provides some homeless services but is about two miles from the boardwalk. None supported the boardwalk. “The boardwalk is an economic engine for Venice,” said Daniel Samakow, who co-owns three restaurants near Ocean Front Walk and said the plan to locate the storage container there didn’t take into account the consequences for local businesses. Gary Harris, who lives on Ocean Front Walk, said the area around the container last year had become “an encampment for the homeless” and said Bonin’s proposal was “disrespecting the boardwalk and the community.” Deborah Lashever, a Marina del Rey resident who formerly owned a business on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, also thought the senior center was the best choice because participants could also access social services workers there. “If there’s going to be a permanent long-term program, it has to be inside,” Lashever said. Samakow said he and others in the business community supported having the location at the First Baptist Church because the Mildred Cursh Foundation and a Safe Place for Youth both use the church for their social services initiatives several days a week. The church had talked the idea over with Samakow and others, First Baptist minister Samuel Crutchfield said. Venice Neighborhood Council member Erin Sullivan Ward, who voted to offer storage at the senior center, questioned the wisdom of using the church in Venice’s Oakwood neighborhood. “I think the residents there would be up in arms about this,” she said. In an early December interview, Bonin said he doubted the church would be a good place for the homeless to store their belongings. “The goal is to find a location that is functionally suitable with the minimal impact. I think that is significantly more challenging in a residential neighborhood,” Bonin said. Other suggestions of where to locate the storage program include the St. Joseph Center, Venice of America Centennial Park (the tiny park near the Venice Abbot Kinney Memorial Branch Library) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority yard on Pacific Avenue. “There will be challenges at every site — challenges of permitting, of space, of many different things,” Debbie Dyner-Harris, Bonin’s district director, told council members. Bonin said the storage program will remain at Ocean Front Walk unless and until a new location is worked out. In the meantime, “As long as people live on our streets, it is humane to give them a place to store their belongings. Providing secure and safe storage of belongings to people without shelter gives them both peace of mind and dignity,” Bonin said.
DECLARE A "SHELTER CRISIS" IN LOS ANGELES (CA. GOV. CODE § 8698-8698.2)
December 10, 2013 A male transient was found dead Monday morning [Dec. 9, 2013] on a sidewalk in Downtown Los Angeles during the lowest recorded temperatures in the area in over 22 years. The body of the man, who was in his late 50s, was discovered at about 6:40 a.m. in the 300 block of West First Street, according to City News Service. His name has not been released. The L.A. Fire Department said he may have been sleeping under blankets or in a sleeping bag. Preliminary reports indicate that the cause of death was from natural causes, but the record low temps may have contributed to his passing. The National Weather Service reports that the temperature in DTLA dropped to 34 degrees Monday morning—a record low temp for the date and the lowest recorded temp in the area since December 23, 1990. The previous record low temp for the area was 36 degrees in 2007. ---------------------- California Homeless Crisis Grows As State Is Reluctant To Use Powerful Law (CA. GOVERNMENT CODE SECTION 8698-8698.2) 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?" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/09/californias-homeless-crisis_n_1243223.html
ACCESS TO TOILETS IS A HUMAN RIGHT
SO, THIS IS AMERICA - WHO KNEW? America - world leader - in homeless abuse? “On August 24, 2012, in an official report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, a top UN investigator said that the United States’ failure to provide homeless persons access to water and sanitary facilities “could … amount to cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment.” The report was issued by UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation Catarina de Albuquerque.” (Whitney Gent, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty) The UN Special Rapporteur’s report states: “The United States, one of the wealthiest countries in the world, must ensure that everyone [has access] to sanitation which is safe, hygienic, secure and which provides privacy and ensures dignity. An immediate, interim solution is to ensure access to restroom facilities in public places, including during the night. The long-term solution to homelessness must be to ensure adequate housing.” According to Amnesty International (AI) and the U.N. General Assembly access to toilets is a human right, as they are “essential to human well-being”. Similarly, according to AI: “Housing is a basic human need and fundamental human right”. OK, tell that to the thousands of homeless people living on the streets of Los Angeles today! Then, take a trip to Venice Beach, a district of Los Angeles and ask the homeless people sleeping on the street what these “rights” mean to them. They will likely laugh in your face and tell you there is no housing for them in Venice; and the only available public toilets, located at the beach, are locked from approx. 9:00 pm - 6:00 am, daily. So where do they ‘go’ when they need to use the toilet after 9:00 pm and before 6:00 am (the beach is now also under curfew from midnight to 5:00 am nightly)? Good question! This is a health time-bomb waiting to explode and it doesn’t just apply to Los Angeles but to every city where homeless people are forced to live on the streets without adequate sanitation. How is it possible that a country as advanced as America can turn a blind eye to this most fundamental human need? Make your voice heard - tell the Mayor of Los Angeles and other city, county, state and federal officials that it’s time to make access to public toilets a human right in America.
RESTORE 24 HR ACCESS TO CALIFORNIA BEACHES
According to the California Coastal Act of 1976, the public should have 24 hour access to the beaches.The Los Angeles’ beach curfew is well-known to people who have enjoyed an evening bonfire at Dockweiler State Beach by LAX or a moonlit walk in Venice only to have it cut short.The police and city attorney are now enforcing a new illegal curfew on Ocean Front Walk, Venice Beach, from midnight to 5:00 am, since it was declared part of “The Park”.Residents and visitors alike are impacted by this new development on Ocean Front Walk (aka Venice Boardwalk) just as they are by ALL beach curfews. Coastal Commission Executive Director Peter Douglas says: “There are a lot of people who want to use the beach, which they have a constitutional right to do, in the middle of the night…You don’t preclude the public from that use without a good justification — a good reason — and we have to be able to look at that.” As recently as November 2010, L.A. Times reported that the California Coastal Commission is challenging “beach curfews established by cities up and down the coast, saying they are illegal without state approval and that people have a right to be on the sand whenever they want.” Barboza goes on to say: “The new push is likely to renew debate over coastal access, with beach cities arguing that the curfews are needed to ward off late-night crime on the sand. Coastal Commission officials argue that crime has dropped significantly in the last decade while demand for time on the beach has increased. City officials in Los Angeles said they had no intention of weakening a curfew that’s been on the books for decades. The city attorney’s office said that the curfew was meant to deter crime and that the state didn’t have the authority to challenge the statute. Enforcement of the curfew, however, may be inconsistent with the law. Lifeguards told The Times that they started clearing the sand and surf at 10 p.m., two hours earlier than stipulated in the city’s 1988 ordinance.” http://spiritofvenice.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/ocean-front-walk-becomes-part-of-the-park/
LAPD: STOP ILLEGALLY SEIZING HOMELESS PEOPLE'S POSSESSIONS
July 2015 from L.A. Times: "Mayor Eric Garcetti took office with a promise to end chronic homelessness by the end of 2016. Instead, two years into his term, we're throwing $100 million annually at a problem that's spreading and becoming more entrenched — and Garcetti's largely been silent on the issue, save for platitudes. The best solution our City Council has come up with is a return to ham-handed tactics previously tried and discredited: Have the cops seize the belongings of homeless people, then hand out tickets they can't pay or haul them off to jail. At the very least, that would get them and their messes out of our sight — and quiet constituent complaints about scruffy transients and homeless encampments cropping up on sidewalks and in neighborhood parks." -------------------------- These newest anti-poor LAPD actions come as eager developers and corporate entities prepare for the final takeover -- of what many consider to be this last bastion of freedom on the west coast of Southern California, and possibly the whole of the USA, Venice Beach, CA. L.A.'s “people’s beach" -- a place where visitors and residents alike enjoy an ambiance of freedom, fun and expression. Recent attempts by Los Angeles city and Venice-area gentrifiers to curtail these freedoms -- aided by increased police numbers, activity and enforcement -- today are unprecedentedly threatening the very ambiance that makes L.A.'s historic Venice “Venice”. Unsubstantiated claims of increased criminal activity in this famous beach spot, promoted by mainstream media –and those with a vested interest in gentrifying Venice – have unfairly identified the house-less community, young travelers, and people of color as their primary scapegoats. These house-less, young travelers and people of color, both resident and visitor alike, are now daily targeted by LAPD officers for selective enforcement scrutiny, resulting in a new overflowing congestion of the Los Angeles courts and jails. Meanwhile, as these house-less and vehicle dwellers are now under constant threat of criminal prosecution and a massive new unconstitutional effort to seize their possessions, the City of Los Angeles continues its heartless persecution of the poor in the name of destroying Venice Beach. PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION TO SEND YOUR MESSAGE TO LAPD AND THE CITY OF L.A.: STOP PERSECUTING THE HOMELESS AND PEOPLE OF COLOR AT VENICE BEACH, CA NOW !