SAVE THE VERA DAVIS FAMILY CENTER FOR THE UNDER-SERVED VENICE COMMUNITY
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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
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