For 19 years, the Hollywood Farmers' Market has serves Angelenos of all stripes, from college kids to single moms to celebrities. Now, however, it is threatened with having one of its arms cut off. The Los Angeles Film School is revoking its approval of the Sunday morning street closure that makes one quarter of the market possible.
The market blocks access to two of the school's parking lots, which they say they now need. But the concequences of more convienient parking could have a devestating ripple effect on the local food community. According to SEE-LA, the nonprofit that runs the market, 50 farmers would lose their space and the market would lose $170,000 per year in revenue. Not just Hollywood would suffer; that money is used to keep seven other Los Angeles markets running, several of which serve low-income neighborhoods like Watts and Crenshaw. Some of these markets would have to close if the Los Angeles Film School gets its way.
Parking space is always at a premium in LA, but access to fresh, local food is much more important! Councilmember Eric Garcetti represents the district, and the Los Angeles Board of Public Works is mediating this dispute. Let them know what you think before the market's temporary permit expires on January 16th!
Update: The Hollywood Farmers' Market has been granted an extension for its temporary permit, and Council President Eric Garcietti has made clear his dedication to supporting the market in its current form! The Board of Public Works still needs to hear from us before May 17th.
Photo: Jon Sullivan
I understand that the Los Angeles Film School is in conflict with the market over parking space, but the loss of that space could mean the loss of a major source of income for 50 farmers and a major loss to the community they serve. Not only that, but SEE-LA, the nonprofit that runs the market, would lose an estimated $170,000 in revenue each year, revenue that is crucial to keeping seven other Los Angeles area markets running, several of which, such as the Watts and Central Ave markets, serve underprivileged communities that don't have easy access to fresh produce.
In light of these facts, as you work to resolve this dispute, I ask that you do so while maintaining the following important goals:
1) The market not be reduced in size;
2) The safety of the vendors and customers not be
3) That the market remains fully accessible to the community.
Parking can be a hassle and an irritation, but healthy food and a healthy local food system is vital to our well-being. Please do everything you can to see to it that the Hollywood Farmers' Market is preserved and can continue to do all the good work that it does for the City of Los Angeles.