Posted: January 3, 2012 in Gentrification
Tags: , , , , ,

New 6ft high fence replaces old 4ft high fence at north end of Oakwood Park close to the benches.
NOTE: entrance gate at corner is locked shut

First let me start by saying that due to the closure of the entrances of Oakwood Park on 7th and Broadway and Oakwood and Broadway I have not been able to get any stories about the benches because sadly enough the great gentlemen who sit and play dominoes and talk have not been utilizing the park at all (Thank you Lizka Mendoza Oakwood Park Director and LA City Parks and Recreation).

“The park bench area has been dead, I will repeat the park bench area has been dead!”  Oakwood park benches  that are suppose to be vibrant and alive with people utilizing it for fun, and accessible to all human beings has been systematically cut off from the men and women and children, who enjoy sitting and playing dominoes and having birthday parties completely.

I think it is disheartening to ride/walk  by at various times of the day and not see anyone sitting on the park benches  because the entrances where people are suppose to enter and exit have been ‘fenced off completely ‘ and everyone who sits and plays and used the benches are asking “Why?”  They have been given various excuses of why the entrances have been closed and quote “Moved” but the insensitivity of the Park Director Lizka Mendoza and LA City Parks and Recreation for there decision to do such and heinous act to the people of Venice. Quiet and serene is not what a park is to offer nor should anyone who has common sense want that, but when the LA City Parks and Recreation  decision/staff management team  make this such a personal attack on those who utilize the benches on a daily basis, there must be action and we all must speak out against the unjustness that is occurring as I write this email.

The timing that the fencing off of the park entrances took place was strategic and well thought out,  and the reason it was done was to once again hurt those who utilize it for recreational purposes.  I can say this you cannot shut down forward movement and you will not stop the process of saving the Oakwood benches  from those who want its demise to quickly come about. The fact that ‘human beings’ have been cut off from utilizing the benches on a daily basis has been stopped for over ten days is only a deterrent for a moment.

I am requesting that all of us write a letter to the Lizka Mendoza park director ( and LA Parks and Recreations RAP ( board and Shoreline district supervisors ( and ) and let them know that we the people of Venice want what is fair for the people of Venice who utilize the park benches for recreational purposes. Open the entrances and exits as they were previously ASAP!  The park should be accessible to all people including handicapped and disabled.

I will get the stories of the park benches but this must be dealt with first and foremost.

  1. my god i was feeling proud to be black in Oakwood park area, and it felt wonderful to see all the togetherness of the community at birthdays, picnics, and all other recognized celebrations or losses. To pass by the park to take my grandchildren to school and see the early morning people enjoying a game of dominoes and conversing with one another and laughing was warming.My seventeen year old daughters even volunteered this last summer to coach small children at cheer leading at the park for the football games. To take this leisure pleasure away from the community and cage it in is sending a serious message to all people of color …….Keep Out!….with all its 6ft tall fences,and closed off entrances,and now there’s talks of moving the picnic tables NO. NO this is not progress at all its a crowding out , a pushing back of people. Take Take Take. dog parks even have more openness. Seems like the neighborhood cant even occupy their own park in Peace.


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