Posts Tagged ‘Bill Rosendahl’

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice — spiritofvenice.net

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bill Rosendahl

From Councilman Rosendahl:

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, we have a crisis of homelessness in this nation, and it is particularly acute in Los Angeles and in Venice. In recent weeks, with encampments in Venice growing, the community dialogue has become heated. Some people have spread distorted or false information, and then demanded action based upon such misinformation, complicating the City’s efforts to find solutions to our shared problems.

In order to clear the air, share accurate information, and shed some light, my staff has compiled a FAQ (frequently asked questions) about the situation:

What is going on with the encampments in Venice?

Over the past year, encampments of people in bedrolls, tents, or cardboard boxes began to proliferate in Venice, mostly along Ocean Front Walk. Many of the people were down on their luck, and homeless. Fortunately, many of them availed themselves of the Emergency Winter Shelter program and connected with social service programs. Others were younger transients, living “off the grid” and on the streets. Still others suffered from alcoholism, addiction, or mental illness; many refused social services that provide housing and treatment.

In February, when the Los Angeles Police Department and the Department of Recreation & Parks began enforcing a curfew at Venice Beach, a number of encampments began springing up on or around Third Avenue in Venice, mostly between Sunset and Rose Avenues. A few encampments have recently emerged on the median of Venice Boulevard, near the Abbot Kinney Memorial Library.

The City has sought to strike a balanced approach: provide help to those who need and want it – and to enforce all applicable laws to protect quality of life.

What is the City doing about the encampments?

Despite the claims of certain activists, the City has taken consistent, strong and multiple measures to deal with the encampments. We have stepped up law enforcement with the LAPD. We have increased street cleanings with the Bureau of Street Services and other agencies. We have increased social services through People Assisting the Homeless and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA).

What has LAPD done?

Under the supervision of Captain Jon Peters and his staff, the LAPD’s approach has been tough but measured, aggressive yet fair. Since February, officers have made more than 100 arrests for a variety of offenses, from outstanding warrants to drug charges to violent crime. LAPD is working closely with city prosecutors to ensure cases are as strong as possible to stand up in court.

What sort of clean-ups have been conducted?

The City has directed multiple and repeated clean-ups of the Third Avenue area, removing trash and abandoned materials, disposing of and cleaning up after human waste, and removing bulky item materials. The most recent large-scale clean-up was conducted Friday, April 27. Further clean-ups will happen, and on a regular basis.

So, why are so many people still sleeping on Third Avenue, and why is it such a mess?

Due to two court cases, the Jones case and the Lavan case, the City’s ability to enforce its laws has been significantly restricted:

On October 15, 2007, the City entered into a legally binding settlement, agreeing not to enforce the law prohibiting sleeping on the streets, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. until it builds 1,250 units of permanent supportive housing. The City entered this agreement after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Lawyers Guild (Jones v. City of Los Angeles), found that the law against sleeping on the streets amounted to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the 8th Amendment, noting there were thousands more homeless people in L.A. County than there were shelter beds. This applies citywide, meaning it is currently lawful for people to sleep on the sidewalks at night.

In a separate case, Lavan v. City of Los Angeles, last year, ACLU attorney Carol Sobel, the Los Angeles Community Action Network, and the Los Angeles Catholic Worker obtained a restraining order, prohibiting the City from seizing or destroying property from homeless camps in downtown’s Skid Row. This means the City can only remove abandoned property. If someone claims that items in the streets are their personal belongings, the City cannot remove those items without risk of legal repercussions. The City is currently appealing this decision.

I heard the City has built enough beds to satisfy the Jones settlement and you can make it illegal to sleep on the streets again. True or false?

That is not true — yet. The settlement says the City “will keep this policy in effect and operate according to this policy until an additional 1250 units of permanent supportive housing are constructed within the City of Los Angeles, at least 50 per cent of which are located in Skid Row and/or greater downtown Los Angeles.” According to the Los Angeles Housing Department, the City needs to construct several hundred more units before it meets the requirements of the settlement.

The Lavan case does not apply in Venice, so why are the streets not cleaned up?

Many of the same people who won the Lavan injunction downtown are seeking to make it apply citywide, and are preparing legal action against the City to accomplish that. Overly aggressive action could backfire, and make it harder to clean up encampments. The City Attorney’s office is strongly cautioning Bureau of Street Services to proceed carefully, and has crafted guidelines and a protocol to make sure clean-ups in Venice and other areas of the City do not have unforeseen legal complications, including a citywide injunction against removing encampments.

So, what CAN the City do?

The LAPD can and will continue to enforce existing laws. Sleeping on the sidewalks is not permitted during the day. Blocking the sidewalks and impeding the public right of way is not permitted.

The City will also conduct periodic clean-ups of the encampment areas, using a protocol being devised by the City Attorney’s office. We will have more flexibility in removing materials from or near encampments if those sleeping on the streets have a safe and secure place to store their belongings.

I am also pleased to report that County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has agreed to help assign teams of personnel from the Department of Mental Health to work with local social service providers to assist those living in encampments. A similar outreach program in Westchester Park a few weeks ago was very successful.

Why is the City allowing people to operate feeding programs on Venice Beach?

The Ninth Circuit Court has ruled that people or organizations have a First Amendment right to distribute free food. During litigation over the assignment and regulation of public space on Venice Beach’s Ocean Front Walk, the court insisted that the City set aside two spaces on Ocean Front Walk for food distribution. We are legally required to do that, and I support programs that feed hungry people during one of the worst economic recessions in our nation’s history.

What has the Councilman done about homelessness?

Since taking office in 2005, finding solutions to homelessness has been my passion. Some of my specific actions include:

* Securing funds to hire PATH, which has found permanent housing for more than 30 individuals who were living in their cars or RVs in Venice.
* Securing funding last year for the only early emergency winter shelter program in the county. Expanded the number of beds, setting some aside especially for homeless youth.
* Providing $400,000 in federal block grant monies so Upward Bound House could convert a motel on the Culver City/Mar Vista border into housing for homeless families.
* Supporting New Directions, Inc. in converting a house in Del Rey into a home for returning veterans of Iraq and Aghanistan.
* Joining Santa Monica Councilman Bobby Shriver in repeatedly lobbying the VA and the federal government to step up efforts to house homeless vets on the VA’s West LA campus.
* Supporting and securing nearly $1 million in federal block grant funds for the 1736 Family Crisis Center, which operates a youth shelter project for at-risk, runaway, and homeless adolescents.
* Supporting an affordable senior housing project in Del Rey, being built by developer Tom Safran.
* Supporting, allocating funds to, and finding a location for Stand up for Kids, which provides food, clothing and support to runaway and homeless young people.
* Securing $750,000 for Venice Community Housing Corporation’s permanent supportive housing facility at 15 Horizon.

What else do you plan on doing about homelessness?

I am currently working with LAHSA and civic-minded local residents to identify a location and funding for an emergency transitional housing facility on the Westside. I am also encouraging proposals from private and non-profit developers to build permanent supportive or affordable housing in the 11th District.

I keep hearing that the LAPD feels there is much more they can do to make our neighborhoods cleaner and safer and crack down on the encampments – but that you are forbidding them from doing so.

This is absolutely, patently false – and has been refuted, repeatedly, by Chief Charlie Beck and Captain Peters. My office and I vigorously support and encourage the LAPD to enforce the law. Captain Peters and I are in contact almost daily (and sometimes several times per day). We consider each other to be partners. I support him, his team, and his smart, measured enforcement of the law. Since February, LAPD has made more than 100 arrests or citations on Third Avenue. I’ve fought for more resources and flexibility for Captain Peters and his team, and he and Chief Beck will confirm that.

Is there anything else the public can do to help the LAPD?

Yes. Promptly reporting all crime to the LAPD is paramount. Property owners near encampments can also work with LAPD and install security cameras with recording devices. LAPD is also strongly encouraging residents to leave the enforcement to the LAPD and not take vigilante action.

What can you say about the angry feelings between Venetians over this issue?

We need less finger-pointing, less anger, and more of a cooperative spirit of good will. We cannot shout or accuse our way out of a problem; we need to work together, thoughtfully, as neighbors with a desire for a better community.

Addressing this problem requires a balanced approach. Some people insist we need more law enforcement. Others demand social services. We need both. We must secure public safety and preserve neighborhood quality of life – while respecting the law and the rights of people who do not have homes. We must help homeless people who need and want help – without enabling homelessness itself.

The question should not be: should we allow people to sleep on the streets? The question must be: how do we provide people housing, services, and shelter so no one has cause to sleep on the street?

Regards,

Bill

Advertisements

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice — spiritofvenice.net

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An interview on KPFK’s “Uprising” with Sonali Kolhatkar

Residents and activists in Venice beach say police are harassing community members and the homeless as a new wave of gentrification hits the city, best known for its eclectic beach-loving population. Last Wednesday dozens of homeless people lost their personal belongings when the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, in cooperation with the LA Police Department, raided a homeless encampment at Third Street between Rose and Sunset Avenues in Venice Beach. Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl said the city was conducting a “sanitation action” that was only meant to sweep up abandoned property.

The homeless disagree, and say their personal items, including prescription medications, wallets, and clothing, were indiscriminately collected and immediately dumped into garbage trucks. Adding to the outrage of the community is a feeling of betrayal, because police began directing the homeless to the Third Street encampment when the city began enforcing a no camping ordinance on the boardwalk, which displaced many homeless individuals. Venice residents from the Oakwood neighborhood and others also report an increase in community members being ticketed by police for small infractions, such as not having the fence around a home properly painted.

GUESTS: David Busch, an activist with the Spirit of Venice Coalition, Maria Fitzsimmons, and organizer with People Organized for Westside Renewal, or POWER, and Kendra Moore, a POWER leader and president of the Holiday Venice Tenant Action Committee Visit http://www.power-la.org for more information.

There will a direct action training in relation to the Venice area activism on April 14-15, 2012. For more information, visit http://www.99spring.com.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice — spiritofvenice.net

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CPRA To Office of City Attorney Concerning Take Over of Vera Davis Center

Vera Davis McClendon Youth and Family Center in Venice at 6th and California Ave.

To::  Mike Dundas, Deputy City Attorney
cc:   Kevin Regan, Assistant General Manager Parks and RECS
Herb Wesson, Janice Hahn -City Council members
Charlie Beck, LA Chief of Police
Olga Garay, Executive Director LA Cultural Affairs
Cliff Weiss, Spokesperson CDE

From: Rick Selan, Educational Advocate

Re:  Hahn -Wesson Motion Concerning Vera Davis Center ( March 18, 2011)

Dear Mr. Dundas,

The office of City Attorney Carmen Trutanich advised me today that CPRA’s are to be filed with you.I am concerned about the Hahn-Wesson Motion of 3-18-11 concerning the takeover of the Vera Davis McClendon Center by LA Cultural Affairs as CDD can no longer afford to support it.

Below, I will include History so your office may follow the dots.

Under a Public Records Request, please provide me:

On April 12, 2011, this advocate and a member of VNC were told by Executive Director of Cultural Affairs Olga Garry that she decided to assist Council Member Rosendahl to allow the Vera Davis Center to become an additional Family Source Center to be included with the 14 sites already selected funded by Cultural Affairs as Family Source Centers. Apparently the funds to cover Vera Davis will come from the sum already allotted for the 14 sites that were previously selected. A meeting was set up with Ms. Garay, her Assistant Executive Director Saul Romo, and Bill Rosendahl Deputy Arturo Pina.

According to Ms. Garay, at this meeting, Deputy Pina stated:  “The goal was to permit  Venice Arts  to take over the management of the Vera Davis Center”. [This conversation is on tape]

On Tuesday, April 26,2011, at a VNC meeting, which was recorded, upon being questioned, Mr. Pina denied ever making that statement that Ms. Garay made very clear to both myself and the VNC Board member. Mr. Romo stated, “He could not recall any discussion.”

To create more chaos, outside the VNC Meeting, VNC Member and former VNC President Mike Newhouse, who may or may not be the attorney for
VNC and/or Venice Arts, informed  a group outside during the meeting that it was not CD11 that chose the Venice Arts group to take over the Vera Davis Center but it was your office, the Office of the City Attorney, that chose the Venice Arts Group under Lynn Warshavsky, Executive Director.

1. Which department or city office chose the Venice Arts to take over the Vera Davis Center in Venice ?

2. What were the qualifications this department used to make this determination and please mail, e-mail, or fax a copy of the blank form?

3. While CD11, CDD, and Cultural Affairs continue to state no RFP has been selected, why does Cultural Affairs and Attorney Newhouse make statements about the RFP already being chosen?

4. If in fact a RFP was not chosen, where might one obtain an application to apply for the RFP for the Vera Davis Center ?

Please provide clarity to a “less than clear” community.

In unity for accountability,
Rick Selan

History on this topic can be found at:  https://spiritofvenice.wordpress.com/oakwood/

WEBSITE: www.orgsites.com/ca/wd!
PHONE: (310) 845-6034
——————————————

PLEASE HELP US SPREAD THIS VIA FACEBOOK, MYSPACE, TWITTER…

PLEASE MAKE A CALL TO STOP LOS ANGELES: USA’S NEWEST POLICE ATTACKS ON THE POOR AND HOMELESS

Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villariagosa   (213) 978-0721
Venice Area Councilman, Bill Rosendhal   (213) 473-7011
LAPD Police Chief, Charles Beck              (213) 485-3202

PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION WHICH WILL SEND EMAILS TO OUR LOCAL OFFICIALS, POLIC OFFICERS AND THE MAYOR: STOP ATTACKING RV DWELLERS IN VENICE

These days, Los Angeles, USA , is seeing the worst attacks on homeless people in the city since the Skid Row/Bratton “Broken Windows” attacks in 2003. Scores of low-income people in the Venice Beach area recently have had their last affprdable homes, their R.V.s, seized –making them homeless.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-homeless-parking-20101212,0,2846867.story

Hundreds more homeless people have been arrested here in recent months.

Hundreds more are fleeing in fear.

Meanwhile, “shelters” in Los Angeles are jammed, often-filthy, inhumane, and have long-been more threatening than L.A’s jails. Nobody wants to go to them. “Affordable housing,” in Los Angeles, is now simply non-existent: as absurd government policies continue to merely prop real-estate prices sky-high for the banks –and to facilitate their on-going plans of home robbing foreclosure waves –since the economic crash.

—  L.A.’s jobs have vanished –unless you want to spend your days rummaging through dumpsters for bottles and cans.

—  Or drive a battered old truck around –looking all day for cast-off cardboard.

Yet, instead of it’s sold-out politicians, L.A. can always find a scapegoat in the homeless:

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/video?id=7835662

L.A’s Venice Beach Boardwalk is still L.A.’s number one tourist draw. And it is known world-wide for its poor and creative artists.

“Phase One..” of LA City Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s program is, so far, just to kick us all out; regardless of our status here as a historic and peaceful part of the community –and there has yet to be a single place identified for the area’s 3,000 homeless and RV dwellers to go; even as arrests and towings under Rosendahl have skyrocketed since this hate-campaign he’s exploiting against L.A.’s Venice Beach homeless began.

These politicians –are purposefully building their oceanside enclaves for California’s exclusive rich: and walling them off to outside visitors, even as the rest of California crumbles in economic ruin.

Hippies, Beatniks, Beats and poor people living in community alongside everybody are what made Venice Beach –this special area –famous.

Now they are kicking us out –even as it is leading to more homeless deaths.

If you’d like to do something, just please make one CALL and simply say:

” Three homeless deaths in 2 months is enough, Mayor Villariagosa; These hundreds of people are not criminals –and tell Bill Rosendahl to quit saying they are. Mayor, you have the power to give the homeless and those in R.V.s in Venice a Safe Zone for the Holidays. Do it.”

Bill could’ve said something about safe zones –but not even that seems to be on his mind these days. Some of us will march again next Saturday –and hopefully with a bunch more new folks now.

We want to establish a homeless-run community in Venice to stop these attacks –But before we poor can mobilize to get affordable housing –But we need a “Safe Zone” in Venice from LAPD arrests and seizures –now!

——————————————–

Thanks for your help.

Sincerely,
David Busch
www.orgsites.com/ca/wd!
(310) 845-6034

———————————————

Samples of the out of control rhetoric against homeless people:
http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2010/07/photoshop_rv_parking_photo.php
http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2010/09/venice_rv_parking_dump.php

A group of Venice homeless advocates met with Councilman Bill Rosendahl on Thursday, December 9, 2010 to discuss abuse of homeless by LAPD

A group of Venice homeless advocates met with Councilman Bill Rosendahl on Thursday, December 9, 2010 to discuss abuse of homeless by LAPD


A small group representing persons defined as homeless, mostly Venice Beach Artists, along with members of the housed community met with Bill Rosendahl yesterday to discuss the impact of the 20+ LAPD Officers on the targeted population, encouraging effective community based solutions, reminding the representatives of the City of LA that the face of homelessness in Venice has been unfairly represented in public forums and in the media, and the ongoing campaign to “police homeless” is not nor will ever be a solution.

On Saturday, beginning at noon, in the Venice circle (Windward and Main) a group will join together passing through Venice hot spots, to raise awareness and bring a face to homelessness. Please join in to stand united, for Venice is an inclusive community, and civil rights for every individual matters.

Lisa Green, Venice Artist
Green Party of Los Angeles, Co-Chair
http://cagreens.org/lacounty
Love is the strongest power in the universe

Darlene Knoll has lived in her RV on the street for the past 8 years. She has been harassed and intimidated by LAPD to the point that she sought sanctuary in a church parking lot, afraid to be on the street. Darlene has become an activist, trying to protect the homeless in Venice but she is afraid of being targeted by the new LAPD Task Force that has been towing vehicles and arresting their owners.

Happy Holidaze:

Just a quick word to let you know there’s new news & views on the SOV website:

  • An RV Dweller’s Perspective – He may live in his vehicle, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a good Venice neighbor
  • Video: Assistant City Attorney, Mark Brown, spoke with members of the Venice Boardwalk Ocean Front Walk Task Forcemeeting on Wednesday, Nov 10, 2010
  • VNC Town Hall on December 2nd!
  • …and more at: http://www.spiritofvenice.net

    Peace,
    SOV

    Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice
    http://www.spiritofvenice.net