Posts Tagged ‘poor’

Capt. Peters Comforts RV Dweller Darlene Knoll

While LAPD officers hassle, harass and harangue the homeless on Venice beach, stealing their meager possessions and tossing them into sanitation trucks, as they did at 3:00 am on the morning of Friday, May 13, 2011 –LAPD Captain Peters appears to have a soft spot for Darlene Knoll, a long-time Venice resident RV dweller.

A disabled paraplegic artist of color was ordered to get up and leave the area. As he struggled to climb into his wheelchair, his lifeless legs dragging on the ground, the LAPD officer told him that if he didn’t move faster he would confiscate all his possessions. The artist continued to struggle but was unable to comply with the officer’s demands quickly enough. He watched in despair as the officer STOLE his bag of painting materials (his very livelihood) and threw them into the waiting sanitation truck. 

While Peters leads the charge against people living in their vehicles and sleeping on the beach, he shows what appears to be a rare moment of sympathy and comfort to Darlene –who was threatened repeatedly with arrest by LAPD officers –for documenting the arrests of poor people and the towing of their vehicles during the police sweep of RVs in Venice over the 2010 Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season.

Abbott Kinney, Founder of Venice of America, July 4, 1905

More often than not, though, Capt. Peters dances to the tune of an elite group of Venice residents who call themselves “Venice Stakeholders Association (VSA)”; whose prime motive appears to be the gentrification of Venice and the destruction of the time-honored free “Spirit of Venice” that has drawn millions of visitors to Venice Beach, California, over the decades, since Abbott Kinney first created his visionary “Venice of America” city out of coastland marshes.

Back in the day, Venice was a place where people came from all over America and the world –to have fun, let off steam and express themselves, as in the case of prominent civil rights leader, feminist Susan B. Anthony; who is reported to have expressed her political views from the west side of Venice beach boardwalk in the area now known as the “Free Speech Zone”.   This tradition has continued to the present time, peaking in the 1990s when artists, entertainers, performers, religious, ideological and political “expressionists” proliferated in the Free Speech Zone.  In recent years the City of Los Angeles has succeeded in turning this once expressive Free Speech Zone into more of a swap meet ambiance by condoning vending of mass-produced trinkets and bric-a-brac that carry little or no intrinsic “free speech” message.

Venice Canals During the 1930s Oil Boom

The community’s tie to the story of the free speech zone continued into the 1930s; Venice property values depreciated dramatically when the oil boom hit the coastal area, continuing into the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

In the late 1950s and 1960s beats and hippies moved to Venice, congregating in coffee shops and low-cost housing. Another history was made, now firmly establishing a tradition of free expression that has carried over to present times.  Young travelers hitch hiked from all over America drawn to the creative freedom of Venice beach; Houseless people found a home on the beach; alternative lifestyle denizens, dubbed “rubber tramps”, parked their RVs and vans on public streets; displaying their artistic creations in the Free Speech Zone.  Long-time residents of Venice, originally drawn by the 1930’s oil boom and the subsequent low property values, learned to live side by side with their eclectic new mobile neighbors, establishing a relationship built upon tolerance and goodwill; further promoting the ambiance of expressive freedom that has historically made Venice what it is.

Venice thereby accommodated low-income and poor people for decades, while neighboring cities like Santa Monica and Marina Del Rey pushed development. Then, in 1976 the California Coastal Act was created –to protect over-development of California coastal areas, subsequently restricting rapid development in Venice, which had lagged behind its more affluent neighbors.  Consequently, Venice continued, through the 1970s and 1980s, to offer affordable accommodation to residents and travelers alike.

Moving forward into the 1990s, Venice continued to attract low-income residents and travelers, thanks to the California Coastal Commission that had created the Coastal Act — and this, together with the Mello Act, a California State Law that requires all development within the coastal zone (1 mile from the coast) to include affordable housing. In 1998, POWER member group Venice Community Housing Corporation, along with other neighborhood associations, sued the City of Los Angeles for not enforcing the Mello Act. In 2001, this group won a settlement –forcing local developers to either set aside 20% of their units as low-income housing or 10% of their units as very low-income housing.

Throuhout, the Venice tradition of serving low-income and poor people was sustained until approximately the year 2000; when the last oil well in Venice (1965-2000) was removed from the beach at Windward Avenue, and its monstrous decoy, the Venice pavilion, was demolished, opening the door to rapid development and gentrification of what had, until then, become a haven for low-income and poor people.

Fast forward now to the present time –as eager developers and corporate entities prepare for the final takeover of what many consider to be the last bastion of freedom on the west coast of California, and possibly the whole of the USA, Venice Beach.  The “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 gentrifiers to curtail these freedoms, aided by increased police numbers, activity and enforcement, are, today, threatening the very ambiance that makes Venice “Venice”.

Unsubstantiated claims of increased criminal activity in Venice, promoted by mainstream media –and those with a vested interest in gentrifying Venice –have unfairly portrayed the houseless community, young travelers, and people of color as the primary cause.  These houseless, young travelers and people of color, both resident and visitor alike, are now daily targeted by LAPD officers for selective enforcement scrutiny, resulting in an overflowing congestion of the Los Angeles courts and jails.  These houseless and vehicle dwellers are under constant threat of criminal prosecution as the City of Los Angeles continues its heartless persecution of the poor.

Go here to sign our petition:

LAPD: STOP YOUR NEWEST CAMPAIGN AGAINST L.A.’s HOMELESS – ILLEGALLY SEIZING THEIR POSSESSIONS

Many say, however, that Venice will always now be Venice.  And many of those are seen, today, to be taking new actions in that direction.

Their call –against the gentrifiers: Keep Venice Venice!

Diverse, Open and Free!!!

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

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

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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
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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!

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Thanks for your help.

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

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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

    July 13, 2010

    Mayor Villaraigosa sent the newly amended oversize vehicle ordinance back to the City Council and the drawing board with recommendations.

    See and download the letter here Oversize Vehicle Ordinace RWS letter (2010-07-13)

    For more go here:  http://www.spiritofvenice.net