DowntownLA Neighborhood Council Board Meeting, Questions
At the April 1st 2003 Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council
(DLANC) meeting, (during public discussion) I asked three related
questions of Ms. Perry and Chief Bratton. They have not been answered
to my satisfaction.
Both Councilwoman Jan Perry and Chief William Bratton continue to
express concern for community input and cooperation, working with
the community as a team to solve crime and quality of life problems
for all the communities they serve. They both continue to meet with
I believe in their good faith efforts, but the questions remain:
1. If your administrations are so community-oriented, why was there
not more, or any, community input about the decision to put the
New Parker Center Plus at First and Alameda Streets? As soon as
we learned of the plans, many friends, residents, property and business-owners
began to try to get these plans changed. There still has been no
effort to hear the views of the community on this project.
With the present concerns about terrorist activity, it seems particularly
short-sighted to place a security and communication center in a
place where maintaining the safety of its' personnel would close
major thoroughfares and perhaps the Eastside Light rail. Emergency
egress would certainly be delayed by having train tracks on two
sides of the property.
The future plans for the old Parker Center site are also not publicly
discussed. This area seems ideal for the larger, new center. The
security of City Hall and Parker Center can be maintained together,
with street closures similar to the ones used presently- and at
a minimum of interference with local activity.
2. Why can we not get the Homeless encampment, Brattonburg, removed
from under the 4th Street Bridge? Our community is suffering from
a dramatic increase in criminal activity. We had, at one time, fenced
the area under the bridge. This was done as suggested by LAPD after
community discussions. Film crews damaged the fencing and LAPD had
the "dangerous" leftovers removed. The community expressed its'
desires and paid for the security and safety. There were no hearings
to remove our fence- or to allow film crews into the area in the
Meetings with CPAB and SLOs have only produced more meetings. The
4 arrests (for narcotics) are feeble effort when 200+ people are
committing crimes. Graffiti and garbage are not cleaned up. Prostitution,
drug sales, auto burglaries, and thefts continue. The health and
hygiene issues have not been solved by moving people from the sidewalks
into the dirt under a bridge. Any claims of improved conditions
are specious at best.
3. Why is there no administrative control of or community input
into the activities of film crews in our community? Where are the
avenues for redress of grievances? Where do we take our complaints?
Where is the enforcement of normal laws to protect the health, safety,
and rights of the community? Where are public hearings before we
are subjected to noise of explosions and gunfire, arbitrary street
closure, and dangerous artificial smokes or fogs?
The other questions were addressed, if not answered, by police officers
in discussion outside the meeting. There was no excuse offered for
the continued unnecessary and inconvenient intrusion of location
film crews into our community.
All three questions (and the unsatisfactory attempts to answer them)
seem to indicate a very loose relationship between words and actions.
It may be that in time we will see the closing of this gap. I sincerely
hope that an effort is made to act on rather than just speak to
these problems. I hope that you are really listening to the input
from our neighborhood and not some interests that will not have
to live with your decisions.
Thank you again for your attention.
Thomas A. Guiton