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1st Amendemtn Violations on Venice Boardwalk

by Barbara Peck Tuesday, Jun. 21, 2005 at 8:40 AM

A Complaint Filed with the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission on Wednsday, June 15, 2005 re: Cindy Miscikowski's Breaches

How did DAMAGE or INJURY occur?:

With respect to: Los Angeles City Charter Sec. 215. Oath of Office, Los Angeles City Government Ethics Ordinance: Sec 45.5.5, and LAMC 42.15 I do hereby declare the following to be true:

1) That L.A. City Council Member Cindy Miscikowski has violated her Oath of Office by failing to uphold the Constitution of the United States and Article 1 Sec.2 of the California State Constitution by sponsoring, then voting to amend, LAMC 42.15 (ORDINANCE NO. 176270) (hereinafter referred to as "Ordinance") on October 27, 2005 and, subsequently enforcing said Ordinance from March 1st, 2005 onwards; thereby causing irreparable harm to the Constitutional rights of both citizens and visitors by restricting *protected public free speech on the west side of Ocean Front Walk (hereinafter referred to as the “Free Speech Zone.”) *(CA Superior Court Case No SC009730, Alliance for Survival, Jerry Rubin et al v L.A.City Council & LAPD; Perry v. LAPD; U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit; Case No. 96-55545)

2) That the policy codified in the Ordinance violates citizens’ rights to free expression as guaranteed by the First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and Article 1, sec. 2 of the California Constitution.

3) That L.A. City Council Member Cindy Miscikowski failed to protect, defend and uphold the original Ordinance (pre-October 27, 2004) in the Free Speech Zone and the First Amendment Right to free speech embodied therein. And that by:

• neglecting to validate authentic free speech 'vendors' ie. nonprofits, churches, artists, etc.

• neglecting to remove commercial vending ie. no intrinsic free speech message

• neglecting to regulate size of displays ie. oversized and extended displays

Cindy Miscikowski allowed violations of the original Ordinance to proliferate and accumulate, leading to over-congestion and conflict in the Free Speech Zone.

3) That, by so doing the above, Council Member Cindy Miscikowski behaved unethically and is in violation of L.A. City Ethics Ordinance sec. 45.5.5 (Misuse of City Position or Resources) by engaging in activities that are unconstitutional and not a proper performance of her City duties. In that: Constitutional Rights have been restricted and valuable City resources have been expended in her time-consuming and costly attempts to enforce the Ordinance in the Free Speech Zone.

4) That Council Member Cindy Miscikowski, as a City official, is charged with the responsibility of making the decisions that shape our government and affect the people of Los Angeles and that she did not give due time nor consideration to the needs of the citizens of Los Angeles who are irreparably damaged by the enforcement of the Ordinance in the Free Speech Zone.

5) That Cindy Miscikowski has not acted in the best interests of the City: "persons in the public service shall not only be ever conscious that public service is a public trust but also shall be impartial and devoted to the best interests of the **City, and shall so act and conduct themselves, both outside and inside the City's service, as not to give occasion for distrust of their impartiality or of their devotion to the City's best interests." (Ethics Handbook for Los Angeles City Officials Pg. 12).

**The 'City' being defined as: "a large and densely populated urban area."

6) That Ocean Front Walk is a vital part of the City of Los Angeles. With its hundreds of thousands of visitors, both local and foreign, it makes jobs and revenue for the city. Since the enforcement of the Ordinance the west side of Ocean Front Walk has suffered the following harm:

(i) The “Spirit of Venice” has been compromised

(ii) Commercial vending has increased

(iii) LAPD activity spoils the ambiance and threatens residents and visitors alike

7) That I (and others) are suffering irreparable injury and are without a plain, speedy and adequate remedy, thereby rendering a preliminary and permanent injunction (in addition to money damages) appropriate in that:

(a) money damages may not adequately compensate me for the denial of my civil liberties;

(b) money damages for my injuries are extremely difficult to calculate and, given the nature of the Civil Rights violation in question, could be deemed 'priceless'

(c) if, as a result of Cindy Miscikowski's illegal conduct, the Ordinance continues to be enforced, a multiplicity of lawsuits will be required because the illegal conduct is continuous and ongoing.


Bill of Rights: Amendment 1: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Bill of Rights: Amendment 14:The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people

California Constitution: Article 1 Declaration of Rights Sec. 2 (a): Every person may freely speak, write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of this right. A law may not restrain or abridge liberty of speech or press.

Los Angeles City Charter Sec. 215. Oath of Office: "Every officer provided for in the Charter shall, before entering upon the discharge of the duties of office, take the following oath or affirmation: 'I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California and the Charter of the City of Los Angeles, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of (here inserting the name of the office) according to the best of my ability.'"

Los Angeles City Government Ethics Ordinance: Sec 45.5.5 Misuse of City Position and Resources: “A city official or employee engages in a prohibited use of his or her official position or prospective position when he or she engages in activities other than in the lawful and proper performance of the person's City duties."

Ethics Handbook for Los Angeles City Officials: "City officials are charged with the responsibility of making the decisions that shape our government and affect the people of Los Angeles."

Signed: _____________________________ Date: ______________



Abraham Butler - 221 Horizon Avenue, Venice, CA 90291

Diane Butler - 221 Horizon Avenue, Venice, CA 90291

Loni Butler - 221 Horizon Avenue, Venice, CA 90291

Bill Greenslade – 317 Vista Royale Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92211

Donna Kraft – 26 Park Avenue, Venice, CA 90291

Jerry Rubin – (310) 399-1000 (address unknown at this time)

Therese Dietlin - (address unknown at this time)

Signed: ___________________________________________ Date:_______________________

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