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Open Letter to Mayor Villaraigosa

by Spirit of Venice Saturday, Apr. 07, 2007 at 10:38 AM

We, the undersigned, demand the immediate resignation of Mark Brown from the office of the City Attorney. Mark Brown (Bar # 60683), during the course of the last three years, has taken a central role in writing ordinances that unfairly oppress and harass hardworking people of the city of Los Angeles.

Open Letter to Mayor...
villaraigosa-web.jpg, image/jpeg, 399x283

We, the undersigned, demand the immediate resignation of Mark Brown from the office of the City Attorney. Mark Brown (Bar # 60683), during the course of the last three years, has taken a central role in writing ordinances that unfairly oppress and harass hardworking people of the city of Los Angeles. Most recently, he has made great attempts to destroy the Venice Beach Boardwalk, which is a historic site for the gathering of artists, performers and activists as a “free speech zone,” as well as a highly attended tourist destination. In the wake of the first lottery system, passed by the city council in October 2004, most of what remained on the Boardwalk was commercial vending – the very opposite of what the city should advocate. The outcome was unacceptable. Mark Brown's law literally chased away the artists and activists and made the Boardwalk a breeding ground for commercial vending. In his second attempt – to “fix” the nightmare he had created – he and his associates rewrote the ordinance with only minor adjustments that do not meet the expectations of first amendment advocates. He has placed limitations on “noise,” yet unequally enforces them – building developers make far more noise in construction than any performer ever could. In addition, outspoken activists are being ticketed for displaying political language and simply for standing outside the “regulated” lines! We can no longer shout our messages to the public! All of these are citable offences! Is Venice Beach a prison or a “free speech zone?” At this point, it is hard to decipher the difference.

In a public forum about the Venice Beach ordinance, Mark Brown professed to the crowd that he has never been to Venice Beach and has no desire to ever come (we can provide video documentation if necessary). We, the concerned citizens of the Venice Beach Boardwalk, demand to know how a person with such a perspective could attain the position of writing a law that affects the outcome of the very community he despises. We hold Mark Brown directly accountable for wasting city resources by harassing people who are working hard to make an honest living

We hold him directly accountable for damaging and potentially destroying one of the city of Los Angeles' most exciting historic locations. We believe that Mark Brown's actions and intentions speak to what is evil about the political process. When he and his associates first began writing the ordinances, the Venice Beach vendors and supporters asked repeatedly in front of the city council, with you as a council member and witness, to engage in mediation instead of regulation of the Boardwalk. No mediation was ever sought out! No compromises were ever made! While dialogue and public forums were offered, not one of the suggestions made by the Venice Beach vendors was taken seriously and implemented into the ordinance. Instead, Mark Brown spearheaded an agenda to bring down the Venice Beach Boardwalk. There is a growing contradiction between the opinions of the people and those with legal authority. If this is encouraged, it will certainly cast a dark shadow over your administration. This contradiction speaks loudly to who the law benefits. We believe that Mark Brown is working in the interests of a few developers who would like to destroy the Venice Beach Boardwalk, while at the same time harassing some of the most outspoken and politically active citizens in order to attain this very end. Mayor Villaraigosa, we supported you in your election campaign, and we now demand that you support us in bringing an end to Mark Brown's reign of terror against the Venice Beach Boardwalk.
Sincerely, The Spirit of Venice

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