imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Tell the NSA: StopWatching.US

Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles
link:

Farmers Fighting for South Central Again

by Leslie Radford Thursday, Aug. 04, 2011 at 7:01 AM
leslie@radiojustice.net

The Farmers defend the last vestige of the Farm against City and development. Join them Thursday morning, 8:00 a.m., at the Port of Los Angeles Administration Building, 425 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro, CA 90731

Farmers Fighting for...
rsz_1rsz_img_0036.jpg, image/jpeg, 512x384

Los Angeles, 1 August 2011—In Los Angeles, development and redevelopment drive local economics and politics: building things and burying things to build over them. The South Central Farm and its working class neighborhood are development news again, and again the City of Los Angeles seems determined to sacrifice the struggling residents' community to the churning gears of development.

City Councilmember Jan Perry has reversed the position she held when she negotiated the sale of the Farm and has announced that the neighborhood adjacent to the site of the South Central Farm does not need a proposed park. The South Central Farmers are organizing residents and gathering petition signatures in preparation for the Harbor Department's vote on the sale on Thursday.

Perry is pressuring the Harbor Commission and the City Council to sell the city's remaining 2.6-acre bit of the land at the site of the South Central Farm to developer Ralph Horowitz. Five years ago, while selling the South Central Farm out from under the residents, the City Council agreed with Perry to reserve the land for a community soccer field.

In March of this year, the Los Angeles City Council transferred the city's redevelopment funds to city coffers to protect them from a state budget that would eliminate redevelopment agencies, long viewed as a smoldering stew of insider profits and influence peddling. That put a $1 billion pool of money in the hands of Los Angeles City leaders to disperse to developers, just as candidates for 2013 city elections start on the circuit of seeking major campaign supporters.

Among the announced mayoral candidates is District 9 Councilmember Perry. Perry is notable for negotiating upscale downtown redevelopment, pushing the police to arrest her Skid Row constituents,, introducing a one-year moratorium on fast food to make room for expensive sit-down restaurants, and selling off the city-owned South Central Farm to Horowitz. The land lay fallow for five years. Perhaps predictably, it took just weeks after the city's transfer of redevelopment funds to its coffers that Horowitz was in escrow with a buyer for the 11.4 acres.

The Farm story is emblematic of a century of asphalting the City of Angels, the latest in a history of land grabs that include the Cornfields, Chavez Ravine, and the Ballona Wetlands. The South Central Farm, cultivated by low-income 9th District residents to feed their families, fell in 2006 to Perry's pressure to “develop” this last large tract of unbuilt land in the city. On behalf of the Los Angeles Harbor Department, the Los Angeles City Council, at Perry's insistence, sold all but about two and a half acres to developer Ralph Horowitz, reserving the set-aside for a community soccer field in honor of deceased community activist Juanita Tate.

When Horowitz posted an eviction notice on the Farm's chain link fence, hundreds of supporters occupied the Farm, and city residents, celebrities, and farmers from around the globe pressured the City Council to preserve the Farm. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa interceded between the Farmers and Horowitz until the developer declined a full-price offer from area non-profits to save the Farm. That chapter of the Farm, the subject of several documentaries, ended with sheriffs forcing Farm supporters off the land at gunpoint, arresting over forty of them, and rolling bulldozers across family plots as mothers and children clutched the fence in pain and anger.

Now Perry wants to revise the agreement she championed between the City Council and Horowitz in order to sell off the last vestige of the community's property, the soccer field set-aside. In an Associated Press story, the San Jose Mercury News reported on Friday that the anticipated buyer of the last vestige of the legendary acreage at 41st and S. Alameda Streets is a clothing manufacturer, and the manufacturer is requiring all 14 acres as a condition of sale. Perry is pulling political levers to see that Horowitz gets what his buyer needs to industrialize the land that once fed 350 families.

Selling the last of the community land

On August 4, the Harbor Department will consider approving sale of the soccer field land to the developer for $3.6 million at the behest of Perry and the City Attorney. If approved, consideration by the City Council will follow, and if the City Council agrees, the Central-Alameda neighborhood will have lost both its famous Farm and a soccer field. Perry wants to sell the soccer field and use the money for existing recreational facilities in her district. It is unclear whether the money will go to the Recreation and Parks Department that has jurisdiction over the land.

In the 2003 sale of the adjacent Farm land, at the apex of the real estate boom, the City sold Horowitz the land for something slightly more than $500,000 per acre. Today, with the real estate market in shambles and vacant warehouses littering Los Angeles' industrial and commercial zones, Horowitz has agreed to contribute close to $1.4 million per acre to Perry's district, roughly three times the rate he and the city negotiated in the initial deal at the height of the real estate boom.

Looming environmental impact

Over three decades, the city has systematically expanded truck and rail traffic next to the Central-Alameda neighborhood. Residents suffer from depreciated home values, impaired health, and noise and diesel pollution because of their proximity to the Alameda Corridor, a major truck route between the Los Angeles Harbor and downtown rail lines. Until it was demolished, the healthy food, healthy air, and healthy lifestyle of South Central Farm was a measure of tangible relief for impacted residents. The Farm became an international symbol of low-income residents creating their own environmental justice.

In 2006 in an L.A. Superior Court hearing challenging the sale of the Farm, Councilmember Perry testified that the soccer field would be a public benefit mitigating the loss of the Farm. NBC LA reports that now Perry has acknowledged the consequences of regional development on her residents, declaring that the soccer field is impractical area pollutants, citing an Environmental Impact Report. Even as she declares that the soccer field is no longer a public benefit, the Councilmember is angling for what may be thousands of trucks idling across the street from residents' homes and a few blocks from Nevin Avenue Elementary School.

The EIR is the result of community intervention. Three years ago, Horowitz drafted plans for a shipping center for clothing manufacturer and retailer Forever 21 that would have brought 1200 trucks daily into the neighborhood. The City Planning Commission issued a preliminary determination that the development plans had no significant environmental effects. Alarmed residents of the working class community, organized by the South Central Farmers Support Committee, collected thousands of signatures, packed a Planning Department meeting, and testified for hours in opposition. The Planning Commission reversed itself and required an Environmental Impact Report before the construction for shipping center could begin. Removing the planned park next to the industrial site would undoubtedly reduce some mitigation costs for the developer and the buyer, but it does nothing for the adjacent neighbors.

Earlier this month, the Mayor's office announced the formation of a Development Services Case Management Office to grease the wheels of large construction projects. Case managers will “be charged with settling any disputes that arise in the permit application process” according to KPCC 89.3 Radio. If the deal with Horowitz is handled by a Development Services Case Manager, Central-Alameda residents will likely be among the first thrown into the new system, presenting their concerns for their neighborhood's health and value to a city official charged with paving the way for developers.

Few neighborhoods could withstand the battery of economic and political pressures, from the sudden availability of redevelopment funds to jockeying for position in the next mayor's race, arrayed against the meager resources of Central-Alameda. But few neighborhoods have the resilience, determination, and pride of the folks who used to pick their vegetables just across the street, and few causes can generate the broad support and goodwill of the South Central Farmers. The Farmers are planning to throw their shoes into the cogs of the sale of the soccer field and halt City Hall's rush to redevelopment. They are seeking 10,000 signatures to do it. The question is whether the Harbor Department and the City Council will risk another public fight against the determination of the South Central Farmers merely to stoke the development machine with the last two and a half acres of the Farm.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Local News

Families Protest Abusive Foreclosure Practices of Wells Fargo Bank A26 10:37AM

How is CCSA's Ref Rodriguez hiding his billionaire and ideologue contributors? A21 12:08PM

What drives charter profiteer Ref Rodriguez? A21 12:04PM

Los Angeles Artist Threatens 40 Million Dollar Law Suit for Public Storage Illegal Auction A20 4:08PM

RAC-LA Community Center Grand Opening A20 1:44PM

KPFK and Pacifica- woes unrelenting... A19 4:20PM

RAC-LA Community Center Badly Needs Your Support A14 10:09PM

Meet Green elected school board members, Sunday, March 29 in LA - 4pm M26 2:36AM

Californians Shame Regulators For Teaching Big Oil How To Skirt Law and Pollute Our Water M25 5:28PM

Next "Star Wars" to score in Los Angeles for First Time in Franchise History M25 10:43AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Margaret Sommers - Public Storage's "CUNT OF THE YEAR" M23 5:09PM

Memorial Day Dishonor and Disgrace M23 12:13PM

Russians Traveling Abroad Risk Lawless US Abduction M23 9:51AM

Obama Supports Nuclear Proliferation, Opposes Disarmament M23 7:25AM

Global March Against Monsanto Day M23 2:44AM

Endless Nakba M22 11:37AM

Jail torture trick M22 8:56AM

Obama's War on Yemen Rages M22 7:02AM

Heading Toward Financial Maidan in Ukraine? M22 4:01AM

The Shortwave Report 05/22/15 Listen Globally! M21 5:25PM

Mad men of government driving good men to distraction M21 3:13PM

Ukraine Provoking Confrontation with Russia M21 11:17AM

Saudi Arabia: Headed Toward Becoming Nuclear Armed and Dangerous? M21 7:27AM

Foreclosure Victims Occupy Senate Stump Speech of Kamala Harris M21 4:58AM

Israeli Defense Minister Threatens to Nuke Iran M21 2:31AM

Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme ) M20 11:17PM

Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme ) M20 11:04PM

Next Generation Climate Justice Action Camp Aug 4-8, 2015 M20 3:53PM

Kiev to Prosecute Two Russian Nationals As Terrorists M20 9:43AM

Kiev Reneges On Its Debt Obligations M20 9:14AM

Ukraine: A Cancer in Europe's Heartland M20 5:05AM

‘Remember al Nakba,’ too Israel celebrates its ‘Independence Day’ in May M19 6:56PM

Rewriting the Rules for the American Economy M19 4:46PM

Demand The Permanent Closure Of A Taxpayer Funded "Meat Animal" Research Center in Nebrask M19 1:34PM

Netanyahu Appoints Hardline Peace Negotiator M19 10:32AM

Video: Humans Need Not Apply, 15 min M19 6:41AM

UK Whistleblower Says Britain's Nuclear Deterrent a Disaster Waiting to Happen M19 6:36AM

Washington Wants War on Donbass M19 4:25AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy