Hooray for Councilman Tom LaBonge — he’s heeded the cry of the city, given into his heart and declared his commitment to protect L.A.’s greatest historical-cultural asset from the kind of trashy developments that are destroying so many of the our neighborhoods.
A lot of people have been worried that LaBonge had lost his way and was stooging for the greedy special interests who don’t give a damn about L.A. but he sent out a mass mailing this week to the public, his colleagues on the City Council and, most importantly to the mayor, asserting his own values and his independence of thought..
Of course, there are questions about the details and nuances and especially his commitment to preserve the Southwest Museum as a living museum and not let it be destroyed by the Autry Natonal Center which has yet to prove itself financially viable or respectful of the history, culture or art of the West.
But here’s what Tom had to say about keeping Griffith park “a park for the people” so you can judge for yourself:
Thank you for your recent communication concerning historic-cultural designation for Griffith Park. All of us share a
great love for what I consider this city’s most treasured and greatest gift, Griffith Park.
Currently, the City’s Cultural Heritage Commission has taken this historical designation under consideration. They will be
making a recommendation that, once approved, will be forwarded to the City Council for deliberation.
I have encouraged the Commission staff to have a thoughtful discussion with Department of Recreation and Parks staff to
interpret exactly what a historic designation would mean to the park and its operation. I have always been a proponent of
preservation. It was my idea to apply for historic designation for the Griffith Observatory in 1976. I want to make sure
other buildings, like the Greek Theater, get their designation to add to the nine existing historic sites in the park.
Additionally, the second and most current draft of the updated Griffith Park Master Plan will be reviewed soon. I want to make sure that historic designation would not conflict with the Master Plan when it’s adopted.
Griffith Park is currently more than 4,218 acres: One of my major goals is to expand the park to the west, especially the
area near Cahuenga Peak and the Hollywood sign. Additionally, I want to connect the park to the Los Angeles River and
There’s a lot of misinformation out there. I hike to Mount Hollywood every morning and there have been fliers stapled to trees accusing me of supporting development in the park. I do not endorse any development plans in the park. All of the items mentioned in the emails are things I rejected years ago when I opposed the first draft of the Master Plan. That is why I formed the working group to create the second draft.
If you would like to hike with me to discuss this further, please call me at my office at (213)485-3337. Additionally, on Tuesday, September 23 at 4 p.m., I will lead a tour of the park by van for all interested parties. On that same date, I will lead a hike to Mt. Hollywood from the Fall Equinox SunsetHike. See attached flyer.
I am honored to serve this City and protect and enhance Griffith Park. My primary objective is to do what Colonel Griffith Jenkins Griffith wanted: to keep Griffith Park a park for the people.
cc: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
All Council Members