Even as residents of several neighborhoods gather at noon Saturday (Parks-Flyer.pdf) at Hazard Recreation Center to protest plans to close their parks as they have their libraries, City Hall is moving toward plastering city parks with advertising signs of all types.
The mastermind of thie plan to commercialize playgrounds as if kids are not bombarded enough with advertising is retire Latham & Watkins attorney Barry Sanders, who doubles as head of the Parks Commission and its support group, the LA Parks Foundation.
Sanders’ role is exposed on KCET’s SoCal Connected, which airs tonight at 8:30 and again Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m.
The devastating story called “Show Me the Money” reported by Brian Rooney and produced by Karen Foshay relies on numerous interviews and city documents obtained under the California Public Records Act.
Sanders — in his zeal to save the parks by any means necessary — appears to have lost his moral compass in his obtuse inability to see why anyone would question turning parkland for play and nature into a school for a life of hyper-consumerism.
He called on his pals at his old firm to come up with a ruse that tramples on a variety of laws by calling the ads “government speech” — a ruse that is being examined by the City Attorney’s office, which in October warned what Sanders was doing is illegal.
Sanders has gone so far as to post a rate card for the ads — a word he refuses to use — at the Parks Foundation website.
Don’t miss this. It goes to the heart of the sickness that has infected City Hall which will do anything rather than face the harsh truth that the cost of wages and pensions is no longer affordable. You can watch the show online and read the documents on which it is based.