The MLK Coalition, in conjunction with Urban Progressives
and Clean Sweep, is attending the Community Redevelopment Agency bi monthly
meeting on Thursday February 3, 2011 at 9:30 am. The purpose of the coalition
attending this meeting is to make a community inquiry about the expropriation
of CRA funds by Los Angeles
officials in order to prevent the funds from being seized by the State. The
address is 1200 West Seventh
Street. The MLK Coalition slogan is “$52 million could stop
all foreclosures and help
to end homelessness in LA – or build a parking lot for a
billionaire’s museum. Where do you think the money should go?”
The question asked by Nyabingi Kuti, president of the Urban Progressives and a leader in the Martin Luther King Coalition, in this press release announcement goes to the heart of the controversy over the CRA in Los Angeles and across the state.
It’s why LA Clean Sweep, the South Central Farmers and others from across the city are coming together to challenge the CRA Commission’s plan lock up nearly $1 billion in taxpayer money in defiance of Gov. Jerry Brown’s efforts to restore California’s financial stability partly by abolishing all CRAs.
The trigger for many was the CRA’s approval two weeks ago of $52 million to build a garage for billionaire Eli Broad’s art museum as part of his vision for Grand Avenue and Bunker Hill — the most valuable and heavily subsidized properties in LA.
What Kuti and others have trouble understanding is how such a lavish gift achieves the CRA’s mission of improving the quality of people’s lives in blighted areas.
They see blight in much of South LA and East LA and many other areas of the city where CRA money could be and should be spent to keep people from becoming homeless, or putting people without homes into homes, or even creating homeowners out of tenants.
Those actions would provide real public benefits in a way a garage on Bunker Hill does not.
The same is true about most the $1 billion the CRA is trying to lock up: Are the benefits to the public so great that they justify gifts of taxpayer money to private interests?
On Jan. 14, the commission in a special meeting with just 24 hours notice approved negotiating an agreement with the city to protect its funding from the governor’s proposal — a meeting that was challenged on multiple grounds as being illegal in violation of the state open meeting law.
So the issue is back on the CRA Commission’s agenda Thursday, presumably to clear the legal cloud over its action.
This is a chance for the public to take a stand against the folly of City Hall’s policies that enrich the rich at the expense of the poor, of working people of all classes, races and regions.
If the people of Egypt can risk their lives to defy an authoritarian dictatorship, it doesn’t seem too much to ask of people in LA to show up at a meeting to condemn City Hall’s corruption and neglect of the interests of people all over the city.
If you care about the future of LA, you’ll show up at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at 1200 W. 7th St. and make your voice heard.