On Monday April 18th, the LA Department of City Planning tried to hold an “invitation only” meeting with mostly developers, real estate agents, architects and lawyers who make money displacing the lowest income people from Venice and destroying our unique, diverse character and history.
The meeting was supposed to discuss the Venice Local Coastal Program (LCP), the land use plan the City received a grant from the Coastal Commission to develop. This plan, once approved, will govern most Coastal Development Permits in Venice. In other words, what’s in the LCP will decide the future of Venice.
Not a single Venice renter, displaced resident, unhoused person, or low-income person invited. There were a few progressive allies in the room, but it’s not fair to us or them that they should be expected to speak for all of us, especially when they don’t experience gentrification the way we experience it.
Needless to say, we invited ourselves in, with banners that said “Venice Not 4 Sale” and “Gentrification is Racism” to add to the City’s multi-colored maps of our neighborhood. We brought TV cameras, too!
At first they didn’t know how to react, so they let us sign in, grab nametags, and take seats. They tried to start the presentation, but Laddie and Pam demanded to know who’s idea this meeting was, and who created the invite list. The meeting could not proceed until these questions were answered.
The Planners apologized, and tried to start again. Again, we demanded to know who made the invitation list. We didn’t need an apology, we needed accountability.
Who created the invite list? CD 11
Who decided ‘invite only?’ CD 11
Eventually, the developers and their friends started to get up a leave, realizing they weren’t getting any richer sitting in this meeting. Then the Planners gave up.
They asked us who they should invite next time, they’ll invite whoever we tell them to. We said, “MAKE IT PUBLIC!” Because public control of the land is critical to an economy that puts People & Planet First!
We shut down the meeting, and Planning is going to think twice before trying another “invite only” meeting about Venice, without Venice!
” It was invitation only meeting held at Westminster Elementary School, to have a focus group about the Venice Local Coastal Plan (LCP). The plan is to rewrite the Local Coastal Plan,and to have it ratified to be used by the city Los Angeles.
It was a list that had developers, architects lawyers and some community members. Of course none of the VC-PUCC Members were on this said list. Many of us crashed this meeting tonight at Westminster Elementary school to let Los Angeles City Planning know that this meeting is a complete disrespect to the entire city of Venice west of Lincoln. This focus group should have been open to the entire community because we have a right to be a part of the process.
Needless to say the meeting was cancelled apologies were given to the community and the people who were there to voice there concerns about not being invited officially to the presentation of the rewriting of the Venice Local Coastal Plan?
More to come and the list of people who were invited to attend. We received a promise that Los Angeles City Planning would do a better job of inviting community not architects, developers and real estate people. It was infuriating to see this room of people who were there for the focus group.
Venice showed up to show out for our beloved community…the meeting stopped and didn’t happen, with a promise to reschedule and include everyone. “
– Laddie Williams