By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
What else was deemed worthy of CRA protection in its flurry of dozens of recent votes to approve contracts? For one, CRA/LA and the City Council approved $50,000 in consultancy fees for Bloom, Essel's spokesman.
Damien Goodmon, a transit activist who lives in South L.A., is disgusted. "I'm not caring about whether Eli Broad can build a vanity museum downtown," Goodmon says. "I'm caring about whether people in the Crenshaw corridor in Watts can actually go to good-paying jobs, walk to paying jobs, as opposed to having to take four-hour commutes every day."
Across the city, Luis Lopez, who owns an automotive repair shop with his father in Atwater Village, questions why taxpayers are subsidizing ritzy Bunker Hill. "It's supposed to take blight — that's the focus of the CRA — take a blighted area and make it better. ... I've gone to downtown very frequently. It's a very nice place now. They should pull out."
Garcia notes, similarly, that Grand Avenue in the bustling Civic Center area near Bunker Hill "isn't being improved for the underserved of Los Angeles. It's being improved for business interests. Businesses are making record profits that they're not putting into job creation. They can invest in Grand Avenue on their own."
Broad apparently has grown embarrassed by the juxtaposition of rich and poor. An online Weekly analysis in January, widely read by Sacramento legislators and gubernatorial aides, showed that the Broad Museum parking lot would get $52 million while all of Watts would get just $5.5 million.
But Karen Denne, a Broad Foundation spokeswoman, now insists the costly garage was not what Broad wanted. "We are building it at the request of the CRA," she claims. "Our preference was [to] contract with existing parking" downtown.
That's news to Madeline Janis, vice chairperson of CRA/LA's board of commissioners. "The parking garage was a part of the project that the Broad Foundation wanted," she says. It "was an essential part." Concurs Garcia: "If Eli Broad did not want the parking lot, they would not put it in."
Still, nobody is apologizing for CRA/LA's interesting priorities. Describing the $97 million that it's now required to transfer to the state for pressing public needs, Essel spokesman Bloom had this to say:
Reach the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I just paiid $ 22.89 for an iP a d 2-64GB and my girlfriend loves her Panasonic Lumix GF 1 Camera that we got for $ 38.76 there arriving tomorrow by UPS. I will never pay such expensive retail prices in stores again. Especially when I also sold a 40 inch LED TV to my boss for $ 657 which only cost me $ 62.81 to buy. Here is the website we use to get it all from, bit.ly/r8qxL7
the la weekly makes it quite clear on how they think of the privatization of public schools when they describe barr in such nice terms. Barr and his ilk are robber barons who are stealing money to make themselves richer. The name of the game now a days is which billionaire is richer. It doesn't matter who they rob, cheat, or steal from, the game to get to the top is the most important.
Why there has not been investigation into the million of dollars CRA, Councilwoma Janice Hahn,Cultural Affairs and the Mayor has taken from Watts. Have anyone came out to Watts on a tourof the blight that has not change in the last twenty years in Watts. So why is Watts's fund going toother parts of Los Angeles.
"Families are staying away in droves." Is staying away really an activity that can be done in droves?
It's the same all over the state. All these RDAs do is dump precious and scarce public funds into the hands of greedy developers who build stuf that does not improve blight, would have been built anyway for profit OR something utterly useless that would/should never have been built. No jobs (other than RDA employees) are created & nothing is improved other than developers getting an undeserved/unneeded public subsidy. The big winners are the politicians who get "kickbacks" in the form of campaign contributions and under the table jobs for friends and family. In good times this would be a scandal but with the economy & public budgets the way they are this is literally criminal.
No small irony in not mentioning that Philip Anschutz, Eli Broad, and Steve Barr are the leaders in school privatization, which like redevelopment under Mayor Villaraigosa, funnels tons of taxpayer money into their greedy hands.
No mention and Barr's privatization projects, funded by Broad, Anschutz, and their plutocratic billionaire ilk exacerbate segregation, class inequality, and further marginalize cultures outside of the dominant reactionary WASP expectations? Barr is a visionary all right, he has played a major part in creating what the celebrated educator and author Jonathan Kozol terms "Savage Inequalities."
@rdsathene, Tibby Rothman here, the bylined writer of the above story. Barr went into school districts and parts of town where few invested major resources, financial or otherwise. A couple of years ago, I talked to a Green Dot student who was the first in his family (meaning siblings, parents, grandparents) to get into college--definitely economic development there.
You might want to click on my avatar icon to read my biography. I'm an education writer and activist who has enough dirt on Barr and Green Dot to write an entire book on them. I've been covering them for over a decade. If you research beyond their slick marketing literature, then you will find an entirely different narrative than Barr as superman. A single anecdote of a Green Dot student succeeding, while I'm glad for that individual, doesn't make for a cogent case for school privatization or charter executives stuffing money into their pockets. Look into Green Dot's remediation rates, and then let's talk about their "results."
CRA/LA has nothing to do with blight. Its sole purpose is to funnel tax dollars to private developers who then support councilmembers.
Schools Ha, what a laugh! What planet are you from? CRA/LA has nothing to do with making LA a better place to live. It's about giving tax dollars to millionaires and billionaires.
It's a vast waste land of corruption and incompetence which has taken $3 BILLION tax dollars away from the city and schools. If we had abolished the CRA/LA in 2004, LA would be solvent today and we would not be downsizing fire stations, lay off employees and have the worst roads in the nation.
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