L.A. Parking Enforcement officers will be swarming the downtown Civic Center area today, handing out tickets left and right.
But, at least for this event, they won't be real tickets. They'll be "mock violations" pointing out that Wall Street banks are taking millions of dollars in taxpayer cash from City Hall while you're stuck with parking fines designed in part to make up for budget shortfalls. These parking officers will even be feeding meters, which is technically illegal.
Are you following? Here's what the fake violations will say:
Everybody Hates Getting A Parking Ticket – And We’re Sorry If you Got One Today. Here’s something to keep in mind: At least part of the reason that City Hall has had to raise parking fines is the bad deals it cut with big Wall Street banks, like New York Mellon. Last year, the City of Los Angeles paid these big banks $300 million in fees alone—more than the city collected in parking fines!
Dayum. That hurts.
The 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. demonstration will happen around the L.A. Department of Transportation's headquarters at First and Main streets and, later (at 12:30 p.m.), in front of Mellon Bank, at 400 South Hope Street.
It's organized by the labor-backed Fix LA Coalition, which thinks City Hall is spending too much on bankers' fees (a few hundred million) while short-changing its citizens and, of course, its workers.
A spokesman for Fix LA told us that about 50 Parking Enforcement officers have agreed to hand out the "faux" tickets and feed low and expired meters with coins during their lunch hour.
The group says that while services in the city have gone downhill in recent years—we have the worst roads in America—some parking ticket fines have increased by as much as 57 percent.
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According to a Fix LA statement:
... Los Angeles forfeits nearly $300 million a year in taxpayer money to Wall Street banks, as described in the Fix LA report “No Small Fees.” The Fix LA coalition is advocating for the City to recoup this money, along with the additional yearly $200 million tab the City pays out to service bank-owned foreclosed properties, as a means of restoring vital City services.
The spokesman says, "We're calling on banks to meet with the city and step up and do what's right."