The Coalition to Preserve L.A. today launched a four-day front page Los Angeles Times “sticky ad” campaign to fight the broken system that’s ruining neighborhoods across Los Angeles with unpopular overdevelopment. Also, the Coalition, which sponsors the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, released a new poll showing an overwhelming number of L.A. voters back its efforts to take Los Angeles back from profit-driven developers whose oversized projects create gridlock, destroy neighborhood character and displace longtime residents.
The phone survey of more than 300 likely voters showed that 70 percent of them back the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative. The survey was conducted in the last week of March. The Coalition is aiming its initiative for the March 2017 ballot. You can see our poll.
The first “sticky” on the front page of the Los Angeles Times borrows a quote from a Times editorial: “There’s a perception that the [zoning] system is at best inept, at worst corrupt.”
The sticky explains on the back side: “You can end developer control of Los Angeles City Hall. L.A.’s broken system creates massive overdevelopment and gentrification that gridlocks our neighborhoods and pushes out longtime residents. Greed isn’t good.”
Three other upcoming stickies will reference the negative effects of overdevelopment, and how everyday people can help the Coalition to save the L.A. they love.
The Coalition today sent out a press release explaining that the initiative is already shaking up City Hall:
Mayor Garcetti on Wednesday unveiled a reform plan that directly addresses the reform demands made by the Coalition to Preserve L.A. “The mayor’s plan only validates what we’ve been saying all along – the system is broken,” said Michael Weinstein, chief architect of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative.
The Garcetti plan, though appreciated by the Coalition, falls far short of the reforms needed.
The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative specifically ends the rigged practice of “spot zoning,” in which individual council members take gifts and campaign funds from developers, while granting them special exceptions that let them ignore zoning rules. The rigged system allows extremely out-sized, and thus more profitable, developments.
The Coalition is a rapidly growing movement made up of everyday Los Angeles residents who are sick of watching developers give money to the City Council and mayor, and then overrun their beloved neighborhoods. If you wish to join us please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One key supporter of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative is Koreatown attorney and community activist Grace Yoo, who points out that developers shower the mayor and City Council members with campaign funds, gifts and even cash for elected leaders’ pet projects, and in turn are allowed to cause “serious collateral damage to regular people and their neighborhoods.”
In Koreatown, a neighborhood of quiet two-story-tall buildings is fighting City Hall’s plan for an unprecedented 27-story luxury skyscraper that would dwarf the community, leaving people in permanent shadow. The developer, who stands to make tens of millions in profit, has showered city officials with $1 million for an “affordable housing” fund – barely enough money to build four affordable units.
Yoo points out that about 20 inexpensive and affordable units have or would be destroyed to make way for this tower of upscale units — in a city where luxury towers are overbuilt and have a big 12.5 percent vacancy rate. As Yoo notes, “20,000 rent-stabilized units have been destroyed by developers. We can’t afford to lose more.”
Yudy Machado, a Miracle Mile property manager, said developers who know how to game the City Hall system are hounding landlords in Miracle Mile to sell their charming Old World and Spanish Colonial four-plexes “to put up something much bigger — and double and triple the rents.”
“What’s going to happen to our neighborhoods if these developers get their hands on everything?”
The Coalition welcomes residents like Machado and Yoo to join its movement. Please email us at email@example.com.
The still-to-come sticky ads are entitled “City Hall for Sale,” “Income Inequality: L.A. Style,” and “Developer Greed Is Choking L.A.”
We’ll leave the three remaining sticky images a mystery, so that you can watch for them between now and Sunday.
The so-called “post-it” notes, pasted on the top right-hand corner of the L.A. Times, each direct Los Angeles residents to visit 2PreserveLA.org, to act, donate and get involved.
The bottom line is that residents are paying heavily for the negative effects of a developer-run city: skyrocketing rents, out of control surface street traffic, parking shortages, bursting water mains, crumbling road and a big spike in homelessness as City Hall policies allow the destruction of rent-stabilized apartments that, with today’s massive constructions and land costs, can never be replaced.
As today’s Coalition press release explained:
“Judges routinely tell the city to start obeying the law — and stop allowing illegal overdevelopment.”
In March, voters are going to give City Hall the same message.