Archive

Archive for January, 2013

Skid Row Parks To Stay Open – City and Nonprofit to Split Operating Duties

On behalf of the Skid Row community, we say “Thank You” to the City of Los Angeles for all of your collective last-minute efforts to keep our parks open!!!

Thank you City Councilmember Jose Huizar and staff as well!!!

SKid Row Parksby Michael Blaze

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – With the specter of closing two days away, a pair of Skid Row parks will now remain open under a new funding and operations plan.

Fourteenth District City Councilman José Huizar has allocated $50,000 in discretionary funds to pay for operations at San Julian Park, which is owned by the now defunct Community Redevelopment Agency, Huizar spokesman Rick Coca said.

Additionally, the city Department of Recreation and Parks will take over maintenance and operations of Gladys Park. Both sites have been operated by the nonprofit SRO Housing Corp. since 1988 through a contract with the CRA.

Armed with the $50,000 in city funds, SRO will continue to operate San Julian Park until city officials can establish a long-term solution.

Recreation and Parks can simply take over Gladys Park because the facility at Sixth Street and Gladys Avenue is city-owned. The department is using existing resources and staff to operate Gladys Park, Coca said.

Because San Julian Park is owned by the CRA, the city does not have the authority to access it.

Going forward, city officials plan to work on a deal to have San Julian Park, and several other CRA-owned park-type lands, transferred to the city. Since redevelopment agencies were dissolved by the state last year, the CRA successor entity has required state approval for all decisions related to its hundreds of properties.

The law that killed redevelopment agencies allowed some types of public-interest assets, such as parks, to be transferred to local municipalities.

The CRA successor agency has already identified San Julian as one of those candidates for transfer to the city, but the state Department of Finance has yet to consider the recommendation. It is not slated to take up the proposed transfer until April 1.

We now look forward to more “community partnerships” in the very near future as we continue our efforts to improve the Skid Row community which in turn also improves the overall Downtown community!!!!

#GoDTLAGo!!!!! #VisitSkidRow

Downtown News article about Skid Row’s parks closing on Feb. 1st

January 24, 2012
 
To Skid Row,
 
Below is a link to today’s news article about the closing of Skid Row’s parks on February 1st.
 
 Image
We are still working on solutions!!!!….In the meantime, please respond to the article in the comment section and let them know how WE feel!!!!!…And tell a friend to do the same!!!!!
 
We DON’T want our parks to close!!!!!
 
Thank you,
 
General Jeff
Skid Row community activist-
ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS (2007-present) 

(3-Term) Resident Director- Central City East/ Skid Row
Board of Directors
Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (2008-Present)
Former VP, Outreach and Communications (2011-2012)

 

Co-Chair- Skid Row Community Advisory Board for the 
Department of Mental Health (2012-2013)

BREAKING NEWS:…Skid Row parks to close Jan. 31st due to lack of funding

January 16, 2013
To Skid Row,
Welcome to Skid Row
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES- It was officially announced today by SRO Housing Corp. that both Skid Row parks will be forced to close at the end of this month, January 31st due to a lack of funding.
Last year when funding ran out, City Councilmember Jan Perry came up with the funding to keep both San Julian Park and Gladys Park open until December 31st, 2012. SRO Housing Corp. extended the deadline an additional 30 days, but no new funding has been secured.
Last week, City Councilmember Jose Huizar’s staff met with Skid Row community leaders to discuss the formation of the Skid Row Public Space Task Force which intends to work to address community issues such as trash clean-up’s and the lack of trash cans, the lack of public toilets, problems related to homeless feedings and more. The first meeting is tentatively scheduled sometime in February, but it is not clear if Huizar’s office can act soon enough before the fast closing deadline which is about two weeks away with action that will keep said parks open.
SRO Housing used to rely heavily on the CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) for funding, but when new Governor Jerry Brown took office last year, he abruptly closed down the CRA and all of their funding went back to the State of California. It was confirmed at last week’s SRPSTF meeting by Councilmember Huizar’s staff that both parks now belong to the City of Los Angeles (since they are both within the City of Los Angeles’ boundaries).
Last month, Skid Row community activist General Jeff spoke about this pending issue before the Department of Recreation and Park’s Board of Commissioners at their monthly meeting. Chair Barry Sanders verbally confirmed that “Gladys Park will not close” (at that time, only Gladys Park was under the control of Rec and Parks). It is unclear if Rec and Parks is now responsible for San Julian Park as well.
The most important pending issue, however, is how the closing of Skid Row’s only public areas will affect how LAPD patrols and enforces the area. Last month, Skid Row community activist General Jeff shared the Skid Row community’s park concerns to LAPD at Central Division’s monthly C-PAB (Community Police Advisory Board) meeting. LAPD Captain Horace Frank verbally replied by saying “We cannot have the Skid Row parks close”. Captain Frank stated that the Department (LAPD) will begin to look into the matter. It is not yet clear as to what LAPD’s conclusions are or if there will be any significant change in their police tactics.
If the parks do indeed close, Skid Row residents and homeless will be forced to sit on sidewalks and curbs, using portable chairs and milk crates, which LAPD started to enforce against years ago, or the community will have to altogether migrate to other Downtown areas such as Pershing Square, LA Live or the Arts District.
Other Skid Row community leaders have already started to explore the possibilities of filing a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles for lack of providing public space near where local residents reside.
This story is just beginning……Stay tuned!!!!
Regards,
General Jeff
Skid Row community activist-
ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS (2007-present)
(3-Term) Resident Director- Central City East/ Skid Row
Board of Directors
Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (2008-Present)
Former VP, Outreach and Communications (2011-2012)
Co-Chair- Skid Row Community Advisory Board for the
Department of Mental Health (2012-2013)