By Mark Lipman
Finally, at the eleventh hour, after two years of community disenfranchisement, the stakeholders of Venice will be given a public vote on one of the most divisive issues we’ve seen since the debate over annexation to Los Angeles. On Saturday, February 21, all are asked to turn out to vote on whether or not we as a community want to allow permit parking (also known as OPDs) in Venice. The vote will take place from 12:30 to 3:30 at the Venice Library. This will be our only chance to vote on the issue.
Opinions on this are as various as the Venetians who live here, so below are merely my two cents:
The entire structure of Overnight Parking Districts has been set up poorly from the beginning. They were suggested by downtown Los Angeles specifically as a way to evict RVs from Venice (and to fill the city coffers) and were merely rubber stamped by the Venice Neighborhood Council. They create more problems for our community and solve none, pitting one class of residents against another, while making all of us pay. While alternate suggestions to solve our local parking problems in a fairer, more balanced way, have gone ignored, these OPDs have been shoved down our throats.
Supporters of Initiative B now state that they have a “democratic right” to establish overnight parking, yet fail to recognize that they wanted to deny Venice the democratic right for a vote on the issue from the very beginning.
Quoting Reta Moser from her Triangle Update, “Can’t believe the City of Venice could go thru the petition process for each street, get the City to spend thousands of dollars for an engineering study for each district within Venice, have a public hearing, get a vote of City Council approval, and be at the point of getting Coastal Commission approval only to find out dissidents, who have appeared at every meeting, have a petition that can trigger a costly election. Something is wrong with the due process system.” Agreed. Due process would have started with a public vote, yet a handful of elitists feel that they have a right to create a domino effect on our public streets that will force all of us to pay for parking, while disenfranchising entire segments of our community.
Conversely, Initiative A restores our democratic process by giving us the vote that we should have had a long time ago.
Whatever your position on this issue, now you will have the chance to have your voice count – at the ballot box.
Vote on Saturday, February 21, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., at the Venice Library, 520 Venice Blvd. and keep our Venice streets free.
YES on Initiative A – to overturn costly overnight parking permits in Venice. “To Fairly Represent Venice, the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) Must Rescind any VNC Board Approval of Overnight Parking Districts in Venice and Transmit a Letter Stating Such to the Los Angeles City Council Office, the Bureau of Engineering, the Department of Transportation, and the California Coastal Commission.”
NO on Initiative B – to keep our streets free from paid permit parking. “Venice Stakeholders re-affirm that Venice residents have the same democratic right as other L.A. residents to establish by 2/3rds petition signatures, OPDs for their blocks to preserve parking for residents and for night-time security, and call upon the VNC to communicate affirmation of this right to the pertinent governmental bodies.”
Points Opposing Overnight Parking Districts
1. There is no way to vote NO on permit parking on your block.
2. Anyone living west of Speedway cannot get a permit.
3. Creates a safety risk at night for those forced to park far from their homes (see point 2).
4. People on walk streets do not get a vote on their blocks.
5. Limits the amount of permits residents are able to obtain.
6. No exemption for handicapped.
7. Permit fees will increase every year.
8. Will create more parking problems, not less.
9. Another step towards the gentrification of Venice.
10. Discriminates against the poor by targeting those who are forced to live in vehicles.
11. Permits hours are from 2am to 6am, when there isn’t a parking problem.
12. Encourages drunk driving after bars close.
13. Visitor parking will be highly restricted.
14. There are other solutions to the existing problems that have not been considered.
15. It will become another multi-million dollar cash cow for L.A., out of our pockets.
Valid Credentials for Voting are:
A valid credential includes, but is not limited to one of the following: CA Drivers License or CA Residency Card (for an address within the VNC area); School ID Card (for a school with in the VNC boundaries); A business card (in combination with any of the following with a matching Venice address: Business license, business check, or pay stub); A recent utility bill (for an address within the VNC area); An imprinted check (including an address within the VNC area); Pay stub (from a business within the VNC area); Passport (only in combination with any other credential item); School report card (from a school with in the VNC boundaries); Property tax bill (address within the VNC area);
Other credentials: For Church/Religious Institution within the VNC area: Letter on church letterhead with contact information from Church/ Religious institution attesting to volunteer work; Nonprofit Organization within the VNC area: Letter on organization letterhead with contact information from organization attesting to stakeholder volunteer work; Senior Group within the VNC area: Letter on group letterhead with contact information from group attesting to stakeholder volunteer work; or Venice Beach Boardwalk Public Expression Permit.