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Grace E.

Simons, Chairman No, 48 July 25, 1972

SUCCESSES ARE SWEET, It is good to report that we won our court case. lie
were able to halt, for the time being, the Police Department's attempt to entrench
itself further in Elysian Park by putting up three temporary (25-year?) buildings on
the parking lot adjacent to the Police Academy, Our case 1ras heard July 10 before
Judge Robert A. Wenke, uho granted us a llrit of Mandate. He ruled only on a procedur-
al point -- that failure of the Planning Commission to hold a proper public hearing
had denied us due process.
THE POLICE DEPARTMENT nov has the option of filing an appeal from Judge
Wenke's decision, re-applying for a Conditional Use Permit, or lUliting until after
resolution of the main park issue, a Police-sponsored Charter amendment.
CONFIDENCE that our friends uould back our special appeal for our Legal Fund
made it possible for us to go to court, You did not let us down.
THIS POLICE PROPOSAL, if successful, uill strike a crippling blou at the City's
park system, The City Council is to vote Tuesday, August 1, on the proposal, which
uould permit the Police to carve 21 prime acres out of the center of Elysian Park for
the construction of a neu Police Academy, and anything else they might uant to put
there, So sueeping is the proposed Charter amendment that not even the City Council
l<ould have control over the acreage involved, The right to determine its use would be
vested in the Police Commission.
THE PROPOSAL comes in the form of a threat -- either give us park land or ap.
prove a $25 million bond issue to put the nev academy elsel<here. No accurate figures
have been presented so far to sho the relative costs of construction in Elysian Park
and at alternate sites. (See Fact Sheet,) If the Police can persuade eight members
of the City Council to approve the park-destroying scheme, it will go to the voters on
the November ballot.
Attack on Park-Protection
THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT is an attack upon the City's Magna Carta for park-protec-
tion, Section 170 (b) (3) of the City Charter, which provides that: "All lands hereto-
fore or hereafter set apart or dedicated as a public park shall forever remain to the
use of the public inviolate." "Forever" needs no comment. Webster defines "inviolate"
as: "Unhurt, uninjured, unbroken, unprofaned,"
THE CHARTER LANGUAGE is unambiguous. It categorically prohibits the taking of
park land for non-park uses or purposes, But Charter provisions, even good ones, can
be overturned by a vote of the electorate, through the familiar device of a well fin-
anced, hi,gh pressure, propaganda campaign. That is what the Police have nov set out
to do, 1<ith the backing of the Mayor and some of the City Councilmen.
ACTIVITIES ASSOCIATED with Police recruit training are wholly incompatible vith
park use, Target practice, day and night, destroys the tranquility essential to park
enjoyment. The battle sounds cannot be confined to the 21-acre Academy site. Use of
live ammunition, including tear-gas grenades, is an ever-present threat to children and
other park-users, The training of Police helicopter pilots, hich we must expect if
the Commission gains sole control of the land, ill create even greater noise and
greater hazards. The claim that the Police want "only" 21 acres seems strange, since
they already use three times that much park land,
Not the 'Democratic Way'
IF THE POLICE get 21 acres this time, they can come to the voters again, and
the park will be lost, piece by piece, Elysian Park vill be the first victim, but the
precedent, once established, uill make other parks vulnerable, The same method used
by the Police can be adopted by any government agency or private profiteer,
THERE ARE SOME vho contend that a ballot proposal is the "democratic uay," es-
pecially where large amounts of local tax money may (or may not -- see Fact Sheet) be
involved. But City officials didn't ask the voters if they approved building the Con-
vention Center, or City Hall East or the nev downtown mall, all very costly projects.
Uhy nou?
DEMOCRACY PRESUMES a modicum of equality between contenders. If this destructive
amendment is placed on the ballot, a small citizens organization vill be pitted against
}\.ngeles, C:i!if . 90026JI\1i\.. 5"8427
the Police Department, The LAPD spends over $200,000,000 a year, about one-
third of the total City budget! It has 10,000 employees, It has easy access to the
neus media. llhere the voice of the people is muted by limited resources, and the
voice of the land-grabbers is amplified a thousand-fold through the expenditure of un-
limited funds -- can you really call this the "democratic process?"
PlEASE SHOW UP at City Hall Tuesday, August 1, at 10 a,m,, Room 340, and make
your voices heard and your presence felt, For further information call 225-0915 or
625-8427. lle need your help.
BARGAINS! Save money -- and help the C'itizens Committee Legal Fund. RUMMAGE
SALE. Tuesday, Aug, 29, and Wednesday, Aug, 30, starting at 10 a.m. both days, Pioneer
Market parking lot, across Montana Street (to the north) from main lot, Irene Ferguson,
Steering Committee member, in charge, Call her, 628-3707, if you have rummage to pick
up. And tell your friends,
A GRAND AFFAIR -- Ask any of the 125 uho attended, And it gave a big boost to
our Legal Fund, The food -- llinter melon soup, Peking Duck, abalone and mushrooms, as
a starter. Marion and Ming Siu, ''ho master-minded the affair, counted 10 dishes, plus
rice, Ue lost count, Guests uere Councilman and Mrs. Robert J, Stevenson and Attorney
and Mrs, G. G, Baumen, Laurence R, Enune, vice chairman, uas master of ceremonies, A
garden party folloved at the home of Joe Stermer; If you missed it, don't feel too
badly. Marion is already planning another banquet for the end of next January, We'll
tell you the date in our next Neuslet:ter, so you can circle it on your neu 1973 calendar.
==='PACKAGES of Note Cards, Donation $1,50 ........ $ __ _
MEJ.I.fBERSHIP ($1) .................................. $ ____ _
DONATION, Regular or Legal Fund ......................... $ ____ _
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