Whistleblower hotline: (213) 785-6098

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Urgent message from Friends of Southwest Museum on "illegal secret expansion plans" for Autry National Center at Griffith Park

Blogger note: We post this email from Daniel Wright from The Friends of the Southwest Museum on the hasty and illegal Recreation and Parks Commission's vote to allow "renovation/expansion" of the Autry National Center in Griffith Park. Read email after the bloggin leap.

** Afternoon Update: The Griffith Park Wayist has a excellent post with background documentation, on the illegal actions of the Recreation and Parks Commission.

Your Coalition Steering Committee is writing to report to you a series
of actions of the General Manager of the Los Angeles Recreation and
Parks Department and the Autry Museum that once again imperil the
Southwest Museum.

Last Friday, the Board of Recreation and Parks Commission, after
extremely limited notice to the public, quietly took up a secret Autry
proposal to expand its exhibition space in Griffith Park to enable Autry replace
and destroy the Southwest Museum institution.

There is a way to obtain public review and proper consideration of
this item of business. Councilmembers Jose Huizar and Ed Reyes, in
whose districts the Southwest Museum’s assets are located, must
immediately work with Council President Eric Garcetti to put on the
City Council’s meeting agenda an item to consider “assuming
jurisdiction” over the Recreation and Park Commission’s decision.
Unless the Council assumes jurisdiction within five council meeting
days after the Recreation and Parks Commission action, it will become
final. If jurisdiction is assumed, then the Council has 21 days to
consider the item and veto (or not veto) it.

It is absolutely critical that as many voters as possible contact
Councilmembers Huizar and Reyes immediately. And that is where you,
the supporters of the Southwest Museum, have in the past changed the
outcome and you can do it again.

The most powerful thing you can do is call their offices tomorrow.
Tonight and tomorrow, you can send an email expressing outrage over
Autry’s attempt to sneak a scaled down version of its expansion
project through the Commission without ever disclosing the existence
of a revived project to any community group or the public. Then open
your address book and send this Action Alert on to your friends asking
them to do the same.

Our communities across Los Angeles must object firmly and with
justified outrage at this time or the Autry truly will have succeeded
in walking off with $5 million of endowment, a priceless collection,
and a 13-acre National Register Historic site with the museum and Casa
de Adobe. Officials at City Hall told us that the Southwest Museum
letters, faxes and phone calls in June 2009 was the biggest response
to any issue in recent memory – including Billy the Elephant at the
Zoo! As soon as you receive this alert, at a minimum, send it to your
address book, post it on Facebook, Twitter your outrage at the “sleazy
backroom politics of City Hall” that seeks to destroy our City’s
historic sites like the Southwest.

It is time to take off the gloves and punch with all your might at the
corrupt practices of the Autry and the Recreation and Parks
Commission. We can do it.

** ..... and lets see if Councilman Huizar backs his words with action.
Your thoughts................
Scott Johnson in CD 14 



Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jose.Huizar lacity.org, Ed.Reyes lacity.org, Ana.Cubas lacity.org, Paul.Habib lacity.org, Zenay.Loera lacity.org, Jose.Gardea lacity.org, Sonia.G.Jimenez lacity.org, Eric.Garcetti lacity.org, katherine.hennigan lacity.org

May 26, 2011 9:50 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Councilmember Huizar: (213) 473-7014 phone; (213) 847-0680 fax
Councilmember Reyes: (213) 473-7001 phone; (213) 485-8907 fax
Councilmember Garcetti: (213) 473-7013 phone; (213) 613 0819 fax

May 26, 2011 9:51 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This issue is not just about the 1914 National Register of Historic Places Building of the Southwest Museum.

The SW Museum is a symbol, a yardstick of the level of corrupt practices that have invaded our City government.

We have truly reached a low point where a Project developer loses politically in regularly noticed public hearings and then, ever determined to unnecessarily destroy the historic context of our City, uses sneaky, backroom actions to obtain the almost same permits.

The unnecessary loss of the Southwest Museum is a bellweather event of how the people now elected in Los Angeles have abandoned almost any pretense of public service: It's about rewarding and reinforcing the wealthy at the expense of the poor and growing desperate middle class. This is a breaking put of the social contract.

Will Jose Huizar, Ed Reyes and Eric Garcetti stand on the side of the thousands of people who signed petitions demanding a condition be put on Autry to enforce its promises to continue to operate the SW Museum in a modern revision?

Or will they capitulate to the backroom sleaze of Autry and its lawyers/lobbyists?

Send you email or CALL those offices today to express your outrage at the Autry's backroom gamesmanship.

May 26, 2011 10:05 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Red Spot, you wouldn't know illegality if it hit you in the face.

You sure don't recognize dishonesty.

May 26, 2011 12:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

It's called "crony capitalism." It's what you expect from a bunch of socialists & marxists.

May 26, 2011 1:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Over on RonKayeLA.com, Griffith Park activist Kristen Sabo is saying SHE did not receive the normal email agenda for Rec. and Parks Commission either.

So, will the City Council heed the call for an investigation on how people registered to receive Rec. and Parks agendas were coincidentally deleted from the list and all of them were prominent opponents to Autry's first failed effort to expand on City Parkland?

May 26, 2011 2:23 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The Rec & Parks Commission is one of the City's LEAST transparent/open appointed bodies. They regularly HOLD UP agendas that have been (nominally) posted at one location at City Hall 72 hours before meetings, for e-mailing only 24 hours or less before.

Being on their e-mail list is virtually useless unless you already live within spitting distance of their (typically) mid-day farflung meetings which disenfranchise all but the lobbyist, self-employed, and occasional homeless gadfly.

Much of the communication to them FROM City stakeholders is lumped into an agenda tail-ender that simply lists who sent it and the general subject i.e., "Communication from Joe Blow re: XYZ Rec Center," but not the actual text of communication, whether for/against a motion, etc.

They've also continued to hide behind their self-appointed 4-5 member "PABs" to avoid direct interaction with the City Charter's all-department mandate to involve certified neighborhood councils in decision making processes.

May 26, 2011 3:14 PM  

Blogger Griffith Park Wayist said:

Rec and Parks Board Report docs are linked in our article on this subject at Griffith Park Wayist, http://GriffithParkWayist.blogspot.com

May 26, 2011 4:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


The Rec. and Parks Cmsn. can't use its parks advisory committee to avoid the City Charter requirement that NCs must get enough advanced notice in order to chime in. But this commission and others will continue to ignore that provision until someone's challenges it in court or threatens to do so.

May 26, 2011 8:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Today we'll see if Huizar and Reyes are men that are proud to be of Mexican descent or they are just puppets of the Autry.

May 27, 2011 1:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Exactly. The collections of the Southwest Museum are extensive in Hispano/Mexican culture. The Southwest Museum, with its rail transit station in front, is in easy walking distance to Metro rail stations throughout the City so that school teachers can take kids on the train. Metro recently voted to allow school field trips to ride free on Metro. But is doesn't do much good to allow free rides if one of the seminal exhibits of First Californian (Native American and Hispano) is moved into Autry's first floor as approved by the Rec and Parks Board.

May 27, 2011 7:20 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I called all 3 councilmember offices and all said they had several calls about the Southwest Museum and knew about the issue.

What a great community when they take that much action and come together.

May 27, 2011 8:01 AM  

Blogger outdoor59 said:

Unbelievable! It is appalling! The act itself is appalling, as well as the circumstances under which this was done. The public had no notice that the item was to be be on the May 20th meeting's agenda. This is a controversial subject, and the lack of transparency is very disturbing. Barry Sanders, President of the Recreation and Parks Commission, obviously has a conflict of interest. He is a former partner in the law firm of Latham & Watkins! ( Latham & Watkins is the Autry's legal counsel.)

Isn't this conflict obvious to anyone who is paying attention? WTF?

"Politics as Usual." "The City is Corrupt." --- These are two oft repeated phrases in Los Angeles. I wonder why????

May 27, 2011 10:52 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I repeat. Rec and Parks needs to be attacked from all angles. They are as shady and corrupt as can be. Activists should take up departments one at a time and R & P should be the first one.

May 31, 2011 2:37 AM  

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