LA City Hall Should Save Seniors From Eviction at Vintage Westwood Apartments

The Coalition to Preserve LA and its Yes on S campaign want Mayor Eric Garcetti and LA City Attorney Mike Feuer to save senior citizens from eviction at the Vintage Westwood apartments. We have written the following open letter to the mayor and city attorney.

Dear Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Attorney Mike Feuer: The politics and policies of Los Angeles are rigged in favor of the special interests against the public interest. The rules of our city are crafted to serve those who can max out their campaign donations and employ an army of lobbyists, while the rest of us sit on the political sidelines.

Today, we call upon the mayor, city attorney and City Council to do something surprising: craft rules to serve Angelenos who can’t afford lobbyists and who have given nothing to your campaigns. We call upon City Hall leaders to actually lead, and represent all people, not just mega-developers who pour millions into City Hall campaigns.

Specifically, we call upon our leaders to craft rules and regulations to protect residents from eviction when a new development is approved. Making this new rule shouldn’t be too hard. The City Council often breaks rules to make new ones — to benefit mega-money developers:

—City Hall's law to build parks, for example, overrides a state law that requires developers to create parks near the dense mega-developments they build. But City Hall decided to let them put the parks 10 miles away. Ten miles? That's 45 minutes for a family to travel.

—The Council ignored the findings of the State Geologist and approved the Millennium twin skyscrapers atop an active earthquake fault. Luckily, the Millennium hasn't yet been built.

—The City Council defies our L.A. City Charter, granting illegal General Plan Amendments to mega-developers, so they can build far bigger and taller than the General Plan permits.

How is it possible that the extremely elderly residents in this video at 947 Tiverton, Vintage Westwood Horizons, senior citizen housing, received a 2016 holiday eviction card?

As Vintage Westwood resident Jane Mombach, 90, says, “The motivation is Money, they're doing it legally, they're doing it legally. But morally, I don’t think they gave it a thought.”  Emiel Meisel, a 92-year-old Vintage Westwood resident, simply calls it "the breaking of the body, the breaking of the soul."

We understand that a rule for protecting vulnerable renters won’t enrich your campaign coffers. But democracy is not a fundraising tool, and our government must no longer be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Please craft legislation now for a vote by the City Council, to protect the most vulnerable. City Hall protects developers every step, now protect our citizens.

In March, L.A. voters can make history by approving Measure S, to protect our neighborhoods and city. Between now and then, our elected leaders can show that City Hall is not for sale, by approving sensible rules that place the interests of the people above those of the powerful.

Vote Yes on S on March 7.

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