L.A. City Mayor Villaraigosa Abandons 350 Poor Families in South Central Los Angeles

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For the last 3 years, 350 families have been fighting to preserve the largest contiguous piece of open green space in South Central Los Angeles. Now they have been officially served by the Sheriff's department and are being evicted from the oasis that they have built over the last 13 years.

It is not necessary to destroy the community farm. Help us prevent the destruction of this 13-year project that has become an asset to South Central Los Angeles. We call upon you to reconsider the destruction of the 14-acre community farm in South Central Los Angeles. Surely an alternative site can be found for Mr. Ralph Horowitz somewhere else along the Alameda Corridor

An eviction notice was posted on the west gate of the South Central Farm by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at 2:00pm, March 1, 2006. According to the notice, the 14 acre farm (the largest urban farm in the nation) needs to be vacated by Monday March 6, 2006. Until the end of that day, it will still be legal for the farmers to remain on the land.

"Mayor Villaraigosa has abandoned 350 poor families who he courted during his campaign for mayor and through his tenure-ship as a councilman for the City of Los Angeles . They have been left at the mercy of a real estate developer who has demonstrated an intense desire to destroy 13 years worth of a successful community farm", says Tezozomoc, the elected representative of the South Central Farmers.

"As citizens and tax payers of the City of Los Angeles, we are outraged that the city of LA settled a speculative lawsuit(BC272571 LIBAW HOROWITZ INVESTMENT COMPANY VS CITY LOS ANGELES ET AL) with Mr. Horowitz." Even after Judge W. Crispo had ruled three times against Horowitz, the city officials conceded to give the land back to Horowitz for a mere 5.1 million dollars, extremely under the fair market value, since in 1994 it had been sold for 13.3 Million dollars.

"We are outraged that the community is now being asked to bear the profit of 11 million dollars for the real estate developer. Further, we address the primary decision maker regarding the land, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, urging him to do more than suggest that the working class community connected to the farm raise $16 million or more through individual contributions."

Those who conceded the sale have an essential liability to return this asset to the community. We are calling on Congressman Xavier Becerra, Speaker of the California Assembly, Fabian Nuñez, County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and the whole city council to 1) nullify the sale with Ralph Horowitz, or 2) take the land by eminent domain, or 3) take on the burden of fundraising to buy the land that was given away to a speculative developer. The land belongs in the community for the good of the community.

"It is not necessary to destroy the community farm. Help us prevent the destruction of this 13-year project that has become an asset to South Central Los Angeles. We call upon you to reconsider the destruction of the 14-acre community farm in South Central Los Angeles. Surely an alternative site can be found for Mr. Ralph Horowitz somewhere else along the Alameda Corridor," says Fernando Flores, Organizer of the South Central Farmers' Support Committee.

http://www.southcentralfarmers.com

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Fermando Flores

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