First CSC Community Meeting of 2014 is Tonight

townhall-sign.jpgJoin us tonight at the first Crenshaw Subway Coalition community meeting of 2014: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 Community Meeting

So much has happened and is happening on the Crenshaw-LAX Line. There are important new developments in our efforts to make MTA underground the rail line on Crenshaw Blvd and encourage Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Mayor Eric Garcetti to assume their roles as leaders of South LA and the city to champion the effort.

Come to tonight's meeting to receive critical information on our lawsuit in federal court that challenges the entire Crenshaw-LAX project for violating civil rights and environmental laws, because the line is proposed to built at street-level in a manner that will kill the last black business corridor in Southern California and threaten our children’s lives. Also, come hear about the challenges with the MTA’s currently selected contractor for the project, Walsh-Shea.

The second half of the meeting will be dedicated to discussing MTA's eminent domain abuse along the Crenshaw-LAX Light Rail Line.

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A Question Supervisor on the Crenshaw Line Eminent Domain & Small Business Displacement

Image-1.jpgIn an email today to Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, we delivered the question posed by many members of the community who attended Tuesday's ceremonial groundbreaking to start construction of the Crenshaw/LAX Line. Questions remain as to whether the press event was intended to overshadow our court hearing challenging the project for violating our state's civil rights and environmental laws scheduled for February 6th.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas: 

Many thought it tragically ironic that at Tuesday's Crenshaw/LAX Line groundbreaking you literally applauded the demolition of a school to ceremonially "start construction."

The term used was "tragically ironic," because the school was on the southeast corner of Crenshaw/Exposition and is one of 6 small businesses being displaced as part of construction of the Crenshaw Line's Crenshaw/Exposition underground station. The other 5 small businesses now boarded up, fenced off and ready for the demolition crew are Yum Yum Donuts, Conroy's Flowers, Earlez Grille, Haven Burger and a laundromat.

We understand that to build a subway station portal (with elevators and escalators to go down to the future Crenshaw Line Exposition/Crenshaw subway station platform) one of the corners at Crenshaw/Exposition had to be acquired. The issue is Metro and you made the deliberate decision to displace the six small businesses on the southeast corner instead of the one gas station and probation office on the southwest corner. (See the image attached)

75% of the land on the southeast corner was/is publicly owned - it is the probation office for LA County - it is a probation office in your supervisorial district. (The other 25% is a gas station.)

CrenshawExpoDisplacement.jpg

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AD54 Candidates: Where Do They Stand?

Since first elected in 2010, Holly Mitchell along with her able staff of the community’s effort to underground the rail line on Crenshaw Blvd. Those who attended the Showdown at MTA in June remember that she stood with the community, as we demanded that MTA allow the finalists for the project’s construction contract award to bid the Park Mesa Heights tunnel. (Read Mitchell’s powerful statement). While that day our request literally fell on dead ears we continue our battle. Securing the right to vote was not won overnight and neither will the battle for Crenshaw!

Now that Mitchell has elevated to the State Senate there is a vacancy in the 54th Assembly District office she previously held. The special election to fill it is tomorrow Tuesday, December 3rd. If no candidate secures 50% +1 vote, there will be a runoff on February 4th. So where do the candidates who seek to replace her stand? We submitted a questionnaire to the candidates.

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Final Reminder: Showdown at MTA Thursday

When the discussion begins at Thursday’s MTA Board meeting about the scandal surrounding the Crenshaw-LAX Line contract award, let there be no mistake about who is in charge. MTA CEO Art Leahy is NOT in charge. Nobody voted for him. Leahy works at the pleasure of the MTA Board, which includes the Mayor of the second largest city in the country, the Supervisors of the nation’s largest county, and regional representatives of all the county’s cities. Collectively, the MTA Board members have over 200 years of experience in elected office. You voted for them to represent us.

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Showdown at MTA: June 27, 2013

As reported previously, due to the work of the Crenshaw Subway Coalition, MTA staff now admits that 3 out of the 4 finalists for the Crenshaw-LAX Line construction contract requested to submit bids with the project built underground from 48th to 59th Street, which would resolve the last major design issue with the line on Crenshaw Blvd. In fact, one of the finalists stated that they could build the tunnel within project budget! Inexplicably, the MTA staff refused to allow the contractors, which includes the most experienced engineering companies in the world, to bid the tunnel. We can’t allow the lives of our children and hopes of the last black business corridor to be placed in peril because of some bureaucrat’s nonsensical decision! Take action now.

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Crenshaw Line Contract Scandal Exposed

Fresh off delivering the Leimert Park Village station to the project, Crenshaw Subway Coalition is now bringing daylight to a scandal of massive proportions that is rocking MTA’s planned award of the Crenshaw-LAX Light Rail Line construction contract, currently scheduled to be decided on June 27.

Because of our work, MTA staff now admits that THREE OF THE FOUR finalists for the $1.3 billion construction contract requested to bid a Crenshaw-LAX Line project with a tunnel the entirety of Crenshaw Blvd – undergrounding the final 11-blocks in Park Mesa Heights, and settling the biggest point of contention and primary reason for our lawsuit.

But, in response to the requests by the engineering firms, the MTA staff, led by CEO Art Leahy, refused!

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Leimert Park Stop Approved!

You read that right!

At today’s MTA Board meeting, by a 10-1 vote the body approved an amendment to their budget that adds a Leimert Park station to the Crenshaw-LAX Line.

This is a historic moment for our community and for our cause, (which dates back to 2008), and it was possible because of you.

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Building Mayor-Elect Garcetti’s Black Community Relationship Begins with Crenshaw Rail Line

Unofficial results of the exit poll conducted by Loyola Marymount University’s Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles show that Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti won or tied every political constituency group, except African-Americans. Black voters selected Controller Wendy Greuel over Garcetti by a large margin of 71%-29%. With the Crenshaw Line contract award and Leimert Park Village decision currently scheduled for June 27, three days before he takes office, and closing briefs in the Crenshaw Subway Coalition’s lawsuit against MTA due his second day of office, July 2, one of Garcetti’s first big decisions directly affects the group his campaign had the most trouble earning support – the black community.

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Mayoral Candidates’ Scorecard on Tunnel: Greuel B+ & Garcetti C

L.A. voters go to the polls Tuesday to elect the next Mayor. The victor will take a seat and make three appointments on the 13-member MTA Board, replacing current Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his three appointees (Councilmember José Huizar, former Assemblyman Richard Katz and Mel Wilson). We vividly remember that at the May 2011 MTA board meeting Villaraigosa’s block of four voted against the motion to fund the Leimert Park Village station and Park Mesa Heights tunnel. The motion failed by exactly four votes. Accordingly, flipping the Mayor’s block from “No” to “Yes” is critical to our effort to secure a tunnel in Park Mesa Heights to protect/enhance Los Angeles’ last black business corridor and protect life, and guarantee a station at the Southland’s African-American cultural district.

On the station both received grades of “A-”, while on the tunnel Controller Wendy Greuel received a “B+” and Councilmember Eric Garcetti a “C.”

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Where Do the Mayoral Candidates Stand on the Crenshaw-LAX Line?

Voters in Los Angeles have an important decision to make. One of the two remaining candidates, Council Member Eric Garcetti or City Controller Wendy Greuel, will assume the office of L.A. Mayor on July 1, and in that role will take Antonio Villaraigosa’s seat on the MTA board. They will also make three new board appointments to the agency.

This is a literal gamechanger. Four votes on the 13 member body will change. The ramifications for our issue and South Los Angeles transportation in general are HUGE! In May of 2011, Villaraigosa used his four votes to oppose the effort to add money to underground the Crenshaw-LAX Line on Crenshaw Blvd and add a station at Leimert Park Village. Those votes WERE the difference, as the motion failed 3-10.

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