Last Friday, our coalition of residents, merchants, property owners and stakeholders concerned about the future of Crenshaw Blvd and Leimert Park Village took the historic step of filing a lawsuit against the Antonio Villaraigosa-led MTA for violating environmental and civil rights laws when the MTA board approved the Crenshaw-LAX project on September 22nd: Crenshaw Subway Coalition v. Los Angeles County MTA (LA Superior Court Case No. B134507)
The current MTA/Villaraigosa plan with no station at Leimert Park Village and a business killing street-level segment on Crenshaw Blvd from 48th to 59th Street is disruptive, destructive, dangerous, disrespectful and discriminatory. MTA broke the law when approving the project.
The unacceptable and illegal plan, which is an attack on Crenshaw businesses, a threat to the school children of View Park Prep and Crenshaw H.S., and will kill our community’s dreams of a Crenshaw Blvd revitalization exists ONLY because at the May 26th MTA board meeting, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa decided he would ignore the chorus of over 600 South L.A. politicians, clergy, business and community leaders and lead the charge against a motion to appropriate the funding to put the rail line underground the entirety of Crenshaw Blvd and return the Leimert Park Village station to the project.
So it is clear, we are in court today against MTA, because Villaraigosa refuses to return our own tax dollars to South L.A. so the Crenshaw-LAX project can be a good, safe and productive neighbor to the Crenshaw community.
To quote Danny Bakewell, Sr. after the meeting: “We’ve tried friendly negotiations, trying to use our influence and at this point, we’ve come up short with nothing.”
About Our Attorneys & The Lawsuit
Our attorneys are environmental law specialist Johnson & Sedlack. They’ve successfully represented clients as esteemed as the Sierra Club, Audubon Society and Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice. They are perhaps best known for repeatedly taking on corporate retail giant Wal-Mart for violating environmental laws in their expansion plans.
When we went searching for the best possible representation we knew we needed accomplished warriors who regularly face Goaliaths bigger than MTA and beat them! Johnson & Sedlack is that firm.
In the lawsuit, our attorneys identified a dozen major legal violations with the project’s environmental document, including the state’s civil rights act and 11 specific violations of the California Environmental Quality Act. Each of our claims are strong, and yet it only takes a judge validating one for our case to be successful. Click here to read the lawsuit.
Your Donations are Needed to Help Fund the Lawsuit
In this epic battle there will be some costs. The largest cost in the near term is the compilation of what is known as the administrative record – all the studies, correspondence, memos, etc. MTA has in their records regarding the project. It is a legal requirement that we pay this cost and based on other lawsuits for similar projects it is projected to cost at least $25,000.
We have established the deadline of November 30 to raise $25,000 and we can do it, but only with your help. Please donate today.
If you care about the future of Leimert Park Village and Crenshaw Blvd – if you care about the safety of motorists, elders, pedestrians and children – if you care about environmental laws being adhered to – if you simply care about the South L.A. community being respected and the protection of civil rights for all people, please click on the button below to donate today with your debit or credit card. Alternatively, you can send a check made out and addressed to Crenshaw Subway Coalition, P.O. Box 432181, Los Angeles, CA 90043.
Generous contributions are needed, but ANY donation helps us get closer to our goal.