Greta Cobar

Update on OFW Ordinance

Enforcement of the proposed new ordinance set to regulate vending on Ocean Front Walk has been delayed because Recreation and Parks Commissioners in Harbor City were unfamiliar with the piece of legislation as well as the issues it tries to resolve.

The effort to put the fate of our boardwalk into the hands of strangers who know nothing about Venice continued on September 21, when the proposed ordinance was voted 2-2 by some clueless, dumbfounded Rec and Parks members. They were given until October 5 to familiarize themselves with the ordinance and Venice in general. At that time new votes will be cast, and if passed the ordinance will next be considered by the L.A. City Council. For a complete text of the proposed legislation and editorial overview, see the August issue of the Beachhead (http://bit.ly/nFBo4o).

Ever since the Lottery system of allocating vending/free speech space on the boardwalk has been suspended, all hell broke loose. Not only has the entire boardwalk become a free-for-all swap meet, but vendors have been setting up outside of allocated spaces, blocking access to and view of the beach with large canopies and large displays of manufactured goods crap. In addition, most spaces are secured by individuals who sleep out the entire night and bring out their goods or sell the spots the next morning. Coincidently, the number of people camping out on Ocean Front Walk grew exponentially at the same time that the Lottery was annihilated.

The decisions that affect us are made by people unfamiliar with our plight and unaffected by their own decisions. How much more salt are we willing to take on our wounds before we rise up and take back our city? The good news is that we have already occupied it.

– Greta Cobar

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