Sent: Monday, June 22, 2009 1:15:52 AM
Subject: Historic Street Repaving in Skid Row
June 22, 2009
On behalf of the Skid Row community I would like to publicly thank Councilmember Jan Perry and her staff for following through on her commitment to support our "Operation Facelift" project in Skid Row.
"Operation Facelift" is a grass-roots community clean-up campaign that includes trash pick-up and mural painting, among other components. It was created by General Jeff of ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS and "O.G." of O.G.'s-N-Service and executed by the Skid Row Brigade and the Homeless Coalition. In July of 2008, we contacted Councilmember Perry's office and requested a street repaving for San Julian street, which many claim to be the "ground zero" of Skid Row because of it's common usage by various media outlets to portray the negative side of Skid Row. Now with an image-changing makeover of clean streets, painted walls and new housing construction, Skid Row is also in the process of an upgrade that allows it to attempt to keep up with the rest of Downtown.
Also, I would like to publicly thank the city agencies that were responsible for handling an incident related to the street repaving on Sunday morning. Both the Bureau of Street Services and Central Division L.A.P.D. were swift and professional with their collective efforts as an unidentified organization that claimed to be working with the V.O.A. took it upon themselves to remove the street closure barricade at the southern end of the intersection at San Julian and 6th street so that they could drive their vehicles to the front of the V.O.A. Drop-In Center and begin to set up for a homeless feeding even though the street was not yet dry.
Thus the street suffered from the weight of their vehicles and not only tire tracks were made, but what would have been permanent damage to the road. Once Central Division was notified, Officers Garcia and Guido (and an unknown supervisor) arrived quickly on the scene. Shortly thereafter, Kirk Bible of Street Services and his supervisor Nick Barragan also arrived.
After various huddles, the unknown group( who claimed to have a street clousure permit for the same day) was instructed to not have any more vehicles proceed on the fresh asphalt even though they had more trucks to come as they planned to set up tables and chairs and feed almost 300 homeless people in the street. Ultimately, Street Services decided to avoid the confusion and schedule another repaving of the whole street again. And then the feeding plans continued. Hopefully the repaving won't come out of the budget to repave other Skid Row streets.
Nevertheless, as a community, once the street is finally repaved correctly, we will continue to see more progress thanks to all the aforementioned parties. Hopefully then, the media will start to show the positive side of Skid Row!
ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS
Board of Directors
Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council