City Council Votes to Support Occupy L.A.

Protesters decry growing gap between rich and poor.

By Richie Duchon, City News Service

After nearly three hours of public comment dominated by Occupy Los Angeles demonstrators, the City Council voted Wednesday to support the movement calling attention to what activists say is a growing gap between the nation’s rich and poor.

The resolution sponsored by Councilmen Richard Alarcon and Bill Rosendahl supports the “peaceful and vibrant exercise in First Amendment Rights carried out by `Occupy Los Angeles.”’

Worlds collided in downtown on Sunday, as thousands of cyclists and families enjoying the Los Angeles’ CicLAvia event found themselves in the middle of ‘Occupy LA’ headquarters. The protesters—demonstrating against a gamut of issues including corporate greed, unemployment, and health care issues—set up their camp on Oct. 1 on the lawns north and south of City Hall. (EGP photo by Gloria Angelina Castillo)

An amendment by Councilman Paul Krekorian also thanked Los Angeles police for handling the demonstrations in a professional way.

Dozens of activists who have been camping on the lawn of City Hall for the past 10 days addressed the council. Despite the resolution, many verbally attacked the lawmakers, accusing them of being allied with big banks and of perpetuating inequality.

“As long as you receive money from banks and corporations, you are allied with the banks,” one person told the council.

Part of the resolution calls for accelerating a “responsible banking” ordinance in which banks would be scored based on the number of home loan modifications accommodated, the number and location of branches and how they contribute to affordable housing.

The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the Central City Association object to that idea.

“This proposed ordinance will not halt one foreclosure. It will cost the city money to enforce and a new bureaucracy to enforce it. It’s the irresponsible banking ordinance,” said Carol Schatz, president of the downtown business association. “Like it or not, we need banks. And only large banks have the capabilities to handle this city’s financial needs. You guys can’t put your money under a mattress.”

Activist David Rodwin told the council it had been dragging its feet on the banking ordinance.

“What most people do not know, but the council members do, is that these banking regulations were presented before this council over 2.5 years ago,” Rodwin said. “We are in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and this council has dragged its feet simply on taking a vote on these banking regulations, and I find that deeply irresponsible.”

The council agreed to hear the banking ordinance in the Budget and Finance Committee on Nov. 21 and to discuss it before the full City Council before mid-December.

The meeting got tense when one public speaker accused the city’s three black council members — Jan Perry, Bernard Parks and Herb Wesson — of doing a poor job of representing their constituents.
Perry bristled.

I would hope that “you could lift people up with your words and not stereotype them, perpetuate bigotry and prejudice,” Perry said. “You’re entitled to your opinion. I am entitled to my opinion
Anybody opposed?

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October 13, 2011  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


2 Responses to “City Council Votes to Support Occupy L.A.”

  1. Momlee on October 13th, 2011 12:30 pm

    I’m sick and tired of these bums. The unions and George Soras and the like minded liberals feel that my money is theirs. Obama will be a one termer and has nothing positive to speak of and supports these bums. They agree with reistrubition along with Obama. The bums have distroyed property and costs many businesses to lose money. We the taxpayers have to clean up their messes. They say they are like the tea party. Hell no they can’t even agree why they are marching. Some can’t speak english. These people are given money to hold a sign and show up. This is a losing proposition are they should all be thrown in jail.

  2. Momlee on October 13th, 2011 3:26 pm

    Now that our city officials lost their mind, please ask them to pick up the tab for the expenses. Please give these slobs bathroom facilities. Pay back businesses that will lose money. New York mayor Bloomberg asked them to leave. Our liberal officials are giving these slobs voices and should remember we have no money or room to jail the offenders. Are these officials representing us or just using their political clout. Shame on them.

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