The Venice Stakeholders Association issued a press release today which questions Councilman Bill Rosendahl's press release from May 2nd regarding the homeless encampment on 3rd street, aka the nationally discussed "Skid Rose".
The Venice Stakeholders Association today released an opinion letter from a leading First Amendment attorney that concludes that Councilman Bill Rosendahl misled his constituents when he claimed that: “The Ninth Circuit Court has ruled that people or organizations have a First Amendment right to distribute free food.” The councilman made the statement in a “FAQ” (frequently asked questions) on May 2, 2012.
The opinion letter, prepared by attorney Gary Bostwick (attached), concludes: “Our opinion is that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has never ‘ruled that people or organizations have a First Amendment right to distribute free food’ as he states. The fact that there is no basis for the Statement is admitted by the City Attorney’s Office.”
Rosendahl’s FAQ also says that “During litigation … the court insisted that the City set aside two spaces on Ocean Front Walk for food distribution. We are legally required to do that …” In fact, the City was never ordered by any court to set aside spaces for food distribution. Rather, the City (with Rosendahl leading the way) agreed voluntarily to bind itself to do so in a settlement agreement with the plaintiffs in the case, and then amended its sidewalk vending ordinance (L.A.M.C. section 42.15) to set aside the spaces.
“Rosendahl gave that away because he’s stuck in a 1950s social worker mindset about how you help the poor, not because any ruling, holding or order by any court ever required such action or held that there is a First Amendment right to distribute free food on public property,” VSA president Ryavec said.
“With this revelation we renew our call for Rosendahl to amend the vending ordinance to remove these public food giveaway stations,” Ryavec said. “It’s not an accident that Santa Monica ended its public feeding programs years ago; these stations are dysfunctional, enable people to stay in squalid conditions, and act as a magnet.”
Ryavec noted that after seven years in office, Rosendahl has yet to put in place effective programs to help the poor get off the street and into housing.
“Bill’s spent a lot of time getting his picture taken, but that doesn’t seem to have resulted in a decrease in our transient population,” Ryavec said. “And in that population we have witnessed murderers, rapists, muggers, burglars and thieves. The residents are really done with the risks to life, limb and property this population represents.”
Attachment: Opinion Letter from Gary Bostwick to Venice Stakeholders Association
VSH states the issues well and in one paints the most disturbing “Bill’s spent a lot of time getting his picture taken, but that doesn’t seem to have resulted in a decrease in our transient population,” Ryavec said. “And in that population we have witnessed murderers, rapists, muggers, burglars and thieves. The residents are really done with the risks to life, limb and property this population represents aspect."
But, we are again running around in circles and always the name Rosendahl pops up as an obstructionist as we sprint round and round the circle. Our lack luster so called leader, is a huge part of our problem and may in fact be the problem toward achieving a safer, saner community.
January 20, 2012
I agree Venice Rob and perhaps VCHC and others can be looked at more closely and see if we can uncover any public records on the financials of VCHC such as income, property owned, payroll, who is paid, how much, who and how many are served, or not,by them. They are a non profit receiving both private and public income and I believe their records have to be made available to the public and that public disclosure is part and parcel of the non profit sector. Perhaps even determine if any questionable financial collaboration between VCHC and the mayor and council office.
June 16, 2009
April 13, 2012
February 24, 2010
June 17, 2009
Even if Rosendahl is voted out there is every likelihood that Bonin (the puppet master) will remain to ensure Venice continues to get violated. The whole eleventh district regime needs to be removed and carefully replaced if we want to see any lasting positive change in Venice.
I had to look up Bonin to determine that he's Mike Bonin, Rosendahl's chief of staff. I imagine that if there is a viable candidate who is opposed to Rosendahl's legacy, Bonin will have to seek influence elsewhere. Change is possible. I hate it when people say that even if we try to make changes everything will stay the same—it's really disheartening.