This week 14th District City Councilmember José Huizar created a Pershing Square Task Force without any representation of low-income Downtown residents, who have utilized Pershing Square for decades. Rather than creating a body that is representative of the broad diversity of Downtown, Huizar chose to create a 21-member Task Force of “stakeholders” that draws nearly exclusively from the business and developer community (and a few others from law enforcement and other city departments).
Huizar had this to say: “We have a huge task ahead of us, but it’s an open one.” It’s hard to believe that the task of creating a long-term plan for the park will be open when those in charge of creating the plan exclude the voice of a significant segment of Downtown – low-income and homeless residents. LA CAN members had requested directly of Huizar’s staff to be included on this task force, as Pershing Square represents limited open space that has been a resource for both low-income and higher income downtowners.
The composition of this task force is unacceptable. As part of promoting our Share the Wealth Platform, LA CAN has been working for months to ensure that Pershing Square remains open to NOT just the so-called “New Downtowners”, but ALL Downtown residents. Huizar is relatively new to representing all of Downtown, but by now he should know that he is supposed to know that he represents all of the community’s residents – not just developers who are intent on gentrifying the neighborhood.
Members of the task force are:
Kevin Regan, Recreation and Parks.
Mathew Rudnick, Department of Cultural Affairs.
Nick Maricich, Planning Department.
Captain Horace Frank, LAPD.
Mike Arnold, Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority.
Amy Yeager, Pershing Square Advisory Board.
Dawn Eastin, Downtown News.
Blair Besten, Historic Downtown BID.
Sean Krajewski, Blue Cow Restaurant GM.
Carol Schatz, CCA, Downtown BID.
Peklar Pilavjian, St. Vincent’s Jewelry Center.
Karen Hathaway, LA Athletic Club.
Siobhan Talbot, Brookfield.
Jeffery Fish, Pershing Square Building.
Chris Rising, Rising Realty.
Robert Hanasab, City National Building.
Brian Glodney, Gensler.
Rick Poulos, NBBJ.
Katherine Perez-Estolano, USC.
Melani Smith, Melendrez Design Partners.
Gail Goldberg, ULI.