LA CAN and Partners in Play Fair at Farmers Field Coalition Settle Lawsuit Challenging Proposed Downtown Stadium
Play Fair at Farmers Field Coalition and AEG have agreed to terms to settle a lawsuit filed by the Coalition and individual LA CAN members and supporters. LA CAN, Physicians for Social Responsibility-LA and Comunidad Presente, as the lead members of Play Fair, secured commitments on a wide range of community health benefits and measures, including funding for affordable housing, air quality improvement projects, improvements serving bus riders, additional parks and open space, neighborhood improvement plans, and a community team to promote health and protect tenant rights in the surrounding area.
The programs and funds secured are due to the diligent work of our resident committee over the past 9 months, comprised of low-income residents in Downtown, Pico Union and South LA, including completing a Health Impact Assessment, delegation visits, public testimony, community surveys, social media, and other means of inserting community voices and demands into the public review and approval process for the stadium.
Wesley Walker, a board member of the Los Angeles Community Action Network who was also an active member of the stadium committee, shared: “We got involved in this issue because of the important community health issues like housing, public safety and access to jobs. The settlement agreement includes many measures to meet the community’s goals in these areas.”
The settlement includes many community health programs and public participation processes that were recommended by impacted residents during the public approval process over the past months, but went largely ignored by the City. Among other things, the agreement between AEG and Play Fair includes:
- A $15 million Housing Trust Fund to preserve and create extremely low-income housing in the surrounding communities of Pico-Union, South L.A. and Downtown Los Angeles
- $1.9 million for additional air quality and bus rider improvements
- Funding for an organizer and promotora/health promoter team focused on tenant rights and improving housing conditions for at least three years within a two-mile radius of the stadium
- Supplements to the previous neighborhood park commitment, including additional funds and community planning/design processes
- Neighborhood improvement plans for South LA, Downtown and Pico Union, with funding for improvements identified through community processes
- The establishment of a two-year pilot project regarding transit and transportation plans for stadium attendees
- The City’s living wage will be required for all on-site jobs
- Establishing that 40% of all local hires in permanent jobs will be prioritized for “disadvantaged” workers
- Establishing access for very small street vendors to the plaza and public spaces on event days
- Numerous community input and notification processes for public safety impacts, construction impacts, and other concerns
LA CAN, PSR-LA, and Comunidad Presente are voluntarily not eligible to receive any of the almost $20 million in funding secured in the settlement, as we strongly believe that negotiating organizations should not receive direct financial benefits from negotiations with developers about solutions intended to benefit low-income communities broadly.
LA CAN also thanks and acknowledges the contributions of our legal team: Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles; Hadsell Stormer Richardson & Renick LLP; and Robert D. Newman, Attorney at Law. We also thank our community partners who provided support to this campaign.