City May Eliminate Non-Profit Lease Program

A proposal by the Mayor’s Chief Administrative Officer is on the agenda for the City Council meeting on Wednesday, May 26, and will, if approved, eliminate the $1 per year lease subsidies for nonprofit organizations in city-owned buildings. Community organizations all across Los Angeles will be affected if approved by the City Council, just one of many disappointing cuts in light of the city’s fiscal crisis.

Here in Echo Park, the Central City Action Committee is particularly concerned about this program. The organization has taken up residence at the old fire station on the corner of Edgware and Bellevue for the last 10 years. Should the $1 per year subsidies be cut, there is growing concern over the future of the CCAC as all its grant money goes to graffiti removal, and youth jobs and programs in Echo Park and surrounding neighborhoods. In addition, CCAC director MaryAnne Hayashi is concerned that there have been no studies to help determine the negative impact on the communities that this proposal will have.

The CCAC is an important organization in Echo Park (and other neighborhoods of course) not only because of the graffiti removal, but also because of the youth programs it offers to the community. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, the CCAC was honored at Dodger Stadium with a “2010 Good Neighbor Award” baseball bat, The Eastsider LA reported, for its contributions to the youth community.

We need to support organizations like the CCAC and tell the city to support our important non-profits. The original vote was supposed to take place on Wednesday, May 19, but was pushed back another week even though the cut is supposed to take effect on July 1 (which doesn’t give the CCAC much time to prepare). Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Call or email your City Council rep, click here for a list of phone numbers. Tell them to oppose the proposal.
  • Attend the meeting and give public testimony in opposition to the proposal. The meeting is on Wednesday, May 26 at City Hall, Room 340,  200 North Spring St. Los Angeles, CA 90012 (for times, keep an eye out for the meeting agenda, but will probably occur between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm).
  • Arts For LA is another non-profit that is campaigning against this proposal. They have provide some detailed information and great suggestions on how to write your letters and word your phone calls to get the point across. Click here.

To follow what’s going on with this issue, you can actually subscribe via RSS feed and get updates when something happens. You can click here or go to the City Clerk website and search for file number 08-2762.

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