Equality Not Hate Rally In Lincoln Park

East Los Angeles Rally Sunday!!! 1pm Lincoln Park

PROTEST in the PARK: EQUALITY not H8TE Sponsored by the Latino/a LGBT Coalition latino.lgbt. coalition@ gmail.com

This Sun Nov 9th - 1 pm East LA : Lincoln Park
3501 Valley Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90031

A peaceful rally of the people. We rally then we march. In peace and with dignity... Everyone's voice is needed. Everyone's help is needed to spread the word... REPOST - SEND TO YOUR EMAIL LISTS & CONTACTS - SEND TEXT MESSAGES 

BE THERE! Bring signs, banners, whistles and some friends...

This image was made from a photo taken taken at the marriage ceremony of two dear friends.

I must comment that this joyous celebration was attended by elderly family members, and young children.  I didn't count noses, but my impression was that heterosexual couples outnumbered gay couples.  Believe me, no one felt threatened.


Measure J Affects the Southwest Museum

Measure J on tomorrow's ballot is a $3.5 billion bond for the Los Angeles Community College District.

But did you realize that a YES vote on this measure possibly endangers the Southwest Museum by turning the Museum into a campus? 

Zuma Dogg: Why Measure J (Nov 4) Means ADIOS To The Southwest Museum And It's Billion Dollar Artifcats 

Boulevard Sentinel  (Scroll down to the 14th article)

On the other hand Los Angeles Times takes the YES position and, curiously, although the article was posted in October, there are no comments.  Could it be that some comments have been deleted?  Did any Southwest Museum supporters try to comment there?

Some background information here: Understanding the Southwest Museum Controversy


Supreme Court Spreadsheet: Kelo v. City of New London 2005

In 1997, Susettte Kelo purchased and restored an older home with a river view in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood of New London, Connecticut.

Soon after, the city of New London attempted to purchase 115 houses in the area in order to sell to commercial developers.   The plan called for the purchase and demolition of the standing homes, after which the private commerical developers would build a resort hotel and conference center, research facilities, new homes, offices and retail space.

Susette Kelo and 15 other homeowners refused to sell to the City of New London, so the city cited eminent domain and claimed the land.

A legal battle followed.  Ms. Kelo's position: The fifth amendment says the government can take private property for "public use", but this land was not being taken for that purpose; it was being taken to build what amounted to a privately owned real estate development.

The case was heard before by the Supreme Court, and the Court's decision was delivered June 23, 2005.  5 Justices voted in favor of the City of New London, 4 in favor of Kelo.

Here is my spreadsheet of the votes:

JUSTICE NAME

VOTE ON

KELO V. NEW LONDON

YEAR APPOINTED

APPOINTED BY

John Paul Stevens

Wrote opinion: City has right to take property

1975

Gerald Ford - Republican

Anthony Kennedy

CONCUR

1988

Ronald Regan - Republican

David Souter

CONCUR

1990

George H. W. Bush - Republican

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

CONCUR

1993

Bill Clinton - Democrat

Stephen Breyer

CONCUR

1994

Bill Clinton - Democrat

William Rehnquist, Chief Justice

DISSENT

1972

Richard Nixon - Republican

Sandra Day O'Connor

DISSENT

1981

Ronald Regan - Republican

Anotonin Scalia

DISSENT

1986

Ronald Regan - Republican

Clarence Thomas

DISSENT

1991

George H. W. Bush - Republican

The full text of each Justice's opinion is archived at Cornell Law

Wikepedia on Kelo v New London

MSNBC article re Kelo

My purpose in doing this?  To first explore the idea that American Presidents can effect policy and law for decades by the appointment of a Supreme Court justice.  (Justice Stevens is now 88 years old, so it is possible that the next president may have the opportunity of making an appointment.)  And second, to explore the idea that justices do not always vote as expected.


Supreme Court Decision Spreadsheet: Dred Scott V. Sandford

I love election years.  The conversations that take place about the candidates and issues often lead to learning new things about history and government.

A few days ago I exchanged some comments with Mike Saunders about looking at "landmark" Supreme Court decisions in a spreadsheet format:  A snapshot, if you will, of how each justice voted, viewed beside the name and political party of the appointing president ....

To start playing with the idea, I reached back in history to Dred Scott V. Sandford, of 1857, certainly one of the most infamous decisions in our country's history.

From Wikipedia: Dred Scott v. Sandford,[1] 60 U.S. (19 How.) 393 (1857), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court that ruled that people of African descent imported into the United States and held as slaves, or their descendants[2]-whether or not they were slaves-could never be citizens of the United States, and that the United States Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery in federal territories

Here is my spreadsheet

JUSTICE NAME

VOTE ON

DRED SCOTT

YEAR OF BIRTH

YEAR APPOINTED

APPOINTED BY

John McLean

Dissent

1785

1830

Andrew Jackson

James M. Wayne

Concur

1790

1835

Andrew Jackson

Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice

Wrote opinion: Slaves are not citizens

1777

1836

Andrew Jackson

John Catron

Concur

1786

1837

Martin Van Buren

Peter V. Daniel

Concur

1784

1842

Martin Van Buren

Samuel Nelson

Concur

1792

1845

John Tyler, Jr.

Robert C. Grier

Concur

1794

1846

James Polk

Benjamin Curtis

Dissent

1809

1851

Millard Filmore

John A. Campbell

Concur

1811

1853

Franklin Pierce

It soon became apparent that including a column indicating the appointing president's political party was problematic for this point in time, since in the first half of the 19th century, American political parties were undergoing great changes.   For example, Wikipedia lists Martin Van Buren's party affiliations as Democratic-Republican, Democratic, and Free Soil.

To place the Dred Scott decision in a historical timeline, consider this:

The American Revolutionary War took place 1775 - 1783.  The oldest justice at the time of the Dred Scott decision, Chief Justice Taney, was born during the Revolutionary War.

James Buchanan was inaugurated President March 4, 1857.

The Dred Scott decision was delivered March 6, 1857.

Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860.

Fighting in The American Civil War began in April, 1861.

Robert E. Lee surrendered April 9, 1865, ending the American Civil War.

Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865.

-----------

The full text of opinions written by each justice are archived at Cornell Law Library here.

FindLaw case summary here.

Further reading:  The Supreme's Greatest Hits

This historical review would not have been possible without Wikipedia.  Carolyn, I know you're a Wikipedia editor, my hats off to you and all editors!!

Mike, now that I've sorted the idea out a bit, I'm going to tackle KELO.  Stand by!


Pondering the Supreme Court

I had a conversation with a couple friends yesterday about John McCain and his selection of Sara Palin as a running mate.

The conversation wound its way into the topic of a President's legacy being his (or her) Supreme Court appointments.   And the possibility that the next president may have at least one appointment to make in the next four years, given that Justice John Paul Stevens is now in his late eighties.

I ended up making this list of the current Supreme Court Justices, sorted by each Justice's year of birth:

JUSTICE NAME

YEAR OF BIRTH

YEAR APPOINTED

APPOINTED BY

John Paul Stevens

1920

1975

Gerald Ford

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

1933

1993

Bill Clinton

Anthony Kennedy

1936

1988

Ronald Regan

Antonin Scalia

1936

1986

Ronald Regan

Stephen Breyer

1938

1994

Bill Clinton

David Hackett Souter

1939

1990

George H. W. Bush

Clarence Thomas

1948

1991

George H. W. Bush

Samuel Alito

1950

2006

George W. Bush

John Roberts, Chief Justice

1955

2005

George W. Bush

Here is the same list, sorted by each Justice's year of appointment:

JUSTICE NAME

YEAR OF BIRTH

YEAR APPOINTED

APPOINTED BY

John Paul Stevens

1920

1975

Gerald Ford

Antonin Scalia

1936

1986

Ronald Regan

Anthony Kennedy

1936

1988

Ronald Regan

David Hackett Souter

1939

1990

George H. W. Bush

Clarence Thomas

1948

1991

George H. W. Bush

Ruth Bader Ginsberg

1933

1993

Bill Clinton

Stephen Breyer

1938

1994

Bill Clinton

John Roberts, Chief Justice

1955

2005

George W. Bush

Samuel Alito

1950

2006

George W. Bush

Something to ponder.

And for further pondering:

The Supreme Court Web Site

Short biographies of each justice

A U S News article about "Ranking the Politics of Supreme Court Justices"


Charles Fletcher Lummis High School

The Highland Park Heritage Trust is conducting a petition gathering all this week to emphasize the importance of naming HS #13 for a person who is significant to the Northeast of Los Angeles, our own Charles Fletcher Lummis.

Petition gathering started at the HPHT booth on Lummis Day, June 1, and the first round of signature gathering will continue until June 11th when the ground breaking ceremony will be taking place at the location on San Fernando Road, at Division Street.

Historian, Charles Fisher, author of "Highland Park", the book that chronicles the history of the community, was the one who had the brilliant idea of naming it Charles Fletcher Lummis HIgh School. Can you imagine the motto? "Can Do!"

To help with the signature gathering, send your email request to:

Carmela Gomes
President of the Board of Highland Park Heritage Trust
hphtpres@gmail.com

Signed petitions can be returned during the HPHT meeting on Monday, June 9, from 7-9PM at Ramona Hall, or to the Community Booth at the Farmer’ Market on Tuesday, June 10, at the Avenue 57 Gold Line Station.

Instructions for returning the signed petitions at other times, before June 11, will be given along with the Petition attachment.

Thanks for your continuing community spirit.


California marriage ruling sets historic precedent

The California Supreme Court ruled today that same-sex couples must be allowed to marry in California. Domestic partnership is not sufficient. Only "marriage" will suffice in order to afford gays and lesbians full protection under the state Constitution.

In 1981, Michael Vasquez and I exchanged our vows in international waters since, at that time, no nation on the planet legally recognized the right of same-sex couples to marry. We chose international waters as the forum for our commitment ceremony as a way of expressing our belief that our right to marry was not dependent on the political beliefs of the rulers of our planet. More than 300 people showed their support by joining us on the ship we chartered for this great adventure.

Today, a few nations, such as Canada, do recognize the right of same-sex couples to legally marry.

In the United States, Massachusetts has been the only state to recognize the right of same-sex couples to marry. The Supreme Court in that state issued a constitutional ruling a few years ago which opened up marriage to all couples regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Today is a historic day, one that will be remembered for years to come.

Now, it would be appropriate for the State of California to open up "domestic partnership" to opposite-sex couples who may wish to have primary family rights but who do not want the term "marriage" applied to their relationships. Currently, only gay couples of any adult age, and opposite-sex couples above the age of 62, can register with the state as domestic partners. Heterosexual couples under the age of 62 are denied the right to register their relationship as a domestic partnership.

If freedom of choice in personal relationships means anything, and now that same-sex couples will have access to marriage, heterosexual couples should have access to domestic partnership if they choose it.

Also, state and federal laws should be "marital status neutral," neither rewarding those who marry or punishing those who do not. Marital status discrimination should not be allowed.

Economic barriers to marriage should also be removed so that seniors, people with disabilities, and those receiving government assistance are not penalized if they choose to marry.

Just as the Constitution protects freedom of religion and the freedom from religion, as well as the right to have children and the right not to have children, it is time for society to truly respect freedom of choice with respect to marriage.

Society should treat all people fairly regardless of whether they choose marriage or domestic partnership, or for that matter whether they choose to be single.


* Thomas F. Coleman is an attorney who has been advocating for liberty and equal rights for 34 years. He and his partner, Michael Vasquez, reside in Los Angeles.  Coleman is also a realtor with Bob Taylor Properties located in Highland Park.


A New Post from a New Poster

It is a great pleasure to post for the first time here on Nelalive - thanks Cheryl for the invitation.
I'm a happy Highland Park homeowner who had the great pleasure of buying my house with the help of Blob Taylor back in 1985 and I'm still there, rooted in Garvanza like a Bouganvilla! 

After helping start the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council, I've satisfied myself with keeping it's website interesting while the Council itself continues to grope for relevance, with mixed results.  It's election time coming up, so those who think they might want to help the HHPNC move to the next level of meaningfulness for the Highland Park Community, please step up and run for a position. 

Visit the HHPNC website at http://historichighlandpark.org        

If you take the trouble to register and become a ' registered user' of the website, you'll be able to access all the historic photos I've put there as well as contribute to the 'forums'.  But even as an unregistered 'guest', there is a lot to see there, so please give it a spin.

The most exciting recent news was announced just today:  Garvanza (north Highland Park neighborhood, historically defined north of York, East of Figueroa) will be getting an HPOZ!  Here is the notice that just appeared on NELAlist today!: 

It's a YES, Garvanza!
 
With great pleasure, I write to inform you that council UNANIMOUSLY approved the initiation of a Garvanza Historic Preservation Overlay Zone and related Interim Control Ordinance today at council. 
 
Councilmember Huizar advocated strongly for this project, and wants to send sincere THANKS to each person who came down to council today to support the item.  Your presence was important, as one never knows how these things will go.  As it turns out, it went through with flying colors with no objection!  In fact, another council office commented they've never seen an HPOZ go through so smoothly - a tribute to the broad support and importance of this project. 
 
I am including the Councilmember's press release below for your reference.
 
Thanks again for your diligent and consistent support for this issue and the Councilmember's work on behalf of the community. It's a pleasure working with all of you.
 
Sincerely,
Jessica
 
Jessica Wethington McLean
Planning & Economic Development Director
Office of Councilmember José Huizar
200 N. Spring Street Room 465
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 473-7014
Jessica.WethingtonMcLean@Lacity.org 
 
 
PRESS RELEASE
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    CONTACT: George I. Gonzalez    (213) 473-7014
Tuesday July 17th, 2007                                 Cell   (213) 200-9974
                                                                        
COUNCILMEMBER JOSE HUIZAR LEADS EFFORT TO
CREATE GARVANZA HISTORIC PRESERVATION OVERLAY ZONE
 
City Council Approves HPOZ Study- Action Long-awaited by Northeast Los Angeles Community
                                                                                    
LOS ANGELES- Councilmember José Huizar, District 14, was pleased to announce that the Garvanza community of Northeast Los Angeles is closer to becoming a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ).  The City Council approved a motion introduced by Councilman Huizar, which instructed the City’s Planning Department to conduct a $120,000 study that will evaluate the historic significance of the area. 
 
HPOZ’s are designed to protect and enhance the use of buildings, structures, natural features, and areas which are reminders of the City’s history.  They also protect unique and irreplaceable assets to the City and its neighborhoods which are worthy examples of past architectural styles.
 
The Garvanza community features many structures which represent significant architectural history, including the original historic township of Garvanza established in the early 1900’s. The proposed Garvanza HPOZ boundaries cover areas between Pasadena City limits to the north; Metro right-of-way bridge to the south; Eastside of Avenue 66 to the east; and Eastside  of Figueroa proceeding to the Westside of Avenue 63 at York to the west.  The Garvanza HPOZ will also incorporate the Judson Studios/Thorne Street portion of the current Highland Park HPOZ.
 
Councilman Huizar advocated strongly, along with the community, for Council to agree to fund the HPOZ study; and hopes the area will be added to the existing 21 HPOZ’s in the City.
 
“I believe this area represents significant cultural and architectural resources which should be protected.  Residents have been fighting for this Historic Preservation Overlay Zone for many years - in fact, this issue stretches back several administrations in Council District 14,” said Councilman Huizar.
 
“We are at a critical point in time for the historic portions of Garvanza - many of the structures we are looking to protect with this HPOZ are in danger of being torn down. This HPOZ will also offer homeowners various tax, regulatory, and financial incentives that are designed to offset the expense of rehabilitating and maintaining their properties.” he added.
 
The study is expected to be completed within a year.
 
# # #

...............................And keep an eye on the upcoming Grand opening of the new Garvanza skatepark....It's a cutting edge concrete park that is already getting a lot of use from the skaters who can't wait for the opening and are breaking in to use it, despite the Rec and Parks Dept.'s efforts to dissuade them by putting sand down on the surfaces and locking the fence.  The skaters simply cut the gate off and toss it aside, sweep up the sand and go forward with their use, "padless" and "helmetless", and just for good measure, they cover the park with graffitti tagging.  In my opinion, unlesss they replace the fence w/ "prison" quality barriers, there will never be an adequate amount of security to keep the skaters out. 

Once the park is opened, the skaters will be required to wear pads and helmets (which they abhor), so the "pirate" use will continue to be a strong magnet, and the gang members will continue to want to tag it to clearly claim it's 'turf' as their own.  A great number of us in the community were apprehensive about this park for these very reasons:  A world class skatepark arrives on the scene with world class challenges in terms of security and controlled use.  If young kids are to feel safe and welcome at this skatepark, a concerted effort on the part of Rec and Parks staff to control it's use will be required.  We worry that funding shortfalls at Rec and Parks will present difficulties in adequately staffing, securing and regulating the skaters.  Without a high level of attention, the park threatens to 'ghettoize' the Garvanza neighborhood by attracting pervasive tagging and repeated breakins by rambunctious skaters, night and day in the off hours.     In August we will witness the grand opening, I am told, so let's cross our fingers that things will progress smoothly.

You can read more asbout the Garvanza skatepark on the forum devoted to it on the HHPNC website at http://historichighlandpark.org/modules.php?name=4nForum&file=forumdisplay&fid=8


Thanks for reading my first post on Nelalive and I hope you'll check out the HHPNC website soon!
Robert Mendel

General Election May 15

A few days ago I received a sample ballot in the mail for a General Election taking place May 15, 2007.

There is only one item on the ballot, a Community College District Board of Trustees seat.

How much does it cost to put on an election? Is it just me, or does an election for just one Board of Trustees seat seem rather wasteful? How many people will even come out and vote?

I'm sure the candidates are sincere, hard-working people, and it doesn't seem fair to them either.

Just my humble opinion.