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Friday, February 11, 2011

Poster Children for Abolishment: LA & GLENDALE REDEVELOPMENT AGENCIES

Rudy Martinez, Candidate for 14th District Los Angeles and Challenger to Huizar, incumbent, Princeton Graduate, and friend of the public employee unions and Redevelopment, 

Bob Blue, Vice President of the Hollywood Highlands Democratic Club, founding member and past chair of the Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Council and activist against the abusive use of eminent domain for Redevelopment.  

Steven Greenhut, editor in chief of CalWatchDog.com, author of Abuse of Power: How Government Misuses Eminent Domain, talk with us on Redevelopment in Los Angeles and Glendale, on the radio program, this Saturday night at 11PM on 870AM KRLA and on KRLA870.com 
Bob Blue, City Watch LA
Many Californians were not aware of the Redevelopment Law that allows (but does not mandate) the creation of a Redevelopment Agency (RDA) in order to eliminate “blight.” But Governor Jerry Brown upset the serenity of Redevelopment in California by focusing a beam of light on RDAs, their massive burden of debt on the State and local budgets, and one of RDA’s draconian powers, Kelo-type Eminent Domain.

With a bright light on Los Angeles’ Redevelopment Agency (CRA/LA), the biggest in the State, and its neighbor, the City of Glendale, and their Redevelopment Agency, the Glendale Redevelopment Agency (GRA), both Agencies became poster-children for abolishing all RDAs in California.

A hastily prepared plan was first hatched in Los Angeles to shield almost $1 Billion in unused Property Tax increment funds from Brown’s plan to return them to “...schools, counties, special districts, and city general purposes.”

Glendale quickly followed its “Big Brother” one week later with the same short 24-hour Special Meeting notice which had a hyperlink that was supposed to link to a detailed report, but instead lead to single a page with only the following text: “REPORT FOR SPECIAL JOINT CC GRA HA[D] TO BE POSTED SOON.”

Then with all of California watching, the RDAs of Los Angeles and Glendale stepped up to the plate to protect and nurture an often misunderstood species, LA’s Billionaires. Click here to read the rest of Bob Blue's article.


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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database

Key

Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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