Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
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from Echo Park

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Little guys win -- 9A update

The judge ruled. The little guys win this round. The LAUSD juggernaut must conduct the environmental impact review it thought it could kick under the rug. If you're just tuning in -- 9A is the LAUSD's name for the site where it proposed to build an unnecessary school (as opposed to funding academic programs in the schools already built -- or repairing existing structures); the Right Site Coalition recently sued the LAUSD. Headed by Christine Peters, the Right Site Coaltion is a grass roots group of volunteers: activists and former residents of the houses that now stand empty on the western edge of Echo Park. The city has opposed the LAUSD's 9A project. Coucil president Eric Garcetti opposed it. The Department of Transportation opposed it. Residents of Echo Park opposed it. The LAUSD didn't care. At previous hearings, the LAUSD general counsel, Jay Golita, tried to intimidate members of the Right Site Coalition. He glared at people. He pulled them aside and said why are you bothering with this? By the time we get to court we'll have knocked down the buildings anyway. (It may have been at the same hearing that a judge ordered a moratorium on any further action -- so, fortunately, the buildings have not been razed.) The LAUSD had to hire outside counsel to defend their case. At a school board hearing, Roy Romer himself reportedly yelled at Mitch, a staffer for Eric Garcetti, who admirably stood and took it without sniping or backing down. The Right Site is betting that the LAUSD's project won't stand up to an environmental impact review. In what ways this will help the people already thrown out of their homes remains to be seen.

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