Pershing Square, one of Los Angeles’ oldest parks, may be getting a makeover.

The other week the LA Times wrote an article on the Task Force out of CD 14 to get the ball rolling on a Pershing Square redesign.

Councilman Jose Huizar on Tuesday named 20 business representatives, property owners, and architectural and design experts to a task force to seek money and legislation to redesign the benighted square in the heart of downtown.

Task force members include Brian Glodney of Gensler architects; Melani Smith of Melendrez Design Partners; and Gail Goldberg, the city of Los Angeles’ former director of planning. At a news conference, Gensler architects presented a conceptual redesign of the square they prepared for the city on a voluntary basis.

Becky Dennison of Community Action Network protested that low-income and homeless people, the major users of the park since a 1994 redesign that was widely considered a failure, were shut out of the task force.

The membership “is entirely slanted toward the business and development community without any voice … for low-income people who have historically used the park for decades.” Huizar’s office was not immediately available to respond.

Other members include Carol Schatz of the Central City Assn.; Blair Besten of the Historic Downtown Business Improvement District; Peklar Pilavjian of St. Vincent’s Jewelry Center; and Karen Hathaway of the L.A. Athletic Club.

Response to Query on Sponsorship of Pershing Square Concerts & Reserved Seating

The other month I wrote an email to the Parks & Rec Commissioners about my concern with sponsorship of the Pershing Square Concerts in connection with reserved seating for the events.

This is the Facebook post which caused my concern.

from: Richard Schave <>
to: RAP Commissioners <>
date: Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 7:14 PM
subject: sponsorship of Pershing Square Summer Concerts

Dear RAP Commissioners & RAP GM:

I am writing to express my concern about the “sponsorship” of the
Pershing Square Concert series, which is basically creating reserved
seating for the first ten rows. I was under the impression that the
series was free to the public. So the creation of reserved seating
confuses me.

Here is a URL for future reference:




And I got a reply from Parks & Rec end of the end of last month,



August 22, 2013

Mr. Richard Schauve Via e-mail: schavester

Dear Mr. Schauve:
Thank you for your e-mail regarding the “Downtown Summer Concert Series” at Pershing Square. For the last 15 years, Pershing Square has offered free outdoor concerts to the downtown community. Due to the dedicated work of the Pershing Square staff and the Pershing Square Park Advisory Board this event has grown in popularity. Popular bands and great entertainment is also a result of support from local community sponsorship. Seats at the front are included as part of the sponsorship package. it is through their generosity that these concerts remain free to the public.
For any additional questions, please feel free to contact Recreation Supervisor Annamaria Galbraith-Stewart at (213) 485-1310.





Operations Branch

cc: WA 13912
Board Communication N0. 6842
Metro Region HQ
Annamaria Gaibraith—Stewart, Metro Region

The link to the PDF of the reply letter.

Monterey Park Considers Adding Emails, Texts to Brown Act Disclosures

This just came in over the transom, and I find it an interesting meditation: 

Monterey Park Considers Adding Emails, Texts to Brown Act Disclosures

I will quote from the article:


The Monterey Park City Council is considering crafting a policy to regulate the use of electronic communications, such as text messages, email and the Internet during council meetings.

The policy would describe what forms of communication are appropriate, as well as what information should be made available in accordance with public disclosure requirements.

Mayor Teresa Real Sebastian raised the issue during the July 3 council meeting. She said she decided to bring the matter to the council after reading about the issue and its relation to the Brown Act, California legislation that guarantees that meetings held by legislative bodies are open to the public. It also requires that actions by those bodies must not be done in secret.

Many of the technologies available today to communicate were not around when the Brown the Act was passed in 1953, the mayor noted. She asked the council to consider developing a policy defining how electronics devises, such as cell phones and computers can be used during council meetings, especially when it pertains to agenda items.
“After all, as elected members we are engaging in a public meeting and it must be open,” she said, insinuating that electronic devices might be used to convey information and messages without the public knowing during what are supposed to be public meetings.

Real Sebastian said residents have alleged that council members secretly communicate with members of the public during meetings via text messages, a violation of the Brown Act.
“I don’t know if that’s true or not, but if it is, we need to address it as soon as possible,” she said.

See everyone in September for the next meeting!