Building Neighborhood Support / Contacting Your Neighborhood Council
Postcards such as this one can be made on a computer rather easily, and then printed up at Kinko's. The images here are taken from actual photographs of the duplexes, which were then treated in a program. The other side of this postcard urges Jack Weiss to support the Kelton Avenue duplexes as historical monuments. We printed a hundred of these postcards, passed them out to neighbors, and everyone mailed them in. Postcard created by Lisa Kelly.
You should also be building neighborhood support. Be creative. We wrote petitions citing increased traffic, parking problems, population density, cultural destruction, decreased views, loss of open space and greenery, and other items and circulated them around the surrounding community. We held a block party in the front yard. Many people attended, bringing food. We circulated petitions here as well. In all, we collected over 170 signatures. People were supportive and outraged at the possible destruction of such old, beautiful homes. We contacted the local neighborhood council. Later on, we created postcards requesting Jack Weiss to support the historical duplexes and had people sign them and mail them to the district office. Many of us contacted the office by calling and sending letters, emails, and FAXes as well. The idea is to create a blizzard of letters and so forth. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? Don't be annoying. These people hear complaints all day. Just state your opinion in your communication with them. You're trying to show that the whole neighborhood is interested in the historical preservation.
We were again lucky. Through dogged persistence, we managed to get Councilman Jack Weiss to come out for a site visit, something we had badgered his office about constantly. He said he was impressed by how many people in the community turned out for his visit. A week later, he held a press conference in front of our homes, announcing that he would support the designation for historical monument status. This was obviously a huge help to us, as he must be the one who eventually give his consent for this if the Cultural Heritage Commission chooses to designate these homes. It's possible that part of the reason that he came to this decision eventually was constant communication with his office and overwhelming neighborhood support, shown by phone calls, letters, and petitions. At any rate, we're very grateful that he did.
When we made our March 5th presentation before the Cultural Heritage Commission again, with all those support letters in hand, we could also say that Jack Weiss had given his support, with Beverly Kenworthy from the office there to indicate support as well. We also had over twenty people attending the meeting in support of the preservation of the homes.
Get in touch with with other groups that are fighting for the historic preservation of other properties. They can be invaulable in providing advice, assistance, contacts, or a sympathetic ear. The LA Conservancy, the district council office, or the Cultural Heritage Commission can help get you in touch with these other groups.
The media is also a good resource to contact. This can create additional awareness in the community. After the Los Angeles Times article ran, we had neighbors visiting and offering support. They could not believe that anyone would want to tear the "jewels of the neighborhood."
Again, get in touch with your neighborhood council. The neighborhood councils work with the city council, so it is important to keep their representatives informed, and try to have as many city council people as possible support your cause as possible. Present your case during their meetings and win their support.
http://www.lacityneighborhoods.com/home.htm Click on this link, then click on a pdf file entitled Neighborhood Councils Roster. This document is their most comprehensive roster of those groups that have been certified, and those that are still in the process of organizing -- everybody. It includes contact information for the key leaders of each group, boundaries, and e-mail and Web site addresses. The list is constantly being updated so we include a notation of when changes were made to each groups information. This roster will always appear at the bottom of the News Flash section. (64 pages.)
We got in touch with our neighborhood council, attended a meeting, and got them involved. They wrote a letter of support to the city council and to Councilman Jack Weiss.
Articles and radio shows on
Los Angeles Times article
Application for Historic Monument Status
The Cultural Heritage Commission Review Process
Building Neighborhood Support
Arguments that a Developer May Make Against Historical Preservation
Next Steps After Properties Have Been Designated Historical Monuments
The Kelton Homes Now (September 2009)
Support / Contacting Your Neighborhood Council
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Contact photographer/musician Ken Lee