Mar 13 2012

Venice Communities Fight Gentrification

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Residents and activists in Venice beach say police are harassing community members and the homeless as a new wave of gentrification hits the city, best known for its eclectic beach-loving population. Last Wednesday dozens of homeless people lost their personal belongings when the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, in cooperation with the LA Police Department, raided a homeless encampment at Third Street between Rose and Sunset Avenues in Venice Beach. Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl said the city was conducting a “sanitation action” that was only meant to sweep up abandoned property. The homeless disagree, and say their personal items, including prescription medications, wallets, and clothing, were indiscriminately collected and immediately dumped into garbage trucks. Adding to the outrage of the community is a feeling of betrayal, because police began directing the homeless to the Third Street encampment when the city began enforcing a no camping ordinance on the boardwalk, which displaced many homeless individuals. Venice residents from the Oakwood neighborhood and others also report an increase in community members being ticketed by police for small infractions, such as not having the fence around a home properly painted.

GUESTS: David Busch, an activist with the Spirit of Venice Coalition, Maria Fitzsimmons, and organizer with People Organized for Westside Renewal, or POWER, and Kendra Moore, a POWER leader and president of the Holiday Venice Tenant Action Committee

Visit for more information. There will a direct action training in relation to the Venice area activism on April 14-15, 2012. For more information, visit

34 responses so far

34 Responses to “Venice Communities Fight Gentrification”

  1. Deiteron 13 Mar 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I’m a longtime Venice resident. In many cases the homeless–and to be specific, these are vehicle dwellers we’re talking about, be it Winnebagos, vans, cars, etc–put stresses on the communities they inhabit. They become the squatting neighbors to those of us who pay, sometimes dearly, for the privilege of living in this area. They tend to reside in areas beyond the legal allowances–at times b/c their vehicles don’t run or barely operate. Local law enforcement is generally lenient to their presence. Parking enforcement may issue tickets, and sometimes not, on street sweeping days when they don’t move, as often happens, but there tends to be no follow-up if the same vehicle is seen in a spot week after week. I’ve never seen a vehicle towed. Over the years I’ve had non-motorized vehicles parked in front of my house, such as trash storing trailers, for months at a time. People tend to store their belongings outside their vehicles on the surrounding properties. From my experience, they tend not to be good neighbors. The stresses of their own lives and relationships tends to spill out of their
    vehicles in a number of ways. (Recently the owners of one vehicle in front of my house had a screaming expletive-laden fight that included murderous threats from the male partner as they stood on the street.)

    Venice is the only community that tolerates campers: Neither Santa Monica nor Malibu to the north, MdR nor PdR and beyond to the south, nor just about any other community to the east. As I’ve seen, “Overnight” tends to be a highly abused term. The situation on third street was tolerated for years. I believe law enforcement had been very generous, overly generous, in their treatment of the situation here. I’ll agree that part of the stresses suffered in Venice are the result of the intolerance to their presence in the surrounding communities. But the truth is, the lack of support they’re gaining here is due to permanent resident fatigue. It is a problem that needs to be shared by all communities, not just ours.

  2. Venice Vortexon 13 Mar 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you LAPD, Dept of sanitation and Bill R for doing the right thing. Please expand this course of action to the boardwalk and other Venice encampments.

    Venice is not a campground. When I walk away from my things on a sidewalk or in a park I expect them to be gone. Venice sidewalks and parks is not public storage space. We need to clean up Venice.

    Venice residents are tired of the homeless crime, public defecation, and outdoor use of drugs and alcohol. These folk need to find another community to trash. The Venice residents want the homeless to move on. We want the city to enforce the laws and clean up Venice.

  3. Venicesurfdadon 13 Mar 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Many of the homeless in Venice are not homeless at all. They are helpless. They don’t want help! They are rude, obnoxious, drunken punks who urinate and defecate where ever they want. Thank you LAPD Pacific Division for stepping up and cleaning up our neighborhood. My children thank you!

    This is beyond gentrification. I live with my neighbors of all classes and races. They don’t trash our neighborhood.

    It seems some of the helpless just won’t get it together and when their ‘stuff’ gets trashed they get upset, rightfully so. There are services available. The right track into housing and programs that can help with disabilities.

    Vehicular dwellers bring up so many other problems. Besides the general parking issues, the registered sex offender issue is what really hits home with my family. It’s just unacceptable, it’s a law and it is being broken in many ways besides 85.02!

    The help is there, but as I said we aren’t dealing with homeless.

    Clean up Venice! It’s time!

  4. Venice Fatheron 13 Mar 2012 at 5:28 pm

    My family and I live near 3rd Ave and Rose and we are so happy that the city is finally starting to clean up that encampment, and Venice in general. I hope the city continues to make Venice safer. We could not walk on 3rd near Rose. While I am sympathetic to the plight of the homeless, as are most Venetians I know, Venice has become the dumping ground for West LA and Santa Monica’s problems. Many of these homeless refuse to relocate to shelters, which have vacancies, and simply want to live in a state of anarchy by the beach. Activists and LA and Santa Monica politicians have taken advantage of the tolerance and progressive attitudes of Venetians to the point of abuse. We cannot be the concentrating point for the homeless population of Southern California. I have little respect for these “activists” who could care less about the safety and health of families living in Venice, whose tax dollars fund their organizations and pay their salaries. Why aren’t they protesting in Brentwood and Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach?

  5. Dave Grossmanon 13 Mar 2012 at 6:01 pm

    I’m so happy the city is finally enforcing the laws of the land.
    Venice has been a joke so many years and if we all don’t try to clean it to save it, its going to be a waste land one day and no one will come here. What will the homeless do then? They can’t complain anymore to anyone..
    I watched this radio interview and found it to be so stupid. These people just lie about everything being a conspiracy. They are all watching too much TV, and by the looks of Maria, she is a couch potato also..
    Dave Bush is a nut case, Maria just blames the system, and Kendra has all the facts wrong.
    Kendra saying that the police are giving black and Hispanic people tickets for painting their fences a certain color sums it up, they are all not using their heads here.
    If they need help there are so many resources in Venice for them to go to but they all choose not to..These resources don’t allow the homeless to be on drugs, so they choose being drunk or on drugs than seek help..
    Its all a cop out to complain and try to sue the city to get free money..
    Gentrification is here to stay, and I have surprise for you Kendra, the people moving to Venice are not all white, which I can see you really don’t like, they are Hispanic, Black, Asian, and even more races. How does that work out in your scheme of these people?
    See you on the boardwalk, loving my clean Venice..

  6. Venice Momon 13 Mar 2012 at 7:09 pm

    David Busch is delusional. no one comes to Venice to see the “hippies.” That was so four decades ago. Currently, tourists are repulsed by Venice Beach and when they walk the boardwalk – once and only once – they cling to their purses and families in disgust. And the “young travelers” he refers to? They’re meth addicts who intimidate families and steal from homes. The reason LAPD is enforcing the laws in Venice is that the laws intended to protect the community-at-large are being broken. And the residents of Venice are sick and tired of being victims of these people who hide amongst the truly homeless, waiting for an opportunity to sue the city and live off the backs of others. End of story.

    What the people you interviewed refer to as gentrification is really just humanification – just creating an environment where ALL people in Venice can live in peace without fear. For those who are unhoused, this community provides shelter and abundant services that provide support. That David Busch refuses those services is his choice and he must live with the consequences.

    Another guest referred to being cited for not having the right paint color in Oakwood? BS. Venice is known for its eclectic architecture. No way no how are people being cited for paint choices. I laughed out loud when I heard that comment. Nutso.

  7. J.H.on 13 Mar 2012 at 7:21 pm

    What brought the disgusting conditions on 3rd Ave to the attention of the city? A homeless parolee selling drugs that beat up a cop. That is the type of poor unfortunate soul David Busch wants to protect. I am glad he retrieved his ashtrays from the garbage heap the city cleaned up. Smokes are an $8 a pack luxury item even for people who work. Glad they can perpetuate their lung disease so the city, county and state can pay for that too, on the dollar of the tax payer. Steve Clare can get rich off all the property he owns and program money he receives, and the other homeless-helpers can keep skimming for the donation droppings to keep this thug culture alive. David Busch is an attention hungry wack job with a skewed Jesus complex. Help is not a zip code. Help is not a neighborhood. Helping the homeless is not the responsibility of Venice with a neighborhood of families and children. Buy a plot of land and squat on it. The city isn’t your parents basement. Grow up David.

  8. Venice_Surferon 13 Mar 2012 at 9:04 pm

    The homeless have turned 3rd street into a homeless camp and storage facility….In addition to broken furniture and trash thrown about…this encampment brings drug dealers and thieves alike, drug use is prevalent and done out in the open…it’s no secret the people who pay a lot of hard earned money to live here are fed up with this type of behavior.
    The people of Venice have spoken up, to make Venice a CLEAN and SAFE neighborhood.

    Those opposed should move-on.

  9. brad nealon 14 Mar 2012 at 7:19 am

    I am a 30 year resident of Venice. Finally Venice is becoming safe again for children, grandparents and everyone else. For far too long the City has turned it’s back to the abject lawlessness that has consumed our little beach side community. Venice is southern California’s top tourist destination and it’s beaches and Boardwalk are a primary resource for all of LA. We must protect it for everyone to enjoy. Thank you LAPD. Thank you Bill Rosendahl. Thank you City Attorney’s office. The silent majority will no longer remain silent.

  10. Asheson 14 Mar 2012 at 10:33 am

    I’ve been working in Venice for 10 years and I’m glad the city finally cleaned up that street! One of the businesses that has an entrance/exit on 3rd Ave and now has closed and locked their gate after 5pm because they feel it’s too dangerous for their employees to use it. They also had to have security teams setup to watch that area 24/7.

    The “homeless” there have blocked the sidewalks with their junk, garbage, and personal camping equipment. There is a constant stench of human waste hoovering around there. We have had problems with harassment, theft, drugs, and prostitution on that 1 block stretch of street.

    I would support daily sweeps of that area. It’s a public street and no one’s personal space. Thank you LAPD and Bill Rosendahl! This voter will continue to support you! Please clean up Venice!

  11. 21yrVeniceon 14 Mar 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Normally one would have to listen to “right wing” radio to get facts distorted such as the one’s David Bush espoused. To state that 16 million tourists come to Venice to see “hippies” is delusional at best. As a 21 yr resident I could not be happier to see the “gentrification” continue. It’s amazing to me that a handful of individuals who aren’t actually residents of Venice, feel as if they are being maligned. I have to go by 3rd almost everyday and I applaud the LAPD for finally taking steps to combat the “favela” type atmosphere there.

  12. Scarecrowon 14 Mar 2012 at 5:40 pm

    I think it is important to note that Brad Neal is a wealthy property owner in Venice who only cares about money and how much he can gouge people to live in his overpriced units. As far as the rest of this bunch goes calling somebody a liar is a pretty weak debating tactic. Unless you can actually prove that somebody is lying (which none of you actually can) it just outs you as the bunch of yuppie fools you all are. You people need to get lives and stop harassing the homeless. Its not good karma to bash the poor.

  13. brad nealon 14 Mar 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Scarecrow/Liar, the truth is you have defamed me and I am tempted to find out who you are because I do not appreciate liars especially when they direct their lies at me. Obviously, you do not know me. I have worked with the homeless for over 30 years. Tomorrow I am meeting with PATH and Rosendahl’s office to see if the location I found is suitable for a homeless shelter. If it is, we will be one step closer to finding a much needed shelter for our most needy residents of Venice. Do me a favor and provide me with your real name and address and let me know if you have sufficient assets to go after. Don’t worry I will donate the judgment to a worthy cause. Oh, and for your information I have no vacancies so I guess you were lying again when you said they were over priced.

  14. Mister Magooon 14 Mar 2012 at 7:02 pm

    I see David Busch is up to his usual tricks. These “travellers” he refers to only “travel” to Venice where they can hang out by the beach, harass tourists, curse at residents, and do as many drugs as humanly possible. At night, 3rd street looks like a scene out of MAD MAX. These people are not down on their luck. When you tattoo your face, you have chosen your lifestyle. The sense of entitlement that Busch and his fellow “travellers” promote is almost as nauseating as the smells emanating from their sidewalk campsites. NO OTHER COMMUNITY puts up with this crap. And as a 25 year resident of Venice, I have had enough.
    I hope sanitation throws their stuff out every day!
    The sidewalk is NOT a storage facility.
    Venice is NOT a campground.

  15. Mark Ryavecon 14 Mar 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Thank you LAPD, Dept. of Sanitation and Bill Rosendahl for doing the right thing.

    Venice is not a campground. If I walk away from my things on a sidewalk or in a park in Venice for more than 10 minutes I expect them to be gone. The Department of Sanitation had every reason to believe the items they picked up were abandoned. Venice sidewalks and parks are not public storage space.

    We need to continue cleaning up Venice. Venice residents are tired of the crime, public defecation, and outdoor use of drugs and alcohol which are part and parcel of the homeless/traveler encampments. These folks need to find another community to trash. The great majority of Venice residents want the travelers and drug users and alcoholics to move on. We want the City to enforce the laws and clean up Venice.

    And if any of them really want help, they should stop in at OPCC’s offices in Santa Monica where there are beds waiting for them.

  16. Spirit Of Veniceon 15 Mar 2012 at 3:29 pm

    The “encampment” on 3rd Avenue in Venice was a brave attempt by a very courageous, loving man – David Busch – to create a safe haven for Venice’s persecuted homeless population. While, from the outside, it was touted to be a “nexus of criminality” (according to LAPD) – on the inside it was a place for people, who have nowhere else to lay their head, to do so in a somewhat safe environment.

    The one incident, when an alleged “drug suspect” got into a scuffle with two LAPD officers and fled the scene (2/28/12), was sufficient to fuel a mountain of rumors speculating about the nefarious activities on 3rd Ave. In fact, the suspect was reportedly not an “occupier” of 3rd Ave. but merely passing through. That incident triggered a predictable tirade from the usual cast of characters who love to hate in Venice.

    The fact is that, night after night, homeless people gathered on 3rd Ave. peacefully and congenially, in an atmosphere of camaraderie; women, in particular, were thankful for a safe place to stay. The encampment may not have been as clean and tidy as many would have wished but, gradually, it was becoming more organized and people were making a big effort to keep it clean.

    The LAPD sweep of 3rd Avenue on 3/7/12 was ill conceived by the usual reactionary forces that seek to dominate our world through intimidation, force and cruelty. These tactics have very limited effect and invariably lead to expensive lawsuits – for which the taxpayer foots the bill.

    Maybe one day, the City of Los Angeles will come to grips with homelessness, cease to address it as a criminal activity and embrace those less fortunate with compassion.

  17. Asheson 15 Mar 2012 at 5:23 pm

    @Spirit Of Venice, it was NOT a brave attempt to create a “safe haven.” The homeless shelters on the Westside aren’t even full. There is already a place for them to go. It create a nightmare of crime and filth.

    We’ve been dealing with issues on that street for years, I know because I’ve been staring at it for 10 years. It’s not private property. No one has a right to decide to start a camp ground there.

    It was not quiet or peaceful. There were fights, drugs, sex crimes, and destruction of property going on. David Busch has NO right to try and take over a public street for private use.

    You @Spirit Of Venice, as well as, David Busch are part of the problem. Please stop lying about the situation and contributing to the problem.

    I will support the LAPD every time they clean up that area. It’s not a raid, it’s law enforcement. They would do well to follow what NYC did to clean themselves up.

  18. brad nealon 15 Mar 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Venice needs a year round homeless shelter. That is for sure. And we should all come out to the VNC meeting next week to urge Zev to pony up. The streets are not an appropriate place to call home. But we need transitional housing now.

  19. Chessy Peakeon 16 Mar 2012 at 12:21 pm

    As a Venice resident I applaud and thank the Dept. of Sanitation for attempting to give the residents of Venice the same rights of other Los Angeles communities to a safe and clean community. The are also preventing environmental damage by preventing unpermitted development to continue of public land (campgrounds, storage facilities and landfills are development by legal definition).
    Tell a lie enough and people begin thinking it is true: the allegation that the violent drug suspect was passing through (made by Spirit of Venice) was proven wrong when he was cuaght 2 days age – right here in Venice.
    The shelters are NOT FULL, there are beds: we need a zero-tolerance policy in compliance when the shelters have an open bed. Don’t like the shelters?, residents do not like or want illegal camping and development: guess who wins?

  20. Venice Vortexon 17 Mar 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Posted on 3/17/12 on

    “Today LAPD responded to troubled 3rd and Rose again today as someone reported an angry man putting a molotov cocktail in the middle of the intersection. A swarm of patrol cars descended on the area and took the man into custody. Possession of an incendiary device and deploying it to cause bodily harm or harm to property is a big fat no-no.”

    Thank you David Busch you have helped the homeless with your solution to the homeless problem and have helped make the Venice community safer for the residents.

  21. A Venetianon 17 Mar 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Once again, Spirit of Venice lies. The man who assaulted the police officer was not “merely passing through”. He was known to the police and, in fact, was apprehended within a few days near the area.
    But, no one expects the truth from Spirit of Venice. After all, they accused Venice residents of storing up their poo until they had dozens of gallons of waste, throwing it onto the street, and then blaming an innocent RV. Still floating that “false flag” theory, Spirit of Venice?
    Unfortunately for you Spirit of Venice and all the other liars(Venice Action, Beach Head, etc) who try and minimize the behavior of these criminals, lies aren’t as easy these days and facts can be easily checked.
    I, for one, will thrilled when Spirit of Venice goes the way of the dinosaur. Their days of running this town are over. They just don’t know it yet.
    And David, when you are gone, I highly doubt any tourist from any part of the world will be canceling their Venice vacations because “the guy with the toilet seat around his neck” isn’t there.

  22. Scarecrowon 18 Mar 2012 at 7:08 am

    Once again it is important to note that Venice Vortex has edited a sentence out of the report regarding the alleged “molotov cocktail.” That sentence read “The bottle was empty but the suspect was full of 5150. “

  23. bobon 18 Mar 2012 at 9:16 am

    Scarecrow/liar: Please. you have absolutely no credibility other than being a liar. I dare you to disprove me. Liar.

  24. Scarecrowon 18 Mar 2012 at 7:17 pm

    And what exactly is that I’ve lied bout Bob ? Stare your case or forever hold your peace.

  25. brad nealon 18 Mar 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I will help bob with that one Scarecrow/liar. In fact, I dare you to challenge my claim that you are a LIAR. This would be the second time that I have made that claim to the world. To date you have hidden behind the keyboard. LIAR

  26. Scarecrowon 19 Mar 2012 at 6:00 am

    Lying about what Brad ? You’re the one trying to pass yourself off here as just a regular resident of Venice when in fact you’re a wealthy rental property owner with a gentrification agenda, a pertinent fact that you didn’t disclose. And Venice Vortex is the one who is cutting and pasting from another website and editing out complete sentences in order to advance his agenda. Heck, even the convicted embezzler who runs that site was honest enough to post that there actually wasn’t any molotov cocktail, just an empty bottle. So its pretty obvious here that the only liars here are you and Venice Vortex.

  27. Venice Vortexon 19 Mar 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Scarecrow I did not intentionally delete the sentence. The bottom line is that 3rd street is a problem in our community and is not a happy hippie homeless haven. You guys are not doing the homeless any favors by keeping them on the streets of Venice. If you want to help the homeless create a real solution to their problem and get them off the Venice streets and Boardwalk.

  28. brad nealon 20 Mar 2012 at 10:29 am

    Scared Crow: I am a 28 year resident and business owner in Venice. Landed here in 1983 with $50. I have worked with the under privileged my entire life. I have been involved in countless non-profits and charitable organizations within Venice and elsewhere. Recently, Scared Crow, I placed the Teen Drop In Center on Market Street. Now Laurie can do her magic with scores of teens in need of support. And tonight, Scared Crow, if yuou have the guts to show up at the VNC meeting I will be introduced to Zev to request County money for a transitional housing facility that I located and intend to assist the City of LA in obtaining for our most needy Venice residents.

    Do me a favor and provide me with your real name. I really want to call you out Scared Crow,

  29. Scarecrowon 20 Mar 2012 at 5:42 pm

    I know exactly who you are Brad. And the bottom line is you’re a wealthy property owner who stands to gain financially from the gentrification of Venice, something that you chose not to disclose on this website because you would rather have the readers of this thread believe that you’re just an average guy who has lived here a long time.And your involvement in charitable organizations don’t impress me even a little bit. It’s like a white liberal saying “Some of my best friends are black. “

  30. brad nealon 20 Mar 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Scared Crow: you are pathetic.

  31. Csaveniceon 20 Mar 2012 at 10:03 pm

    If you want the streets cleaned of violence and drugs then urge the L.A.P.D to do something about the ramped meth and gangs that they see to care nothing about! Why would you support the abuse of artists and elderly who are helpless, oh wait I forgot you think because you have money you have the right to live in Venice but someone who fought in Nam should live in a shelter. Most of you spoiled kids are living off your parents money or the porn industry! Just wait until you loose your bull shit job and run through your trust fund or get kicked off your reality tv show! When you are homeless who will help you? And as for the comment about there being no such thing as traveling kids who are not on meth, WRONG.

  32. Venice Vortexon 21 Mar 2012 at 12:32 am

    Csavenice smoke some more crack loser, you can buy it on 3rs street

  33. A Venetianon 21 Mar 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I think the statements from Spirit of Venice and David Busch, plus the replies from SCARECROW and CSAVENICE show that we are dealing with a mental health issue here.
    I urge all of you to seek some help.

  34. bobon 22 Mar 2012 at 8:50 am

    true that