Oct 01 2012

Despite Community Opposition, LA City Council Unanimously Approves Downtown NFL Stadium Project

Feature Stories | Published 1 Oct 2012, 9:26 am | Comments Off on Despite Community Opposition, LA City Council Unanimously Approves Downtown NFL Stadium Project -

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The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved construction of the 72,000 seat, $1.2 billion Farmers Field football stadium in the heart of downtown LA last Friday. Hundreds of football fans and stadium supporters joined legendary basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at City Hall to witness the council cast their 14-0 vote. Council member Paul Koretz called it “the economic development project of our generation.”

But community welfare groups are not cheering the decision, saying the City Council skipped a properly rounded impact analysis before approving the project. According to Play Fair Farmers Field, a coalition of various community organizations, Council officials showed little interest in addressing the concerns expressed by community groups during testimony. During the meeting, Council member Richard Alarcon was seen playing with a football in the back of the room as a speaker described how the project’s pollution discharge could significantly affect residents and school children. An Environmental Impact Report previously released by the group responsible for building Farmers Field, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), was criticized for giving an overly optimistic estimate of the consequence resulting from building the stadium.

Critics also point out that Farmers Field has received legal shelters protecting the project from any obstacles, including safety and welfare lawsuits arising from its construction. Back in August, LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed a memorandum approving the initiation of the project long before the environmental impact report was completed, while California Governor Jerry Brown signed in special legislation to speed up the ruling process for lawsuits relating to the construction of Farmers Field.

GUESTS: Becky Dennison, Los Angeles Community Action Network’s Co-Executive Director and Thelmy Perez, Coordinator of the LA Human Right to Housing Collective

Visit cangress.wordpress.com and playfairfarmersfield.wordpress.com for more information.

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