There is an emerging movement that is beginning to influence the local narrative and local grassroots activism here in Hollywood, CA.
American Grizzlies United (AGU) and other engaged citizen activists had a huge success earlier this month. A coalition of grassroots activists came together, set aside the wedge issues, and focused on rooting out crony capitalism and corruption.
And we won.
Here in Los Angeles entrenched crony capitalists had a scam going called CRA. (California Redevelopment Agencies).
It was straight up pay to play corrupt politics and everyone who was paying attention knew it.
The mother of all monuments to Los Angeles crony capitalism is the Hollywood/Highland Complex which houses the Kodak Theatre right here in Hollywood.
If you choose to watch the Academy Awards tomorrow night, here’s a little something to think about while all the open minded and tolerant celebrities gather to pat themselves on the back.
The Hollywood/Highland Complex was a CRA project built for $625 million in tax payer dollars.
Shortly after the complex was built; it was sold for only $201 Million to one of LA City Councilman (and probable Mayoral candidate) Gil Garcetti’s best buddies, the CIM Group.
That is a 67% discount off the construction cost.
But the corruption didn’t stop there. This mayoral wannabe and the other council members gave CIM Group an extra $30 Million in taxpayer dollars to rehab the Kodak Theatre.
That means this one project lost (or stole?) $454 Million in tax payer dollars.
That is close to a $1/2 Billion loss.
And how much incremental property tax dollars does CIM Group pay into the general fund? None. Zero. Zip. Nada.
This is not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of risk, of sacrifice, or reward for hard work and a job well done.
This is the crony capitalism of connections, handouts, and the peddling of corporate welfare.
This is the same crony capitalism that destroyed Europe’s economies.
AGU is honored and proud to say that this scam is now dead.
The CRA-LA is dead because a coalition of grassroots activists, set wedge issues aside, came together, rose up, said HELL NO and brought real change to Los Angeles.
Our work continues…
Thomas S Schmitz
American Grizzlies United; Chairman
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