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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Rapkin Article in Argonaut Makes Incorrect Statement Regarding Venice Chamber Endorsement of MTA Lot for Bridge Housing; Francisco Explains What Happened

Michael Rapkin wrote an op-ed (opinion-oeditorial) article for the Argonaut this week that thru some missteps misrepresents the Venice Chamber of Commerce’s position on the MTA lot use for “Bridge Housing.” The article states:

The Venice Chamber of Commerce agrees. It stated: “We support the city of Los Angeles’ commitment to provide long-term solutions for housing. The chamber supports using the bus yard as a short-term option, as it provides a solution to addressing the immediate needs of housing the homeless.

George Francisco, president of the Venice Chamber of Commerce, provided the following for an explanation:

A recent op-ed written September 12th in the Argonaut by a supporter of the Bridge to Home installation quoted The Venice Chamber of Commerce. As President of the Venice Chamber, I feel the responsibility to explain and clarify the quote which was used:

“We support the city of Los Angeles’ commitment to provide long-term solutions for housing. The chamber supports using the bus yard as a short-term option, as it provides a solution to addressing the immediate needs of housing the homeless.”

On June 5th, the Chamber was contacted by The Argonaut with an urgent request for comment on the use of the Metro Yard for bridge housing and whether the OFW bathrooms should be open 24/7. At that time, our Legislative Committee drafted the following response:

“The Venice Chamber of Commerce is very sensitive to the needs of the homeless community and is the Voice of Venice businesses. The Bus yard could be a short term option for addressing the pressing homeless housing situation. It is imperative that the City find long term solutions for housing. The City also needs to plan for the long term use of the key asset of the bus yard which should be more commercial and visitor serving since Venice is the top Tourist attraction in the City of Los Angeles. For far too long Venice and the Venice Boardwalk in particular has been the dumping ground for homeless. Since the Boardwalk and the beach is a public park, the City should protect it. Opening the bathrooms all night will exacerbate the problem on the beach and boardwalk.”

In the rush to accommodate the initial request, small missteps were made in preparing the reply. In this case, key language was inadvertently changed which indicated support for a project which was – and currently is – undefined. The statement that was sent to The Argonaut is not indicative of the Chamber’s position on the subject of using the Metro Yard for Bridge Housing.

I apologize for any misunderstanding this has caused.

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