Tenants Talk Turkey With City Attorney
by Roger Templeton and Tibby Rothman
November 25, 8:20PM – About 30 Lincoln Park Garden Apartment residents descended upon Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo's Hancock Park-adjacent home this afternoon, demanding that the City stop their impending eviction by enforcing conditions attached to the redevelopment plan covering their apartments that Lincoln Place owner, AIMCO, agreed to in 2002. Their protest, which included a tent city pitched on the City Attorney's curbside lawn, gained the group a private meeting with the City Attorney.
Two hours after the tenants arrived, Tenant Association representatives Sheila Bernard and Laura Burns were ushered into Delgadillo's residence. Preservationist Amanda Seward joined them a few minutes later.
The session marked the first time the City Attorney, who tenants believe is a pivotal player in the ongoing land-use battle over Lincoln Place, has met with tenant representatives. Until today, the City Attorney's office has maintained that they can only enforce the plan's conditions when AIMCO asks for development permits.
After the meeting, Delgadillo spoke outside with tenants, pledging to "earnestly pursue" the Lincoln Place issue. He ducked making a direct commitment to use the courts to enforce the conditions of the redevelopment plan, emphasizing instead his desire and intent to see that talks resume among the parties.
However, Bernard and Seward emerged from the meeting with optimism and respect for Delgadillo. Both declined to give details of their conversation with Delgadillo, instead noting that "he wants more information," which they will send him.
"We have an opportunity to make sure the City Attorney's office really looks at the conditions," said Seward. Seward has been held responsible by some in City Hall for derailing negotiations on Lincoln Place due to her successful campaign to have the complex designated a historical district. Yet, Seward's arrival was cheered by tenants at the protest.
"I'm very encouraged by the fact that Rocky invited us in and talked to us and came out and talked to the tenants and wants to get talks going again," noted Bernard who heads the Lincoln Place Tenants Association.
Among the Lincoln Place Tenants attending the protest were 81-year-old Frieda Marlin and 77-year-old Lucy Siam. Both are scheduled to be evicted in Spring 2006.