That’s commitment

first_imgWe can say at least this much for members of the Los Angeles City Council: They’re committed to preserving the white elephant L.A. Convention Center, no matter what it costs. But are they committed to finding money to preserve the neighborhoods of Los Angeles? The jury’s still out on that one. As for the Convention Center, its place in the council members’ hearts couldn’t be more obvious. They pour $1 million a year into the downtown money pit just to keep its books balanced. That’s on top of some $30 million in annual debt financing. A less committed city council might just decide to pull the plug on the Convention Center once and for all. But not this council. On Friday, it unanimously voted to pump up the facility with as much as $270 million for a massive, 56-story Convention Center hotel. That’s commitment. It takes, if nothing else, real guts to throw good money after bad. Not that there isn’t a potential upside. The new hotel will bring more business and thus tax revenue to the planned l.a. live sports-entertainment zone, which will do wonders to revive the neighborhood. And perhaps between l.a. live and the new hotel, the Convention Center might finally become solvent and make downtown a lively place after dark. Stranger things have happened. But it would be truly strange – and welcome – if the council would demonstrate the same kind of commitment to the rest of L.A. as it’s shown to the Convention Center and downtown. What do the city’s leaders now plan to do for the rest of L.A.’s neighborhoods, which suffer for lack of jobs, crumbling streets, poor schools and exorbitant housing costs? “We need to look at this kind of partnership across the city and not just downtown,” says Councilwoman Wendy Greuel, and she’s right. But saying the right thing is a far cry from doing it. Council members have shown they’re willing to move mountains for downtown. They’re gearing up to give blanket approval to another public giveaway for the Grand Avenue project. But the mayor, council and the people who pull their strings ought to park that plan at least until they put forward comprehensive visions for North Hollywood, the Northeast Valley and half a dozen other parts of the city that are prime redevelopment areas.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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