To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

El Sereno is the city that is going to stop the SR710 dead in its tracks (again).

Posted by Joe Cano on Facebook February 18, 2014

Here is one of the many tactical moves against Metro & the SR710 Tunnel.

I'm pushing for a meeting with Mayor Garcetti. The case for environmental racism is as strong now as it was when a federal injunction was filed against Caltrans a few decades ago. El Sereno stopped the SR710 project dead in its tracks once before and will do so again. The way I see it, Metro is in violation of the National Environmental Protection Act. California transportation agencies (Caltrans & CTC) that have funding agreements with the federal government are governed by NEPA with stricter outreach rules to minority communities during an EIR process. Metro thinks they can get away with just satisfying CEQA, which governs California's environmental protection standards. The rules that govern outreach to minority communities under NEPA came about as result of the inherent injustice against poor communities by governmental and corporate business interests. Factories, freeways, and all manner of public and private works projects were historically steered away from the wealthy communities and dropped in the middle of or next to poor ethnic communities. These same communities were silenced, ignored, and exploited. The freeway interchange in East Los Angeles, where all freeways converge and where the largest majority Latino population in Los Angeles is located, is one of many acts of injustice committed against the Mexican American community. Many of my elementary school classmates and their families were displaced by the Soto Street exit off the 10 Freeway as part of that freeway expansion. More factories per square mile can be found in ethnic communities along with a corresponding higher rate of illness and learning disabilities. The National Environment Protection Act gives voice to those most affected by municipal, state, and federal public works projects. Those who do not have the resources to hire lobbyists, lawyers, or medical experts to defend themselves against a project are at a disadvantage--NEPA is supposed to make that correction in the EIR process. The once disadvantaged are now participants in the EIR process and now have a say in their own future and in their well-being or demise, but it is their voice and their decision alone whether a project will improve or destroy their way of life. Metro has continuously obstructed, stalled, and basically engaged in subterfuge in all aspects of the EIR study process and now in the EIR. The voice of the least wealthy and poorer communities is drowned out by the roar of a consultant-led feeding frenzy of Measure R funds.

The SR710 EIR and Metro will wind up in court and that is inevitable. The question now: Is the City of Los Angeles willing to continue burning up millions of taxpayer money while we rip this EIR apart in court. The best solution is to get Mayor Garcetti to use his votes on the Metro Board either to retool the process as addressed in our letter or to just kill the project flat out and avoid any futher legal headaches and further squandering of public money by Metro.