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Call Ralph Horowitz RIGHT NOW!!

Ralph Horowitz= Millionaire developer from LA who is sueing some of the poorest families living in South Central for trying to keep the largest urban garden in the country open.
Call Ralph and let him know how you feel for stealing a community farm and trying to turn it into a warehouse in the most industrialized part of Los Angeles. Let him know that the working poor won't stand for this. Speak your mind. Or Just call and let him know how your day is going trying to survive while pay check to pay check, while people like him rape our communities. The office of Ralph Horowitz: 310 440 7878

For more background about garden and the struggle to keep it as a community space, go to www.Southcentralfarmers.com

(Note- this is not an official message released by the South Central Farmers. Authored by a concerned citizen)

JUST DID IT 09.Mar.2006 13:30

yep !

And the cool thing is that you can reach Ralph directly. His extension is #26.

I was only able to reach his mailbox, but maybe someone will get lucky enough to get through to him personally.

So just Reach Out and Touch Spomeone.

The extension number correction 30.May.2006 13:24

harvey

The extension on this phone number for Ralph Horowitz is actually #24, not #26

will call and keep calling 13.Jun.2006 19:57

profundus@aol.com profundus@aol.com

I have called both Ralph Horowitz and the Mayor several times and will keep calling. This is an out rage and the city leaders should be ashamed. Really ashamed.
Mare Tomaski
Wayland Massachusetts

Shame on him.... 13.Jun.2006 23:43

Andre

I've just read about it on CNN. Shame on Ralph. He will be remembered one day for this once he passes on. Just a George W Bush will be remembered as the president who killed the respect Americans had world wide...

Not Squatting 14.Jun.2006 13:19

Anne

I've been watching MSM media coverage of this, and the amount of misinformation is unbelievable. They (CNN, LA Times, Good Day LA) keep saying that these farmers are "squatters" who have been on Horowitz's land for 15 years. That's a flat out lie.

First of all, Horowitz has not owned the land for the past 15 years. From the late 80s until 2003, the city of Los Angeles owned the land and leased it to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, who in turn issued small parcels for growing food to approximately 350 families. The farmers had permission from the City of Los Angeles to grow food there. They were NOT squatting.

Some history: Horowitz and nine other people owned the land in the 1980s, but the City of Los Angeles used eminent domain to buy the land because they wanted to build a trash incinerator. Residents objected to the incinerator, and after the riots the city leased the land to the Food Bank.

Wen the city planned to sell the land to the Harbor, Horowitz threatened to sue because
he believed that he had the right of first refusal. The city then sold the land to Horowitz in 2003 for about 5 million. The land at this point was worth four times that. Some people challenged the legality of the deal, which was made in private and without input from anybody else. When it was challenged in court, a judge issued an injunction allowing the farmers to remain on the land.

They were NOT squatting.

Horowitz won his appeal, and the injunction was lifted and the farmers were ordered to vacate a FEW weeks ago.

A few weeks is NOT 15 years.


the height of petulance 14.Jun.2006 16:00

Susan

The farmers offered him the price he was asking for the property and he turned it down because he was being vindictive. And childish. "I'm not going to suppport something good because they called me a name." So 350 families suffer, all the people who bought vegetables from those farmers suffer and LA suffers because all the pollutants and toxins that farm helped process are sitting in the atmosphere and on the land now. We all suffer! What kind of society have we turned into? I'm not completely convinced he should have had the right to that property but if he does, and he has a choice between something beneficial, worthwhile and life-affirming and a storage shed or unbelieveably expensive condos why can't we expect him to support something that serves the community? This is a textbook example of "screw you" and I think it is ugly and sad. And anyone who supports it should take a hard look at what they're supporting, and why.

and the mainstream media does help... 14.Jun.2006 18:08

Sabrina

Can you believe that the Los Angeles times came out in FAVOR of Horrible-witz? Yeah! Makes me wonder if they have an investment in that land or something. I was annoyed at the way they castigated Daryl Hannah and other celebrities for standing up for the south Central farmers. How DARE they trivialize the plight of these people by making potshots at the celebrities involved in the cause? Sickening, that's what it is....

Calling Mr. Horrible-witz! 14.Jun.2006 18:29

Sabrina

As of 6:27 p.m. June 14, Ralph Horowitz's mailbox is full. I'll just BET it is! Good work on giving that creep what for! I also suggest writing letters to the Los Angeles times for such such blatant favoritism toward Horowitz. Their opinion piece entitled, Lights, Camera, Eviction is appalling journalism!

If you want to read it, here's the URL:
 link to www.latimes.com

Proving that LA has no soul. 14.Jun.2006 22:04

solidarity

Are all the public officials of Los Angeles f---ing crazy?! This is a PR nightmare and yet they just went forward and bulldozed over a community garden in order to build a freaking WAREHOUSE complex as if they couldn't see what a clearly defined (and very public) moral dilemma they were facing. I've never seen a more endearing cause up against the face of pure, smarmy, (probably pony-tailed) greed in my life. They had Daryl Hannah in a TREE for Christsake! Shady land deals and property rights issues aside, the City of LA had the opportunity to champion a worthy cause and instead ends up on the side of some asswipe developer. It's too unbelievable, even for Hollywood.

Nothing new 14.Jun.2006 22:56

"Simon Reilly" from Finland Europe

Well, news of this have reached Europa and Finland. It is shame that shit like this happends. But it is mostly because your (U.S.A) destorted and corrupted political and leagal system.
And unlike "Andre" wrote there has NOT been any worldwide respect for americans. That is propaganda fed to common people by govīs.
I wish you all good and I hope, that you win your battle against Horowiz.

lawless ownership 15.Jun.2006 11:27

ne1

Horowitz is the "lawful owner" of a property that is worth three times what he paid for the city for it in a backroom deal with a sleazy city attorney named "Rocky" Delgadillo whose principal campaign financer is -- guess who? Yes, Horowitz and friends! And lest there be any doubt in the matter, Horowitz and his business partners not only gave more money to Delgadillo than any other politician, Delgadillo is the ONLY LA politician they've EVER given any money to!! Their generosity obviously paid off splendidly.

Most of the value of the property owes itself to its proximity to a $2 billion rail corridor financed with federal state and local public money. Horowitz owned it back in 1992 when the city acquired it by eminent domain to build a waste incinerator. After the city's plans were quashed by public opposition, the city allowed the low income families in the neighborhood to farm there. Hardly surprising that Horowitz only became eager to get the land back from the city in the wake of the rail corridor development, many years later (2002). He launched a meritless lawsuit claiming the city had given him right of first refusal in the event that it ever sold the land, and claimed that the transfer of the land between different public agencies of the city constituted such a "sale." His case was thrown out of court twice before the city, under Delgadillo's auspices, struck a mysterious, backroom "settlement" with him, unbeknownst to the public.

Horowitz is lyingly claiming that the residents owe him a debt of "gratitude" for "letting them" use the land for 12 years. But Horowitz never "let" the residents do anything with the land! Until three years ago, he didn't even have any legal claims on it at all. Then, the very instant Delgadillo cut the deal with him, Horowitz posted eviction and trespassing notices against the farmers!

Horowitz is not only a corrupt, sleazy shark, he's also a most brazen and shameless liar -- but I guess those traits go hand-in-hand.

lawless ownership 15.Jun.2006 11:29

gabacho

In a real lawful country, the law would accord the farmers the rightful possession of the property, while Mr. Horowitz and his business partner "Rocky" Delgadillo would get to share a much smaller usufruct: I think they measure about 5'x8' nowadays at LA's "Twin Towers" Correctional Center.

foreigners don't understand 15.Jun.2006 11:39

ne1

Foreigners who have never lived here can't really comprehend the degree of boundless fanaticism that prevails in the US around the subject of property rights. To large numbers of Americans, one has no more than to utter the words "property owner," and visions equivalent to Bambi, Mother Theresa, Jesus Christ, and George Washington all rolled-into-one start floating into their minds. To Americans, the mystique and glorification of the "property owner" has no equal. One can hardly begin to deconstruct the mythology in their minds, even with the utmost effort, even when every indication might happen to suggest in some particular case that the property was acquired by demonstrably corrupt, illegal, and immoral means.

Suffice it to give the example of this very article: it is many months old, and hasn't appeared on the portland imc front page in eons -- but it has been bookmarked! And not merely by regular readers of indymedia, mind you, but by "property rights" activists, who spend their own free time on their own special interest websites and mailing lists, trading links, and combing the internet to castigate anyone or anything that they imagine could have a deleterious effect on the idol of their adorations, nevermind the particulars of the case.

education about capitalist land ownership 17.Jun.2006 10:06

ne1

At least a small but significant part of the battle for saving unique and special places like South Central Farm now and in the future, revolves around public education on the subject of land ownership under the capitalist system.

It is important to educate people about the attributes of a piece of land that contribute to its market price. Particularly in this case, where we are talking about a property which acquired 2/3 of its market price based on its proximity to a rail corridor built with public funds (including, therefore, the tax dollars of residents of the community living next to the farm themselves!)

Property taxes are assessed at least partly out of a recognition that property owners derive direct monetary benefits (in terms of appreciation in their property values) due to public investments. The public is entitled to demand that the benefit from public investments be shared equitably -- and, for example, that property owners not be allowed to punish the public for its own investments by being allowed to hold the rest of the public hostage to arbitrary rent increases when property values rise as a direct result of the public's own improvements!

Property values are also determined by the total value and density of economic activity -- both public and private -- occurring in the vicinity of the property. It is a simple truism that property owners enjoy windfall profits through absolutely no merit or activity of their own merely by virtue of owning property that is in proximity to any one or anything else that is engaged in productive economic activity. The public can rightfully demand that some or all of these windfall profits be shared or given back by the property owner to the community that created them out of its own productive activity.

Again, in this particular case, almost the entire value of the land was formed on the basis of direct public investments, and the city, which has an absolute fiduciary responsibility to guard and protect public assets, chose to give the land back to the real estate speculator Horowitz AT THE SAME PRICE IT HAD TEN YEARS EARLIER, LONG BEFORE THE RAIL CORRIDOR DEVELOPMENT!!!

And all this, of course, is aside from the fact that the city also has a legal obligation to provide adequate public parks and recreational amenities to the neighborhood, which it also has failed to do, and has severely exacerbated its failure by now allowing the one green space in the neighborhood -- built not by the city but exclusively by the efforts of the residents themselves -- to be destroyed with great violence.

The class bias and deceit of big establishment publications like the LA Times, in failing to point out any of these facts, and instead continuing to cheerlead for the supremacy of supposed "property rights" in this case, should appall anyone who cares about truth, not to mention human decency.

These establishment institutions -- including the city, the city attorney, the mayor, the Times, the police, and all the other players in this horrible and totally avoidable tragedy -- are the shared authors of the crime, and equally to blame. Not only has a private individual been enriched at public expense, but a specific neighborhood is being devastated, and over a decade of incredibly intense love, dedication, and hard work by very humble working class people is being violently demolished with it.

A song about the SCF and Mr Horowitz 18.Jun.2006 22:01

Sabrina

All this week I thought of the terrible action Horowitz took against the South Central farmers. There's not much I can do but I did write a song about it to get my feelings out. You can hear it and download it if you want.  http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=68911471

discussion

HE OWNS THE LAND!!! 14.Jun.2006 07:48

Robb

How can people be so upset about someone reclaiming land that is rightfully theirs. Ralph owns the land. He does not have to sell it to anyone. After the way demonstrators acted and the reaction of/position took by the mayor of LA, I too would not have made a deal with them. It is nice to see people starting to stand up to these nut cases.

Capitalism RULES - death to Socialism, Communism and Marxism!

HE OWNS THE LAND - Rebuttal 14.Jun.2006 08:44

Ray

He owns the land now. The problem is he got it by ethically murky means. The city sold him 14 acres of prime Los Angeles real estate for under $6M without giving anyone else a chance to offer more. Does this sound suspicious to you? Come on, especially a hyper pro-capitalist like yourself should realize that this is not good business.

On a side note, if pure capitalism is everything Robb thinks it is, there wouldn't be any other systems. (Why mess with perfection?) Ignorant demogoguery is an ugly and dangerous thing.

So what if he owns the land? 14.Jun.2006 08:46

Braden

So what if he owns the land? That doesn't mean he should be heartless and take the land from hard working people who count on it to support their families. I'm sure Mr. Horowitz doesn't hurt financially and could live comfortably without selling the property to developers. Does Los Angeles need another strip mall or parking lot? No they don't. Now Mr. Horowitz says he's appalled by the actions of the protestors and they can't have the land, "not even for $100 million." What about a jillion dollars or a gazillion? You big baby.

Greed is a disease 14.Jun.2006 12:18

MT

Robb~

The inherent difference in your view and those of us who support this farm is a moral one. Which if you are a rebublican you probably believe yourself to be of a "highly moral character". There are the facts, the basics, as you might call them. "Horowitz owns the land". Although I was under the impression that he sold the land in 1986 to the city. The Food Bank of LA then made and arrangement with the city to lease the land and this neighborhood got to work clearing a ton of debris and refuge and waste which the city would probably still have not gotten around to doing even to this day. In so doing these people transformed the face of an ugly urban area to one that people could be proud to live in. Do you know how that feels Robb? To want to pull your car down your street after a hard day at work? To feel pride that your neighbrohood is full of life and beauty?? Well you are not alone, everyone wants that feeling. Not just the wealthy or the privilaged or the socialists or the markists, ALL PEOPLE want to feel safe and happy in their neighborhood. This is not about any political group, or race or class.

Please correct me if I'm wrong on this but it is my understanding that Mr. Horowitz then re purchased the land from the city in 2003, without the farmers knowing. Of course no one "had" to tell them is what you might say, "they don't own the land" the city of LA owned it, "technically", but a judge felt differently and granted the farmers this truth. If you had spent years, 14 of them, tending a plot of land, (it is damn hard work by the way) and although you knew you did not "own it" would you feel less attached to it? Would you work less hard? Would you ever expect that a day may come and some one may take it from you, maybe you would but perhaps it would be almost too late? They eventually were made aware that their land had been sold out from under them. SO they got to work, as hard working people do, raising the money to perhaps buy it themselves after all they were already there as well as tons and tons of trees and vegatables. They got to work learning a system they knew nothing about. To save this plot of land that had come to mean so much to them and their families. This is above all a human story. It is about people getting back to their roots, the land itself. It is about self motivation, and pride. It is about keeping your kids out of gangs, and teaching them how to grow things, not kill things. LA is a tough city, do you live in LA Robb? Do you have children? Would you want your children to learn about where food comes from, how to make the land fertile and fruitful, especially in a place where the statistics for your kid falling into a gang are high? That is why people came to this country way back when. To grow things and live in peace. EVERYONE has that right. So perhaps ok the city had the "right" to do what ever they wanted with that land. The farmers didn't "own that land" who knows man I haven't even seen their lease, I think I recall them being told they had 2 years with the land. So hey they got 14! Way more than they thought they'd get right?? Well enough time goes by and you really feel like you are home, you settle in, it appears as though the city is gaining a lot from the hard work at that farm. So your pride and attachment grow. So when someone swoops in, from a secrative "closed door" agreement that has a huge bearing on the quality of your life and the future of your kids, damn it you fight. You fight because you just put 14 years of your blood sweat and tears into a piece of land that was a trash heap. Jesus Robb, do you have a heart of stone or what? Where is your morality, where is your humanity. The city of LA does not need more wharehouses, and if you can hang your hat on "they didn't own the land" as the only thing that makes this deal feel ok to you, I mean really feel ok to you, then I can only guess you and people like you have no care for the solution of two of our worlds largest problems: hunger and violence. If that is the case than it seems you are not part of the human family and for that I feel quite in a stupored awe. That I suppose is what sets apart mothers from murderers, a sense of care for human kind. You sir appear to have none of that, the world needs less people like you and more farmers like the ones struggling to keep the land that was taken from them in a secret deal behind a closed door they had no access to. If you feel ok about that, then you must be in a lot of pain in your own heart. Maybe if you got your hands in some dirt you might start to feel better? Maybe you don't like to get dirty? Maybe you feel that the only hard work worth doing is the kind that makes you thousands or maybe even millions of dollars? If that is the case then I see where you are coming and it is clear to me that I will never ever agree with you and I will fight until the end of my days against you and people like you.

In peace and justice
Mare Tomaski
Wayland, MA

compassion over greed 14.Jun.2006 12:22

Andrea

I live in Los Angeles. The issue at stake here is that the farmers of the 13-acre plot came up with the $16 million asking price. Nevertheless, the developer Ralph Horowitz refuses to sell to them because he is a greedy disgusting bastard. He does not want a garden on the land, he thinks it's a waste of property. This man is truly despicable, he keeps changing the goal posts.
The mayor and city council members are also to blame that it got this far. Obviously, the city has enough money to throw around ($39 million for a new elephant exhibit, also elephant #13 just died, what a waste of life and money), so they could have acted before it got that far.
Bulldozers are razing the garden right now. It is a shame.
And for all you people down there with your "capitalism rules" remarks, this comes from someone with an MBA and a businessperson. But I believe you can make money and still be a good person, not a moron like Horowitz.

here come the pigs! 14.Jun.2006 13:31

resist a@propagandapress.org

when are the sheeple of America going to wake up and live? put down the hamburgers and sodas. get off your ass, organise and get ready for a long fight.


Death to communism??? You've got to be kidding! 14.Jun.2006 19:32

profundus

Robb (and Tina) and Horowitz!~

The inherent difference in your view and those of us who support this farm is a moral one. Horowitz and his friends, sold the land. The city leased it then re sold it in a closed door meeting that a judged deemed unlawful. Over the past decade or more this neighborhood got to work clearing a ton of debris and refuge and waste which the city would probably still have not gotten around to doing even to this day. In so doing these people transformed the face of an ugly urban area to one that people could be proud to live in. This is not about any political group, or race or class it is about human beings improving the quality of thier city. Death to socialism you say Robb?? Are you kidding?? Others have already spoken of how this whole thing went down so I won't go into it again. This has nothing to do with "socialism."
Why allow these folks to labor and toil for 14 years? This is above all a human story. It is about self motivation, self determination and pride. Perhaps if you would call it anything it would be Libertarianism. It is about keeping your kids out of gangs, and teaching them how to grow things, not kill things. So when someone swoops in, with help from the government, from a secretive "closed door" agreement that has a huge bearing on the quality of your life and the future of your kids and your neighborhood, damn it you fight. You fight because you just put 14 years of your blood sweat and tears into a piece of land that was a trash heap, an eye sore. Jesus Robb, do you have a heart of stone or what? Where is your morality, where is your humanity? If all you can hang your hat on is "they didn't own the land" as the only thing that makes this deal feel ok to you, then I can only guess you and people like you have no care for the solution of two of our world's largest problems: hunger and violence. Because this farm has proven it is part of a solution to both of these devastating issues. As for Horowitz I suppose when you have a lot of money, power, and real estate assets you can never have enough. Greed can most certainly be some thing that renders its victims blind to the needs of humanity at large.

In peace and justice
Mare