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Coalition Files Lawsuit against State of California Over Legislation Granting Special Privileges For Downtown Stadium Project

Press Release

LOS ANGELES, CA — The Play Fair at Farmers Field Coalition will hold a 10:00 AM press conference at the ACLU of Southern California on Thursday, August 30th to announce a lawsuit against the State of California challenging the constitutionality of the law that granted special privileges for the Farmers Field and Convention Center modification project. The lawsuit, filed first thing Thursday morning, targets California State Senate Bill 292 (SB 292), a law passed in 2011 that sends all environmental challenges to the Farmers Field project directly to the Court of Appeals.

The lawsuit follows the adamant opposition of the members of the Play Fair at Farmers Field Coalition to SB 292, viewing it as an unnecessary and unfair attack on the community protections provided by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  A project of this size will have enormous environmental and other health impacts on surrounding communities, and a robust and constitutionally valid process is crucial to protecting community health.  The health of more than 260,000 people living in the zip codes surrounding the site is at stake.

The attorneys representing the plaintiffs, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Hadsell Stormer Richardson & Renick LLP, and Robert D. Newman, Attorney at Law, argue that SB 292 violates two sections of the California constitution - the section giving courts original jurisdiction, and that which prohibits special legislation where a general law is applicable.

According to Bob Newman, “The Legislature should have never voted for this law, even if football referees do not hand out penalties for violating the constitution.”
One of the plaintiffs, Steve Richardson, added, " Today, in filing this lawsuit, our coalition has a simple message.  Residents of Los Angeles will not stand by as state legislators and other elected officials create more special loopholes for billionaire developers.”

The Play Fair at Farmers Field Coalition will participate in land use decisions being made by the City’s Planning Commission on September 13th, as well as all subsequent decisions by City Council on this project, to ensure the surrounding communities’ health is protected and not sacrificed by the stadium.  Yet proceedings to date make it doubtful community health will be secured without additional legal challenges. 

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Spanish Speakers Available at Press Conference and by Phone
playfairfarmersfield.wordpress.com for more information

Contact:
Becky Dennison, Los Angeles Community Action Network (213) 840-4664

Additional media contacts:
Martha Dina Arguello, Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles, (310) 261-0073, English/Spanish Fernando Gaytan, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, (213) 640-3831, English/Spanish
Robert D. Newman, Attorney at Law, (213) 487-4727
Barbara Schultz, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, (213) 640-3823
Dan Stormer, Hadsell, Stormer, Richardson & Renick, LLC, (626) 585-9600

 

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