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Sen. Price Explains Why He Supported Abolition of RDA’s

At a meeting with Culver City constituents at Akasha restaurant on Saturday morning, Senator Curren Price Jr. said he voted ‘reluctantly’ for the abolition of Redevelopment Agencies.

At a meeting with around 40 invited constituents on Saturday morning at Culver City’s , 26th District State Senate Representative Curren Price Jr. said the informal gathering was an opportunity for him to “gauge the pulse and talk to people before we go back into session on Wednesday.”

Sen. Price said there were plenty of issues that were high on the list including redevelopment. "But," he added, "balancing the budget and health and social service programs are also important."

And while the senator fielded many questions that covered everything from education and health care to jobs and economic growth, the conversation kept coming back to the issues that Culver City now faces after the , abolishing the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency and hundreds of similar agencies across the state.

Price was among those that supported the decision but told attendees that he did so "reluctantly… notwithstanding the good things that had been done [by RDA’s]."

He added that while he represents a specific geographic area he nonetheless also has statewide responsibilities. Referring to Gov. Jerry Brown’s overall budget cuts, Sen. Price said, "I felt that it was difficult to cut health programs and money from K-12 programs, from seniors and from invalids and not touch redevelopment."

Sen. Price said that there was a consensus in the Legislature that "we have to do whatever we can to extend the date by which the elimination [of RDA’s] will occur so there can be an orderly process as activities are refashioned."

Community activist Meghan Sahli-Wells who is running for a seat in the April City Council elections asked Sen. Price how the city will be able to fulfill its obligations for affordable housing without the RDA.

Sen. Price said it was still unclear, but "there is a growing consensus [in the Legislature] that the refashioned redevelopment structure will be focused on affordable programs." He added that there would also be ample opportunity for public comment and input.

However, Councilman Andrew Weissman said that aside from affordable housing, Culver City has many projects that the Senator stated were some of the jewels in Culver City’s crown including safe streets and great schools.

"Redevelopment has been a strong advocate of both," Weissman said, "and has made significant financial contributions in regard to infrastructure."

He noted that Culver City’s RDA is mandated to go out of business on Feb. 23, when all agency assets will be liquidated and moved to the county and asked the senator what could be done to help the important projects that the RDA has supported and help develop in Culver City.

Sen. Price responded that he was aware of the good that redevelopment can and has done. However, he said that "the challenge is to come up with programs that will raise good behavior and not just provide a blank check," adding that the first step is to push back the abolition date of the RDA’s. 

On Jan. 4, the California Redevelopment Association issued a statement stating that it is working on an immediate piece of legislation that will temporarily postpone the formal dissolution of the RDA’s. It is scheduled to take place on Feb. 1.

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Dan O'Brien January 13, 2012 at 07:16 AM
In every opinion piece and article I have read on this subject, I have yet to hear anyone report on the fact that the Culver City RDA provides $1.6 million per year to the Culver City Unified School District. If RDA's are abolished, that money will also go away. This will actually create a deficit for CCUSD. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but the elimination of RDA's will not provide ADDITIONAL funding to schools; Gov. Brown and his followers only imply that the money stolen from our local communities will just MAINTAIN the levels of funding from the state to our schools. In other words, what the governor and Reps. Price & Mitchell claim is in the best interest of our schools is in fact the opposite for Culver City public school children. Thanks for "representing" your constituents! Am I wrong here?
Jeff Cooper January 16, 2012 at 02:38 AM
i venture to say you are correct!
Goran Eriksson January 17, 2012 at 03:07 AM
From what I have read, the Governor has talked about that the state do not need to back-fill money to the schools any more as to compensate for the RDA money. Now property tax will go to the schools and the Governor has the money he used to back-fill with, for other usage. Bottom line looks like, at this stage, and no one really knows, that there is no additional money to the Culver City schools but rather a loss of $1.6 million

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