Hollywood Farmers Market vs. Los Angeles Film School
This controversy transcends the usual political lines of left/right, liberal/conservative; and still pushes a lot of emotional hot buttons. People moving into a seedy neighborhood and then complaining about their new surroundings that they CHOSE; affluent yuppies using their wealth and influence to bully the riffraff — this story has it all.
The Hollywood Farmers Market has been at its present location for nineteen years. Every Sunday morning — when all the neighboring businesses are closed — eight thousand shoppers crowd the market. Everybody seems to know everybody, and they all seek out their favorite farmers and vendors.
A few years ago, the Los Angeles Film School moved into the neighborhood. And now the film school is complaining that the farmers market’s vendors and customers are blocking access to one of their parking lots. They’re trying to get the local Powers That Be to revoke the farmers market’s permit when it comes up for renewal.
Again, the Los Angeles Film School is closed when the farmers market is in operation. But some of their students like to go to the campus on Sundays and use the studios and equipment, etc. And if the little divas can’t get a convenient parking space, well, [swoon] they just don’t know what they’ll do. The people who can afford the sky-high tuition are probably accustomed to getting their way, and doing what they want when they want.
If the Los Angeles City Council rules in favor of the film school because of their wealth and influence, they’ll be making a huge mistake. This exact same controversy flared up five years ago in a small town. A popular farmers market had a downtown street closed off — just one block — two days a week for about four hours. Several downtown merchants claimed they were losing business when the farmers market was in operation, and they used their political clout to get the farmers market evicted. In their arguments, they used the same rhetoric and talking points that the Los Angeles Film School and other neighboring businesses are using:
“Oh, we just love the farmers market. We think they’re the greatest thing since sliced bread. We just don’t want them blocking off this particular street. If my customers can’t park two feet from my front entrance, they’ll just stay in their car and drive off, and I don’t get their business.”
This farmers market ultimately did come back downtown to a different location. But the upscale merchants who got them evicted — with the help of their prostitutes in the local government — ended up winning the battle and losing the war. Stores were boycotted. People’s political ambitions were sabotaged and completely derailed.
Sometimes you’ve gotta chalk one up for the riffraff.