Echo Park Lake swap meet vendors packing up after police issued warnings and citations. Photo by Echo Park resident.
“Turning Echo Park into a marketplace forces kids to play in the street. A city like Los Angeles cannot afford to lose what little public green space we have. In a dense, urban community like the one surrounding Echo Park, the need is even greater. This is a neighborhood where backyards are a luxury. Echo Park serves families who have few options where their kids can safely play. My office is working with city departments to protect the park despite litigation that has hampered enforcement. One solution is to step-up enforcement of laws not affected by the pending litigation. This weekend’s action sent a loud and clear signal that we’re going to protect Echo Park for families, not commercial activity. At the same time, in these difficult economic times, we have been working with local non-profits, community development groups, and others to provide technical and other support to help aspiring small business owners establish legitimate businesses, while at the same time protecting public safety, public health and our neighborhood parks.”