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Congresswoman Karen Bass

Representing the 37th District of California

Rep. Bass Submits Comment On Vermont/Manchester Plot, Applauds L.A. Board of Supervisors Vote on Seizure

December 5, 2017
Press Release
WASHINGTON - Today, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) submitted the following letter to the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors during a public hearing regarding a resolution to seize a plot of land that had been abandoned for over 25 years located on the east side of the 8400 and 8500 blocks of South Vermont Avenue. The Board of Supervisors voted in favor of the resolution.

“This is terrific progress and a big win for the community,” said Rep. Bass. “I look forward to seeing this long-awaited project come to fruition.”

Read the full letter here or below.

Dear Supervisors:

When I served as executive director of the Community Coalition, my office was three blocks north of the location under consideration for the Vermont Manchester Transit Priority Joint Development Project. I know the neighborhood, its history, its population, its challenges and its hidden treasures. I have watched for two and a half decades as the needs of that community have gone unmet. Over and over, residents have been promised various degrees of redevelopment, resources, jobs and housing on this site. Yet there it sits, 25 years later, occasionally filling with trash, periodically hosting trespassers.

I have a hard time imagining that this kind of neglect would have been tolerated for so long in more affluent parts of the city. A set of parcels encompassing two full city blocks, located at the intersection of two major thoroughfares, sitting vacant for long enough for a child to be born, attend school, finish college and embark on a career, would be unthinkable in, for example, West Los Angeles, which I also represent.

For eleven years, first as a Member of the California Assembly and now as a Member of Congress, I have had countless complaints and inquiries from constituents who wonder why, in an area where a variety of productive uses of this land would be welcomed, nothing has happened for a quarter century. The area sits vacant, and the nuisance created by its disuse and neglect causes problems with health, blight and crime. By contract, the county proposes to meet multiple needs here and serve the broader community with housing, job training, retail, better transit, a school serving the most under-served youth in the county, and access to greenery and open space. I would be remiss if I did not raise my voice in favor of such a productive use of two city blocks that now sit as a daily reminder of neglect to those who have been promised better.


Karen Bass

Member of Congress