The GoodThe Bad, and
The Ugly

Issues Dividing and Endangering
Our Community Today

Some thought we were gone,
Others hoped we were not done.
Truth is we are getting set...
To expose and combat the threats,
Allowing prosperity to beget, 
--A Renewed El Sereno--
A new beginning, a second breath. 


WE'RE BACK...STAY TUNED
This page is brought to you by the El Sereno Historical Society, a community organization formed by residents of El Sereno in order to address questionable issues which are negatively affecting our community.  The El Sereno Historical Society is against the current unethical splintering of our community and the unequal level of city services and representation that we face due to the bias favoritism of certain groups within El Sereno.
  
 
Our focus here is to address these illegal divisions, present how and why these negative divisions have occurred, and expose who exactly is behind it all.  The El Sereno Historical Society has no formal affiliation with any political or religious group.  Our activism stems from the negative experiences we endured as we tried to get answers about these concerns.  

The abuse and unethical conduct by those who are suppose to be representing and protecting our community has led many residents to give up trying to be part or take part in community organizations and events.  We know first hand what these residents have gone through.  

We will not allow these few bad apples and El Sereno haters to ruin our beautiful community.  The attempts to create these illegal divisions is the old divide-and-conquer tactic.  These divisions splinter the community's voice and hinders the great potential our community has.  These illegal divisions are obstacles that block El Sereno from flourishing into the gem it is.

We take a pro-active, hard-line stance after experiencing the blatant disregard for fair political representation, such as unfair funding that our community has received compared to other communities in CD-14.  As long-time residents, we know these issues had to be addressed in order for things to get better.  The best way to do this is by collecting the facts and share them with as many El Sereno residents as possible so that together we reverse the negative issues affecting our community.

We thought we were alone when we first began this struggle, but soon discovered we are the majority.  It didn't take long to see that our concerns are shared by the majority of residents in El Sereno.  Contrary to the negative stereotypes, El Sereno's residents do care and do want to help make things better.  But it's an uphill battle when Councilmember Jose Huizar ignores the community in favor of smaller groups which he sees has his political supporters.  Undeterred, we began our work, research, and pro-active efforts, sharing what we found with the community at large.  We now see that the seeds of community pride for El Sereno-Yesterday, Now, Tomorrow (YNT) have taken root and are beginning to bare fruit.  The community is waking-up from the apathetic state it had been forced into.

The battling few has surged into a widespread wave of community pride and pro-activism.  Like-minded and empowered community members are beginning to take action against the issues that have stagnated and infected our community for so long.  The tide has turned and now it's time for the community to take these issues directly to those responsible for allowing the abuse and neglect to happen in the first place.  Those responsible need to be held accountable, no compromises will be made.

The El Sereno Historical Society presents the factsgathered from countless hours of research and community involvement.  We welcome you to check them, to do your own research and fact finding.  The facts verify what we state; Truth has unbreakable Strength.  We share the facts and evidence with links, pdf files, pictures, and videos.  We will update our site as new information is uncovered to continue presenting the latest.
 
Our goal is simple--to see the community of El Sereno flourish for the benefit of all that call it home.  The struggle is not personal; we did not begin our work with an agenda against Councilmember Jose Huizar.  Councilmember Jose Huizar's office and staff antagonized our efforts to have a working relationship with his office, generating the many needless negative experiences we have encountered.  We welcome anyone to do their own fact finding.  We are confident that the only thing that will be uncovered is the truth and many of the same facts we present here.

In the end, whether it's working with Councilmember Huizar, Joneszar, Smithzar, or the Czar of Russia, our focus continues to be positive.  Despite the negativity encountered, we continue our work to build positive working relationships with anyone and any organization who truly wants to help make a positive difference in El Sereno.   

We push forward in the struggle to better the lives of our families, our children, our friends, and our community of El Sereno.  
The work we do is on our own time, paid by our own dime.  We strive to get residents involved so together we can uplift our community and continue its prosperity to the next generation.
THE GOOD: El Sereno; the community through the eyes of those that call it home.

THE BAD Issues and events that are negative to the El Sereno community:
                         Needless Divisions: Rose Hills,
 Hillside Village, and University Hills
                         Hillside Village POA President's derogatory comment of "East LA",

                         
El Sereno Community Coordinating Council (ESCCC)

THE UGLY : The root of the problem in El Sereno, how to end the current degradation of our        
                          community so El Sereno can flourish, and steps we must make to make sure    
                          this doesn't happen again.
 

  1) El Sereno (LA-32) Neighborhood Council
  2) Councilmember Jose Huizar-Representing Everyone--except El Sereno



The Historic Community of El Sereno

      The history El Sereno traces back to 1771, a full decade before the City of Los Angeles was established.  Yet, El Sereno's historic past has remained unfairly ignored.  An online search for information concerning El Sereno (prior to the formation of the El Sereno Historical Society) would undoubtedly produce sites with very limited information about our history, or very negative information about our community (example Urban Dic).
  

Throughout its history, El Sereno has remained a stand-alone.  As the City of Los Angeles began to grow, the surrounding territories became land grants, forming some of huge historic Ranchos we often read and hear about.  Yet, El Sereno remained relatively unchanged.

     The El Sereno area and a small fraction of the Silver Lake community were the only portions of the historic planning area which were not included in either the Pueblo de Los Angeles or the 36,000 acre Rancho San Rafael.  El Sereno was later part of the Rancho Rosa Castillo (in 1831), and the western edge of Silver Lake was part of the Rancho Los Felix granted to Vincente Felix in 1802 (visit HISTORY).

The territory that has been part of El Sereno since 1771 was split-up when the historic "Rancho Rosa de Castilla,” last owned by Batz's family, was partitioned to their various children.  They then slowly sold off parts of their inherited land, becoming many smaller ranchos and sub-divisions.  Some areas of the original historic Rancho Rosa de Castilla later became part of neighboring cities (South Pasadena, Monterey Park, East Los Angeles [City Terrace], and Alhambra).

      The official history of El Sereno as a community within the City of Los Angeles begins with the annexation of the Bairdstown Addition on June 10, 1915.  Soon after, the City of Los Angeles rejoined part of the territory annexed from South Pasadena (in the 1912 Arroyo Seco annexation) with the Bairdstown Addition.  This act rejoined the two territories previously split for many years, reuniting the historic territory and community of El Sereno.

From that moment to the present day, El Sereno has held a special place not only within the city, but also within the hearts of its residents. 

A little trivia fact: The City's boundaries extend from Sylmar on the north to San Pedro on the south, and from Pacific Palisades [west] to El Sereno [east].  From 1-El_Sereno_Factoid003.jpg
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As the city of Los Angeles and its surrounding communities began to subdivide and developed into suburbs, many with custom-made homes, El Sereno continued retaining its independent and rural community traits.  El Sereno developed into a working class community in the early 20th century, with most tracts sub-divided for the development of working class style homes.  Subsequent developments took place mostly during the late 1940s and 1950s, with smaller tracts slowly built over time.
                             
  
Below: Official map of El Sereno today.                          
  Click on map to enlarge.              
                         

                             
ABOVE: Map showing the total Bairdstown territory annexed to the City of 
Los Angeles on 
June 10, 1915 (courtesy of LA City Library Map Collection).
Click on the map to see all the areas annexed City of Los Angeles.
 



        Another example of our community's unique qualities is in the name itself.  The name "El Sereno" stands alone; while the communities around El Sereno were named with English connotations (Lincoln Heights, Boyle Heights, City Terrace, Highland Park, Montecito Heights, and Hermon for example), El Sereno remained the only community in the City of Los Angeles properly named in Spanish; with the Spanish term "El", which denotes a proper standing and recognition of someone or something.  Although the reason for this unique title of "El Sereno" is still unknown to us, its just another of many facts which set the community of El Sereno apart from its neighbors.

     The community of El Sereno is also unique in that you can still find many beautiful rolling hills with wide open spaces, where one can go enjoy the varying panoramic scenes of Los Angeles, San Gabriel Valley, and San Fernando Valley, depending on which hill one chooses to hike up.  For those who live in El Sereno, the sight of the Hollywood sign is just as common a view as is the lite morning fog (el sereno) that creeps in and envelopes the night, hugging the hills as long as possible, till the Sun returns to take over the day (for those new to our community, to get a view of the Hollywood sign, take a short, brisk hike up the nearest and tallest hill, and look towards the northwest, providing the off-shore flow has burned off enough.  Pics of the Hollywood from atop of our El Sereno Hills-pic1pic2pic3pic4pic5.
A few more pics of our rolling hills
 -pic1pic2pic3pic4pic5pic6pic7.

  
Copyright © 2011-2013 El Sereno Historical Society All rights reserved.

Throughout its long history, El Sereno has always seemed to be in the middle of everything, yet at the same time, skipping to the beat of its own drum.  While other communities seem to be abuzz with building projects and fast paced living, El Sereno takes things slow and steady, with the same calm manner it's named after; El Sereno- calm, quiet and tranquil.

Despite the fact that El Sereno minds its own business and marches to the beat of its own drum, there have been times when others have tried to come in and impose their own selfish agendas.  Most recently, Metro/Caltrans tried to carve out portions of our community to build the 710-freeway extension.  As they soon found out, when it comes time to unite, to stand up and defend our community; El Sereno wakes-up like the proverbial sleeping giant, defying the odds and overcoming what seems impossible to do.

The community was once again put to the test as deep pocket developers tried to build unsightly and massive condominiums on our rolling hills. The developers thought they could pull a fast one on the hard-working community of El Sereno. Once again, the community of El Sereno awoke to stop the threat to our community.

Today, El Sereno faces a new threat, one that is trying to splinter our community for the selfish benefit of a few narrow-minded individuals.  The worst part is that this threat is coming from with-in our very own community.  These misguided residents think they have the right to carve up our community and our history, in order to make their own "community" WITHOUT the majority residents of El Sereno having a vote or voice about it.  

This threat is being perpetuated from behind the scenes, with the help of the elected official who promised to represent and advocate for El Sereno: City Councilmember Jose Huizar.   Councilmember Jose Huizar facilitates and encourages these negative divisions of El Sereno by with-holding information from the majority of residents and working closely with these negative groups of residents.  As we will show, Councilmember Jose  Huizar supports these divisions because he sees these small groups as loyal supporters when it's time for his re-election.  

Councilmember Huizar talks about his great love and respect he has for the community of El Sereno, while at the same time he works to divide our El Sereno community.  All Councilmember Jose Huizar really cares about is what benefits his re-election (See Community Issue: THE BAD, for more in-depth information).  That's why the two-face politician Jose Huizar supports Ray Rios's Hillside Village POA and Joe Manzano's Rose Hills group.  These groups only care about their own short-tern, narrow-minded goals that benefit them.  They care nothing about the greater good of the El Sereno community.  

Again, El Sereno stands alone against this threat because the elected Councilmember Jose Huizar has chosen to be turn his back on El Sereno, supporting these small groups in exchange for their loyalty and votes come re-election time.   The lack of representation and funding comes as no surprise when you realize Councilmember Jose Huizar's true agenda for El Sereno and why he supports the illegal chopping up of our historic community of El Sereno (See The Ugly for more in-depth information).
         
        El Sereno, The Last of the Independent, facing the threat head-on; giving up has never an option.

Time has come for El Sereno to stand up and unite, to keep its land from being given away as if those that live here don't matter and our community is defenseless.  Again, our community stands alone to this threat.  No other community has had to face the threat of being broken up intentionally and unfairly, so that a few may benefit.  Even worse is the fact that either our elected council member for District 14 is either incompetent, doing nothing to stop these illegal divisions or he is supporting and aiding the unethical actions of these few residents.  Again, the true reason for the splintering of our historic community is so that a few narrow-minded and greedy people can benefit.
      

Like others in the past, these people think our quiet, hard-working community will be just stand by, as if we're powerless to stop them.  They have realized how wrong they were; the community has risen to the challenge, determined to stop this threat to our community.  We all need to be part of the movement to inform, empower, unite, and preserve our Historic Community of El Sereno.

Whether rich or poor; professional, blue collar or a just making ends meet; whether you're white, black, brown, or shades in-between; what really matters is that you have love and pride for our Community of El Sereno.
 Important Points:  

Our concern is not about what nick-names residents of El Sereno use for different areas of our community.  We respect an individual's right to have a personal opinion and have no issue with the nicknames of particular areas in El Sereno.  That's the beauty of living in this country: freedom.  
           
         What concerns us is the unfair support by Councilmember Jose Huizar towards these illegal
divisions of our community and the bias installation of community signs for Hillside VIllage and Rose Hills.   Councilmember Jose Huizar's support for these illegal divisions is the reason we have the posting of unofficial community signs (7 city signs for hillside village and what would have been 5 rose hills signs had we not filed a lawsuit against them).  We also take the misrepresentation of our history as a direct attack on the community, knowing that so much has already been twisted and manipulated.  It is unfair to all of the residents of El Sereno who are against the division and who are ignored by the City Rep when they speak out. 

These unofficial community signs misinform and confuse residents/visitors about El Sereno's boundaries, landmarks, and the uniqueness that makes it so special.  We oppose anyone or any organization whose actions threaten to divide, manipulate, or disempower our community or its history.

       The fact that current City Councilmember Jose Huizar continues to promote these small groups is a large part of the problem.  Without Councilmember Huizar's support, these small groups would have disappeared years ago and the fake divisions would vanish.  This is also part of what we are focused on changing.  Councilmember Jose Huizar has been in office since 2005 and he knows very well that the City of LA has a process for the renaming or naming of an area.  Yet, he has allowed the illegal division to continue; promoting "Hillside Village" (and "Rose Hills") as if they were an officially recognized community.  

         We take a hard-core stance on these issues because we see so much GOOD POTENTIAL in our community that is being neglected instead of being nurtured.  This neglect will ensure the stagnation of our El Sereno Community.  We want to make sure that our community is given the funding and opportunities it deserves in order to reach its full potential.  We stand firm against these divisions, biases, and the disempowerment of our community.  Councilmember Jose Huizar is accountable for these transgressions and we will not allow this to continue; he must stop ignoring the community he was elected to represent in the first place: EL SERENO.




The Facts

When did the community of El Sereno agree to rename part of El Sereno  "Hillside Village", or "Rose Hills", or "University Hills"? The answer is never.  We've contacted the City Clerk's Office, searched the City Council files, and City's archives for documentation that shows "Hillside Village" or "Rose Hills" has gone through the legal process to be named a separate "community.”  The many phone calls, e-mails, and letters have come back with replies stating that no records or documents exist which officially recognizes a ”Hillside Village" or Rose Hills community.  In other words, officially, there are no documents to support the claim that "Hillside Village" and "Rose Hills" are recognized communities. 

    The concern over legality of Hillside Village has been brought to the attention of former El Sereno Area Director, Arturo Gonzalez.  Mr. Gonzalez voluntarily quit his position as CD-14 El Sereno Area Director as of September 2012.  Some believe his departure was due to the pressure he was under from not being able to meet the legal request made by the El Sereno Historical Society concerning the unethical divisions of El Sereno and the legality of these so-called communities might have also been a factor for his departure.  Besides the unkept promises and lies Mr. Gonzalez made, the constituent's concerns were largely ignored. 

      El Sereno does not need to have part of it renamed a "community" because El Sereno is a community.  It makes no sense to have a community within a community.   That's like saying you need a different address for the kitchen area of you home just because it looks different from the rest of the house.  If you already have an official and recognized address for your home there is no point in having another for your kitchen, and a third for your living room.  Doing this doesn't make any sense and has no real purpose.  

Yet, that's exactly what a few narrow-minded residents are trying to do by creating "Rose Hills,” "Hillside Village,” and "University Hills".
 

ROSE HILLS  
Dirty Politics; Cut-and-Paste History

Rose Hills is a lie created that was created using cut-and-paste history, the manipulation of the Neighborhood Council by certain members, and with the bias support received via City Councilmember Jose Huizar.  In order to better understand how this was tried, let us explain a little about Rose Hills.

The claim that a "Rose Hills" community has existed for hundreds of years, since the time of the Spaniard’s arrival, is historically and factually untrue.  Nothing in any history book or historical documents supports the claim.  The same can be said about the evidence presented by Rose Hills advocates Anthony Manzano; NONE of the evidence substantiates what he claims.

While there are documents that mention the name Rose Hill, the tiny area nick-named Rosehill has always been as part of the El Sereno community.  There are a few tracts that were named Rosehill in Lincoln Heights, but that is s completely separate community (SEE ROSE HILL Tract Map and Tract Survey Maps--The Online Link is SUB-NET). 
Since becoming part of Los Angeles, El Sereno has used the nickname "Rosehill" for a small area of our community. The nickname began soon after Schuentzen Park was renamed Rose Hill Park in the early 1900s.  The current Rose Hill portion of El Sereno was developed and nick named Rose Hill in 1942, because of the construction of Rose Hill Courts Housing Projects (visit ROSE HILL PARK section on the history page for more details). 

Another point that needs to be addressed is this idea that the area of "Rose Hills" was the location of a Native American Village.  Again, there is no evidence that an ancient Native American village existed in or around Rose Hill at any time. Anthony Manzano like to make the claim that "Rose Hills" is a community- "that has existed for more than 7,000 years" without providing any proof (read Message and EastsiderLA, especially the "comments" portion).  

When Ascot Hills Park was in the first stages of being developed into a park, the City conducted many different kinds of independent studies; geological, environmental, and archeological.  Native American tribes whose ancestors are historically tied to this area of Southern California, took part in the studies, as did archeological groups from various Universities and private firms (see pdf Ascot Hills Studies
 Documents are part of Ascot Hills Environmental Study, reference binders located in the Eagle Rock and El Sereno Branch Library locations).

None of these studies even remotely hinted to the existence of a native american village in the western part of El Sereno or neighboring Lincoln Heights.   The proof speaks for itself.  We have asked Anthony Manzano to provide the evidence to his claims and each time he has failed to do so. 

Even though there are documents that make reference to Rose Hill, the fact is that Rose Hill has been used as a nickname for a small area of our community.  

We have compiled a pdf with documents and Facebook posts from Anthony Manzano which he claims is proof that Rose Hills is a historic community.   We have included our own reply to each piece of his so-called evidence.  In the end, it's clear that his evidence holds very little truth and the only thing it proves is that he lacks any research skills.

The argument is that because there are documents that make reference to "Rose Hill", such as in the name of local landmarks and a park, that this means there is a Rose Hills community.  The fact is that Rose Hill Park, Rose Hill Rec Center, Rose Hill Courts Housing Projects, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish are all in El Sereno.  

     
                    LA Times (1987)                                                  LA Rec and Parks (2011)

The newspaper clippings and City document prove that throughout history Rose Hill Park, Rose Hill Rec Center, Rose Hill Courts Housing Projects, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish have always been located in the community of El Sereno.

  
                                                   Van Nuys News (1968)                                                  El Sereno Star (1965)
People know better than to believe the lies.  They know that Rose Hill Park, Rose Hill Rec Center, Rose Hill Courts, and Our Lady of Guadalupe are all part of the El Sereno Community.

 

   

ODecember 9, 2011, Councilmember Jose Huizar presented motion 11-2057, requesting to have "Rose Hills" grandfathered as a community and for the installation of 3 Rose Hills community signs.  Councilmember Jose Huizar has given his bias support for this fake Rose Hills division, going as far as using tax-payers' money to promote "Rose Hills" as an official community.  He has called Rose Hills a community on City documents and on his official website, these even before City Council has approved Motion 11-2057.  These are a few examples of Huizar's bias support and illegal promotion of Rose Hills, without anyone ever having a voice in the matter.  (See Examples: 2007 Year End Report pg 51LA-32 NC WebsiteJ. Huizar District 14 Website).

Again, who does this new community of "Rose Hills" benefit?   Councilmember and the few Rose Hills supporters can't even agree on where Rose Hills is, since each person has their own opinion of what they consider "Rose Hills" to be 
(
Motion 11-2057)  (Click on LACityClerk to see actual City Council File Search Link).   El Sereno Historical Society did some research and presented the Office of the City Clerk a strong rebuttal to the motion's claims.  (Rebuttal Letter pdf)

Something very concerning about motion 11-2057 is the fact that "Rose Hills" has no official boundaries.  Although motion 11-2057 specifies location of the the 3 Rose Hills signs, the signs do not mark any real boundaries.  Joe Manzano, Anthony Manzano's father, has falsely stated that "only cities and states have boundaries."  This statement makes no sense; how can residents and community stakeholders set roots in a community and have community pride if you don't even know what community they live in? 

Considering that the City has specific records of every community's boundary, especially new ones, it's bizarre that Rose Hills is allowed to have no set boundaries.  
A community needs to have specific and clearly designated boundaries.  Community boundaries help to build community pride and encourage civic participation.  It gives residents a sense of belonging and helps voice their community's specific needs to those City and State representatives.  Rose Hills has none of this because it’s not a true community.   What Councilmember Jose Huizar is trying to do is unethically create a “Rose Hills” community with no set boundaries.
 

We speculate that  the reason behind not having specific boundaries is because it allows "Rose Hills" to slowly claim street after street as part of "Rose Hills".  No one would know the difference, since there would be no City record of what is or is not "Rose Hills".  There are those that believe that the real reason for making it Rose Hills is because Councilmember Jose Huizar has plans to develop the empty hillsides along Huntington Drive North, the hill known as Paradise Hill.  Although Paradise Hill is technically in Lincoln Heights, Huizar was able to manipulate and use the El Sereno (LA-32) Neighborhood Council, via then NC President Anthony Manzano, to get part of Lincoln Heights re-districted from Council District to Council District 14. 

Why would Huizar care to have an almost empty hillside re-districted into CD-14?  Maybe there is something behind the idea that he wants to develop the hill.  Considering that USC Health Science Campus is nearby and there are plans see it develop and enlarge to three times it's current size over the next 35 years, maybe Huizar thinks the hills can be developed into housing for USC students.  We can only wait and see what plans Huizar has. 

The Bottom Line about Rose HillS

Residents of El Sereno have gone to the Councilmember's Office with the written responses from these City Departments and Bureaus, which state that no "Rose Hills" community is officially recognized by the City of Los Angeles.  Councilmember Huizar's El Sereno former Area Director, Arturo Gonzalez, promised to look into the matter and get back to the constituents with an answer.  He quit his position rather than continue with the lies he was told to tell.


Months have passed and there has been no answer from the Councilman.  We elected Councilman Huizar and the board members of El Sereno (LA-32) NC to fairly represent our community of El Sereno.  Instead, Councilman Huizar has unethical tried to sub-divide our community again and again.  The Legal Process for Naming or Renaming a Community, as required by the City of Los Angles, is ignored and the rights of the stakeholders and constituents that live in El Sereno are violated.  The community of El Sereno is continually marginalized and discriminated against.
Dividing our community makes no sense, especially when these divisions are done in an illegal and unfair manner. The important questions to keep in mind --"Who benefits from these "communities"?  "Are these illegal division of our community positive for El Sereno?”.

These division benefit a hand full of people who have their own selfish agenda.  
 Illegally dividing up El Sereno affects all of our community in a negative way; the residents, especially the youth, lose respect and pride for their community because they don't even know where they live.  These illegal divisions create dis-empowerment and confusion, not community pride or community unity.  To make a positive change in a community you need care and have respect for your community.

Any division is detrimental for the community of El Sereno and we need to make sure we let Councilman Huizar know we are against his actions.  The community of El Sereno needs to stand up and put an end to these dirty acts/divisions that Councilmember Jose Huizar has been pushing for the last 9 years.
 

Who & What Is Behind Rose HillS

The person behind Rose Hills is the same person behind the defunct Rose Hills Review magazine--Anthony Manzano.  
Who exactly is Anthony Manzano and what does his Rose Hills/Rose Hills Review stand for?

According to Anthony, Rose Hills Review was a magazine covering "high profile citizens", which is apparently what Anthony wants Rose Hills to be--an exclusive place for only certain people.  Below is a short snippet of the mentality behind this person.  Click on the pic to read the full pdf.




Hillside Village POA: 
The By-Laws
 

         Hillside Village POA’s only cares about the area they consider their “community”, as it states in their By-Laws (Purpose and Goals).  Even more concerning is the fact that this group has been given the unfair privilege to decide the boundaries of what they consider their community to be.  Their By-laws clearly state what they consider the boundaries of their “community" to be (see Admission).   It’s comes as no surprise that posted community signs for Hillside Village are lined up exactly to the POA’s By–Laws description of their boundaries.  You have to remember that the City does not recognize Hillside Village as a community yet someone has funded and installed 6 community signs that look official but none of the City Departments or officials we contacted recognize it as such.   No official documentation or files concerning this “community” could be found at any level or in any City Department.  Yet, the bias promotion of this “community” continues by the City Councilmember supposedly elected to represent EL SERENO.

         To dispel any doubts about the bias promotion, lets review some facts.  First, the Hillside Village POA boundaries are not based on any historic evidence or official record.  What is a historic fact is that Eastern Ave, from Huntington Drive to Valley Blvd, used to be called El Sereno Avenue (see historic map of El Sereno).  What is also fact is that this area was part of the Farmdale District, which later became Bairdstown.  Bairdstown was annexed into the City of Los Angeles in 1915 and was renamed El Sereno soon after.   Another fact is that Ascot/Legion Ascot Speedway was located within this area.  So too was the un-finished El Sereno Country Club, all within the community of El Sereno.  


El Sereno's Wilson High School

         We know that Wilson High School has been within and part of the El Sereno community since the historic Farmdale School House was built in 1889.  A much larger more modern school was constructed in 1937 (Wilson High School Website).  It was later to become El Sereno Junior High when the new Wilson High School was built at top of the hill in 1970.  The City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Unified School District both recognize Wilson High School and Multnomah Elementary as schools within the community El Sereno (L.A. Times Multnomah Elem) (Council File Number 00-0566--Multnomah Elementary located in El Sereno).  Last and most troublesome to the members of Hillside Village POA is the FACT that you can't find a community called Hillside Village on any official City map, and for good reason.

         Yet, despite all these well documented facts about El Sereno's Wilson High School, this Hillside Village POA group has been allowed to put up six (6) signs that read "Hillside Village" around our Wilson High School.  Residents of El Sereno living within this "Hillside Village" area who do not want the area to be renamed and who do not want Hillside Village POA to represent them are simply ignored.  Also, the parents’ of every child attending Wilson High School or Multnomah Elementary are stakeholders who also have a say in what takes place within our schools area.  They have not been allowed to have their opinions heard.  Those who have spoken up have been ignored and their rights to have Transparency, Fair, and Equal representation by our elected City Official are violated.  We know firsthand that this is true, having experienced it for ourselves.  

         The fact that this tiny group has been allowed unprecedented influence over part of our community is unethical and has a negative effect on all of El Sereno.  WILSON HIGH SCHOOL IS PART OF THE FABRIC THAT MAKES OUR COMMUNITY OF EL SERENO UNIQUE--IT'S AN IMPORTANT INSTITUTION WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY.  NO ONE HAS A RIGHT TO TAKE AWAY OUR BELOVED HIGH SCHOOL, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT'S A GROUP OF BIGOTS WHO DON'T CARE ABOUT THE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES THIS HAS ON OUR COMMUNITY.

This is very much at the heart of the issue we have with this Hillside Village group.  The majority of residents in El Sereno never had a choice, were never allowed to voice their opinions and concerns on this illegal change, and when they took their concerns and issue to El Sereno District Office Area Director, A. Gonzalez, he lied to them and/or ignored them.  Arturo Gonzalez is long gone, but the problem and illegal division still remains.  We plan to see it become a problem no longer.

The questions remain the same: Why is this group allowed to cause divisions, misinformation, and receive favorable treatment from Councilmember Jose Huizar when Huizar was elected to represent EL SERENO? 

Fake signs for a Fake community

Officially the community of El Sereno encompasses 4.30 square miles, but has only 1 (one) official city sign posted to represent the community.  Yet, “Hillside Village” has a total of 6 (six) community signs posted around what essentially is El Sereno.  It’s no surprise that these “Hillside Village” community signs are placed at the same locations this Hillside Village POA group claims as its community's boundaries, as stated in the Hillside Village POA's By-laws (see ADMISSIONS).

There are 2 signs on S. Eastern Ave, 2 on Valley Blvd, and 2 on N. Soto St; all areas that have been part of historic El Sereno since before 1915.  (FYI, “University Hills” has (7) seven city signs along its boundaries, even though it's a fraction of what El Sereno is).  Many residents have stated that some/all of these signs are complete forgeries and have presented photos to prove their point.   You can drive around and find other phony looking "Hillside Village" signs.


 

They don't get any faker than this.  Stickers, really?!


Hillside Village P.O.A. must have not double-checked their FAKE SIGNS closely enough!

Are they or are they not REAL city signs?  As far as the City of Los Angeles City Clerk’s Office, Department of Public Works, and Bureau of Engineers is concerned, they do not know anything about these signs, did not authorize or install any such "Hillside Village" signs.  They don’t have documents or files for a community under that name, nothing (we contacted the mentioned office, department, and Bureau and have their official written response verifying this fact.  You can write, fax or e-mail them yourself to verify).

The problem with these “Hillside Village” signs is that they’re misinforming residents and the public into thinking it’s a separate community when the area is still part of the El Sereno community.  There is NO NEED for "Hillside Village" signs, Period.  The community signs need to be replaced with El Sereno community signs.  It makes no sense to have a community within a community.  Having these Hillside Village signs confuse residents, divide community unity/pride, and misinform residents into believing part of the El Sereno community was officially renamed.

Who allowed the El Sereno signs to be removed and replaced with these "Hillside Village" stickers?  Residents who have gone to the councilman's El Sereno Office have been promised to have the matter looked into, or have been lied to and told that they are official, or simply ignored.  Why are the constituents of El Sereno being ignored by Councilman Huizar?  What the purpose of having an office in El Sereno if our concerns are dismissed and ignored by his staff anyway?
City Council Files
--No official record of Hillside Village--

On January 31, 2006, the Los Angeles City Council implemented the Los Angeles City Policy for Naming and Renaming a Community
 http://cityclerk.lacity.org/
.  The new 2006 Naming/Renaming policy was implemented in order to protect the community from such frivolous and fraudulent divisions, and give the whole community a voice in such matters.  

We were told by Councilmember Jose Huizar's staff and the City Clerk that prior to the new 2006 ordinance there was an unfair process for the renaming of areas within the City.  Supposedly, the old process required only for a few residents to gather enough signatures, send a formal request for their own “community” signs, and convince the presiding councilman/councilwoman that everyone in the community was okay with the renaming.  

We conducted our own research and have the evidence that dispels the idea that "old process" was so informal.   In fact, we found is that even before the new 2006 Naming/Renaming policy, the City still had a formal process to grant the naming/renaming of communities.  The old process required the City Council to vote on whether to allow the naming/renaming of a community--this means that every community named/renamed prior to 2006 must have a City Council File.   

THE EVIDENCE:  Here are a few of the many City Council Files (CCF) we found that show that prior 2006 the City of Los Angeles had a well established process in place that required the formal vote of the City Council to approve the naming/renaming of a community, the exact boundary of these communities, AND THE APPROVAL TO INSTALL COMMUNITY SIGNS:
CCF Vermont Knolls (1980), CCF Toy District (1987),  CCF Thai Town (1999), CCF Little Armenia (2000), CCF Downtown Arts District (2000), CCF Manchester Square (2001), CCF Broadway Square (2001),  CCF Angeles Mesa (2001), CCF Balwin Vista (2001), CCF Cameo Plaza (2001), CCF Vermont Vista (2001), CCF Magnolia Square (2001), CCF Century Palms (2001), CCF Century Cove (2001), CCF King Estates (2001), CCF University Expo Park West (2001), CCF Crenshaw Manor (2001), CCF Arlington Park (2001), CCF Morningside Circle (2001), CCF West Park Terrace (2001), CCF Cantebury Knolls (2001), CCF Athens on the Hill (2002), CCF Historic Filipino Town (2002), CCF Little Ethiopia (2002), CCF Gallery Row (2003), CCF Furniture and Decorative Arts District (2003), CCF Arts District (2004), and CCF Toluca Woods (2004).  

NOWHERE IN THESE OFFICIAL FILES IS THERE ANYTHING ABOUT THE FORMAL RECOGNITION OF HILLSIDE VILLAGE.  YET COUNCILMEMBER JOSE HUIZAR  CONTINUES TO ALLOW THESE FAKE HILLSIDE VILLAGE SIGNS WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY OF EL SERENO.

      We have made formal request to the L.A. City Clerks office  
City Council Files  
and L.A. Department of Public Works-Bureau of Engineers for records,  or any legal documents pertaining to signs and formation of “Hillside Village” community, and there is none.  We have taken the evidence and our concerns to Councilman's Huizar's El Sereno Field Office Area Director, Arturo Gonzalez and later to Area Director Zenay Loera (useless), as well as to the Neighborhood Council (LA-32--dumbest name ever) and they ignore the facts, make excuses and lies, promising to (someday) address this issue. 

The majority of the residents Do Not want this area of El Sereno to be renamed, especially when it affects our local Wilson High School and Multnomah Elementary.   When residents complain about these fake signs, they are ignored, the same way other constituents have been over the years.  Clear cut example of bias, of favoritism, and discrimination against the majority of El Sereno's residents.  In the meantime, the signs are still there, misinforming the community and public.  The community of El Sereno continues to be marginalized.    

Councilman Huizar was elected to fairly represent our community of El Sereno.  Instead, Councilman Huizar has  tried to unethically sub-divide our historic community again and again.  The Legal Process required by the City of Los Angles and consent of the stakeholders and constituents that live in El Sereno has been violated.

Official Community in Los Angeles for 100 Years, yet,
El Sereno Only Has 1 Community Sign?!

While Councilmember Huizar called the new bridge on Valley Blvd the “El Sereno Bridge” on the day the bridge was officially opened and has said that Ascot Hills Nature Park was more open space for El Sereno to enjoy, for all intents and purposes, Councilmember Jose Huizar has tried to make El Sereno "disappear" from these areas (see El Sereno BridgeEl Sereno Bridge PDF and Ascot Hills and Ascot Hills PDF).  If you look around the "El Sereno Bridge" on Valley Blvd or Ascot Hills Park, you can’t find one single city sign promoting the community of El Sereno. 

As a matter of fact, thanks to our current Councilman, our community only has 1 (ONE) El Sereno sign in all of El Sereno.  One sign for all 4.2 square miles of our community.  While Councilman Jose Huizar pretends to respect the El Sereno community in his public relations speeches and news bites; in reality, Councilman Huizar is not representing the El Sereno community at all, and seems to be working towards making sure our community is completely erased.  

Below: The ONE and ONLY city sign promoting El Sereno, on Collis and N. Huntington Drive.


      Instead, what you do find around El Sereno Bridge and Ascot Hills Park are signs with “Hillside Village” and “University Hills”.  While we will address "University Hills" in the next section, both of these divisions are a negative and serious concern for the El Sereno community.  What Councilman Huizar is doing and allowing in our community El Sereno is shameful, inexcusable, and wrong.  You can take the evidence we have, or you can do your own research, and then take your concerns to the Councilman's office, City Attorney, and Ethics Commission.


PARASITES
Taking Advantage of the Lies

The only people that have anything to gain from these fake signs are the parasites who use the misinformation for their own selfish agenda.  Here we have an example of one of those leeches: Fernando Amaya of La Casas Realty.

He very well knows that all these homes are in El Sereno, since he advertises these homes in the April 2014 Community Beacon Newspaper under the title of El Sereno Real Estate.  Yet, this unscrupulous agent then turns around and advertises these same homes under the title of "Hillside Village" in the Hillside Village newsletter, as if they were in different community.



        

      
There are a couple of important facts that need to be pointed out.

First, Fernando Amaya does not live in El Sereno (lives in Century City); Las Casas Realty is not based in El Sereno either (located in Highland Park).  The only thing that connects him to El Sereno is his attempt to misinform prospective home buyers in order to try to get more money from them.  He knowingly tries to advertise homes in El Sereno as being in some place called Hillside Village, in an effort to unfairly inflate the home's market value--thus making more money for himself.

Second. people like Fernando Amaya don't care that they are misinforming the prospective buyers, don't care that they are unfairly and illegally trying to inflate the market value for their own personal benefit, and don't care that their actions affect all  home-owners that live in El Sereno.  Fernando Amaya goes as far as claiming that Hillside Village now extends to Klamath.  In reality, Hillside Village is a nick-name used for an area in El Sereno, that area being between Multnomah Elementary and Wilson High School.


Lastly, the use of these unfair and illegal real estate tactics are braking California's Business and Professional Code, under  DIVISION 4. REAL ESTATE CHAPTER 3. REAL ESTATE REGULATIONS
Article 1. Scope of Regulation ............................. 10130-10149


Bigots In El Sereno
Hillside Village POA's Community Standards  

       A resident of El Sereno, who lives near Wilson High School, came to us with a newsletter she had received from the Hillside Village Property Owners Association (POA). She stated that she was very offended by what had been written in the newsletter. She explained that she had not come forward earlier because she didn't know where to go, wasn't sure who she could talk to, and quite simply, she doesn't want to cause any trouble for herself or her family. But, what she read did not sit well with her and always felt that she needed to at least try to do something about it. When she heard about the El Sereno Historical Society and heard our position concerning the Hillside Village POA, she decided to share the Hillside Village POA newsletter. We weren't sure what she was referring to since we were unaware that a Hillside Village POA newsletter existed.

      We read the newsletter and could not believe a person with such ignorant mentality could really be the president of Hillside Village POA. Incredibly, the President of Hillside Village POA threw out common sense and decency out the window when he decided to write this article. It seems the anti-immigrant, Xenophobic mentality is so ingrained within this group that Ray-cist Rios actually thought it was okay to write, print, and pass out this newsletter with the POA's offensive statements--to hundreds of residents within the El Sereno community. Unashamed of his offensive comments, Ray Rios includes a photo of himself and his full name.

If this is how the leadership of the Hillside Village POA thinks about immigrants and/or ethnic minorities, then it's not hard to imagine that members of this group share the same hateful and narrow-minded position. We have included the entire article so you can see exactly what the Hillside Village POA thinks about "others" and what this group stands for. The article provides a clear view into the Hillside Village POA mentality, which features their offensive and xenophobic perspective towards those who live in El Sereno, East L.A., and LA in general.

But just as important, it also shows the level of Arrogance Hillside Village POA members have, no doubt due to the fact that they have had the bias support of the Councilmember Jose Huizar. Read the newsletter and You be the judge on whether what was written by Hillside Village POA president Ray Rios is offensive and hateful.


(Update:  All the staff members who were employed at the El Sereno Office when the news letter was written have either been transferred or have voluntarily quit their position--Arturo Gonzalez, Daniel Andalon, and Cecilia Alatorre).


Click on President's Report to download pdf.
Click Fall Edition Newsletter for pdf of the entire Hillside Village POA newsletter.

     
These statements are a slap in the face for anyone of Mexican, Mexican-American, or Central-American descent, as this makes up the majority of people who live in East LA. What Ray Rios is saying is stupid, ignorant, and racist, made worse by the fact that it comes from a man with the last name of RIOS.

It’s one thing to be proud of where you live, but it's a whole different story when you start stereotyping, slandering, and putting-down people because of their ethnicity, income level, or cultural differences. Let's not forget that Councilmember Jose Huizar resides in Boyle Heights, which is part of the area East of L.A. Ray-cist Rios’s Hillside Village POA group are ignorant morons to believe residents of East L.A. have lower standards just because they live there. According to Ray Rios’s comment, it’s as if everyone who lives in “East LA” are lazy, have a dirty unkempt yards, and have lower standards than his “Hillside Village Community”. This Hillside Village POA group stereotypes a large group of people has having lower “standards” simply because they are recent immigrants and/or have different cultural customs.

We reached out to several political representatives to see what they thought about President Ray Rios’s statements published Hillside Village Property Owners Association (POA) Fall 2011 newsletter. Not surprisingly, both Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, representing the First District and then California’s 32nd District Congress-woman Judy Chu, acknowledged that Ray Rios’s statements were discriminatory, negative, and offensive.

     

We tried to contact Councilmember Jose Huizar about these offensive comments, but Councilmember Huizar didn’t care to respond, especially when it involves a loyal group of supporters (the Hillside Village POA group is a strong supporter of Councilmember Jose Huizar’s bid for re-election in 2015. Councilmember Jose Huizar prefers to ignore community issues rather than jeopardize what he considers more important: Hillside Village POA’s votes come Election Day.)


What Ray Rios wrote was no accident. It was a well thought-out (at least it seemed well thought out in his mind) and calculated statement of what the Hillside Village POA's values and community standards are towards people living in East L.A. (the majority being Mexican-Americans, and recent Mexican/Central American immigrants). Though there were many opportunities to reflect and consider what was to be printed and passed around the community, the thought of this being offensive didn't seem to worry anyone in the Hillside Village POA group. The members of this Hillside Village POA group support these xenophobic views, otherwise, it would have never been printed and much less passed out to residents in the community.

Anyone with even a little common sense knows that it's acceptable to put down an ethnic, religious, or minority group simply because they are different. The only place that racial slurs are acceptable is amongst fellow bigots. The members of this Hillside Village POA group seem comfortable to label others with these offensive terms, probably using them openly when together. The member Hillside Village POA members seem to agree with Ray Rios’s bigotry and xenophobic statement, wrote and for which Hillside Village POA stands for.

Personally, we are offended by Ray Rios's comments. Many areas within El Sereno are very well kept, and El Sereno overall is full of friendly and decent families. There is nothing special about "Hillside Village" (it's simply another part of El Sereno, named “Hillside Village”), other than the few bigots that live here today. We don't care how nice Ray Rios's home or street might be; or how well-kept this area of El Sereno is; it does NOT give him or the Hillside Village POA the right to be derogatory towards anyone. The overall beauty, safety, and well-being of the entire El Sereno community needs to be the true focus because whether it's good or bad, what happens in El Sereno affects us all, PERIOD.

FYI- Ray Rios grew up in nearby Hazard (Ramona Gardens); very hypocritical of him to look down on East LA when he grew up in the predominately Mexican/Mexican-American community of Boyle Heights. Mr. Rios needs to take his “standards” back to Hazard and apply his view of what his “community” is on his friends and family. It would be a good reality check for Ray Rios.

Interestingly, one of Ray Rios’s most ardent defenders is none other than right-wing tabloid/blogger Scott Johnson (Mayor Sam Sister City). Scott Johnson and Ray Rios are long-time friends who grew up in the Hazard area of Boyle Heights. As they say: Birds of a feather flock together…

Councilmember Jose Huizar-- 
Supports Offensive Hillside Village Group

 and the illegal division of El Sereno


          
What makes things even worse is the fact that Councilmember Jose Huizar advocates and promotes the illegal division of El Sereno, claiming Hillside Village to be a community in official city documents.  Let us remind the reader that the city's own files have no evidence of any community called Hillside Village.  Yet, again and again, Councilmember Jose Huizar promotes it as if it were, contributing to the misinformation and dis-empowerment of El Sereno.  By Councilmember Huizar promoting Hillside Village the way he does, he gives residents and public the bias and false impression that Hillside Village is a recognized and official community.  Yet, we know this to be false.   Here are a FEW examples of Councilmmember Jose Huizar's support for the offensive Hillside Village POA .  
  • Councilman Huizar's special acknowledgement of the Hillside Village on the opening ceremonyfor  Ascot Park 2010.
  • Here is Councilman Jose Huizar recognizing Hillside Village as a community (even though it is NOT) in an official motion presented to the City Council, CFMS 11-1644,
  • In the Winter 2011 community newsletter, Councilman Jose Huizar again recognizes the unofficial and illegal Hillside Village (Winter 2011). 
  • Even the shameless Hillside Village POA mentions Councilmember Jose Huizar's bias favoritism towards the POA in the Hillside Village Newsletter Article for Nov. 2011 Pg 1 & Pg 5.
  • At this present time in our community's history, we only have one (1) old community sign to prove to the world that El Sereno continues to exist.  Despite all the attempts and bias support that has been allowed to try and divide El Sereno, the over-whelming majority of residents still have strong pride for their community of El Sereno.  Councilmember Jose Huizar has no problem DONATING Neighborhood Watch signs to the Racist Hillside Village POA  (read Community Improvements).  Yet, residents of El Sereno have asked and even submitted petitions to El Sereno EX-Area Director Arturo Gonzalez, requesting more El Sereno community signs; after all his promises and reassurances, still nothing.  Despite EX-Area Director Arturo Gonzalez's denials and blank stares about there being any bias against El Sereno, the facts are the facts, there is no denying what is true.  We like to thank the many PROUD EL SERENO RESIDENTS-- currently held powerless within their own community (home and all) by this Hillside Village POA--for not losing heart and not giving in to the lies and misinformation.  We appreciate your support and thank you for turning in all the articles you have.  Keep them coming and continue boycotting all those who advertise in the Hillside Village Newsletter.  Those businesses do not deserve our community's money. 
      These are just a few out of the many times Councilmember Jose Huizar has unethically promoted Hillside Village as an official community.  Councilmember Jose Huizar bias support of this small Hillside Village group over the majority of El Sereno residents is the real problem in our community.  Councilmember Jose Huizar was elected to represent the communities that are within District 14; Boyle Heights, Downtown, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Garvanza, Glassell Park, Hermon, Highland Park and Mount Washington- no mention of Hillside Village, Rose Hill, or even University Hills.  Yet, as we can see by what he puts out o through official city channels, Councilmember Jose Huizar unethically promotes these areas as "communities" every chance he gets. 
Fire Station No 16--Funded by Tax-Payers; Proudly Serving...
a fake Community


      As if that wasn’t enough insults on our community, now LA City Fire Station #16, located on 2011 N. Eastern Ave. has chosen to change the community it proudly represents and serves from El Sereno to “Hillside Village”.  How and why is this being allowed to happen in and against El Sereno?  Who is allowing this?  How and why is an official L.A. City vehicle, funded by the tax-payers, unethically and unprofessionally being allowed to represent and promote an unofficial and illegal community?  Again, the official and historical community of El Sereno is marginalized and ignored, while an illegal and made up community is favored and promoted.  Why?   When did El Sereno decide to allow this community to exist?  How is this good for our community?
    
      The fact is that many residents have called and have asked why these city vehicles (funded by the tax-payers) are promoting an unofficial and illegal community?  They have requested the removal of these decals.  If your lucky, you'll get Fire Station Chief, Captain Frank Sandoval, who will arrogantly snicker and tell you "that's not going to happen", as if he makes all the decisions.  Other constituents who have called have gotten responses ranging from "I'm sorry, I agree, but I don't make those decisions" to "I thought it was an official community?".  Yet, on the official LAFD website, Fire Station #16 states that it is “Proudly Serving the Community of South El Sereno” (See Fire Station # 16 and Fire Station List link LAFD Neighborhood Fire Stations). 
     
      Anyone who doubts what we are saying about this non-sense can call and see for themselves.  If you happen to reach Captain Sandoval, ask him for the boundaries of "Hillside Village" and why it's not on any official city map.  Let us know when you do, we would like to hear what he has to say also.


Fire Station No 16,
Phone # 213-485-6216


The "Hillside Village" community is not recognized by the City, which means Hillside Village doesn't exist on any official city map.  Yet, LAFD Station 16 firetrucks have decals that promote Hillside Village?  How do they know where Hillside Village?  Their bias support for Hillside Village is another example of the unprofessional conduct of LAFD Station 16 employees.  Their actions show the discrimination and bias attitude they have against the El Sereno community.

It should also be mentioned that the Fire Station #16 personnel help sweep public streets whenever this Hillside Village group has clean-ups.  When was the last time Fire Station No 16 personnel came to your street to help you and your neighbors clean-up?  Never.  Yet these LAFD city employees unprofessionally chose to help only one particular group, and only if it's within  the "community" they believe they represent.  It's hard to believe that any professional city employee would consider being so bias and unprofessional, but that's exactly what is happening.  Here is the article written by Ray's POA, where they proudly share one of those unethical and unprofessional moments. Tax-Payers Money Part 1 & Part 2.

      These city employees actions are discriminate, unfairly choosing to help only this Hillside Village group during their events.  What makes it even worse is that they are doing so while on-duty; getting paid with tax-payers money to clean the streets of "Hillside Village."  They don't care to put in the same time and effort  to help El Sereno, strengthening community pride.  Why does Fire Station No. 16 personnel think right to only do this "community service" for one part of El Sereno (Hillside Village)?  It's a question that Fire Station Chief Frank Sandoval needs to answer.  Phone # 213-485-6216

       The current city-employees at Fire Station #16 are pathetic.  We need to make sure our fire stations are staffed with city employees who are proud to serve the industrious working-class community of El Sereno.   El Sereno doesn't deserve the idiotic and unprofessional actions exhibited by Fire Station # 16 personnel, especially when our tax-dollars pay their salary,   Forward your complain to the Battalion and Division Headquarters.  The information is provided at the bottom of this section.

POA Standards: Misinforming Whenever Possible
Multnomah Elementary Principal’s Letter

Multnomah Elementary received a new principal this year.  As luck would have it, soon after, she met the Hillside Village POA.  On February 2012, Hillside Village put out an article in which the new principal of Multnomah Elementary, Ana M. Escobedo, is featured on the front page.  It's supposed to be a genuine introduction by Ms. Ana Escobedo as the new principal of Multnomah Elementary.

In her opening sentence, Ms. Escobedo states "
Dear Residents of Hillside Village
".   Again, this is what the Hillside Village POA wrote and what the readers believe to be fact; that the introduction sent by Principal Ana Escobedo is exactly the same as the one printed in their newsletter.

Parents/residents e-mailed her to let her know that the official and true community is El Sereno and not Hillside Village. 
 As parents, we are also concerned that these false newsletters are going out and not only misinformation parents and homeowners, but that the children and young family members of these families are also going to be misinformed. 

Ms. Escobedo's response was swift and to the point.
  Ms. Escobedo politely, but firmly, denied she ever expressed those words and shared the exact message sent to Hillside Village POA.  Click on the Principal's Letter to see the actual message to the Hillside Village POA.  
Below is an e-mail reply from Ms. Escobedo to one of the concerned parents'. 

Dear Mr/Ms. *********

I would like to first and foremost thank you for your dedication and advocacy to the community of which it is an honor for me to serve as Principal. I have attached for your review the letter I submitted to the staff of The Village Voice community newsletter. As you can see, the greeting on my letter is directed to "Multnomah Families" and the change to the greeting that was printed on the newsletter was made by their staff. As an educator and past community member of El Sereno, I can assure you that I am committed to its integrity and prosperity. I am looking forward to collaborating and learning from devoted community members such as yourself. 

Sincerely,
Ana M. Escobedo
Principal,
Multnomah E.S.
323-***-**** 
 

We now see that these people in Hillside Villae POA are not above lying and are knowingly changing peoples’ words, to purposely misinform residents in our community.  This is just part of the wrong that is being allowed and that Councilmember Huizar is supporting when he sends out official e-mails and/or newsletters stating that Hillside Village is a community.  By doing so, he is supporting and continuing this type of misinformation and division of El Sereno.

How is making children believe in lies and manipulations a good thing?  What are we teaching our children; that's its ok to lie and cheat as long as you to get what you want.  This is the opposite of what most parents believe and teach their children.  The ideals of being honest, teaching the truth, and having pride for your true community is what these parents want their children to learn.  That the principal’s message included Hillside Village as the community she was addressing is part of the misinformation being sent out to the community at large.
 
University Hill
Double Standard 101
(Work in Progress--Check back daily for new updates)

       University Hills, as the South-East area of El Sereno is labeled, was El Sereno up until 2004 (see City Council File 04-0944).  What took place was nothing more than an illegal division of our community.  Some poor souls actually think that their University Hills is the Echo Park (?) of East-Northeast LA.  While the "leaders" of University Hills do not want to be associated in any way with El Sereno, they sure don'y mind using El Sereno's historic past.  The truth behind the real reason behind this unethical division becomes very clear as one reads the article: Home Prices=MONEY (LA Times April 24, 2005).

“University Hills” has no historical ties with the California State University Los Angeles; the Cal State LA didn't developed as part of the "University Hills" or with this "community" in mind.  Cal State LA was developed in the late 1950s and early 60s, independently and contrary to any of the propaganda that some people want to link to the University/University Hills.  As a matter of fact, nowhere on the CSULA history websites does it recognize the community of “University Hills”.  


Cal State LA shares historical ties with El Sereno, since the native Village of Otsungna once existed in the South El Sereno area, one of the first 25 adobes ever built in California was located here as well, and finally, the Historic Rancho Rosa de Castilla once encompassed the land now occupied by CSULA and the community of El Sereno.


        
The truth is that during the mid-1990’s, as the housing bubble was in full boom, a few home owners and real estate agents got together created a “University Hills Home Owners Association”.  For no reason other than greed, they proclaimed themselves as “seceded” from El Sereno, as if they had any authority to do so. In reality, there is no "University Hills Home Owners Association", this association is not registered or even officially recognized; it's just part of the lies and deceit that was spread by those few that believe in this "University Hills" BS.  It's all a lie made up by the "University Hills Homeowners Association" in order to get the city to believe that everyone was okay and agreed to this unethical and illegal division of our community. 

They figured that by putting up signs they could fool people into thinking it's not El Sereno and at the same time, use the El Sereno name as a scapegoat whenever convenient.  This double-standard can be seen on the original post on Wikipedia, which slams El Sereno as crime- ridden and gang plagued.



The reasoning behind this is two-fold.  First, to make it seem as if the area was a separate community, greedily hoping that this would raise the property values which would allow homeowners and real-estate agents the opportunity to make money selling to home-buyers that don't know any better. Second, in order to help their con game, these people needed a scapegoat who they could use to smear and attribute all the crime to; the sucker being the community of El Sereno.  They thought they would able to lump all the crime onto the name El Sereno. leaving their so-called community seemingly free of crime.
But, reality has a way of presenting itself, no matter how many signs are put up or how bad they speak about the community of El Sereno. 



Most people in El Sereno know that “University Hills” is not that different from other parts of El Sereno.  In fact, "Univeristy Hills" has more crime and gang activity than other parts of El Sereno.  The gang problem hasn't gone away since the University Hills signs went up, instead it only became more pronounced.  Although “University Hills” wants to claim itself to be separate community and not part of El Sereno, the truth is that it only chooses to be a separate community when it suites them.  If there is an issue that needs attention, they waste no time saying they are part of the El Sereno community.  

An example of this is when there was a half-way home for child-molesters in University Hills.  Because no one has ever heard about this place, in order to get attention they started saying that there were child molesters living in El Sereno.  What a luxury to be able to use our community when it happens to be useful, otherwise, they don't even want to be called El Sereno.  Below are official documents showing that the University Hills Homeowners Association appealed for help under the name of El Sereno.  Why are there signs proclaiming University Hills again?  It's only good enough to be El Sereno when they need help, or when they don't want the public to know that there are child molesters living in their "community".  It's ok to use El Sereno and put all that smut on our community's name, otherwise they wouldn't want to touch it witha ten foot pole.

         The El Sereno Neighborhood Council?                  Why is Supervisor Gloria Molina using El 
         We keep hearing that it's called LA-32?             Sereno when it's now called University Hills?  
                      


1990 Landsdowne Way is within the area labeled as University Hills.
Not El Sereno.


To get a closer view of the documents above visit: 
Mayor Sam's Sister City 
University Hills Uses El Sereno When Convenient 
 


The “University Hills Home Owners Association” want their own “community”, call themselves a separate “community”, yet at the same time they want the luxury to have all the crime reported in the area as officially occurring in El Sereno.  Some might believe that “University Hills” is so different and crime free, but those of us who grow up and/or live in El Sereno know it's not that different at all.  Mean-while, everyone else living in El Sereno gets stuck with the over-rated bad rep and higher crime stats.  Unfair, bias, and a double-standard against our community of El Sereno.

The fact that the news media doesn't recognize University Hills as a different community says alot about what is going on.  The news media sees "University Hills" as part of El Sereno; they too do not believe this non-sense of "University Hills" being a different community.


CBS News Mother's Day Shooting 2012 

ABC News Mother's Day Shooting 2012

KTLA News Open Manholes Pose Danger 2012

KCET Events The Killer Behind the Camera 

Saturday, May 12, 2012  Video of Robbery-The EastsiderLA

LATimes Neighborhoods


Residents Recognize

The good news that there are still many residents within University Hills that recognize the facts and history and are proud to be part of El Sereno.  We know the majority of residents don't believe in these negative divisions and know that we can make all of El Sereno better by being united behind our El Sereno community.

University Hills: A Corner of El Sereno



The El Sereno Community Coordinating Council
Using "El Sereno"--Promoting Divisions 

The comments below (in blue) were posted to an article on our Facebook page concerning Hillside Village POA.  They were made by Isaac Aquino, current President of the El Sereno Community Coordinating Council and are included here in the exact sequence and wording in which they were posted.  My reponse is included below his statements.

Please allow me to comment here. I've only seen discussions surrounding Hillside Village. However, two other communities exist...University Hills & Rose Hills. The signs that identify the boundaries of these communities are in fact signs issued by the City of Los Angeles.

Hillside Village....University Hills...Rose Hills...and El Sereno....all different communities encompassed by the zip code 90032. Just as, obviously, some people are proud of "El Sereno"...others are proud of THEIR communities. Anthony Manzano (whom we all know you despise)....and many other people I know personally are very proud of their "Rose Hills". Raymond Rios and many many others are proud of their "Hillside Village"....and so on...and they SHOULD be! People taking pride in their neighbors....their neighborhoods...their communities is not a bad thing.

Mr. Garcia....I don't know you personally.....but I would love to meet you Sir. What I DOOO love about you, though, is your passion.  I just feel that all the energy you put into this anger you have....can be better served in a more productive...positive manner. Keep up the good work Sir. But...instead of struggling to control the masses with anger & hostility....lets work TOGETHER...and make ALL of our communities a better place for everyone!

Just so there is no confusion of who I am...I'm Isaac Aquino.
President- El Sereno Community Coordinating Council
El Sereno Park Advisory Board Member
El Sereno Stallions-Conference Rep
Coach-El Sereno Park
Wilson Alumni
Former resident of East Los Angeles & Boyle Heights! ;)
....and resident of Hillside Village (est. in 1976).

What we do in the ESCCC is plan fundraising events to raise money to give back to the community. Schools...parks...etc. So we're kind of like event planners/fundraisers, per se.

RESPONSE:

First, let me address the comments you make about me Mr. Aquino.  Your comment concerning myself and Anthony Manzano is not only unreliable, it’s also malicious.   You state--“Anthony Manzano (whom we all know you despise)....” --yet a few lines later you also state “Mr. Garcia....I don't know you personally.....but I would love to meet you Sir.”  You know my opinion or feeling towards Anthony Manzano and yet you have never met me?  Having never met me, how is it that you know I despise this person?  And who is “we” when you state that “whom we all know you despise”

It’s very irresponsible of you to spread false rumors about me, even more so considering that you haven’t even met me.  Anthony Manzano and I have worked together on Community Clean-Ups as well as sat together on different Neighborhood Council meetings and committee meetings.  While I do not agree with some of Mr. Manzano's methods or his views on local history, to say I despise him is nothing more than slander.


Your unreliable and malicious comments about me continue with another statement:--“instead of struggling to control the masses with anger & hostility...”  How exactly am I trying to control the “masses”?  What incident of anger or hostility are you referring to?  If having a website or sharing on Facebook is your proof of me “controlling the masses with anger and hostility”, what does that say about yourself, or the millions of others who also share on Facebook or on the World Wide Web for that matter?  Sharing what we see as problems or issues in our community might be your idea of "struggling to control the masses with anger & hostility".  But that's only because what is being said probably worries and angers you.  We post and state the issues that we have checked and can verify. If this bothers people it's only because they are either part of the problem or misinformed about the facts.

You claim to be willing to work together, yet your unsubstantiated and negative comments about me contradict your statement.  That I do not take your disparaging and negative comments personal--does not mean I am happy with your statements.   Your claim that I have anger and hostility towards others is irrational, since you’re the one who has made disparaging and negative remarks about me. Yet, by your own admission, you don’t even know me. 

In the future, put some thought and consideration into your statements before you post them for public consumption, especially those about me.


ESCCC:
Using "El Sereno"--Promoting Divisions

Even more concerning than your skewed opinion of me are your statements about the El Sereno Community Coordinating Council (ESCCC).  Your comments provide a clearer picture of this organization's true goal.  We were unaware that ESCCC promotes the unofficial communities of Hillside Village and Rose Hills and advocates the illegal division of El Sereno.

At the same time, your very own statements continually contradict one another.  You claim that your goal is to “make ALL of our communities a better place for everyone!”   Yet you end your statement by saying that “What we do in the ESCCC is plan fundraising events to raise money to give back to the community.  Schools...parks...etc. So we're kind of like event planners/fundraisers, per se.”  Which "community" are you talking about, since you claim to represent four?  How is the money raised by the ESCCC used and/or divided up amongst these four communities?   Who decides where the money goes?  

Your claim that the El Sereno Community Coordinating Council (ESCCC) represents four communities also brings up other unanswered questions.   Who is the representative(s) of each of these communities and what are the boundaries of each community?  How do you know where one community ends or starts?   Where did the idea that there were four communities come from?  

If what you claim is true about these four communities, one hopes you at least know the answers to the questions above.


We were not aware that the official position and primary goal of the El Sereno Community Coordinating Council was for the benefit of four "communities".  What is also really concerning is the fact that residents of El Sereno have been misinformed into thinking they are supporting the Community of El Sereno, because the name of the organization IS the EL SERENO Community Coordinating Council.  

Residents need to know that this organization is supporting and promoting the divisions of the El Sereno community.  It would also be good to know if the paying members who join ESCCC or those who attend these fundraisers or planned events, know exactly what they are joining/supporting.   Is it stated somewhere on your By-Laws or introduction that you support the illegal divisions El Sereno in order to have four communities?

We find it very concerning that you have these bias convictions about dividing our community.  It doesn't make any sense that you are a self-proclaimed resident of Hillside Village, when you are also the president of the EL SERENO Community Coordinating Council (ESCCC).  You say that taking pride in your community is not bad…so why don’t you take pride in your community of El Sereno? 

Your belief that there are four communities within the zip code 90032 is bias, based on nothing official and no documentation.  You should be aware that the City of Los Angeles does not recognize Hillside Village or Rose Hills as communities.  The statement that University Hills, Hillside Village, Rose Hills, and El Sereno are the four communities encompassed within the 90032 zip code is incorrect.  Are new ESCCC members informed about these Facts at anytime?


What I do know now is that this organization is NOT what it states to be; the EL SERENO COMMUNITY coordinating council.  In fact, the El Sereno Community Coordinating Council has been co-opted and is being used for the benefit of others instead of what it is suppose to be benefitting: the community of El Sereno.  The community’s “El Sereno” name is only being used as a tool to raise money for whatever you and your group sees as "good"; good towards seeing El Sereno chopped up.  Some might even argue that a review of the organization’s books is needed in order to know exactly where money has gone.

We need to make sure you and your friends are NOT allowed to use this organization and the name "El Sereno" when you are promoting the division of our community.  This community organization must be taken back by residents who really care about El Sereno and want to do good for the COMMUNITY, instead of the crap currently being promoted by you.

It would be good to know the answers to these questions, since many of us have been part of events which ESCCC has fund-raised or planned, per se.

Something you may want to consider is changing the name of this organization, since "El Sereno Community Coordinating Council" is not at all representative what this organization really stands for. 

UNTIL THESE QUESTIONS ARE ADDRESSED, OUR ADVISE IS TO NOT SUPPORT ANY EVENT WHICH THE SO-CALLED "EL SERENO" COMMUNITY COORDINATING COUNCIL IS A PART OF.  THEY NEED TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS WE HAVE ASKED HERE.  

All this Fundraising & Membership Fees and no accounting of WHERE the money goes.

FOR ALL WE KNOW THEY ARE SIMPLY POCKETING ALL THE "FUNDRAISING MONEY".

 

       The root of the problems we are currently experiencing in El Sereno is not only the fault of a few ignorant and hateful people living in our community.  An even more serious issue we need to address as a community is the fact that the elected city official, Councilmember Jose Huizar, who is suppose to be empowering, representing, and helping our community become a better place, is the one actively working on destroying El Sereno.  This unethical person needs to be thrown out of office so that El Sereno can have a true representative, here for the good and growth of our historic El Sereno community.



Trying to "Working" with Councilmember Jose Huizar's CD-14 Office

A little known fact about our beginning with Councilmember Jose Huizar's office is that the El Sereno Historical Society was eager to work with his office.  As far back as 2011, we reached out to then Area Director Arturo Gonzalez and Field Deputy Daniel Andelon.  We started out with monthly meetings, working towards getting better City Services in our community, collaborating on projects to clean up and beautify our community, as well as working together in order to preserve El Sereno's historic buildings/landmarks.

These meetings ended abruptly in 2012 when Field Deputy Daniel Andelon was transferred to CD-1 and Area Director Arturo Gonzalez quit his post.  

We then had to restart our efforts with Huizar's new Area Director, Zenay Loera.  Despite the fact that Zenay didn't seem to have any file on the work we had already began with Arturo Gonzalez and Daniel Andelon, we decided to put our best foot forward and began monthly meetings with Zenay.  It soon became obvious that Zenay was not taking our time serious, since it seemed that at almost every meeting we had to remind her of what we had discussed at our prior meeting.  Why wasn't there a running file on the work we were suppose to be working on together?  We questioned her on the fact, to which she responded with every increasing lame excuses, such as having forgotten the file on that day.  

There were other obstacles that severely hampered any attempt to work with Zenay Loera of Councilmember Jose Huizar's office, especially when it came to getting truthful information.  Her responses were always that either that we would have to do the footwork ourselves or that she would look into it.  For example, according to Zenay, getting Prop K funding for our local parks was our responsibility.  All the footwork was to be done by us, including finding out who to speak to and filling out the application.  As it turned out, Prop K funding is totally initiated by CD-14 office, as Cd-14 Nate Hayward clearly stated during a El Sereno Park Advisory Board (PAB) meeting.  YouTube Link: El Sereno PAB 6-12-14

After a few months of trying to work with Zenay, she was sent on vacation and we found ourselves having to restart all of our work over again with Field Deputy Julio Esperias.  We requested that we continue our work where we left off with Zenay.  But once again, Julio Esperias had no idea what we had worked on with Zenay because there was no file or record of our meetings.  We thanked Mr Esperias for his time and walked out, never to return to Huizar's El Sereno office because it is simply a waste of time.  

This experience is not unique to only us, as we have met many other residents and business owners who have the same story to tell, especially when it involves Zenay Loera.

Another interesting fact about Councilmember Jose Huizar is that if he will not meet with anyone or any group if he feels they are in opposition to his agenda.  We tried to get a meeting with him for over a year and the scary-cat refused to meet with us.  The best he could do is maybe have a phone conference.  In the end, it's easy to see that Councilmember Jose Huizar doesn't want too work with El Sereno residents to make our community better. 


Huizar: Gerrymandering El Sereno


COUNCILMEMBER JOSE HUIZAR SELLS OUT EL SERENO
(For A Few Crummy Votes)


Unfortunately for El Sereno, Superior Court Judge ruled that despite the lack of evidence of an existing community of “Rose Hills” and no known boundaries, Councilmember Jose Huizar is capable of installing Rose Hills signs within El Sereno.

This ruling does not validate the existence of a "Rose Hills" community. It simply demonstrates how corrupt Huizar is—he is willing to betray El Sereno for a handful of votes for his re-election.
Despite the over whelming opposition of El Sereno residents to install “Rose Hills” signs in the community of El Sereno, and with no community input or meetings, Huizar has decided to reward those who support his bid for re-election.

What the ruling has brought to light is that Huizar (and any other Councilmember) has the authority to have signs installed even if the signs contradict the facts and the community’s true name and history. History and maps support the fact that there is a small area known as Rose Hill within the community of El Sereno. The stretch of land where these misleading signs will be placed is beyond the area known as Rose Hill. We all know it has been singular (one hill: Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Rose Hill Rec Center, Rose Hill Park, and the Rose Hill Housing Courts).

Even the Los Angeles City Central Library Director and the Manager of the Central Library’s History and Genealogy Department concluded that nothing in Library maps had yet been identified that contains a reference to a community called “Rose Hills,” only various maps showing tracts, streets, schools, etc., (i.e. points of interest) with the appellation “Rose Hill.”



Link to full report: Ed & Neigh Comm 11-2057_8-20-13

The posting of these so-called “community” signs are just Huizar’s corrupt back door deals in exchange for re-election votes. BUT LET’S BE CLEAR, these signs do not signify that a community exist; it’s simply the work of a corrupt politician who is using his power to reward his political supporters (In this case his staunch supporters Anthony and Joe Manzano.)

As Superior Court Judge J. Chalfant pointed out—“IT’S PURELY A POLITICAL MOVE ON BEHALF OF THE COUNCILMEMBER.” He cares nothing of our El Sereno Community or its residents.

Much like Hillside Village signs that now surround El Sereno’s beloved Wilson HS, the Rose Hills signs are not reflective of our community’s historic true name: El Sereno. You will not find Hillside Village or Rose Hills in any official map as they are not officially recognized as communities; these are simply signs unfairly installed within El Sereno.

SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

It means that the corrupt Councilmember Huizar is going to install 5 “Rose Hills” signs within El Sereno—even if a majority of residents object. It’s Huizar’s way of gerrymandering El Sereno in the hopes of getting re-elected.

It DOESN’T mean that a community of “Rose Hills” exist, because, as the Judge clearly stated, “the signs do not validate that Rose Hills is a community.” Furthermore, the Judge stated that, “those signs do not denote boundaries of a community. All it means is that the Councilmember [Huizar] has the power to do it. If the community does not like it, they can always vote the bum out.”

The issue at hand is not just about the Rose Hills signs, but the PROCESS and the lack of community input. These signs are within El Sereno, the community and residents must have the opportunity to have real input whether we want them or not. It’s unfair to leave out residents on these type of decisions. Residents in the affected area do not want “Rose Hills” signs.

Many of us would like to see EL SERENO COMMUNITY signs in that part of El Sereno and throughout El Sereno. If Councilmember Huizar truly cares about El Sereno, he would post El Sereno signs as has been requested by constituents in the past. However as of today, there is only ONE El Sereno community sign on Huntington Drive and Collis.

Since early 2012, we submitted a petition requesting El Sereno signs at El Sereno entry points from Lincoln Heights, Hermon, South Pasadena, and Alhambra. We attempted working with Councilmember Huizar and his staff, but to no avail.

It’s sad to see that Huizar and a few people are not proud of the community they live in: El Sereno. Let’s build community pride in El Sereno.

The El Sereno Community (and CD-14) cannot afford to keep such a corrupt and selfish politician for another term.

El Sereno needs new leadership…

GO OUT AND VOTE ON MARCH 3, 2015!

FACEBOOK PAGE LINK: https://www.facebook.com/ElSerenoHistoricalSociety/posts/789211911154206

Huizar: 10 Years in El Sereno
Half-Ass Work from a Half-Ass Politician

Councilmember Jose Huizar has shown time and time again that he is only willing to do the minimum for El Sereno and its residents.  


ELECTED CITY COUNCILMAN of DISTRICT 14    
Councilman Jose Huizar
Representing and helping Everybody and Anybody
 EXCEPT El Sereno

(Work in Progress--Check back daily for new updates)  

       As our elected representative of District 14, El Sereno, Councilman Huizar is legally obligated to represent, inform, and act in the best interest of the El Sereno community under the City of Los Angeles Code of Ethics.  In 2005, when Mr. Huizar became councilman of our district, there were no “Hillside Village” or “Rose Hills” communities or signs within El Sereno, nor were these communities recognized by the City of Los Angeles.  

      Yet in Councilman Huizar’s 2006 Year-End Report, Councilman Huizar list “Rose Hills Community” as one of the local organizations he supports.  In Councilman Huizar’s 2007 Year-End Report, he list “Hillside Village” POA and “Rose Hills Community as local organizations he supports.  Let me remind the reader that “Hillside Village POA” is formed by a few homeowners living in El Sereno and views itself as not part of our community.  Why is the POA named “Hillside Village” and not El Sereno POA?  Again, if Councilman Huizar was elected to represent the community of El Sereno, how can he support an Association that is working against our community?  The fact that he supports “Hillside Village” POA is unethical because is choosing to recognize and support a few residents and their point of view over the 40,000+ residents that live in El Sereno.  Also, how can Councilman Huizar show support for “Rose Hills Community” when no such community exist now?  How can he support a “community” that doesn’t exist and yet fairly represent a community that does exist?  Again, a clear breach in the Code of Ethics he swore to follow when elected.  

      Fast forward to Councilman Huizar’s 2009 Year-End Report and all of a sudden “Hillside Village” and “Rose Hills” are listed as part of the communities with District 14.Yet, the City Clerk’s Office has no record of any petition or Council Documents that officially and legally allows the creation and renaming of such communities from the existing community of El Sereno.  Yet, our Councilman again marginalizes and violates the constitutional rights of the stakeholders and constituents in El Sereno by advocating the existence of these communities without allowing the community stakeholders and constituents to exercise their rights under the Brown Act as well as violating the City of Los Angeles Ordinance for Naming and Renaming a community. 

      As a matter of fact, Councilman Huizar has only this month of December 2011, requested that the community of “Rose Hills” be officially recognized http://www.theeastsiderla.com/2011/12/signs-of-rose-hills-to-bloom/.  The fact that Huizar has stated “Rose Hills” as a community prior to this petition is more proof of his unethical and bias actions against the community of El Sereno.  There are streets named Rose Hills, a housing projects and local park/gymnasium under the same name of Rose Hills.  So why does our councilman Huizar, elected to represent El Sereno, so interested in having parts of El Sereno Renamed “Rose Hills”?  Not only is he violating our rights, but also the rights of the Constituents City wide.  While there is a list of communities and their constituents who have waited to have their voices heard before the City Council in order to have a community named or renamed, our councilman has decided circumvent the legal process.  Why is our councilman allowed to show such favoritism for a few while the majority of residents in El Sereno are ignored is beyond comprehension?  The worst part is that this marginalization, unequal representation, and second class treatment is that it’s happening within the same community where you have a district field office.  To a great extent, the number of signs can also be an indication of to the pride you feel towards that area, and/or how special it is for you.  Thus the fewer number of signs denoting a community can be seen as the low level of pride and feelings you have towards this community.   

      That “Rose Hills “ and “Hillside Village” are given so much attention is unjustified and reeks of special/preferential treatment.  Before you were elected councilman and community representative of our district 14, these “communities” of Rose Hills and Hillside Village did not exist in El Sereno.  What did exist was the community of El Sereno, as it has for the last 96 years.  Yet, in the six years as our community’s representative, the community of El Sereno has been unofficially divided and renamed not once, but twice.  Your unethical and irresponsible actions have included using funds intended for the community El Sereno.  These funds were diverted and used to create signs with the city seal that announced these “communities” and are posted the community.  This has created confusion, divisions, a marganalization within our community, that was unheard of before you were elected.  Your unethical abuse of power has illegal splintered our community.  This has led to confusion over what El Sereno’s boundaries are, whether or not these “communities” are part of El Sereno, and a general feeling of divisiveness.  

      The greater part of the community of El Sereno has been left marganalized, uninformed and misrepresented by the same city official elected to do the exact opposite, you.   Your illegal and unethical actions need to be undone, and the community of El Sereno insists that you do this as soon as possible.As our elected community advocate and representative for El Sereno and District 14, it’s shameful and appalling that you advocate such an obvious display of favoritism, causing our community to be divided and runs counter-productive as a means of creating community unity and pride in out community.Only El Sereno as a community, together with the City of Los Angeles City Council have a right to make these kinds of decision.  Neither you or the Home-Owners Associations you have unethically given preferential treatment to, have the right to carve out and rename areas of an existing community.  What you have done is illegal and unethical, not to mention down-right dirty and stupid. One would think that having chosen the community of El Sereno for your field office, that you would promote pride for the community, raise awareness that of its uniqueness and make sure it was well represented to all those coming into our community.  

      As our elected district representative, your job is to promote community pride and be an advocate for equality and justice towards all the communities within the district you were elected to represent.Lastly, when parts of our El Sereno community are overly and favorably represented, it’s easy to see how the community of El Sereno is being marginalized and segregated to a 2nd class status in favor of these smaller areas.

     While El Sereno was ceremoniously “given” a 2 ft tall by 3 ft wide “El Sereno” sign.  By the looks of it, our Councilman might of just as well buried it, considering that it's covered by plants and you couls barely eve see what it says as you drive by the "Monument".  What pride our councilman has for our coommunity  can be seen in the way he represents it.  More than a monument, the El Sereno cement block looks more like a head-stone.  It's not too far a coincidence, considering that the main pusher and advocate for our community's division is none other than himself.  Thanks Mr. Councilman Huizar, your too kind too El Sereno; flowers would have been just fine, considering that you would like to see El Sereno pretty much buried and forgotten.  When will we, as a community, say ENOUGH!!

              


   

J. Huizar May 5th 2010 Press Release 

J Huizar Press Release Ascot Hills El Sereno/Hillside Village 


J Huizar and POA 11-24-2010


El Sereno Valley Bridge Simple Send  El Sereno Bridge

Quiet Train Zones Simple Send  El Sereno/Hillside Village

Jose Huizar News

J Huizar CCFMS File 11-1644

Funding Rose Hills Illegal Association
-Flyers

What is being allowed on in our community is shameful, unbelievable, and unethical.  How can a group like Hillside Village, and I'm talking about the real Hillside Village we have slowly exposed, be allowed such favoritism and illegal privileges by our Councilman and Neighborhood Council?   While the community is not informed of anything that is going on, our supposedly representative Councilman Huizar and elected Neighborhood Council are allowing these back-door and unethical activities are taking place.     
The "Rose Hills" Redistricting File:
Unethical conduct between Councilmember J. Huizar & 
Anthony/Joe Manzano

As constituents of El Sereno, we were opposed to the inclusion of item (g) of Council file 11-0187-S3, relative to the redistricting plans for Los Angeles City Council, proposed modifications, adjustments and related matters.  We made our position clear when we wrote and spoke in front of the City Council against this division and the bias support it was being given.

Adjustment Item (g) states “Move Rose Hills from CD 1 to CD 14”.  The community's opposition stems from the fact that there is no community of “Rose Hills” within the Council Districts 1 or 14.  As a matter of fact, a motion to recognize a community under this name was only just submitted by Councilman Jose Huizar of District 14 on December 09, 2011 (Council File Motion 11-2057).

There is a strong opposition by many residents who think that this unofficial community of “Rose Hills” is being favored and given special support by Councilman Huizar and his El Sereno Field Office representatives.  “Rose Hills” has been used many, many times by the Councilman and his Field Office representatives as being a community; on his official website and in official newsletters, even though there is no official documents recognizing “Rose Hills” as a community.  SHOW EXAMPLES OF THIS HERE  

The constituents of El Sereno have not been allowed to voice their opinions or have a say into whether we want our Historic El Sereno community to be sliced up in order to create and rename this area “Rose Hills”.
 

Motion 11-2057 was sent to the Arts, Parks and Neighborhoods Committee, who then referred it to the Ad Hoc Arts, Park, Health and Aging Committee, where it still sits, having not been reviewed by said committee.

This unethical bias by our elected official is compounded by the fact that the former Neighborhood Council President, Anthony Manzano, is the leading advocate for the creation of this “Rose Hills” community.  Again, there is strong evidence which points to bias towards the community of El Sereno in favor of “Rose Hills” community.  That Mr. Manzano is an elected representative within the City of Los Angeles means that he too must adhere to the laws and code of ethics.  Yet, despite complaints by many community members, the bias continues, as is evident in the fact that “Rose Hills” is included as an official community within the redistricting process.  See Appendix J of File 11-0187-S3   

“Rose Hills” is listed—among true and official communities that HAVE gone through the Office of the City Clerk’s Naming/Renaming Process and have been APPROVED by the City Council.  “Rose Hills” on the other hand, has not gone through any process and much less been approved.   It can’t go unnoticed that the City Council has not even been presented with the motion; again the Ad Hoc Arts, Park, Health and Aging Committee has not even reviewed the motion, much less presented it to the City Council.
 

Furthermore, community members have written an opposing argument for motion 11-2057 as well as written in to the councilman’s El Sereno District office representatives; Field Deputy Daniel Andalon and El Sereno Area Director Arturo Gonzalez.  These constituents wrote letters to Councilman Huizar and his El Sereno office staff, requesting documentation that “Rose Hills” had been officially recognized and renamed.  

We have met with El Sereno Area Director Arturo Gonzalez and presented these concerns.  We have also presented Mr. Gonzalez with official replies from the Office of the City Clerk and the Department of Public Works: Bureau of Engineers which stated that there were no records or files recognizing a community of “Rose Hills” in the City of Los Angeles.  Mr. Gonzalez made copies of these documents and said he would get back to us in a week, once he made official inquiries.  That was on February 14, 2012, and to date, we have not been contacted by Mr. Gonzalez, nor the El Sereno Field Office, or by Councilman Jose Huizar. 

As already stated, Field Director Arturo Gonzalez QUIT his position, most likely because he saw that he could not get out of the whole he had put himself in without having to tell the truth about who really made those unethical decisions.  In the end, we all know where the last word comes from and in all likely-hood, this same person pressured Arturo to quit rather than be transferred.


This is where the root of the strong community opposition towards “Rose Hills” community begins; the lack of Transparency, lack of respect for the Rights guaranteed to the constituents, and a lack of Fair and Equal access to the mysterious historical documents which are being used to try and grandfather “Rose Hills“ as a community. 

The fact that “Rose Hills” is included in a City Council file as an official community is further evidence of the bias against the El Sereno community and its residents, who are being systematically ignored and marginalized.  Many residents of the El Sereno community are at the end of their patience and are considering filing a lawsuit against the City, Councilman Jose Huizar, as well as the Neighborhood Council.  

Such needless waste of the public’s money over a clear-cut bias can be avoided.  By correcting and amending item (g) and Appendix J of Council file 11-0187-S3, relative to the redistricting plans for Los Angeles City Council, and that Rose Hills is not an official community can and will restore the community’s faith and trust in its local and city government.  Rose Hills needs to go through the same process as the other officially recognized communities have, that is what is Fair and Equal, and will allow for Transparency.


Anthony Manzano lying 1-07-12  min 1:08:09

Anthony Manzano lying to LACC 3-16-12
Anthony Manzano taped misinforming the Redistricting Commission and unethically promoting the creation of Rose Hills.

12-13-11  min 21:12:00

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For the full video of this meeting visit: http://lacity.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=154&clip_id=9908

Anthony Manzano promotes Rose Hills as if it's already an official community which it is not.  He points out that the residents of Rose Hills are split between CD-1 and CD-14 and gives this as the reason for the adjustment request.  He states that a Federal Zip Code is what is being used for the adjustment, but if Rose Hills is so historic, WHY IS A ZIP CODE BEING USED AS ROSE HILLS' COMMUNITY BOUNDARIES?  ZIP CODES WERE ONLY INTRODUCED IN THE 1960s, YET THIS IS WHAT HE IS USING TO MARK THE BOUNDARIES OF A 7,000 YEAR OLD COMMUNITY (7,000 YEARS IS THE CLAIM HE MAKES, WHICH IS FALSE).

This means that as far as Anthony and Joe Manzano are concerned, Rose Hills is located in Lincoln Heights. Yet the Lincoln Heights NC and Lincoln Heights residents are opposed to a Rose Hills community existing within the Lincoln Heights boundaries, as is evident in a letter sent to Anthony and Joe Manzano.  The Lincoln Heights NC clearly states that they approve of Rose Hills signs being posted OUTSIDE of the Lincoln Heights community and they even give the streets where they would be okay for the Rose Hills signs to be posted, which are outside of  Lincoln Heights, but within El Sereno.  Lincoln Heights NC letter opposed to Rose Hills signs posted within Lincoln Heights.


He points out that only 2 or 3 blocks would be adjusted affecting only 200 to 300 residents, which is a total and flat-out lie.  The maps below show the area of CD-1 (Lincoln Heights) before and after a part of it was moved to CD-14.  We can clearly see that it wasn't just 2 to 3 blocks and that many more than  just 200 to 300 residents are being affected.   

Click on Pic for PDF link

   
FYI- The Neighborhood Council Board NEVER heard this porposed changes to the NC's Boundaries and never took a vote or supported the idea.  When stakeholders requested the agendas and minutes from Anthony Manzano of the NC Boards position on this matter he pretended he didn't understand and gave back a bunch of bull answers.  We can verify that the Board never took a vote or supported this adjustment of District 14 boundaries.

Anthony also mentions that the LA-32 (El Sereno) NC's  Land Use Committee is hearing this specific issue.  The truth is the stakeholders and fellow NC Board members were left totally unaware of these meetings taking place.  Which is why you don't hear anyone but these two.

Guess who was a member of the the LA-32 (El Sereno) NC Land Use Committee?  None other than Joe Manzano, his FATHER and the true puppet-master behind the effort to create the community of Rose Hills.  He comes up next and speaks to the Commission later during this same meeting. 
 


Anthony Manzano says that he is going to draft a letter for the LA-32 (El Sereno) NC to review on this redistricting matter and will get this information to the Redistricting Commission as well.  ALL THIS NEVER HAPPENED AND YET THE BOUNDARIES WERE STILL ALLOWED TO BE ADJUSTED.  NO doubt Councilmember Jose Huizar had a hand in this.  Anthony states that he is not there as the LA-32 (El Sereno) NC President, but it sure sounds like he took every opportunity to make the decisions before the El Sereno NC even heard the proposal.  BACKWARDS!!!
Joe Manzano: more lies about Rose Hills 
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One of the very rare times that you hear Joe Manzano actually state that Huntington Drive is a boundary of "Rose Hills", then states that Rose Hill Regional Park (now Debs Park) is another area he considers "Rose Hills".  FYI-Debs Park was never called Rose HillS, it's always been Rose HiLL and it's in Montecito Heights. But you don't see either of these two try to tell Lincoln Heights NC or the Arroyo Seco NC to give up part of their community's land because it belongs to the historic "Rose Hills".  The other NC's know better than to believe the Rose Hills propaganda and so they try and use El Sereno's NC to get their way.  

Joe Manzano states there is a lot of new history about Rose Hills coming to "light"--but in truth it's more like the history is being made up.  He states that the ethnic groups in Rose Hills is everyone--because Rose Hills (Cemetery) is open to everyone who wants a spot there for their final resting place--in Rose Hills (See funny clip below).

Joe and Anthony Manzano are allowed to chop up Lincoln Heights only because Councilmember Jose Reyes who represents District 1 is being termed out and says nothing for who knows what reason.  Lincoln Heights NC is unaware or don't take the threat too seriously.  But they need to because Huizar is doing anything and everything to help these two find their lost Rose Hills (Anthony, Jose (Joe)--Rose Hills is in Whittier).
This man knows where Rose Hills is located and has a plot there for when the time comes.  This is location of the real Community of Rose Hills.  Joe and Anthony Manzano need to take note. 
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LA-32 NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL 
The Neighborhood Council who represents the "communities" of  Emery Park, Rose HillsHillside Village, Sierra Park, University Hills,
  (but NOT El Sereno)

(Work in Progress--Check back daily for new updates)

    The real problem facing our El Sereno Community is that neither Councilman Jose Huizar nor our Neighborhood Council (NC) is really trying to help our community.  In the last 10 years that this LA-32 Neighborhood Council, what we have seen is the community of El Sereno go from United to Fractured.  Instaed of helping and empowering the community, the LA-32 (El Sereno) Neighborhood Council has been used time and time again to justify these illegal divisions.  Those residents who have tried to oppose and spoke out against this BS have been met with criticism, fake promises, or simply ignored.  Many residents have given up and we understand their frustration.  We have been there and seen first hand the bias and demeaning treatment received by the Councilmembers staff.  


Joe and Anthony Manzano & the "LA-32" Neighborhood Council

Again, the root of the problem is that our community of El Sereno has no real representation.  The Neighborhood Council has been hijacked and used by various small groups within El Sereno in order to suit their greedy and narrow minded needs.  That our Neighborhood Council (LA-32) has not said anything in protest or questions such unethical decisions is no accident.  When residents have spoken out, the Councilmember's staff has been there to make sure they were quieted with false promises or with lies about what is and what isn't true. 

The former president of LA-32 is none other than Anthony Manzano, who for years has promoted and advocated the existence of his fantasy world they call  ”Rose Hills”.   Anthony claims it to be the area he lives in and considers a "Rose Hills" a separate community.  No proof and no truth was needed, Councilmember Jose Huizar simple-minded and with back-room dealings, went along (more on these back-room deals in part 2 of the UGLY).  Though his brainwashed believers are few, we need to make sure they are also exposed in the open for all to see and know who is the vermin that claims love for our community, but in reality are 2 face haters.  

Though new neighborhood council elections have just taken place in October 13, 2012, what Anthony Manzano and his father, Joe Manzano, have been supported and allowed to do needs to be said.  These acts have created or will create problems for many years to come if we do not put a stop and confront them NOW.

As an elected official, Mr. Manzano was obligated to have an unbiased and fair point of view when representing our community.  But as evidence shows, anything involving a Manzano means that what should be one way more often than not, Anthony Manzano will be sure it is quite the opposite.
  


       A visit to the official LA-32 website will sum-up how bias and unethical our council when it comes to representing the community of El Sereno LA-32 NC.  The very people who were elected to represent our community are the very one advocating the splintering of it.  Besides the nonexistent communities of Hillside Village and Rose Hills, these board NC also advocates other so-called communities such as Sierra Park and Emery Park within El Sereno.  In reality and officially, No such communities exist.  How Councilman Huizar and LA-32 NC are allowed to say such lies shows the extent of disrespect and violations of the trust of all stakeholders and constituents in El Sereno.   One only needs to look at the fact that our historic community of El Sereno only has 1 (one) official city sign (while the illegal and unofficial “Hillside Village” has 6) to see that Councilmember Jose Huizar and LA-32 NC are not acting in the best interest of our community.  They have unethically chosen to give special privileges and consideration to a small group of residents who have their own selfish interest in mind.  The rights of the majority of stakeholders of the community are ignored and marginalized.

We need to point out that although we talk about the LA-32 NC members in a plural term, the fact is that there are some good and truly caring people within this board.  But the fact that Anthony Manzano has wiggled his way to become president and that he has a few followers within the board (such as 

The community of El Sereno reduced to a number: "90032"

Another tool used by Anthony Manzano and like-minded board members Cynthia Sandoval, former board member RJ Andrade, and stake-holder Felix Hernandez is the use of the zip code "90032" to identify the community that the NC is suppose to represent.  In other words, the community of El Sereno has been reduced to a number, a way of taking away the pride and sense of belonging.  Instead, these people claim that 90032 is representative of the "many" communities that are within the area code.  This is the excuses that Anthony Manzano has used in order to manipulate the redistricting of a part of Lincoln Heights, which is in Council District 1, --into Council District 14.
   

That the residents of Lincoln Heights will no longer be represented by the same Councilmember goes to show the extent of arrogance and lack of common sense that Councilmember Jose Huizar and Anthony Manzano are willing to go in order to create this Rose Hills.   They both know that this idea of a Rose Hills "community" has no real support, which is why the redistricting of a part of Lincoln Heights was done in secret.  They were hoping that no one would notice until it was too late to do any thing about it.  The good thing is that fellow community members alerted us to this unethical conduct and we are able to address this before the City Council, City Attorney's Office, and Councilmember J. Huizar directly.

MAP OF Lincoln Heights/El Sereno Before

MAP OF Lincoln Heights/El Sereno After

If you look at a map of El Sereno and compare it to that of the area covered by 90032 zip code, you'll see that parts of the zip code falls into the communities of Lincoln Heights, Montecito Heights and Monterey Hills (See Maps 90032 zip codeLA-32 NC boundariesMap of El Sereno).  What you don't see is any area called Rose Hills-- contrary to what Joe & Anthony Manzano, Councilmember Jose Huizar and his staff say to everyone.  

The obvious question is why don’t Anthony & Joe Manzano ask for signs to be installed within Lincoln Heights or Montecito Heights, or even Monterey Hills?  Why are they trying to have Rose Hills signs only installed within what is El Sereno? Why?  They know the residents and the Neighborhood Councils' of those communities would laugh in their faces if they brought their so-called evidence of Rose Hills.  The residents of those communities are also very aware that "Rose Hills" community is a load of crap, and would never allow any such renaming or chopping-up of their community.

The reason that it’s only being tried in El Sereno is because this little Rose Hills group has co-opted the NC.  Current and former LA-32 board members advocating "Rose Hills" (Joe, Manzano, Anthony Manzano, R.J. Andrade, and Johnny Carbajal) claimed "Rose Hills" as the area covered by the 90032 zip code in Lincoln Heights and Monterey Hills.  But, the signs they want will only be posted within the community of El Sereno and they tried to manipulate the NC to do this. 

That’s also part of the reason why we have a Neighborhood Council called LA-32. 
Instead of it being called the El Sereno Neighborhood Council (which is the only community the LA-32 Neighborhood Council really represents), these people want to dis-empower, confuse, and manipulate the community.  They figure that if the Neighborhood Council doesn't say which community it represents people won’t feel as much pride for El Sereno.  So instead of saying that it represents El Sereno, the NC claims to represent a zip code.  The LA-32 NC (really, the El Sereno Neighborhood Council) is the only NC out there that uses a zip code (NUMBERS) instead of the community's name.   


This person seen above is RJ Andrade, former El Sereno (LA-32) NC Board Member.  It’s easy to see the level of hate these people have against El Sereno.  Our message: Be proud residents of El Sereno, it’s a great community. If people like RJ don't like living in El Sereno and are not willing to put in the effort to improve it, maybe they need to move.

The City of Los Angeles, through the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (D.O.N.E.), created the NC's in order to empower and represent a community, NOT A ZIP CODE.  Calling the Neighborhood Council "El Sereno Neighborhood Council", while at the same time trying to chop it all up, would make no sense; the community would see through that right away.  So they got a little crafty and put a different name on the Neighborhood Council, which really covers the area of the El Sereno community.

That's the main reason the LA-32 Neighborhood Council has been used for in the last ten years: to try to chop up and splinter our historic El Sereno community.  We are again seeing what others have tried to do with our Neighborhood Council; hijack it and use it for their advantage and against our community.   This has been tried in the past, with these made-up "Hillside Village" and "University Hills" areas trying to pull the same stunt on our community of El Sereno.  We'll address more about this in the "Ugly" section below.


We have formally written to and requested from the L.A. City Clerk’s office, and L.A. Department of Public Works-Bureau of Engineers for copies of all the files, records, or any legal documents pertaining to the formation of a “Rose Hills” community, and there is none (See CONTACT INFO below).  Yet, Councilman Jose Huizar has unfairly and unethically promoted "Rose Hills" for years as an official community.
 


Above: Councilmember Jose Huizar mis-using City funds, tax-payers money, to biasly promote Rose Hills and Hillside Village.

Motion 11-2057 & Councilmember Jose Huizar

The fight against Councilmember Huizar's unfair attempt to divide our community to create Rose HillS without going through the City's Naming/Renaming Process.
 

 
Dear friends & fellow residents in El Sereno, 

So you hear it from us directly:

The El Sereno Historical Society filed a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles City Council this past November against the bias posting of “Rose Hills” signs and unfair division of El Sereno.

Although Councilmember Jose Huizar supports the posting of “Rose Hills” signs and the division of our community, he has never shared his bias support for the creation of “Rose Hills” with the El Sereno community or the public. 

This is not surprising, since many residents who we informed are against the bias division and renaming of our community. 

Below is picture that depicts the area Huizar and his Rose Hills group want to rename “Rose Hills”. The majority of residents within the area have no idea of this renaming taking place.

None of the documents presented by Councilmember Jose Huizar's staff or the few Rose Hills supporters during the City
Council 
Education and Neighborhood Committee meetings provided any set boundaries for “Rose Hills”. 

Even the Central Library History Department refutes the idea that “Rose Hills” ever existed. This is on record with the City Council Education and Neighborhood Committee report.

Yet, Councilmember Huizar ignores the evidence and continues to support the division of our community and the installation of 5 “Rose Hills” signs within the community of El Sereno.

Councilmember Jose Huizar and this Rose Hills group DID NOT provide any set boundaries because it allowed them to expand “Rose Hills” over a much larger area of El Sereno in the process.

The last map shows the official boundaries of El Sereno, as recognized by the City of Los Angeles. We have much more evidence to refute the division of our community, but we are not going to give away any of the evidence until we go before the court. 

We will provide further updates on this matter as they become available. 




























Dirty Politics-Bad for El Sereno

Sadly but not surprisingly, Councilmember Huizar continues his efforts to illegally and unfairly divide our community of El Sereno. His most recent effort has led to the covering of the El Sereno Plaza signage located at Monterey Road and Huntington Drive.

According to several employees and community members, during the Dollar Tree’s grand opening ceremony on April 19, 2014, Councilmember Jose Huizar announced that the store is no longer located in El Sereno, but is now in Rose Hills.

Councilmember Jose Huizar asked the store-owners to cover up the El Sereno Plaza sign and to replace it with Rose Hills Center. The renaming of the Plaza was supposed to have taken place before the store’s grand opening. Thankfully, it hasn’t been done!  Could it be that the owners are exercising their right to name their business as they wish and have since 1972?  The owners know their business property is in El Sereno.


Dollar Tree staff and El Sereno residents expressed to us dissatisfaction with Huizar’s announcement. Not wanting to get involved with politics, they don’t understand why Huizar is attempting to rename the shopping center.  As far as they're concerned, there is no reason to rename any part of El Sereno or the center. Some thought it was amusing to see how out of touch Huizar is.

The El Sereno Plaza first opened in 1972 and is an icon location of our community. Many of us remember when the Plaza was home to the original Capital Market. The El Sereno Plaza needs to continue proudly featuring the El Sereno Plaza name.

Another fact is that our lawsuit against this illegal and unfair re-naming and installation of Rose Hills' signs is still awaiting review by the Los Angeles County Superior Court. The Office of the CityAttorney continues to post-pone the hearings by not submitting the entire Administrative Record.

That Huizar is still pushing for this Rose Hills division before the court has made a decision shows Huizar’s bias support and favoritism for this small Rose Hills group the historic El Sereno Community.

Nonetheless, it’s no surprise to see that Councilmember Huizar says nothing about this name change in his weekly e-mail blast of April 17, 2014.



The hypocrite thinks he can play both sides, claiming to “love the community of El Sereno,” at community events, only to turn around and continue his unfair attempts to divide our community.

Many will remember this insult and the continual bias attempts to divide our community when Councilmember Jose Huizar comes panhandling for El Sereno’s support/vote for his re-election in 2015.

El Sereno (LA-32) Neighborhood Council
UPDATE: The ESNC Board was had elections on April 26, 2014.  Over half of the board are new stakeholders eager to help make El Sereno better.
 

 Why is it important for you to be involved in El Sereno's Neighborhood Council?

REASON #1--In 2014, $30,000 in Public Money did NOT go towards funding community organizations, community events, community parks, and local schools because the Treasurer of the El Sereno (LA-32) Neighborhood Council (NC), Anthony Manzano, failed to submit the required documents.  This was despite many warnings from the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment.

Feb 5, 2014 ESNC Gen Board Meeting details the many opportunities Mr. Manzano had to keep funds available for the community.

October 30, 2013 ESNC Exec Board Meeting is an example of Mr. Manzano's lack of responsibility and the excuses he gives to avoid doing the work he is responsible for as treasurer.

Anthony Manzano doesn't care about El Sereno and is trying to chop up our community to create his community of Rose Hills.  He rather see the money lost than have it used to improve the community of El Sereno.  The El Sereno needs people on the board who want to help make the community better.

********

REASON #2--Board member Scott Johnson wants our local parks to get LESS funding.  He would rather see funds for El Sereno Park go to Hazard and Lincoln Park.  This person is suppose to be looking out for our community. 

Hazard Park just received $2.4 million dollars from USC Health Science Campus for improvements.  
Lincoln Park was just awarded a $1,000,000 grant from the City for improvements.  
El Sereno's local parks received--ZERO.

Scott Johnson requesting USC's Quimby Fees to only go to Hazard and Lincoln Park.
  
It's important to note that Scott Johnson DOES NOT live, work, or own property in El Sereno.  Why is he allowed to meddle in El Sereno NC's business?  Clearly, Scott Johnson is not here to help make El Sereno better.

The El Sereno NC needs to have board members that actually live, work, or own property in El Sereno.

If you care about El Sereno and don't want people like Anthony and Scott in our local Neighborhood Council, consider running for a board seat on the El Sereno (LA-32) Neighborhood Council.

El Sereno Neighborhood Council--For A Healthy & Vibrant El Sereno

--Update--
Historic El Sereno Community Clubhouse

 COUNCILMEMBER JOSE HUIZAR'S
--EL SERENO COMMUNITY E-MAIL NEWSLETTER--
According to the latest information sent to residents of El Sereno, Councilmember Jose Huizar states:

"The building will be demolished in preparation for possible redevelopment. But most importantly this will keep our children and families safe from harms way of exposure to any hazardous materials. The Community Building has been closed to the public for a number of years. The Office of Councilmember Jose Huizar along with Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks will be working with the El Sereno Recreation Center Park Advisory Board (PAB) and the community to look at how to redevelop this area of the park."

The facts are quite different than those stated by Councilmember Jose Huizar.  The Clubhouse is NOT contaminated nor does it pose a health hazard.  As a matter of fact, for the last few years, Summer Night Lights has used the Clubhouse as storage space.  

If the Clubhouse is such a health hazard, why has it taken 8 years for this "health hazard" to be demolished?  There was $190,000 allocated by the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners to have the Clubhouse restored to better conditions.  This funding was approved eight years ago, in 2005.  Yet Councilmember Jose Huizar never used the funds as they were intended.  Instead, in 2011, he transferred a great portion of the funds to be used for the El Sereno Senior Citizens Center.

Now, despite ongoing meetings between the County, Rec and Parks, residents, and Councilmember Jose Huizar's staff, Councilmember Jose Huizar has done a complete 180 turn and decided on his own to have the Clubhouse demolished.  The widespread support to have the El Sereno Clubhouse restored, both from residents and the Neighborhood Council, is being totally ignored.

It's also important to point out that the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners have NOT approved the demolition of the Clubhouse.  Since the Clubhouse was built using public money, there is a process that must be followed before it can be demolished and this process is being skipped by  Councilmember Jose Huizar.  

We, like many other residents in the community, would like to see the CLUBHOUSE RESTORED, NOT DESTROYED.



ASBESTOS REPORT SHOWS MINIMAL CONTAMINATION IN FEW LOCATIONS
 



To set the record straight, El Sereno's historic Community Clubhouse is not full of asbestos or contaminated beyond repair. 

Rec and Park's own environmental study of the clubhouse back in 2011 shows that there is very little contamination and the areas that came up positive only have negligible amounts. 

The report states that the public is NOT at risk as long as the areas in question are not disturbed.





LA-32 (El Sereno) NC Letter of Support to Save & Refurbish El Sereno Community Clubhouse


Links to information we have shared about the Clubhouse in the past.  
January 2013
 October 2013 


LINK TO COUNCILMEMBER JOSE HUIZAR'S WEEKLY E-MAIL NEWSLETTER
ABOUT HIS PLANS TO DEMOLISH EL SERENO's HISTORIC CLUBHOUSE 


Why is it...?

Other communities in CD-14 receive the funding they need to build new facilities or to restore historic buildings, while El Sereno is left out. 

We think kids in El Sereno are worth as much as other kids in CD-14 and deserve to have the same level of recreational facilities.

None of the projects listed are in El Sereno.


Below is a more up to date list of projects being done in CD-14 using PROP K funds.  The few in El Sereno have small budgets or the funds are frozen awaiting future funding. 






Rose Hill Rec Center--Prop K Funds

click on pic for full pdf



Prop K funds being used at Rose Hill Park, not Rose Hill Rec Center
click on pic for PDF



Rose Hill Park ADA Walking Path LVNOC mtg min 4-9-14 number 2

Rose Hill Park ADA Walking Path LVNOC mtg min 4-9-14 number 3



Action Alert!
El Sereno Clubhouse Support Needed


Milton Caughey, 1949

         
Photos by Julius Shulman 

Dear Friends,

Your support is needed for the historic El Sereno Clubhouse, which has been determined eligible for designation as a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM)). Los Angeles Recreation and Park’s Initial Study calls for demolition of this historic landmark despite the community and the El Sereno (LA-32 NC) Neighborhood Council’s letter of support to have the Clubhouse restored and renovated (LA-32 NC represents the 50,000+ stakeholders of El Sereno).
  
The El Sereno Clubhouse, located at 4721 Klamath Street in the community of El Sereno, is threatened with demolition to make way for a basketball half-court, 2 batting cages, fitness equipment, and picnic tables. L.A. Rec and Parks seeks to raze the building while we, ESHS, encourage an alternative plan with the restoration of this facility and make park improvements around the existing structure.

The El Sereno Clubhouse was designed by architect Milton A. Caughey (1911-1958), a man of great vision that was struck down by a heart attack in his mid-forties. The post-war building contributed to a new vision for the community of El Sereno. Built in 1949, the Clubhouse is approximately 3,850 square foot, one-story, wood-framed, stucco building. The Clubhouse has two restrooms, a craft room, six storage rooms, a kitchen area, an auditorium area with a stage, a water heater closet, an equipment room, a covered terrace, and a detached park director’s office. The director’s office, measuring approximately 13 feet by 9 feet, located across the terrace from the Clubhouse is a small wood-framed structure. In 2007, another building designed by Milton A. Caughey, the Barry Building, was approved as a Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM 888).
   
Funds that were appropriated to renovate the Clubhouse in 2005 ($190,000), were not used for their intended purposes, causing the building’s condition to be in severe disrepair. Windows and doors have been covered with plywood and some siding from both buildings have been removed. Asbestos and lead abatement work was performed in November 2013, clearing the building of any hazardous contaminates. Despite these alterations, both buildings have undergone few alterations and retain a high degree of integrity.

It would be a great loss for the El Sereno community if this eligible Historic-Cultural Monument is demolished without first considering all the viable alternatives to the park improvements. But this can very well happen and it will set a bad precedent in the preservation of our modern resources. Please take a few moments to send a message to Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Park, Paul Davis, at Paul.J.Davis@lacity.org and (cc) to Councilman Jose Huizar at Councilmember.Huizar@lacity.org and Rec and Park Commissioners at RAP.commissioners@lacity.org.

Every letter of support makes a difference and if you live in Councilman Huizar’s District, these letters can be exceptionally influential. Please emphasize that you are a constituent and that retaining the landmarked El Sereno Clubhouse is important to the character of El Sereno.

Here are some suggestions for what to include in your message:

1. The El Sereno Clubhouse is eligible as a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument, worthy of recognition. Every effort should be taken to avoid the demolition of this historic community landmark, which would call into question the City’s ability to protect our cultural heritage when clear adaptive reuse options exist.

2. The El Sereno Clubhouse can be adapted as the centerpiece of a successful El Sereno Improvement project, preserving the unique and authentic character of El Sereno that many in the community have consistently supported, including the LA-32 Neighborhood Council (LA-32 NC). The LA-32 NC represents more than 50,000+ stakeholders of our community.

3. The El Sereno Clubhouse can be sensitively upgraded to meet the community’s current and future recreational needs. The El Sereno Recreational Center serves as the main hub for the community’s recreational needs, providing service to thousands of our community’s youth year-round.
   
4. The preservation alternative should be the preferred project as it would retain and reuse the historic El Sereno Clubhouse Building for plays, indoor sports, award ceremonies, dance, music, and art classes. The suggested project improvements (batting cages, fitness equipment, picnic tables) may easily be incorporated in other areas of the park. It will be a bias and an inequality for the El Sereno community not to have the basic recreational buildings that our community needs. In fact, the loss of this building means that El Sereno residents and youth will need to travel outside the community to get the basic recreational programs that could be offered at the El Sereno Clubhouse.

The deadline for public input is November 3, 2014. Link to El Sereno Park Clubhouse: Initial Study

Thanks for your support!




El Sereno Park Documents:

In 2005, the Board of Recreation and Parks Commission allocated $190,000 to upgrade and refurbish the Clubhouse. The Clubhouse did not receive any of the $190,000.
City File 05-135, Original Funds Allocated for Clubhouse
 
Agenda Item, Clubhouse $$ Allocated


On January 11, 2012, the Board of Recreation and Parks Commission approved a request by  Councilmember Jose Huizar to transfer part of the original Clubhouse funding towards the purchase and installation of a new Air Conditioning System for the El Sereno Senior Citizen Center.

Reallocating the original $190,000 is essential to complete the Clubhouse upgrades and refurbishment. Councilmember Jose Huizar needs to reimburse this money back to the Clubhouse’s account.
12-006 Clubhouse Quimby $$ Transferred - Senior Center 

El Sereno (LA-32) Neighborhood Council supports refurbishing and restoring the historic El Sereno Clubhouse for the community to use.  ESNC Letter of Support


The Tombstone

      Not so long ago, El Sereno was ceremoniously “given” a 2 ft tall by 3 ft wide “El Sereno” monument by Councilman Huizar.  By the looks of it, our Councilman might of just as well buried it, considering that it's covered by plants and you can barely even see what it says as you drive by the "Monument".  The low-level of pride Councilman Jose Huizar has for our community is evident by the way he promotes it.  More than a monument, the El Sereno cement block looks more like a head-stone.  It's not too surprising, considering that the main pusher and advocate for our El Sereno community's division and ultimate destruction is none other than Councilman Huizar himself.

El Sereno's Monument or El Sereno's Tombstone?
Thank you Councilman Huizar!!!  You're too kind; flowers would have been just fine.


Right across from this is Alhambra's PROUD sign.  How hard would it have been to get a sign like Alhambra's, meaning BIGGER and VISIBLE.  Not as hard if some effort had been put into it.



El Sereno Gateway Monument (More like Tombstone), somehow “Hillside Village” was allowed 2 (two) 5 ft tall by 4 ft wide at Valley and Rowan, and N. Soto St and Multnomah St.      

     This same inequality of representation of certain “areas” versus the whole community is divisive because it splits the community and the pride and concern for the community as a whole, thinking that if you live “here” and “not there”, somehow those issues don’t affect you.  This favoritism of certain parts a community over the whole erroneously implies not only that it’s more important, but also that it’s not part of the rest of the community.   It creates a division in community pride, between those living in these smaller areas, versus those living in the rest of the community.  So instead of uniting the community and working together to address and find solutions to issues and problems within the community, the community is splintered. 

The result is that important issues that affect us all within El Sereno are seen as issues that affect some, and not others.  Residents in certain parts of El Sereno see problems within the community as not their problem, since they don’t live “there”.  In the end, the whole community loses, because problems persist and the attitude of “them versus us” prevails.  This is what is happening within our community now, because of the inequality and marginalization of the larger community, in favor of smaller areas within the community.  Yet, we still live in the same area, our kids attend the same schools, and the safety of our family and property concerns us all.  In other words, we are still part of the same community.

UPDATE:
Thankfully, with the help of the community, who e-mailed their opinion against the renaming and posting of Rose Hills signs, and to those community members who took the time and made the effort to attend the June 26, 2013 City Council Meeting--Motion 11-2057 was sent back down to the Education and Neighborhoods Committee for Review!!!

This small victory for the community is an example of what the residents of El Sereno can do if they are well informed: Stand-up and UNITE against decisions which are NOT beneficial for our Community!!

We thank everyone who helped out in any way, shape, or form.  Every little bit helps and adds up to become a great voice & force for the good of all in El Sereno.  THANK YOU!!


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WERE YOU AWARE OF THE PROPOSED COMMUNITY RENAMING AND SIGNS? 


We would like to inform you about a concerning issue affecting our community.  There is a small group who is looking to rename an area of our community to Rose Hills. 

Very few community members or parishioners of Our Lady of Guadalupe know about this.  Community residents are asking for your help in stopping so the community has the opportunity to get informed and be able to voice their opinion.

This item goes to City Council this Wednesday, June 26, 2013 and you can help by signing a petition against this renaming which will be submitted to City Council.

There will be volunteers outside Our Lady of Guadalupe with clipboards this day Sunday.  We hope you will do your part as residents of this community and sign the petition.  Thank you.

City Council Agenda for June 26, 2013 
(Item 37) Motion 11-2057

The letters submitted by the Church Pastor and School Principal contradict what Anthony & Joe Manzano are saying.  It's obvious that Rose Hill and Rose HillS are not the same thing!

Church Letter 1         Church Letter 2
School Letter



Rose HillS is not the historic name of this El Sereno neighborhood; ROSE HILL has always been associated with Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, the local Rec Center, Park, and Public Housing Courts.  To change the name without any community input is wrong and unfair.  Help us stop this injustice--
Sign The Petition!!



This group is using Rose Hills as a way to take away an area of our community for their own ulterior motives.  

This will divide the community and disenfranchise residents who will wake up to find that they are no longer part of El Sereno and/or Lincoln Heights.  



Dividing and renaming an area of our community does benefit anyone except except those who want to see the name change and the area renamed.  
Stand up and voice your opposition!

UPDATE:  EL SERENO PARK'S CLUBHOUSE
Why has it been abandoned for so long?


Interesting facts about the clubhouse, it's funding history, and the funding Councilmember J. Huizar is putting into other communities in CD-14, while El Sereno is left out.

Click on the picture to see more photos of the condition the historic Clubhouse has been allowed to deteriorate to.

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