Brief Minutes from Feb 2009 Government Relations Committee Meeting
Chair: Charlotte Laws


Present: Vic Viereck, Charlotte Laws, Monte Mazo

1. Clean Money – following motion passes unanimously


WHEREAS voter participation in Los Angeles elections is at record lows because many people believe their vote doesn’t matter when candidates raise so much from big money special interests, including unions.

WHEREAS a major deterrent to the aspirations of many good candidates with new ideas has been lack of available funding,

WHEREAS the cities of Portland, Oregon and Albuquerque, New Mexico and the states of Arizona, Maine, and Connecticut, North Carolina, New Jersey, and New Mexico have passed versions of full publicly financed elections, and have experienced overall campaign spending reductions, candidates unburdened by fundraising, increased voter turnout, and more qualified individuals running for office,

We hereby RESOLVE and do urge the Los Angeles city council and mayor to put a measure on the ballot that would provide full public funding of campaigns for all city council and city races that matches the wishes of Los Angeles neighborhood councils and citizens, and RESOLVE to promote that measure once it is on the ballot.

2. Transportation MOU – following motion passes unanimously


The Greater Valley Glen Council supports the Memorandum of Understanding between the Neighborhood Councils and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation dated 1/21/2009 with the following exception. District office liaisons will identify issues that are significant interest to individual neighborhood councils (NCs) within District boundaries and will provide NCs with advance notice of no less than 45 calendar days when an identified item is scheduled for consideration by the Board of Transportation Commissioners.

3. Humanitarian Art Ordinance – following motion passes unanimously

The Greater Valley Glen Council encourages you to create a Humanitarian Art Ordinance for the city of Los Angeles , making it illegal to abuse or kill animals for the sake of art. A sample ordinance is enclosed for your review.

The San Francisco Art Institute recently planned to display an artist’s short film which depicted horses and other animals being bludgeoned to death; protests and negative press forced them to cancel the exhibit. A Costa Rican artist starved a dog to death as “art.” A recent art project in Florida involved dipping live mice into resin, then cutting them into cubes. A domestic cat was skinned alive for a project at the Toronto Film Festival. Two years ago in Los Angeles , an elephant was spray painted to look like wallpaper for an exhibit; LA Animal Services had to go to the exhibit and order the unsafe paint to be removed.  

We are opposed to this disturbing trend in the art world and hope you will make it clear that Los Angeles ’ art exhibits and projects are compassionate.   

This is the sample ordinance for the city:

The Humanitarian Art Ordinance makes the commission of animal abuse for the purposes of creating media or an exhibit illegal and punishable as a misdemeanor or felony and says The City will not Commission such Exhibits.

Resolution approving the “Humanitarian Art” Ordinance would make the commission of the crime of Animal Abuse for the purposes of creating media or a display in the City of Los Angeles illegal and punishable as a misdemeanor or felony, and the City will not Commission such Exhibits.

WHEREAS, The City of Los Angeles recognizes and approves of the American Humane Association’s “Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media” wherein the basic principles declare that:  ·  Animals are not props!  · No animal will be killed or injured for the sake of a film production and  American Humane Association will not allow any animal to be treated inhumanely to elicit a performance; and

WHEREAS, The City of Los Angeles holds that the production of media that the director or the producer of the media is the direct cause of animal abuse to be captured on media supports an unacceptable industry of animal abuse; and,

WHEREAS, “Animal Abuse” includes the violation of Los Angles Ordinances, State, Federal and international laws pertaining to animal abuse, the interest of animal welfare and animal cruelty laws specifically framed for the prevention of inhumane treatment of animals, including, but not limited to California Penal Code Sections 596, 596.5, 596.7, 597, 597.1, 597.3, 597a through x, 598, 598 a through d, 599 et al, 600, 623, 374d, 384h, 399, 399.5 and Federal laws 7 USC § 1901 – 1907,  and 7 U.S.C. §  2131 et seq; and,

WHEREAS, “Caused or created or contributed to” shall mean that the defendant was responsible for causing the animal to be abused as defined above.  A person is responsible for creating or causing the abuse of the animal if the animal would not have been abused in the way that the animal was captured on film “but for” the actions, production and direction of the defendant; and.

WHEREAS, “Exhibit” shall mean a display, presentation, show, film, media and/or screening of Animal Abuse; and.

WHEREAS, nothing in this chapter shall prohibit any person from capturing the Animal Abuse when the individual is not the cause of the death of animals and are not responsible for aiding or abetting in the crime of animal abuse that occurred; and,

WHEREAS, there is a government interest in protecting animals from unnecessary cruelty and not funding or commissioning animal cruelty to occur; and,

WHEREAS, the City of Los Angeles hereby acknowledges that this law is necessary to prevent further animal cruelty; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Humane Art Ordinance will make the commission of the crime of Animal Abuse for the purposes of creating media to now be illegal, punishable as a misdemeanor or felony; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the City of Los Angeles will not Commission or sponsor Exhibits wherein the creator of the media caused the crime of Animal Abuse to occur; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That the ordinance would be drafted as a two pronged test for the actual director.  The necessary elements of the crime are (a) Animal Abuse as defined under Los Angeles local ordinances, state, federal or international law must have taken place, (b) The defendant would have caused or created or contributed to the crime of Animal Abuse to take place for the purposes of his or her creation of the media or exhibit.

Boardmember Comments – None

Public Comments – None

Meeting adjourned.


Note: all three motions passed at the March 2, 2009 general council meeting.