We Gave Drivers a Break and the Banks Got the Bill!

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The Fix LA coalition–with the backing of SEIU 721 members and LA City Traffic Officers–blanketed the City Hall area Thursday to feed parking meters and place faux tickets on cars, then traveled to Bunker Hill deliver a giant parking violation to Bank of New York Mellon, which takes in $5 million a year in taxpayer money as a result of a bad bank deal.

Their message: Get back taxpayer money from Wall Street so we can use it to restore city services such as street repair, removal of abandoned cars, alleyway clean-up, and traffic control.

Parking ticket fees have gone up as Los Angeles pays out nearly $300 million a year in taxpayer money to Wall Street banks, as described in the Fix LA report “No Small Fees.” The Fix LA coalition–a labor-community-faith partnership–is advocating for the City to get back this money, along with an additional yearly $200 million the City pays out to service bank-owned foreclosed properties, and use it to pay for vital City services.

“We’re saying to the City that drivers and City workers are the ones who need a break, not Wall Street. Let’s work together and stop gouging taxpayers, and start making banks and rich corporations pay their fair share to keep our streets clean and safe.” Reverend Jonathan Mosley, National Action Network, LA Chapter

Thumbnail image for photo (ticket).jpgThe action comes on the heels of a unanimous City Council vote on August 13th to renegotiate or terminate without penalty a toxic swap deal the City entered into with New York Mellon and another bank, Dexia. The Fix LA-backed measure, championed by Councilmembers Paul Koretz, Bob Blumenfield and Gil Cedillo could save LA taxpayers almost $5 million annually and as much as $138 million in total. Los Angeles is now the largest municipality in the nation to move to renegotiate or terminate a toxic swap deal without penalty.