LA Politicians are upset about Jay-Z coming to town
By Liku Zelleke
A Jay Z concert scheduled for Labor Day Weekend in downtown L.A. is ruffling some feathers in the city council. Although the office of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti had given the go-ahead for the 50,000-tickets Budweiser Made in America concert, city councilman Jose Huizar says that he was kept out of the loop.
Huizar had recently drafted a councilman motion that requires a report be submitted on any permits, actions, public safety concerns and any necessary cost implications of the planned concert. Until then, the permits for the event would be put on hold.
A statement by the councilman’s office stated that the whole purpose of the protocol being put in place was not to oppose special events or concerts, but making sure that the community was included in the process as they would be directly affected.
“When you’re talking about a proposed event of this magnitude, with 50,000 expected, multiple-day street closures, beer and for-profit ticket sales at a public park,” the statement reads, “it is imperative that we have an open, inclusive dialogue in ensuring it’s a good fit for the neighborhood.”
Huizar’s motion goes on to indicate that none of these issues – street closures, permits and public safety issues – had been brought to his office before the permission for the concert at Grand Park was given.
Advertisements for the concert state that the park would host the concert over 2 days and will require that downtown sidewalks and street closures for up to 10 days.
A press conference was planned, but later cancelled due to the controversies, to be held to announce that tickets would go on sale for the show, despite the fact that not even the LAPD had been asked for approval.
Meanwhile, many downtown LA residents say that they are fed up with special events and the chaos that follows and its impact on them and their businesses.
The Mayor’s office has said that “when details become more firmly set, we will engage additional stakeholders.”