More on the elephants

Back in march, eecue posted about the controversy over elephants at the LA Zoo. It seems that much of the concern is over the proposed budget and where the money will come from.

I received an email from GLAZA (Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association) this weekend.

The City Council will review and vote on the project at is upcoming meeting this coming Wednesday, April 19th.

The meeting will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday in Council chambers, Room 340, Los Angeles City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street, 90012. We strongly urge you to attend to show your support.

Additionally, the finances are explained in a bit more depth (see cut).

Much misinformation has been circulated about the project’s $38.7 million budget. It is important to know that more than half of the budget was approved by voters in Proposition A-2 and Proposition CC in the 1990s for Zoo improvements. To show our support for this project, GLAZA has embarked on a $4.5 million campaign in private donations to help support the full expansion, and the sale of a home willed to the Zoo should provide another $2.3 million. The real request from the City is for $12.2 from MICLA, the Muncipal Improvement Corporation of Los Angeles, which sells public securities for the city’s capital projects and capital equipment. MICLA funds can only be used for these needs and not for operating programs or services. The impact on the City budget is $1.3 million a year until the financing is repaid. As this is the first major capital improvement to this portion of the middle zoo, and as our elephant program serves such a vital function in connecting children and families to these animals’ conservation, we believe it is well worth the investment.

GLAZA’s email provided the following list of contacts for Councilmen and women:

Council President
Eric Garcetti


District 1:
Ed Reyes
District 2:
Wendy Gruel
District 3:
Dennis Zine
District 4:
Tom LaBonge
District 5:
Jack Weiss
District 6:
Tony Cardenas
District 7:
Alex Padilla
District 8:
Bernard Parks
District 9:
Jan Perry
District 10:
Herb Wesson Jr.
District 11:
Bill Rosendahl
District 12:
Greig Smith
District 13:
Eric Garcetti
District 14:
Jose Huizar
District 15:
Janice Hahn

Please be sure to copy [email protected] on your emails.

I imagine there are readers on both sides of the apparent debate over the Elephants of Surin project. Now’s the time to speak up.