From the desk of “Zuma Dogg”

February 11, 2012

Los Angeles Mayor Tony Villaraiogsa
Los Angeles City Hall
200 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich
Los Angeles City Hall
200 N. Spring Street,, #800, 
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl
Los Angeles City Hall
200 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

RE: Venice Beach Ordinance 42.15

Dear Villar, Titanich & Rosendope, 

January of 2012, the City of Los Angeles (City) passed a new version of LAMC 42.15 (42.15), after an injunction was placed on the previous version, by the Honorable Judge Dean Pregerson on October 21, 2010. . 

42.15 states that the vendors on the west side (beach side) of the boardwalk are hurting the business and economy of the retail stores on the east side of the boardwalk. A municipality may not pass an ordinance that attempts to tilt scales of a free market economy. 

The new version of 42.15 bans t-shirts (and all apparel, including hats); and places irrational restrictions as to what kind of arts and crafts (merchandise) may be offered and how it may be produced. 

42.15 restricts the sale of anything mass produced, like Zuma Dogg Tshirts, Bobble Heads, Embroidered Hats, and other related merchandise bearing my name, image and/or message. 

Additionally, arts and crafts must be completely original in it’s creation. For example, you may not take a small souvenir statue of the White House and paint it red, white and blue for Fourth of July, unless you also make the statue, itself. 

All beaded, sewn or carved items and all jewelry is banned. I can’t carve my own bobble-heads and I can’t have them mass produced. No beads means no “Zuma Dogg” name bracelets and other related ZD costume merchandise.

The City has signs posted all along the boardwalk (Ocean Front Walk) stating that these, and other items, not limited to the ones mentioned above, are banned. 

LAPD, the City Attorney and Council office held numerous neighborhood and committee meetings notifying the public that the new ordinance is in effect on Jan. 20th, 2012, and that LAPD will be enforcing for the things mentioned above. 

Additionally, I have spoken with LAPD, in person, asking if my own ZD merchandise was allowed, and I was told that I could not offer tshirts and apparel under the new ordinance. And, I had a conversation with Councilmember Bill Rosendahl of the 11th District,, and he told me these items are not allowed. (Except for occasional permitted events, which there were none scheduled.)

Courts have ruled that t-shirts, hats, sweatshirt, etc are mediums of [removed]”Walking billboards.”) 

The City is over-reaching by taking away the rights of all, because some may offer a counterfeit Lakers T-shirt; and being irrational in their banning of some forms of arts and crafts, over others.

I do not want to break the law to express myself on Venice Beach and offer the merchandise I am allowed to, under the U.S. Constitution. 

I cannot take the risk of getting a ticket, I can’t afford, that then goes to warrant. 

I do not want to have to take the risk being arrested — and the City has made it clear through numerous meetings, postings and personal conversations, that I may not do the things, mentioned above, that I believe I am allowed to in the U.S.A. I am absolutely chilled by the ordinance. 

Prior to filing a lawsuit in Federal Court, it is my desire to attempt a good faith resolution of this matter, that will allow me a full range of constitutionally protected 1st Amendment expression rights on the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Please be in contact by phone or email, toward this goal, by Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 5:00pm. 

Warm Regards,

David “Zuma Dogg” Saltsburg
Aka: “The Icon”

PREVIOUS POST – RELATED/PREVIOUS LAWSUIT:“The Zuma Dogg Story” (2000-Present Day”)

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