On Thursday, April 3 from 12:15-1 pm, I'll be giving a talk at the Los Angeles Central Library about the political battle of bringing the Dodgers to L.A. I won't be able to reproduce my entire presentation here for a variety of reasons, namely that there are a lot of photos I'm using that I can't guarantee I have copyright clearance for. But there is plenty of stuff in the public domain and I thought people might find it interesting to read a piece of campaign literature opposing Proposition B.
Proposition B was a referendum put on the June 3, 1958 ballot for voters in Los Angeles to approve or disapprove the deal the previous October when the Los Angeles City Council voted to let Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley trade his property at Wrigley Field for about 300 acres at Chavez Ravine as well as financial considerations to help build roads to the new park. O'Malley was also supposed to build a recreation center near the area.
You can read the piece and then decide for yourself if the arguments from 50 years ago still hold water today. There are numerous references to "Read the contract," but I don't have a copy of it. Actually I have a copy of the contract, but it's really long and came on a big piece of paper.
PROPOSITION "B" IS NOT A VOTE FOR OR AGAINST BASEBALL
PROPOSITION "B" IS A VOTE ON A CONTRACT THAT IS UNFAIR TO THE CITY AND YOU AS TAXPAYERS.
WE URGE YOU TO READ THE CONTRACT. A copy is enclosed.
PROPOSITION "B" WILL COST TAXPAYERS MILLIONS!
THE DODGERS ARE IN THE COLISEUM FOR TWO YEARS. THERE IS AMPLE TIME TO NEGOTIATE A NEW CONTRACT, FAIR TO THE CITY, THE TAX PAYERS, AND THE BALL CLUB.
The following Council members are all in favor of a major league baseball in Los Angeles, but ALL recommend a NO vote on "B".
Earle D. Baker, 2nd Dist.
Harrold A. Henry, 4th Dist., President Pro Tempore Los Angeles City Council
John C. Holland, 14th Dist.
Patrick D. McGee, 3rd Dist.
Edward R. Roybal, 9th Dist.
VOTE NO on "B" - Unless you want to GIVE MILLIONS OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS... and MILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF CITY OWNED LAND ... to a private commercial team for BARS, HOTELS, RESTAURANTS, AMUSEMENT PARK, APARTMENT HOUSES, STORES, SHOPPING CENTERS, -- as well as baseball.
All the above are possible under the contract listed on your ballot as Proposition "B." READ THE CONTRACT! A copy is enclosed.
VOTE NO ON "B"
READ THE CONTRACT! City must deed up to THREE HUNDRED FIFTEEN ACRES (equal to 63 city blocks) of DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES to a New York Corporation or its "NOMINEE"!
READ THE CONTRACT! City is required to spend TWO MILLION OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS to "prepare" (level, pave, etc.) this land for the New York Corporation.
READ THE CONTRACT! City must spend NEARLY THREE MILLION DOLLARS ($2,740,000) OF YOUR TAX MONEY to build streets for the New York Corporation! PROBABLY MILLIONS MORE.
READ THE CONTRACT! City must "initiate" C-3 zoning for all 315 acres. C-3 zoning permits BARS, HOTELS, SHOPPING CENTERS, etc.!
READ THE CONTRACT! (Paragraph 1-d) The property "will be conveyed free and clear of any deed restriction on use!" This means the 315 acres can be used for ANY purpose allowed by C-3 or other zoning. NOTE ESPECIALLY that the "public use only" restriction will no longer apply!
After millions of your tax dollars have been spent on 315 acres; all restrictions removed, and the property zoned C-3, real estate men say it will be worth TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS!
Why spend millions of your tax dollars and make a gift of this fabulously valuable land to a private, profit making Corporation?
(Important - See other side.)
What does the City receive for tens of millions of dollars of land and millions of tax dollars? READ THE CONTRACT!
NOT THE DODGERS. They are already here.
NOE ONE CENT OF RENT, GATE RECEIPTS, PARKING, ADVERTISING, PAY TV, FREE TV, OR RADIO RIGHTS INCOME! In San Francisco the City will receive an estimated $600,000 a year from just some of these! ANd the City, not the ball club will own the land.
NOT ONE WORD IN THE CONTRACT SAYS THE DODGERS MUST REMAIN IN LOS ANGELES! They can leave at any time and still keep all the land! In San Francisco the Giants ahve agreed in writing to remain 35 years!
NOT ONE WORD IN THE CONTRACT SAYS THE DODGERS SHALL BUILD A TWELVE MILLION DOLLAR STADIUM! (That is propaganda!) The Contract specifies only a modern stadium seating 50,000. Such a stadium could be built for half that figure.
IMPORTANT. The Dodgers do not have to invest a cent of their money to build a stadium. They could mortgage part of the land, leave at any time and keep all the surrounding acreage!
NOT ONE WORD IN THE CONTRACT SAYS WHEN THE STADIUM IS TO BE BUILT.
The City does get 10-acre WRIGLEY FIELD, assessed by the County Assessor at $362,000. This in trade for 315 acres of land worth TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS!
Ball Club says it will spend "NOT TO EXCEED" $500,000 on recreation facilities ... This wording is meaningless! The Ball Club could spend one cent and comply with this wording!
READ THE CONTRACT! The much publicized reaction area may never be built! Read "escape clause" in Paragraph C. Ball Club can violate any term of the Contract with reference to the recreation facilities and not affect its title to the rest of the property!
READ THE CONTRACT! Even if the recreation area is built, it is only TEMPORARY. In 20 years the land improvements are transferred to the Ball Club!
OIL! Why give away half our oil revenue? READ THE CONTRACT? (SEC. 1b)! What has oil to do with baseball?
SPECIAL NOTES: Ball Club says it can use only 98 acres. WHY GIVE THEM 315? Those promoting this land and oil deal say contract requires Ball Club to leave 23 acres around reservoir. READ THE CONTRACT! It does not say this. They say Ball Club must dedicate 22 acres for freeway "without compensation." READ THE CONTRACT! It does not say this ... They argue Ball Park will produce $345,000 in taxes. What is not told is that city's share is only $75,000, and that if City kept the parking, as in San Francisco, city would receive ten times $75,000-possibly up to a million dollars.
DON'T BE FOOLED BY PROPAGANDA! READ THE CONTRACT! VOTE NO ON "B."
Citizens Committee to Save Chavez Ravine for the People. C.A. Owen, Chairman - Mrs. Frank Smith, Secretary. 6087 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles 28, Calif. HO 4-6124.