CITY OF LOS ANGELES
RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the City Housing Authority, an agency of State Government, acquired the Arechiga property in Chavez Ravine in 1951 through condemnation proceedings and the sale price was fixed in Superior Court at $10,050, and

WHEREAS, even though the Housing Authority offered to help re-locate the Arechigas as it did other families whose holdings had been bought, they refused to move, and

WHEREAS, in 1953 the Arechigas sued to invalidate the judgment against them on the ground that the Housing Authority's proposed public housing project planned for Chavez Ravine had been abandoned, but the District Court of Appeals subsequently ruled against them, and

WHEREAS, title to the Arechigas property passed from the Federal Government to the City of Los Angeles in 1955, and for two years before that date and in all succeeding years this family lived there without paying rent or taxes, and all the while the $10,050 awarded to them by the Court remained at their disposal, and

WHEREAS, in 1957 when legal eviction of the Arechigas was in progress, a member of this City Council interceded and won for them a stay of the ouster upon his assurance that immediate steps would be taken to re-locate them in suitable quarters elsewhere, but no such move was made, and

WHEREAS, notice to vacate the Chavez Ravine premises was served on the Arechigas on March 9, 1959, when they were given 30 days to leave but they continued to live there for a period of 30 days beyond the deadline set for them to evacuate, and

WHEREAS, in fulfillment of a Court order, Deputy Sheriffs appeared at the property occupied by the Arechigas on May 8th, 1959, and spent two hours explaining why the occupants would have to leave the premises, and all but one member of the family complied, making it necessary to forcibly take out the one recalcitrant person who put on an emotional act for the benefit of press photographers and newsreel camera crews who had been standing by to film just this sort of thing, and

WHEREAS, after the eviction order had been carried out, the Arechigas saw fit to further defy the law and returned to the premises, setting up tents to dwell in in lieu of the frame house which had been demolished in the meantime as a public health and safety measure, and

WHEREAS, on Monday, May 11th, 1959, the Arechigas appeared before this City Council and were granted a public hearing and the impression was created that they were penurious but of no mind to accept charity, but arrangements were made for them, nonetheless, to live in public housing quarters at no expense to them, but they again refused to leave the Chavez Ravine site, and

WHEREAS, the overly-dramatized, day-long spectacle that they and their camp followers put on in the Council Chamber was carried into the homes of millions of television viewers and radio listeners and the story and art were published in newspapers throughout the world, leading the general public to believe that the Arechigas had just cause for righteous indignation and actually might have been victims of inhuman treatment and injustices, as they had claimed at the public hearing, and

WHEREAS, it came to light on Wednesday, May 13th, 1959, that the Arechigas family members were well off as property owners and persons of means, rather than being hard up, and that among other real estate holdings one of their properties is an unoccupied house located not far from their illegally-established camp site in Chavez Ravine, and

WHEREAS, the way the spotlight has been focused on the presumed plight of the Arechigas, there is reason to believe that the whole affair was a staged one that was master-minded behind an emotional smokescreen and intended to arouse resentment against public officials, law and order and build up sentiment against municipal government in Los Angeles, and

WHEREAS, furthermore, there was in the presentation of the Arechigas case before the City Council betraying indications that the same obstructionists who previously sought ineffectually to block the City of Los Angeles from going ahead with its contract with the Dodgers for a baseball stadium in Chavez Ravine also had a hand in engineering this whole incident, which has smeared the good name of the City of Los Angeles irreparably and also supplied ammunition at a most unpropitious time for the propaganda weapons of the Communists while the important Big Four Conference is in progress, and

WHEREAS, this faction of obstructionists actually took advantage of this case to revive phases of the Chavez Ravine controversy, even though the voters of the City of Los Angeles supported the action of the City Council in approving a contract with the Dodgers and the Council's action also has been upheld by the California Supreme Court, and

WHEREAS, young children within the Arechigas family who saw one of their kin forcibly removed, without knowing that this was precipitated by the refusal of the Arechigas to comply with the law, may find it difficult to erase from their minds the impression of a loved one kicking and screaming in the process of flaunting the law and the decisions of the courts, and

WHEREAS, because of the lawless tactics practiced by the Arechigas, taxpayers of this City have been saddled with additional expense by the necessary use of City funds expended in the eviction proceedings and in attempting to help them get re-located by assigning City personnel to this task, and in other ways, and

WHEREAS, in view of all of the circumstances involved in this case, and the reprehensible manner in which duly constituted government and government officials were mocked and held up to the public scorn and criticism, there is reason to suspect that there was an ulterior motive behind the spotlighting of the eviction, or the family was ill advised by persons or groups lacking respect for government and encouraged to continue to defy the accepted American tradition of law and order:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council does hereby authorize a complete investigation of all of the circumstances leading up to the Arechigas refusal to quit the property in Chavez Ravine; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council does hereby instruct the City Administrative Officer to immediately begin an investigation of this case and the reasons for this family's defiance of the law and all Departments of City Government be, and they hereby are, ordered to cooperate fully with the City Administrative Officer in this investigation and provide full assistance that he may complete his investigation as expeditiously as possible and make a report upon its completion to this Honorable Body.

PRESENTED BY _____
RANSOM M. CALLICOTT
Councilman, 12th District
SECONDED BY _____
May 13, 1959