Daily Archives: October 20, 2009

Letter to the L.A. Eco Village

I sent this letter to the Eco Village, on two occasions, and months later, have yet to receive even an acknowledgement of receipt.  I sent it via their email address and posted it to a local listserve.  I do doubt that they ignore ALL emails they get.  After all, they provide the email address so inquiries can be made.  So why IGNORE this email?  Why refuse to even dialogue on this issue?  What is it with human rights organizations and activists absolute hostility and indifference to this issue?

According to their web page,  which was updated this month, and still makes no apparent mention of dis-ability inclusion on their web page. They have a new page, entitled Some Neighborhood Issues and Potential Eco-Village Responses, which I hoped might have included some response to the concerns I raised, but no. Dis-ability inclusion doesn’t seem to be part of their housing agenda, their social agenda or their auto-dependency agenda. Their purpose is defined as follows:

THE L.A. ECO-VILLAGE PURPOSE AND CONTEXT

We are a neighborhood in the built-out Wilshire Center/Koreatown area working toward becoming a demonstration of healthy urban community. Our whole-systems approach to community development tries to integrate the social, economic and physical aspects of neighborhood life to be sustainable over the long term. Eco-villagers intend to achieve and demonstrate high-fulfillment, low-impact living patterns, to reduce the burden of government, and to increase neighborhood self-reliance in a variety of areas such as livelihood, food production, energy and water use, affordable housing, transit, recreation, waste reduction and education. We also plan to convert the housing in the neighborhood from rental to permanently affordable cooperative ownership. 

and

Purpose
Eco-Villagers demonstrate the processes for creating a healthy neighborhood ecologically, socially, and economically. We try to reduce our environmental impacts while raising the quality of neighborhood life. We are a public demonstration of sustainable community development sharing our processes, strategies and techniques with others through tours, talks, workshops, conferences, public advocacy and the media.

 (emphasis mine)  (maybe pwds aren’t healthy enough for this vision of the future?)  

For more information about the eco-village: http://www.laecovillage.org/   

According to their web page, their email address is:  crsp@igc.org

Theirs is a nobel project, and it has done much good, apparently, in the community it serves, but whenever a vision of social justice or sustainability excludes any significant sector of society these omission must be part of the dialogue, must be welcomed, must be considered, and must inform a change in praxis.  

______________________________

l.a. eco village:

i just visited your web site and wiki. i live in echo park, have a burgeoning urban farm, am a writer, activist and artist and educator.  am very intrigued by your program.  i do have one concern or inquiry and wonder why, for the most part, it isn’t included in your information.

with the exception that children’s special needs will be taken into consideration in accepting families, there is no mention of inclusion of people with disabilities in your program at all.  you explain your policy around pets, without mention of service animals, have a discount for residents without cars, without mention that pwds (people with disabilities) often can’t rely on bicycles or public transportation, and therefore might have that requisite waived.  there is no mention in your barter system for meeting the social needs for people who may have less conventional means of contributing to a community, or who simply are at a point in their lives when their needs outweigh what they can contribute. 

as a community, what have you done to address these issues?

are these issues of concern to you as a community?

how do we build sustainable communities that are inclusive?

in building a sustainable community, how do we take into account needs that pwd and people with chronic illnesses may have that might not be needs of people who fit the dominant physical paradigm and may require extra ecological and financial resources?  (such as air conditioning, cars, service animals, etc.)

if you have taken these issues into consideration, why are they not reflected in your mission statement or your on line presentation of your community?

if you have not taken these matters into consideration, why not?

in solidarity,

emma rosenthal