Explaining Southern California's economy

Should Occupy LA pay $400,000 to restore City Hall park?

Corey Moore/KPCC

Occupy LA encampment the morning after Mayor Villaraigosa's eviction order went into effect.

The bill is in for Occupy LA. This is from AP:

A preliminary report by the Los Angeles city administrative officer estimates the nearly two-month Occupy LA encampment at City Hall cost the city at least $2.3 million...

[...]

But the report notes that the estimate does not include the cost of restoring City Hall park. A rough early estimate of restoring the park to its original condition was $400,000.

That's some not-inconsiderable coin. And it does raise an important question: Should Occupy LA, in as much as it's able, defray some of the cost? After all, Occupy Wall Street could make a mess in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, but a few high-pressure hoses, some disinfectant, and a small fleet of dump trucks could clean it up (after the protesters had left, of course). 

Occupy LA, on the other hand, camped out for weeks on what had been green(ish) grass. Which is now neither green nor grass anymore. 

There's an argument that Los Angeles should take advantage of this to "xeriscape" the park — restore it so that it more closely reflects the environment of the Southern California region. But that's an unlikely outcome. 

Occupy LA was protesting economic inequality, among things, so it's safe to assume that the remnants of the movement don't have a lot of funds at their disposal. But perhaps they could offer to assist, in the form of volunteer labor. 

What do you think? I think Occupy LA should seriously discuss the idea.

Follow Matthew DeBord and the DeBord Report on Twitter.

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