Citing fundamental free speech rights, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California today filed a lawsuit on behalf of an artist demanding that the City of Los Angeles allow his patriotic murals to remain on display. The City of Los Angeles says that zoning rules allow them to order the removal of Mike McNeilly’s patriotic murals.
A few days after the terrorist attacks September 11, artist Mike McNeilly erected a large mural entitled “9-11″ with the words “God Bless America” beneath the images of a New York City firefighter, an American Flag and the face of the Statue of Liberty. The mural was erected on a privately owned building with the consent of the building’s owner.
On September 21, 2001 the City of Los Angeles issued an order requiring the artist to remove the “9-11″ mural. McNeilly refused.
“There is no justification for such infringements on private, noncommercial speech,” said Dan Tokaji, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Southern California.
“This is especially true when the city not only tolerates but welcomes both commercial and noncommercial artworks of comparable size on other buildings,” he added, citing the many lively paintings on buildings lining Sunset Blvd., paintings of classical musicians next to the 110 freeway downtown, and giant-sized paintings of Shaquille O’Neill and Wilt Chamberlain on a hotel near the Staples Center.
“If there is anything that we should learn from our history,” said Tokaji, “it is that the values that people are talking about these days – freedom and democracy – are most in jeopardy in times of crisis. Now is a time when we should be most vigilant to protect those freedoms that make this country great and that unite us as Americans.”
The article above was released just after the 9-11 attack at the World Trade Center.
September 2011, the City of Los Angeles is still fighting the free speech rights of artist and creating a “chilling effect” on creative expression through aggressive litigation, fines and criminal charges.
Adia Haynie Promoted to Head of A&R for Mach 1 Music. Successful Mach 1 Music Songwriter/Vocal Producer, signed to 17x Multi-platinum and award winning super producer Eddie Galan has just been promoted and named Head of A&R for Mach 1 Music. Adia has just placed the first single on Sony Korea artist, Kim Bo Kyung. The single is called “Not This Time”. Kim Bo Kyung is from Korea’s version of American Idol called Superstar K. “Not This Time” releases January 15, 2011 in Korea. She has also cowritten My Hero’s single, “One Night”. Haynie has worked on projects for Kristine Elezaj, Raven Symone, Savvy & Mandy, Boo Boo Stewart (on picture), Cody Simpson and many others, as well as developing new young acts for Mach 1 Music that will be releasing in 2011 and 2012.
“Tax Billboard Act” on March 2011 Ballot. For decades, the citizens of West Hollywood have been forced to live with billboards, tall walls, large screen video displays and other off-site signs, while billboard companies have received over a billion dollars in advertising revenues and West Hollywood has become the sign capitol of California. The time is now for billboard companies to pay their fair share to the City of West Hollywood for this privilege. This initiative would correct this inequity and provide new revenue for the City to provide added municipal services to the residents of West Hollywood. A 7% excise tax on advertising revenues received from the lease of billboards, video signs, tall walls or other off site signs in West Hollywood would be paid to the City and deposited into the General Fund for expanding City services. The new revenue would benefit West Hollywood in enhancing current municipal services and permit an expansion of many community projects and services, including expanding Aids/HIV treatment and prevention programs, adding community public spaces such as pocket parks and public enhancements for the new library, public safety funding for sheriff services and first responders and continued funding of cultural affairs and community events. Whether you love billboards or hate them, all agree that they impact the experience of living in West Hollywood and have resulted in massive financial gains to the billboard companies. In fairness, billboard companies should be required to give back a fair share of these revenues to the community through the “Tax Billboard Act” Initiative. Support the West Hollywood quality of life.