>> On Friday, August 12, 2008, Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks introduced two items:
(1) A proposed Resolution that asks the County of Los Angeles to "limit public exposure to secondhand smoke in all public areas and common areas where people congregate including, but not limited to indoor and outdoor businesses, hotels, parks, apartment common areas, restaurants and bars, and beaches." The proposed Resolution was referred to the Rules & Government Committee, made up of Council members Eric Garcetti, Jack Weiss and Dennis Zine.
(2) A Motion that asks the "City Attorney to be requested to prepare and present an ordinance to enact a second-hand smoking law effective throughout the City which would limit public exposure to secondhand smoke in all public areas and common areas where people congregate, including, but not limited to indoor and outdoor businesses, hotels, parks, apartment common areas, restaurants and bars, and beaches." This motion was referred to the Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee, made up of Council members tom LaBonge, Jan Perry (who seconded the Motion) and Janice Hahn.
>> The goal of the legislation is to essentially ban smoking in the City of Los Angeles and possibly in the County of Los Angeles, if agreed to by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. It would make criminals out of an estimated 384,000 smokers in the City and 989,000 adults who smoke in the County of Los Angeles.
>> Make no mistake: enforcement of this law, as requested by Parks, requires the involvement of the Los Angeles Police Department and the City Attorney's Office in the City and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and the District Attorney's Office in the County. All four are already overloaded, but any time that a person is smoking at a street corner, in front of a building or even on a crowded sidewalk, that person can be arrested on a misdemeanor charge or cited for an infraction.
>> In an editorial that appeared on Tuesday, August 12 on the CityWatchLA.com, Parks wrote that "This is not a request that will drain law enforcement resources but primarily would be a code enforcement activity via either an infraction or misdemeanor." At best, he must be kidding, since Parks knows - as a 36-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department and chief from 1997-2002 - the police are the only enforcement mechanism the City has!
This site is therefore dedicated to trying to prevent this change in the law in Los Angeles. You can help be registering your protest with the applicable City and County officials, listed in a subsequent post.