News & Updates

WVIA Update: Wednesday, June, 3, 2020

Hello Westwood Stakeholders,

I am pleased to report that last night was uneventful in Westwood Village. We once again thank law enforcement, the National Guard, and also Councilmember Koretz for his continued support. In addition, I would like to thank our community for respecting the County-ordered curfew.

More protests are scheduled in the city today. We have also learned that a protest is scheduled for Saturday, June 6th from 2PM – 4PM at the Wilshire Federal Building. Specific details are in the flyer below.

I was encouraged yesterday by both the peaceful nature of the protests in Los Angeles, and LAPD’s enforcement measures. We will update you as we learn more about Saturday’s Westwood protest.

Many of our Westwood businesses are closed today, but more are open and operating with modified hours. Please follow @westwoodvillage on Instagram as we frequently post updates regarding our businesses and their hours of operation.

Thank you, and please stay safe.

Andrew Thomas
Executive Director, WVIA

WVIA Update: Tuesday, June, 2, 2020

Hello Westwood Stakeholders,

I am pleased to report that, as of this morning, there are no obvious signs of damage or vandalism in the Westwood Business Improvement District. We did find one graffiti tag on Wilshire Blvd., but so far, that is it.

It has been clear over the past several days that a small number of people determined to commit crimes are using peaceful protests as cover to commit these crimes. Speaking on behalf of the WVIA, we are grateful to law enforcement and the National Guard for their presence in the Village yesterday, and we thank Councilmember Koretz for prioritizing and facilitating this deployment to protect the safety of the public and our local businesses.

There are more protests planned in Los Angeles today. We do not know of any planned in the Westwood community. However, considering the uncertainty in our city, we have asked that local and state safety and security resources remain in the district.

I again encourage you to take every precaution, and to prioritize your safety. We will have updates for you as new information becomes available. If you are not following us on social media already, please consider signing up (see links below) as this is a way we push information quickly to our stakeholders.

Andrew Thomas
Executive Director, WVIA

WVIA Update – Monday, June 1, 2020

Hello Westwood Stakeholders,

I want to provide you with the latest information regarding today’s planned protest scheduled to begin at 2PM (previously 4PM) at the Wilshire Federal Building. I also want to provide you with a brief summary of what has happened to prepare for today’s event.

Will the Protest Happen Today

Last night, the WVIA was informed that the protest has been canceled. This update was followed by an official statement cancelling the protest and this has been circulated on social media.

While the leadership behind the protest has cancelled the event, this does not mean that a protest will not happen. Information regarding today’s previously planned event had circulated widely and it was reported on television news last night. It is realistic to assume that some type of activity will occur.

The start time for the protest has also changed. It was originally scheduled for 4PM. This was changed to 2PM. This morning I heard from LAPD that it could start as early as noon. Because the event now has no defined leadership, it is impossible to know what time a protest could start, or whether it will occur at all.

What Has Happened in Preparation for the Protest

In anticipation of today’s event, we reached out to Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz and asked his office to consider every option to protect the safety of our stakeholders, and to protect district property and businesses. I spoke with the Councilmember’s Director of Public Safety yesterday and he assured me that robust safety and security measures have been planned for Westwood, with special attention to be provided to Westwood Village. While the office could understandably not share specifics, the Councilmember has coordinated with both the Los Angeles Police Department and statewide resources, and he fully understands the urgency of this moment.

I can share with you that I am also in regular communication with UCPD. Their priority is to protect the safety of students, faculty and administration, as well as the university campus and its assets, but UCPD is fully in the loop regarding today’s potential event.

In the Westwood Business Improvement District, the WVIA and our stakeholders have been preparing for today’s event. Immediately upon learning of the event, the WVIA notified every business in the district via email and also door-to-door visits to the businesses that are open. Many businesses determined to close today. In addition, some have boarded up their windows and storefronts in anticipation of unrest. Our WVIA Ambassador teams have combed the district and picked up any item we could find that could be used as a projectile. We have bolted down and secured all benches and trash cans. What we couldn’t bolt down, we have secured in private storage.

I am deeply concerned that a peaceful protest today could be hijacked by individuals seeking to commit crimes and damage business and property. I encourage you to take every precaution, and to prioritize your safety. We will have updates for you as new information becomes available.

Andrew Thomas
Executive Director, WVIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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