Open Letter to Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez

C.C. de Vere

C.C. de Vere

· 3 min read
Screenshot of seven empty, heavily vandalized, and blighted RSO bungalow court units at 5212 Melrose Avenue.

(Image courtesy of Esotouric)

Dear Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez,

What in the hell is wrong with you?

Seven desperately needed RSO units in YOUR district are empty (except for a feral cat colony), heavily vandalized, and blighted.

The Ellis Act was ILLEGALLY used to rid the carpetbagging owner of the immigrant elder tenants (the property was in REAP at the time and remained in REAP for years afterwards; it's illegal to Ellis Act a REAP property). Your planning director, Emma Howard, is pretending that the Ellis Act (which, again, was used ILLEGALLY) has somehow magically tied her, and your, hands.

But we all know that's an outrageous lie, don't we?

Per AB 1218, it is ALSO illegal to demolish protected housing units without a replacement project. There is NO replacement project for the site. Explain to me how in the hell a demolition permit was granted?

You DO know that the carpetbagger is already advertising the property as a "development opportunity" and falsely claiming it's zoned commercial, right?

And what really pisses me off is your hypocrisy. You co-signed Councilmember Heather Hutt's motion for the city to assume ownership of ANOTHER bungalow court, 2949 Edgehill Drive, restore it, and keep it available to low-income tenants.

Hugo, WHY are you so willing to go to bat for vulnerable renters (and vulnerable RSO units) in West Adams when you won't step up for your own district?

I've said it before and I'll say it again: You were elected by constituents who had more than enough of Mitch O'Farrell's nasty little tricks, which included being paid off by a developer. Your constituents are counting on you to be better than he was. So far, you haven't been much of an improvement.

You, sir, are Diet Mitch.

The good news is, it's not too late for you to change course and be the councilmember that East Hollywood deserves.

You can start by contacting LAHD and working with them to prevent demolition and try to acquire the property to restore it and return it to its rightful use as RSO housing. (And hire a cat rescue to humanely trap and re-home the feral cat colony on the grounds!)

Remember, Hugo...Mitch didn't get re-elected because he made very, very poor choices. You, too, could face the same fate if you don't change course. You DO want to make LA a better place, right?


5212 Melrose Avenue, East Hollywood.

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C.C. de Vere

About C.C. de Vere

C.C. is a fourth-generation Angeleno and is horrified at what greed and hubris are doing to Los Angeles.

This website was built by her preservation pals at Esotouric.

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