The Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative, a group looking to change how the city issues parking tickets, said it will meet with members of Mayor Eric Garcetti's staff Thursday before beginning a ballot effort to cap parking fines at $23 and institute other changes.
The group's founder Steven Vincent said it is getting ready to submit an application to put a measure on the March 5, 2015, ballot. Their deadline for doing so is by the end of the month, Vincent said.
The group said in a release that it plans to work with the Garcetti's staff to "appropriately change parking enforcement abuses" through administrative means and to urge the City Council to "voluntarily adopt our reform plan."
If the city does not adopt their ideas, they will "craft a municipal ballot measure, collect the required signatures and place it on the ballot for a vote by the citizens," the release said.
Vincent told City News Service the city's high parking fines and citation practices are "abusive."
"The lowest ticket on the books right now is $58, and that's pretty high when you consider, if you're working eight hours and you're making the minimum wage, your take home pay is probably around $64," Vincent said.
"For someone working at minimum wage or low wage, an entire day's pay to pay for a parking ticket is not a reasonable standard."
Vincent also said parking enforcement officers operate under a "de facto quota" because the city each year estimates the amount of revenue it would receive from parking fines.
The fine revenue collected by the city should be placed in a special fund, instead of being viewed as expected income that could then be used toward the general operating costs of running the city, he said.
— City News Service