Frank Gruber and Alison Jefferson

Recorded February 3, 2020 Archived February 3, 2020 41:11 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby019633

Description

Frank Gruber (67) talks with his friend and colleague Alison Rose Jefferson [no age given] about his contribution to activism and discussions around Civic Center Plans, the Civic Auditorium and the Belmar Triangle in Santa Monica.

Subject Log / Time Code

FG recalls growing up in Philadelphia and going to the University of Chicago for college.
FG recalls his career trajectory after undergraduate to become a lawyer, and how he met his wife and started a life in Southern California.
FG recalls how he first became politically active in Santa Monica. He talks about writing what became known as the "Piazza Santa Monica Memo" and its impact.
FG talks about being put on several commissions. He reflects on the close relationship between programming and design and his involvement with the Civic Center Plans.
FG recalls the back story of how there came to be a new look at the Civic Center Plan.
FG recalls why he wasn't renewed for the planning commission in 1998 and becoming a columnist.
FG recalls first looking into the Belmar Triangle.
PG explains the issue of what to do with the Civic Auditorium and a controversy around what to do with some land that eventually became a sports field.
FG reflects on a new project and being glad to have looked into the Belmar Triangle as a journalist.

Participants

  • Frank Gruber
  • Alison Jefferson

Recording Location

Downtown Santa Monica

Partnership Type

Outreach

Transcript

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00:04 This is Allison Rose Jefferson. And today is Monday, February 3rd, 2020 where in Santa Monica California, the name of my interview partner is Frank Gruber and his relationship to me is that he and I are friends and colleagues.

00:28 My name is Frank Gruber and I'm 67. Today is Monday, February 3rd 2024 in Santa Monica, California. But Allison Rose Jefferson is my interview partner and that she just said we are friends and colleagues.

00:46 So Frank

00:49 Where where are you from? Where did you grow up? I grew up in the Philadelphia area and are your parents from Philadelphia Ohio? They got the Madden in the pen in Oberlin, Ohio and and after the war got married and moved to Philadelphia Professor Temple University. Okay. And what did he teach anthropology? I always wondered how come you guys were in Philadelphia? So from that experience growing up in Philadelphia? What what what neighborhood did you live in? It's really important question for my life week we grew up until I went to high school in the suburbs of Philadelphia. And when I went to high school the same time, I went to HighSchool my parents bought a brown.

01:49 In Center City, Philadelphia, this is 1967. So we reverse the they migration we move from the suburbs into the City and moving into Center City, Philadelphia going to Central High School, which was a public school in Philly really completely changed my life if I stay down the servers, I think I'd be very different person today all the sudden, you know all the stuff. I'm interested in about urbanism that really comes from Living Center City. That's a whole bunch of science man. Tell tell us a little tell tell me a little bit about your education. Well, I went to Central High School, which was it at that time at all boys all Academic School in Philadelphia. I went co-ed after a ridiculous controversy about it going co-ed that was long after I was gone and at that time it was paired with the Philadelphia High School for Girls.

02:49 Deliveries to academic schools in Philadelphia and it was a public public schools in Boston had something like this. I think they were single sex New York got some stuff like this and then Central is now coed but girls high is still all girls as I understand it. They kept that yak. So but anyway, it was a really great place to go to school. I thought I mean it was just coming up to my 50th reunions this year and it's probably go back for the first time ever. But anyway, and then I went to the University of Chicago and that was very Academic Place and I was very good place. I loved it really good for me at the time my parents my dad went to Italy my dad for 3 years ran the Temple University program in Rome. So while I was in Chicago going to college with family was in in Rome, and it was great for me cuz I took three long

03:49 And it trips over there three months each one time. It took the Winter quarter off and went over there. And so that I really feel like I had a fantastic upbringing very little Urban International like pichai through Europe by did traveled in Italy with my parents. And so I feel I'm a very lucky person in a lot of respects. What did you study at at University of Chicago? My major was political science, which I kind of picked at the last minute. I had a different major in 30 year and I didn't like it and I went to my advisor and said what can I switch to that? I have enough credits to graduate in and she said we have a lot of courses that are cross listed in political science degree in political science with basically. I got a quote on quote a liberal education.

04:49 You did go on to graduate school and you studied what I went to law school at Chicago and this built on something. That was I was really interesting film. I was part of a film group there and I made a film wasn't very it was very very naive about it. Not at all professional about it was kind of a mess, but I really love film so I came out to LA for a year. That's a turned out. I know exactly what I want to do is think about law school and in fact a friend of mine who graduated few years before made already finished law school. He said well the way to become a movie producer is to go to law school. And so I thought I'd okay. So I did a year ago. I worked at a theater group and in here in Los Angeles, is it still around the Odyssey theater? I work there as they started to attack. They got a little Grant they hired me on a part-time salary, but I work full-time to be the administrative director and then I went off to law school back east and then I came back after 3 years.

05:49 Thank God ultimately got a job at a firm has an entertainment lawyer and then went out on my own in 1983 and I've been practising as it it'll buy might. Well, I had a brief I had a partnership with a cup of Partners and that ended so I mostly been a sole practitioner entertainment lawyer since 1983. Where did you meet your wife Janet along the way and where'd you guys have Henry your son and I met out here at the wedding part and not the wedding cuz I got married back East but a wedding party here for somebody we both knew from Chicago is his funny story because neither one of his like this guy that much but it but he invited us both to his wedding party out here in Topanga Canyon and luckily I went because I almost didn't go because my new firm at that time, which was my first entertainment for him was having its annual firm picnic that day fortunately also in Topanga, so I went to The Firm picnic

06:49 Then I went over to this wedding party and there I think she was talking to some mutual friends and I went up and you know, we've been together ever since Henry, you know, we got married and had a kid that for you. Goodnight in 1989, which actually is relevant to things later on. Maybe I kind of stay here in in Southern California. So how did you guys wind up married and living in Santa Monica and we were both living in Venice. We both had little apartments in Venice. Janet had just come out I came out here in 68. Sorry 78 after law school. Janet came out in 1979 to USC where she's at teaches philosophy and so it'll be better at 81. So she even offered to here for 2 years. I did not here for three years. We were both living not that far apart from each other and Vanna's and then a couple years.

07:49 We will when we decided to move in together. We just found a little house to rent across the border in the Ocean Park area of Santa Monica. I don't even know if we were we are the we are moving to Santa Monica. It was just you know, what the borders so I marked with a thing and so we rented this place and I was in 83 and then we bought a house to we got married in 86. We bought a house in 87 in the same neighborhood and then we've lived there ever since and that then then went by the time our son was born in 89 and then when I started getting involved in local politics well local politics with Santa Monica Baltic Sea, which was great because you can really have an impact for think you could have you could be have the perception that you're having any pain.

08:38 So

08:41 As it relates to being here in Santa Monica, you've been very civically active really civically engaged person here. So what what what was it that got you active in kind of galvanized. Do you how you voted and you didn't in maybe your neighborhood association, but you've done a few other things well when we moved in yet, we're kind of liberal Democrats and the dominant political force in Santa Monica is the order. They should go Santa monicans for renters rights and I found out later that I joined it the which was founded in 1979 with the rank of poking Santa Monica before I lived here, but around 85, I think it was that they open themselves up and became a membership organization.

09:39 Can we join that but that we did I didn't do anything we can do anything political, you know, we were busy getting married by the house of Kelly and kid and I often say this to young people that I know now or like in their thirties and they're saying she how can we accomplish anything I can we do anything I say look, you know, if you're involved in politics in your thirties or late twenties or thirties, you're way ahead of the game. I didn't get involved if I was forty more less which was in nineteen. Ninety two or three are out right around then our son have been born and I used to have a regular newspaper. Not a giveaway paper called the Santa Monica evening Outlook and they were real substantial paper and they ran a story one day that I read about how the city had had a task force.

10:39 Working for five years to determine what should be billed at the Santa Monica Civic Center area, which is it more or less about a 40-acre parcel about at that timer, which about one-third was owned by the Rand Corporation and the city at had a land-use. I learned the sole of the city had all that head out of land use Plan dental plan developed in the 80s, but the Civic Center was kept out of that. This was just two major thing in kind of contentious and so they had a special process for that. And so I read this article that this task force after 5 years was releasing its plan and the city was soliciting comments on it and I was just kind of a nice guy and I saw this listing, let me look at it. So I know this is 92 maybe tonight at 3.

11:39 So I am I got a hold of the plan and I was kind of shocked to find out that there was no design element and it whatsoever all the talked about with so many square feet of this. So many square feet is that divided the area up into different Parcels, but didn't make those are Design Elements for 5 years and all they could come up with so many hundred thousand square feet of this so many hundred thousand square feet of that open space they did talk about open space. But again, there was no concept about where they going to win a what it would look like and I really felt at that point Cent.

12:18 Well, I guess I said before the defining moment to certain one of the defining moments of my life was moving into Center City, Philadelphia somebody story because Tom Hayden who I ended up opposing on this issue. We became friendly later on some things but he wants to accuse me of trying to turn Santa Monica into Philadelphia, which I thought was pretty funny cuz I didn't want to do that. But a lot of my values about what made for a good place had to do with walkability and all the kind of things that you hear about now in terms of smart growth or new urbanism or or just, you know, density to deal with the quality of life in and in cities to deal with climate change and all this kind of stuff, so I and the Santa Monica head

13:07 Had developed in the 80s a couple big office Parks really bad developments in terms of urbanism not connected to the outside. This is Colorado plays in the Water Garden in all these places in all industrialized and I thought that it was one of the problems was they they weren't thinking about design when they came up with these plans. So I wrote a memo. It's it was sort of one of these things like you hear about in China like in ancient times when there'd be some you know, civil servant out in the province's with write a letter to the emperor. The emperor was hit while that's a really good idea good bring this guy to the Forbidden City and will implement it and I don't want to sound too egotistical battle, but it really did have an impact. I wrote this thing that became known as The Piazza Santa Monica memo because in it I said, you know, why don't we think that when we think of like or think quality, you know this area in front of

14:07 City Hall shouldn't that be like a good Piazza like an Italian city that we all love and other design out things I talked about if you're going to do you know where you are. You just going to have Lawns. We have a we have a courthouse over there already, which is just got a lawn in front of his son connected to anything. It doesn't really work with people walking on the sidewalk or and nobody walks on the sidewalk. And so I was

14:37 I have to say that this memo which was distribute I sent to the city had an impact and and planets have given to the Planning Commission Planning Commission said we need to follow we we don't want to prove this plan until there's a design element to it.

14:56 And the mid-90s this is right this 1993. This is happening. All really pretty bad happened pretty fast after 35 years. And the reason why I was five years as I understand it people told me is that there were people who didn't want to do anything in the people who wanted it and then ran Corporation was in there as the owner of a lot of the land and there was a lot of animosity tours and coming out of the anti-war movement. The real reason to Tom Hayden was against the plan was not for the reasons a lot of other people. He wasn't that concerned about traffic. He wanted to put like Santa Monica College there which would be even more traffic but he didn't want to reward brand with anything cuz he felt ran was a bad actor going back to Vietnam in the Cold War and all I can think Rand is of course a very important part of Santa Monica history and the Congress. What's the biggest employers goes back to Donald Douglas Douglas aircraft. It was a spinoff from that. So but for me, it was great. I mean all the sudden people were

15:56 Kagan balls I got involved with the local neighborhood association Ocean Park Community organization. I got put pretty soon after that. I was put on the Housing Commission and then getting ahead of the story little bit after being on the housing commission for year. I was put in the Planning Commission. So it was great. I mean, I I I really felt very excited with what they did was. They hired a very good Urban Design Company out of San Francisco called Roma design where the league I was going to divorce drama off and he had already designed the first tree Promenade which will wear on right now to go out. Most of that design is his still his although there's been some Rita redo on it. And so they brought him in to do the Civic Center play and I was very actively involved during that whole process and I got to get very good friends with Boris and

16:53 I remember this it interesting that happened with Boris went one day the first time I met Forest I was riding my bike to downtown through the Civic Center and I saw this guy taking photographs and I recognized him is Boris and I pulled over and said hi. I'm Frank Gruber. I was involved in getting this thing going and VanDyke Promenade and and I at that time was really into content Pro before we go programming and I said, well, you know the Promenade really works because the movie theaters not the design. I was sort of like saying how why what is it? I mean as you know, I believe in design a lot, but I was also saying that you know, the programming has to be there and his response to me which I've always thought about is ya look there a lot of places that movie theaters. There aren't too many places like the Promenade and so you really have to have both and that's

17:53 Always been a kind of Mantra for me, which is that you can't have programming without design. You can't a design without programming. So and worse was exactly on the same wavelength. So that was great. And so that's how I got really got involved with the Civic Center pride in the Civic Center plan that came out of that which Incorporated the amounts of development that had called me to call friend that 5-year process got challenged it past the city council in a seven. Nothing vote. Even though there were a couple people who were very much growth Skeptics. Let's put it that I don't want to call him no groceries cuz they weren't that they would disagree with that, but they were very much skeptical about growth and they voted for Tan City Council and I was proud that one of them would became a good friend of mine later on condenser sedum.

18:44 That it was my memo my pee at the Santa Monica man with a change his attitude about what could be happening with the Civic Center. So I was very happy about that. And when I say we became good friends by Hollywood College, we weren't being a personal friends and like going out to dinner that kind of stuff the but then it got challenged the wise I mentioned Tom Hayden opposed it for his reasons and their whole lot of other people who were just didn't want a development. That was all that traffic for them. They said it's going to be to do you know, 26000 more trips too much development whatever and they put it on the battle got enough signatures to put it on the ballot as with a referendum. And so that was on the ballot in June 1964 and June 1994 was on that ballot with Tom had was running for governor. I think in the Democratic primary and

19:45 We had a big guy was like the treasurer of the campaign to to Whitney in order to have to plan approved and we want big we want 60% to 40% And that was it was really remarkable because it to that point the 8th. That's what I call them. Again. The growth Skeptics had always been able to intimidate people by saying we're going to take this coming to a vote and a lot of times to city council had just capitulated and this time we went to the boat because the city really wanted it today that comes with Pastor seven nothing and so we won Bigg says 60 or 240 and

20:29 And the but then I was we all know what you want to hook it up to the Belmar stuff, but the plan has been whittled down so much since then that it's it's kind of a disappointment the whole process over 25 years and I'm 27 years moving into the two thousands after nothing has been done with the nothing has been done with the pool and it was approved by the people in 94 then there was another

21:01 Kind of yeah. Well what happened? What there was another are there was a Revival of the conversation about the plan and and then you're writing about new urbanism at that point in time. And well you're practicing law in photography what happens? I'll try to stick to the subject if you go off and all that stuff if you want, but the plan what happened was, okay, people forget there was a huge recession in the middle the 90s, you know people sometimes people think especially when you go through some years of people can remember the 2008 crashed, you know, but they let alone this but basically the plan gets approved in 1994 and immediately was a terrible. Until like the way you have the riots or civil Insurrection. Whatever terms can be used you had the earthquake you had a really bad economy.

21:59 And very there was very little investment and Saran got the approval to build what it had been and they had they were partnered with a real estate development companies that actually developed certain amount of the Promenade hear the dance company and dance I think went bankrupt ran didn't have the money to develop. What is it talk about developing an adult site on the old site on the 11 or no the 14 acres that they had a on 14 acres of it, Colorado and ocean campus. Well, yeah, but it's it's if you're looking is like the lower left in the third of the price of the of the way to take me anywhere that what you're looking at it but a long Ocean Avenue on the freeway and then the Main Street Morton Grove Park is and the current rent. It was 14 acres long story about how they got those for teenagers going back to the 50s.

22:59 But we won't go there right now. But so they ended up the city had a big Redevelopment fund coming out of the earthquake and the city use Redevelopment money to buy 11 of their 14 acres. That was right around 1999-2000. And so that initiated a new look at the plan and so the plan was revised to take things shifting into count is now the city owns a lot of land that ran it ran build its offices on the three acres and then the city had a lot of land in that area where konkel Park is right now cuz that's where they they build it they have to and when you use Redevelopment money is certain that had to go to affordable housing. So that was part of the going to be part of the plan and they that cause to relook at the plant and I at that by that time for my

23:58 Little story

24:00 So I was on the Planning Commission from 1995 and then in 1998 there was an election and I really didn't like all the candidates this a mi casa renters rights was putting forward and I was Allied with a guy who had been a Smurf candidate Paul Rosenstein but was more of a kind of a classic liberal Democrat believe believe in Economic Development things like that as opposed to a lot of the smaller that time was really dominated by if I growth in the kaniksu were pretty for for the most part anti-growth and that and that to me at that time. I felt the same Monica built plenty of office that anymore but we really needed to go housing and so on the plant on the Planning Commission, I have had I had a lot of conflict with people who didn't want to build anything on

25:00 Sadlier we have to allow housing to be built and the city had been sued on this and had to allow more housing. And so the city had to approve this housing. I was saying it's a good thing. So what happened was in 1998, there was a quote-unquote at this not my terms, but but the local paper sold at a no-growth majority was elected for out of the seven. We're really no Cross City Council city council is so what I came up for renewal on the Planning Commission in 1999. I was not renewed and they put a real rabbit no growth kind of guy on that guy who had previously been on the city council and has been voted off. And so I always like to say that I went and you know from 1993 to 1999 and only six years. I went from like, you know, fresh-faced Community activist to public Pariah in only, you know, six years, but I got kind of my revenge

26:00 But satisfaction in terms of I think even more influence because in two thousand eyes started writing a column a weekly column about Santa Monica for one of the first local news websites, Santa Monica Lookout inducer Santa Monica. Calm. And so it ends up being for 12 years. I wrote a column like every week about what was going on in Santa Monica focusing on politics, but not only probably politics in life and that was a very satisfying thing for me. I really enjoyed doing that and still active Community. Actually. I know I took being a journalist very serious. I quit every organization in the city. I quit summer. I quit League of Women Voters that it was on that I mean released. Anyway, I just stopping by the way. I have to be on the Planning Commission. I had one other really cool Civic involvement the school board put me on a bond spending review.

27:00 Committee, and so that was very gratifying and that was because we did a lot of good work with how to allocate a bond issue. But then I quit that to write this column because the guy was writing it for he would this was not a block. This was a serious News website and we had it so he paid me in a $50 a week does pain in the mid to figures and so that's actually a joke from my bar from Calvin trillin and but that was the point was that I was not what I had I had an editor editor and I had a publisher and we had turn rules about it and so for 12 years, I only was a commentator but I had a lot of influence as people will say and I was pretty and a lot of the columns for my first four years a selection of those my publisher published. We kind of self-published it but he you know,

28:00 And this kind of thing and so it was very gratifying for me. And so I had an impact with that. But so I was at that point that attending these book was it was a warrior Warrior?

28:23 Yeah, that's my book. And I still have about a thousand copies of my basement if anybody wants to come we were just before print-on-demand so we actually printed up a lot of copies for cheaper to print 2009 much more to print 2004 1000. And so but that's how I became. I think that's known around. That's what I'm still doing for it to a certain extent. And so when I was this is where we going to Belmar when I attended one of those workshops that they had to revise the Civic Center plan around 2000-2001. I noticed there was an elderly black woman there and be honest black people when you go to meetings in Santa Monica.

29:15 Either they weren't that many black people usually coming to these These are mostly white Santa Monica's Santa monicans think they're very well integrated town. But in fact the are percentage of white population and it's much higher than the region and the people who are most have time to do this kind of thing typically are you know, middle class or upper middle class white people at all, but typically & in the way, as you know, we have a historic black population and it's not that big of a pop what percentage so I just you know, I would just happened. I was sitting sitting next to this woman. All right, whatever was I just a what brings you here or something like that? And she said well this used to be a black neighborhood and I said, huh, you know, and then that's when she started to tell me about Belmar triangle. Who was it? I don't remember her name. I know it's like his Lost In The Mists. I mean it I may have a note about it somewhere but I can't remember. This is now you know why it's really 20 years. Yes.

30:15 But with that prompted me to do yeah what that prompted me to do was to look into the Belmar triangle thing and I had a friend who was involved with Antioch College here had a campus at Antioch college and I she was asking me if I wanted to teach anything seem like I told him I didn't like a one-day history workshop on this project and and your students would do like Research into archives to to develop something we can try to understand learn about the Belmar triangle. So she said yes and that ended up into my doing the Fairmount research about Belmar and that became a slideshow presentation and the end Belmar to me when I learned about it became a great example of mid-century urban renewal kind of processing politics. What a friend of ours in Santa Monica at UCLA called convulsive urbanism and to this day.

31:15 He creates create an unstable environment over there in terms of what's going to happen with that site into the future.

31:23 And also that work got too involved with a re-envisioning plan for the as part of this World Vision of the Civic plan. There was this plan that you were involved in with a working group that Monica is about snakes use arts and culture District. Yeah, that's like that's like 15 years later. But basically what happened yet what happens is yet 2015. So so the city gets the Rand property that develop time for Park and the next thing to look at is what to do with the Civic Auditorium and the Civic Auditorium.

32:09 Within 10 years of being built was being identified as a white elephant for the city. It was one of these classic mid 20th century modernist thing that was built at more than one function and couldn't do it. He was supposed to be an auditorium with concerts in that kind of think. They had a floor that could be then turned into flat floor and for like conventions and conferences and it didn't work well for either one and up while there was a kind of Glory age when they did a lot of rock and roll concerts in the sixties and seventies includes a very famous some very famous ones the Tami show. So you may know about those a basic didn't have enough. It didn't hold enough audience for it to be profitable for rock and roll bands got you know, they want to take her audiences and then it became basically just a place where like crafts fairs and things like that in the city was losing money on it every year and so the question came what to do with this the Civic Auditorium and

33:09 I got involved with a group to try to save it had seismic problems. So to this day you can't be used because it needs to be a huge saw seismic upgrade and there's a whole historic preservation group of people who want to save it. Now. I was not as emotional as they are about the Civic, you know, but I did feel that if that area around there was going to be turning into something nice, which is a very important part of Pico Boulevard and turn into something that it away was so a tribute to the Belmar triangle that have been lost which was right there. Where the sickest yeah. Yeah, but least bring back some kind of the neighborhood type thing that something had to be done now, so I got put on and I had some ideas for how to do this and I work with some historic preservation people in the basic idea was city had to get out of the business of the Civic Auditorium because and the city did that when I won't go to so both but there was a they had a project with the

34:09 Orlanders that fell through and then the city manager that times that we just can't afford to keep the Civic going and with a certain amount of pain they let all the staff go they found jobs for most of them some people took retirement, but that was a difficult thing to do, but they did it and at that point you can start with other with a clean slate and so we that was the idea to start with a clean slate but it was going to have to be a public-private partnership supported by some development on the land nearby, but including a park there in this going to think what I had not really

34:43 Counted or Willie the city council had ignored the fact that about 10 years earlier. When one of these reiterations of the Civic Center plan was going forward going on with that had to do with this after the city bought the ran land was developing that they had promised some sports field people that they would turn most of that parking lot that was there between the Civic and 4th Street into a soccer field into a sports field and when they pointed our task force, they said don't worry about that. Everything's on the table. You can really look at everything and and our plan for most of us on the task force was to have an open park at that place on some of the land but also then develop some of the other land with maybe a small hotel, maybe some apartments there was different possibilities. Whatever would come in with the private partner.

35:38 And so

35:41 What we didn't understand was that the city council as soon as they Sports your people. Oh and by the way, it's just across from high school. The high school really didn't want to put a sports field there and they had plans which I knew about because some other things I didn't fall out with and we all know about really to build more Sports fields on the high school campus. They didn't really need this. They didn't want to have a sports field across busy 4th street from the really what happened is a few people who really wanted the sports field. They were joined up with people Justin wanted development. This so-called in us, then B is for a second. I know they don't like that word. But let's just call that end. They wanted to use this as a way of stopping it over there and they want they basically said to the city council you promise is a sports field and city council caved and all the work that we've done for a year-and-a-half on our task force with not so who knows what's going to happen with the Civic Auditorium. The only thing we did was

36:35 We did say that anything that should happen over there should commemorate the Belmar triangle. And so when the coastal commission was giving approval of this they can dish it just came up to them. They condition their approval on it that something be done for Belmar triangle. Of course, you're working on that but it really annoyed me because the people who pushed the sports field ended up using some of the Articles I've written about Belmar as support about how I live it how they're talking about the public using, you know, Frank Gruber show this history about how it had been taken away. You know of the public domain has been used to take away this land and had to stay public used in the thing to be used it for it to use it for would be the sports field and that really annoyed me that they use my work to justify something that I don't think of is a public use that it's only use going to be like 30 foot in a cyclone fencing around it to keep everybody out keep the balls in

37:35 And the only people us ports will people we will use it which is not really what that location is. Best for that location should tie into the neighborhood the same way that Belmar was part of the neighborhood with all that and right now we have the the coastal commission improving as part of the condition to build. This Sports field are the bomb what we're calling the Belmar history + art project which is going to recognize the historic African-American community that was displaced from the site where the sports field in the Civic Auditorium are do you have any thoughts about that? I think I think it's really great. And also, I'm very I have a lot of pride in the fact that the city called the affordable housing that Community Corp runs in over by time for park that's called Belmar apartments and people explicit.

38:35 Acknowledged the people in the know that they wouldn't do it. The city would not have known anything about bellmar if I hadn't written those articles about it. So one of the things I'm most proud about in terms of my ear as a columnist was to Reno to look into Bel-Mark because the city of completely forgot about it. I think you're I think it's going to I went to that breakfast and I think it's it's very promising. I think they would will be what I'll be I'll be good. I think it's really important to look at the Dolores Hayden type power Place type things. I think the biddy Mason thing downtown. I think the Little Tokyo thing downtown that that person was involved in I think those are great models and from what I understand from the event that I went to that's the way that people looking at it.

39:20 Yeah, so it's a wonderful thing that you have helped us to bring to the Forefront the historic Belmar neighborhood in the people that live there. Let me say as you know, a lot of my work was based on the work that you have done. So, I think it's a mutual thing. You're beautiful admiration since you were involved in the political arena in Santa Monica. You had kind of a another platform to communicate to the the citizens the Santa Monica and so our joint efforts together an academic research that I did and then you are political platform have helped us to get to this place where we're going to be able to celebrate the diversity quote on quote of Santa Monica and help to promote.

40:20 A broader interpretation of the life of the people who lived here in the city and also help encourage folks who maybe don't have the opportunity to come to the beach all the time to realize it's for them because I owe their used to be a community here. And so they're going to learn about it through all the will celebrate diversity at the same time. They were going to commemorate the racism that led to the destruction the neighborhood. That's exactly it. We are celebrating all the history of that the time