What is Proyecto Jardín Asking from WMMC?

Proyecto Jardín is asking White Memorial Medical Center to agree to the following:

1. Rescind the 30-day notice to leave the jardín premises

2. Place a 6-month moratorium on all eviction actions in order to expand the window of opportunity for reasonable minds to come to the table to negotiate a win-win land use agreement.

3. Work with Proyecto Jardín to develop a permanent land-use agreement that meets the hospital’s needs & interests without displacing or disrupting the existing community and their organization.

 


Who supports Proyecto Jardín’s Right to remain at WMMC?

The following community organizations support Proyecto Jardín's right to remain at our current site at White Memorial Medical Center and oppose its displacement.


12 FAQs About Proyecto Jardin’s Land Tenure & Lease


1.

IS IT TRUE PROYECTO JARDÍN IS BEING EVICTED?

Proyecto Jardin’s lease expired on December 31, 2015. Legally speaking the owner/landlord, White Memorial Medical Center, is not obligated to renew the lease and can ask Proyecto Jardín to leave. This is not considered an eviction. It is a legal removal and displacement of the organization, the people, and movement that make Proyecto Jardín the PLACE we all know and love.

 

2.

DID PROYECTO JARDÍN TRY TO RENEW THE LEASE BEFORE IT EXPIRED ON DECEMBER 31, 2015?

Yes. Proyecto Jardín initiated conversations with White Memorial in July 2015, approximately 6 months before the lease expired. White Memorial announced they had no intention of renewing the lease, but welcomed Proyecto Jardín to “try to change [their] minds.”

 

3.

DID PROYECTO JARDÍN TRY TO CHANGE WHITE MEMORIAL’S MIND?

Yes. Proyecto Jardín addressed concerns expressed by White Memorial and provided outcomes data showing consistent monthly growth and improvement over a period 3 months (August – October) in areas of interest to White Memorial: productivity, daily attendance, and collaborative work with the hospital.

In addition, Proyecto Jardín followed up with White Memorial’s recommendation to partner with the hospital’s Diabetes prevention program, Healthy Eating Lifestyle Program (HELP) and the Community Information Center’s Vive Bien Senior program.  Proyecto Jardín prepared activities for two separate Open House programs for HELP and Vive Bien participants. Over a dozen seniors and staff from White Memorial’s Vive Bien program attended Proyecto Jardín’s Open House on November 11. The hospital’s Diabetes HELP program cancelled their visit to the garden 3 days before their scheduled Open House program.

In November 2015, Proyecto Jardín requested a 6-month extension for use of the entire garden in order to complete programs currently funded through June 30, 2016, and prevent displacement of Proyecto Jardín’s Food Growers Collective members with whom Proyecto Jardín had signed 12- and 18-month membership contracts. White Memorial flatly refused. 

 

4.

WHAT DOES WHITE MEMORIAL WANT? WHAT WOULD CHANGE THEIR MIND?

On December 6, White Memorial reconsidered and agreed to allow Proyecto Jardín to remain in the garden if Proyecto Jardín agrees to the following:

  • Stay temporarily for only 6 months.

  • Give up 2/3 of the land and relocate all of Proyecto Jardín’s operations to a small reservation of space that totals 1/3 of garden.

  • Agree to “faithful compliance with Sabbath Policy,” i.e. Adventist religious doctrine for Sabbath & agree to attend a 1-hour religious education session with a 7th Day Adventist church pastor. (This requirement has never been mandated in the previous 15-year history of Proyecto Jardin’s presence on the land.)

  • Surrender overall management and key access of the space to White Memorial.

  • Change the name of Proyecto Jardín to “White Memorial Hospital Garden” and rebrand the site using White Memorial’s logo.

 

5.

HOW DID PROYECTO JARDÍN RESPOND TO THIS OFFER?

Proyecto Jardín prepared a counter offer after consulting members of the organization, the Food Growers Collective, community leaders, and supporters to assess their feelings and thoughts about White Memorial’s offer. Proyecto Jardín’s counteroffer asked for:

  • Site Control: 5-year lease for use of the entire parcel as currently defined.

  • Organizational autonomy and the right of Proyecto Jardín to: (a) Determine its mission, vision, values, governance structure, staff, and programming; and (b) Independently select and engage the partners, sponsors, allies, and supporters best suited to the advancement of Proyecto Jardín’s mission and goals; and (c) Exercise cultural self-determination and freedom of religion on the premises.

  • A meeting “with White Memorial’s Executive Council to address our mutual concerns and explore creative solutions to WMMC needs and interests in the land.” 

 

6.

IS PROYECTO JARDÍN WILLING TO NEGOTIATE LEASE TERMS THAT MEET THE NEEDS AND INTERESTS OF BOTH WHITE MEMORIAL AS WELLS AS PROYECTO JARDÍN?

Yes, absolutely! Proyecto Jardín has communicated to White Memorial that:

  • It is completely “possible to accommodate WMMC needs and interests without displacing families and the community-based organization they created” and they belong to. 

  • “We envision an iterative process driven by dialogue and exploration of our mutual interests and needs.”

  • Proyecto Jardín “remains committed to working with [White Memorial] for a Win-Win outcome and sincerely hope White Memorial agrees to resume lease negotiations with Proyecto Jardín.”

  • “Our respective organizations are both highly regarded in our community and . . . we [both] have what it takes to get to a middle ground, and from that place build upon our common ground for the greater good in our community.”

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7.

WHAT DOES WHITE MEMORIAL PLAN TO DO WITH 2/3 OF THE LAND THEY WANT TO TAKE BACK?

White Memorial intends to hand over 1/3 of the land to its Department of Marketing and Advertising. The other 1/3 of the land would be managed by 2 unnamed non-profit organizations selected by White Memorial because they “compliment White Memorial’s mission, vision, and culture” as an Adventist Health hospital.


8.

WOULD PROYECTO JARDÍN AGREE TO SHARE THE LAND WITH WHITE MEMORIAL & THE TWO OTHER NON-PROFITS SELECTED BY THE HOSPITAL?

Absolutely. When Proyecto Jardín learned about White Memorial’s plans in August 2015, we asked for the names of the 2 non-profit organizations they selected so we could reach out to discuss opportunities to collaborate. We are open to partnering with groups that compliment Proyect Jardín’s mission, vision and programming without disrupting existing programs and our obligations to our members, funders, and stakeholders. White Memorial refused to provide the names of the two nonprofits on the grounds that: “the other organizations have no intention of collaborating or interacting with Proyecto Jardín.”

In addition, staff at the Community Information Center’s Vive Bien program, were extremely pleased with our garden Open House and expressed a desire to meet in January 2016 to discuss next steps for collaboration with Proyecto Jardín.

There is no need to displace Proyecto Jardín or deny a lease renewal in order for White Memorial to get what it wants. It is entirely possible to negotiate a Win-Win lease agreement that honors and respects Proyecto Jardín as a valuable partner, rather than terminate the organization’s 15-year legacy as a community-run space. 


9.

HOW WILL PROYECTO JARDÍN PROGRAMS BE AFFECTED IF FORCED TO GIVE UP 2/3 OF THE LAND ON JANUARY 31?

Proyecto Jardín’s programs and crops will be seriously compromised. We are at the halfway point with our Youth HEAL program, a grant-funded farm education and food systems leadership program. Ten community farm interns are learning to grow organic food for their family and to supply a mobile farm stand they will use to distribute fresh organic produce to residents of the Ramona Gardens public housing community starting in April 2016. 

Loss of 2/3 of the land will drastically reduce farm production capacity and compromise Proyecto Jardín’s ability to fulfill our grant-funded obligations. 

In addition, by reducing Proyecto Jardín’s access to only 1/3 of the land, the organization is forced to choose between vital areas and activities at the core of Proyecto Jardín’s unique identity and landscape design, such as El Caracol Medicine Wheel Garden, an outdoor exercise mat, the learning kitchen, the nursery, and composting areas. Losing site control represents the end of Proyecto Jardín as we know it: A Boyle Heights Cultural Treasure and a Good Food Champion.


10.

HOW WILL THE MEMBERS OF THE GARDEN BE AFFECTED BY GIVING UP 2/3 OF THE LAND TO OTHER GROUPS?

If forced to give up control of 2/3 of the land, more than half of Proyecto Jardín members would loose their garden plots to accommodate two new nonprofits and White Memorial’s Marketing and Advertising department.


11.

HOW WILL THE RELIGIOUS POLICY REQUIREMENT AFFECT PROYECTO JARDÍN, ITS MEMBERS AND THE COMMUNITY AT-LARGE.

The vast majority of Proyecto Jardín members and the Boyle Heights community are not 7th Day Adventist. They will be forced to adhere to a religious policy that does not conform to their own religious or personal beliefs. In addition, members of Proyecto Jardín who are practicing 7th Day Adventists are not in agreement with imposing their Adventist religion on non-Adventist people. They believe the Adventist life is something to be embraced of one’s own free will and should be embodied and modeled, not forced upon others. Proyecto Jardín Adventist members are respected and valued leaders in our garden community who stand in solidarity with Proyecto Jardín’s continued management of the garden.


12.

WHITE MEMORIAL SAYS THAT NO GARDEN MEMBERS WILL BE DISPLACED AND HAS OFFERED TO ENROLL THEM IN THE HOSPITAL’S WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM, OR REFER THEM TO THE OTHER NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS THAT WILL REPLACE PROYECTO JARDÍN IN THE GARDEN. DOESN’T THAT SOLVE THE PROBLEM?

Proyecto Jardín members called for and signed a petition stating: 

“We choose to work as Proyecto Jardín, to self-organize through Proyecto Jardín, and to identify with the mission, vision, values, and ideals of our organization Proyecto Jardín. We speak as a united community in support of Proyecto Jardín’s continued management and stewardship of this place, this sacred space built and extensively developed by and for our community.”