Dear Editor,

I've grown up in Venice. My family has had our restaurant here for three generations.

I've read recent articles about how a proposed housing project at the beach has disrespected Venice's Black cultural leaders.

I want you to know and share that it also disregards our Mexican heritage. lt was Mexicans and Chinese who built the railroads in California. And it's Mexicans who have maintained the Venice Canals, forever. On this proposed site, we have the original, historic Red Car Trolley Bridge crossing over the historic Venice Canals. My children love riding bikes over it, as I have.

This project would prevent us from doing so ever again. Also, it seems hypocritical that the LA City Council voted to put a "Monument to Traquero's," the Mexicans who built our railroads, in the middle of what was Venice's Lagoon. The Lagoon was center of the Venice Canals, a waterway. No railroad ever went there. I don't even know how that project was passed. I never heard of it - and no one in Venice did - until it was already approved by the City Council.

These two proposals are affronts to Mexican cultural history, and all of Venice's history.

The Red Car Bridge and the Venice Canals are our Landmarks of Mexican, Chinese, Black and all Venice cultural heritage. Venice has always been a multicultural community. Let's not let that be destroyed by one oversized building complex of 140 units that would prevent hundreds of thousands of people - many Mexican Americans - from coming to the beach. That housing can be provided elsewhere in Venice and LA. The Bridge and Canal are irreplaceable. They should be celebrated with plaques, a bike path and a park, so that everyone knows and can continue to respect our cultural history.

Please do not let our history be hidden and destroyed, forever.


Robert Haro

Casablanca Restaurant

Venice, CA