Below is my letter to the Westwood Neighborhood Council in Los Angeles. What is most important and I have been told by the board members is for public to come in numbers and show their support.
The meeting is:
Wed October 8th at 7pm.
Westwood Presbyterian Church
10822 Wilshire Boulevard, Hoffman Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Here is the link (pdf file) to the minutes of the meeting Agenda 9 and 10 were the measures and was voted unamiously with one member abstaining.
Here is the website for the Westwood Neighborhood Council: http://empowerla.org/wwnc/
Your emails and phone calls will be so effective.
Guita Tahmassebi, Esq.
Los Angeles, CA
Westwood Neighborhood Council
President: Jerome Brown
RE: Westwood Motion Regarding IRI Sanctions and Motion Regarding the three Week Notice
Dear Mr. Brown,
I request to be placed on the Agenda, for the September 8, 2014 meeting of the council in opposition to the following two motions:
1) Three Week Notice-- to Iranian business on Westwood Blvd., and
2) Motion regarding IRI Sanctions,
The Minutes for both measure were distributed by the council only yesterday; and I had to read them, before I could write a letter relevant to the issues. I am told that you did not want to put this on the Agenda. I strongly urge that the council avoid any appearance of favoritism or discrimination. I believe they should allow equal treatment for opposing view, considering the grave unconstitutionality and discriminatory nature of these measures.
I am at utterly at loss, how the council failed to distinguish the obvious witch hunt nature of these measures that target one certain group. It is clearly discriminatory, unconstitutional and violates first amendment rights. The council passed measures that are completely outside the scope and role of a neighborhood council. Unfortunately and embarrassingly: our neighborhood council has now become the laughing stock: viewed as backward and bigots.
How disheartening and ultimately scary, my neighborhood council allowed their unfounded fear to take over their common sense and better judgment. They joined the frenzy of the zealot mobs in their hatred for the Iranian government -- goaded by a board member, Roozebeh Farahanipour. This article from Los Angeles Times might give you an insight to this board member and shed some light behind the motivation of your member: LA is the Den of Iranian Intrigue and Ambition”. To make comparisons of Farahanipour to an Iranian “Ahmad Chalabi” is not far-fetched: one of the most opportunistic and worst advisors regarding our Iraq policy. Faranihpour has an agenda: he wants to beef up his resume to receive some of the million dollars of money from US government that have set for the Iranian opposition groups. He cowardly targets the vulnerable by creating falsehood of “illegal actions” and creating division, hate and fear amongst the community; the council fell for him and the bunch of zealots supporting him.
Like almost all the Iranian diaspora, I despise and wish for the downfall of the Iranian regime, who has executed my dear and immediate cousin. That does not mean I set my fangs on innocent Iranians in my community. I have been to Iran twice and my husband four times, since we left in 1978. We used the services of these businesses to get our Iranian passports validated. I am an American citizen living in Westwood. I am close friends with your board member Laura Winikow and her husband. Our children attended the same elementary school. I have lived in Westwood since 1999. I am also friends with Connie Boukidis another member of your council, and served on different committees together at Fairburn.
The council jumped the gun on what they deemed as illegal activities and wrote ill-conceived motions that would never stand up in any court of law. Before your alert of these alleged illegal activities to the FBI or LAPD, was taken into consideration, and before allowing these agencies to do their job, Farahanipour, acting and representing himself as a member of the Westwood Neighborhood Council, approached some Iranian businesses in Westwood. All pumped up, since he had the unanimous support of his council-except for one member abstaining- this vote is quiet shocking. This member intimidated and harassed these business owners to take some of their Farsi signs off; they acquiesced. It is clear these business owners’ due process were violated. A neighborhood council member should not take law into his hands. This conduct is outrageous. I demand to know which businesses were contacted and exactly what signs were removed. Your council should take Faranihpour to task and reported him to Done (Department of Neighborhood Empowerment) and perhaps the City Attorney’s Office.
The Westwood Neighborhood Council should not conduct a witch hunt against Iranian owned businesses in violation of the Constitution. A Neighborhood council should not create a climate of fear in the Iranian community by targeting Iranian owned businesses for providing information on travel to Iran. They should not target elderly Iranian immigrants and recently arrived immigrants who rely on information in Farsi on how to travel to Iran or take care of their affairs in Iran. Or make it more difficult for their countrymen and women to get travel documents and other services which are legal and already provided by the Iranian interests section inside the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington. And above all they should definitely not violate the American constitution by prohibiting the display of any flags or symbols. I am sure the council is not entertaining to fight these issues in court. Also advertising to set up business in Iran by Iranian American citizens is not illegal and does not fall under the Sanctions, The council needs to spell out clearly where in the Sanction Act these activities are deemed illegal.
I definitely feel scared, intimated and above all deeply saddened by the horrible hysteria that was happening at the meeting from some community members about the fear of Halal meat and mosques being built. I then further read about the shrill remarks from one of my neighbors, in your last month meeting, as reported in the last issue of the Jewish Journal.
“Sandy Brown, a homeowner member of the Westwood Neighborhood Council and president of the Holmby-Westwood Property Owners Association. “If you’re talking about an Iranian consulate, it makes residents concerned about what these people are doing with the Iranian government.“
"These people" are going to visit family and go to their country. They are our community . My parents, my cousins and the elderly visiting sick family members. How soon we forget history.
Guita Tahmassebi, Esq.