Councilman Zine Introduces Motion to Protect School Zones and Sensitive Use Facilities from Intrusive Paparazzi.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                           CONTACT:
Tuesday, November 18, 2008                                                       Jessica Tarman
Communications Director
213-473-7003/213-276-2093
jessica.tarman@lacity.org

Councilman Zine Introduces Motion to Protect School Zones
and Sensitive Use Facilities from Intrusive Paparazzi

(Los Angeles) – On Tuesday, November 18th, Councilman Dennis P. Zine introduced a motion to curtail paparazzi activity in school zones and around medical facilities. After months of fact-finding, legal research, and deliberation, Councilman Zine and the Los Angeles Regional Paparazzi Task Force determined that school access zones and hospitals are some of the most vulnerable locations for public safety to be compromised by the irresponsible actions of the paparazzi.

“School zones and medical facilities are extremely susceptible to the reckless behavior of the paparazzi,” said Councilman Zine. “The paparazzi become a public safety hazard when they block access to critical facilities, speed in these zones, impede traffic flow, violate the privacy of celebrities and their children, and frighten innocent bystanders. I, for one, am not willing to risk public safety for one ‘million dollar’ shot.”

“We support and thank Councilmember Zine for his efforts to protect our members, their families, and the public from predatory paparazzi,” said Pamm Fair, Deputy National Executive Director of the Screen Actors Guild.

The text of the motion reads:
“The actions of overly aggressive paparazzi have grown from being a simple nuisance to posing a serious public safety threat. No where is this more evident than in the City of Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world. When swarms of photographers converge on public sidewalks, roadways, and vital facilities such as schools and hospitals, the risk of serious injury or even violence becomes very real. While the First Amendment protections granted to news gatherers must be defended and upheld, the City of Los Angeles must also protect the safety of the general public.

In an effort to find workable solutions to the problems posed by aggressive paparazzi, an informal working group called the Los Angeles Regional Paparazzi Task Force brought together experts from the cities of Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Malibu, and West Hollywood, along with representatives from the entertainment industry and County and State government offices, for a series of collaborative meetings. One of the group’s key findings was that there are certain sensitive use locations where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Taking advantage of the fact that high-profile individuals must do things like send their children to school, visit hospitals, and go to medical facilities, unscrupulous paparazzi frequently stake out these locations in order to capture the perfect photograph. The ensuing frenzy of photographers crowding building entrances causes severe disruptions to facilities’ normal operations, negatively impacting celebrities and the general public alike. Due to the special public safety interests surrounding our schools, hospitals, and medical facilities, additional regulations are needed to establish appropriate time, place, and manner restrictions for commercial photography around these sensitive use locations.

I THEREFORE MOVE that the Office of the City Attorney be requested to prepare and present to the
Public Safety Committee an ordinance that would prohibit an individual from entering an access zone of a school, hospital, or medical facility with the intent of taking photographs or other visual recordings for a commercial purpose.

I FURTHER MOVE that this prohibition not be applied to the taking of photographs or other visual recordings if such activity is requested or permitted by the school, hospital, or medical facility; if the targeted individual consents to being photographed or recorded; or if such activity is within the lawful duties of a law enforcement official or other government agent.

I FURTHER MOVE that, for the purposes of this ordinance, an “access zone” be defined as any area
within 20 feet of any point of public access to a public or private preschool, elementary school, middle school, junior high school, or high school; or any hospital or medical facility.

I FURTHER MOVE that, for the purposes of this ordinance, “commercial purpose” be defined as the expectation of a sale, financial gain, or other remuneration.”

This motion was referred to the Public Safety Committee where a public hearing will take place. A copy of the motion is available at http://www.lacity.org/cd3.

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