Friday, July 18, 2014

Canoga Park Friendly Neighborhood Council Passes Discarded Mattress Legislation

By Sherman Farralone, Quilt staff


A motion was put forth, voted on and passed Thursday night by the Canoga Park Friendly Neighborhood Council to allow for advertising on Canoga Park’s abundant and ubiquitous discarded mattresses.

Under the terms of the resolution, “any mattress that is located out-of-doors, has been determined to be unattended for a period of two (2) hours or more and is not on or within sixty (60) feet of a parked or idling moving van, pickup truck, stolen Big Lots shopping cart or other similar conveyance, nor in the vicinity of individuals engaged in the process of moving furniture in or out of a residence, or is covered in stains and just kind of stinks, is infested with bedbugs, fleas, or other parasites shall be deemed abandoned and discarded; and is subject to immediate application of print, logos and illustrations for the sole purposes of advertising local businesses or promoting positive ideals for the community through public service announcements.” 

Staff photos.
Businesses interested in advertising on the mattresses would sign up for the program through the Chamber of Commerce which will work in tandem with a local printing company, Peppy Printers on Saticoy. Relying heavily on social media from those in the community to identify the location of newly-discarded mattresses, the printing company would then dispatch a “Mobile Mattress Marketing Squad” to quickly apply the advertiser’s message to the mattress, and then lean it up against a telephone pole or an RV that “doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon.”

The new program would create a new stream of revenue for Canoga Park by "upcycling" discarded
mattresses into soft, pillowy billboards advertising participating businesses. Photo courtesy CPFNC.
A lower cost alternative for those with smaller advertising budgets would be provided by a team of local taggers who will spray paint the business name, an arrow pointing in the general direction of the business’ location, and for an additional fee, “maybe a smiley face or something like that there.” Bids are still being accepted for the tagging division.

Staff photos.
Albert Sheldrick, who presented the proposition, got the idea when he saw a mattress advertising an exciting dog giveaway promotion, in of all places, West Hills. “If it’s good enough for fancy-schmancy, ooh-la-la West Hills, it’s good enough for us,” the eight-year CPFNC member said.

Always on the cutting edge, "exclusive" West Hills' creative approach to street side
advertising inspired a CPFNC member to bring the program to Canoga Park. Staff photo.
Some council members expressed concern that the program would be in violation of AB 2756, the landmark bill written by Bob Blumenfield and passed unanimously by the Los Angeles City Council in 2010. The legislation prohibits mobile billboard advertising displays from being placed on city streets and public lands.  

However, Sheldrick argued that the mattresses are not inherently mobile “especially once they get wet.” Most council members were convinced especially after a demonstration involving a mattress dragged into the middle of the meeting space at the Canoga Park Community Center that was subsequently soaked with a fire hose. Those who still had concerns eventually agreed to “just not tell Bob.”

Staff photos.
The motion was passed by a vote of 17 to 1, with the one ‘nay’ vote cast by Jeanne Sowell, CPFNC’s Ministress of Tourism who had intended to present her own proposal regarding the hundreds and hundreds of discarded mattresses slumped across local alleys, sidewalks, streets and parks.

“Well, there goes my 'We've Got An Extra Bed For You In Canoga Park' ad campaign,” she said.


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