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Activist Urges Boycott of Calabasas Festival

June 06, 1991

A Calabasas activist has called for a boycott of the 1992 Calabasas Pumpkin Festival scheduled to be held at Soka University, which is moving forward with controversial plans to expand its Santa Monica Mountains campus.

The Chamber of Commerce Pumpkin Festival Committee voted 13 to 2 Tuesday night to hold the community event at the local campus of the Tokyo-based university, whose administrators offered to allow the chamber to use the site for the festival free.

Wendy Brockman, a community organizer, said she plans to circulate petitions pledging a boycott of the festival if it is held at the university.

"I am not sitting down until I know that people will not attend that festival. I am starting tonight at the City Council meeting," Brockman said Wednesday morning. "I really object to this."

Council members and some community residents had appealed to the chamber to pick a different site, arguing that holding the festival at Soka would create the impression that the community approves of the school's plans to expand the campus to accommodate 4,400 students.

But chamber officials said that after considering several other sites, they concluded that Soka was the most attractive and offered the best parking, water and power at the lowest cost.

Brockman said, however, that "they made up their mind they wanted to hold it at Soka because they knew Soka would do anything they wished to have an event like this there. I think people are outraged."

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