Marketing the L.A. Zoo

Parents and youngsters at the Los Angeles Zoo
(Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Zoo, which is owned by the city, has long needed more aggressive marketing, so its fundraising arm — the private, not-for-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn. — proposed stepping into the breach and taking over that role. Under an ambitious three-year plan, GLAZA, as the organization is known, would inject $2 million of its own privately raised funds into the marketing effort in the first year.

The zoo and GLAZA officials agreed on this plan months ago, but the City Council still has not ratified a memorandum of understanding to make the plan official. Despite that, the organization has been doing the job since the beginning of the fiscal year in July. The money has been committed. A small staff has been hired and a marketing campaign has begun.

If the City Council doesn’t sign off by the end of this month, the arrangement between GLAZA and the zoo ends. The council shouldn’t let that happen. The matter comes before a council committee on Monday.

That committee should send it on to the full council by the end of next week. GLAZA has made clear that it will set performance goals and report back regularly to the council. The city can fire GLAZA if it doesn’t do a good job. But the agreement shouldn’t be allowed to lapse simply because the council took no action.