Well, now that the Michael Jackson memorial is over, someone needs to pick up the tab. According to reports, Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is asking for tax-deductible donations to help offset the $3.8 million needed for security and other services. As (most of) the world watched the memorial on Tuesday afternoon, the city of L.A. reportedly came to a standstill and traffic was more of a concern than usual. From the Rolling Stone blog story:
The donations would help “the public safety resources needed to ensure his memorial remains safe, orderly and respectful,” the Mayor’s Office said. Fans are asked to give money to a Paypal account established to help raise funds (The link, posted on Villaraigosa’s Twitter, is currently down.) AEG Live, the concert promotion company behind Jackson’s This Is It! shows at London’s O2 Arena — who are helping plan the memorial service — have also been asked to pick up some of the bill. AEG Live also owns the Staples Center, which served as host to Jackson’s This Is It! rehearsals.
Jackson’s memorial service comes at a tough financial time for the California City. Last month when the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Championships, the city was unable to scrounge up enough cash to hold a traditional victory parade, instead opting for a celebration at the Forum. Half of that $2 million tab was reportedly paid for by AEG Live.