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In October, 2014, I started investigating Business improvement districts in Los Angeles (BIDs), specifically in Hollywood, using the Brown Act and the California Public Records Act. At some point I noticed that pretty much everything I read about BIDs in newspapers (and even in many academic works) contained some errors or misconceptions, often minor but regularly quite serious. Also, I talk to a lot of people about BIDs: people who work for BIDs, people who run BIDs, people in the city government who interact with BIDs, reporters who cover topics that intersect with BIDs, professors who study municipal politics, and others. I've recently realized that at this point I know as much or more about BIDs in LA than anyone I've talked about them with.

And the subject is important. BIDs, although they have a huge influence on the municipal politics of Los Angeles, are essentially unscrutinized, misunderstood, ignored by the media and the citizens, and unsupervised by the city government. In some particularly egregious cases they're used by the city government as catspaws. The existence of this wiki is the result of my determination to organize my knowledge of LA BIDs, both for my own benefit and for the sake of my fellow citizens.

It's going to be a while until there's significant content here. If you want to check back you can see new pages and recent changes here:

Also see my user page for a list of pages with top creation priority.

If you want to discuss any of the material here or have questions or suggestions, email me at mike ((a)) michaelkohlhaas ((*)) org. I had to disable account creation here because of spam (who knew?!) For now I'm not interested in collaborators, but I'm open to becoming interested. If you have a special interest in BIDs and want to share sources and write about them here, drop me an email and we'll talk.

This wiki is loosely associated with the blog at We share all documents (and hosting, obviously) and I will be posting there to announce developments on this wiki.