July 1, 2013 — Gil Cedillo’s First Day In Office — Ultra-Corrupt Lobbyist Morrie Goldman Needed A Favor Right Away — Senior Staffer Arturo Chavez Was All Like — None Of Our Office Machines Are Even Working Yet But For You Morrie Anything! — Setting The Tone For The Rest Of Cedillo’s Term

Been six weeks or so since last I wrote about selections from this stinking heap consisting of 242 PDF pages of problematic ethical situations involving Gil Cedillo’s senior staff advisor Arturo Chavez and a rampaging gang of corrupt lobbyists. And first among these corrupt rampagers is Mister Corruption himself, Morrie Freaking Goldman. Talked of in FBI offices alongside Jose Huizar, buddy of Gil Cedillo.

And today we have a small story of a single day in the CD1-repping life of Gil Cedillo. But not just any day. It was the first day of the rest of Cedillo’s term. July 1, 2013. The fax wasn’t even working yet.1 But the influence machine was working, and that’s how Morrie Goldman came to leave a message for Arturo Chavez on July 1, 2013 asking for a favor and later following up by email: “Did you get my message re: 1111 Wilshire CUB hearing?”

And these 1111 Wilshire people didn’t just parachute in out of nowhere. They were heavily invested in the CD1 race that Cedillo ultimately won. At first they weren’t interested in Cedillo at all, but rather his opponent, Jose Gardea. As Ed Reyes’s chief of staff Gardea was doubtless the establishment candidate and presumptive heir of the moment, which is doubtless why two separate anonymous LLCs named after 1111 Wilshire gave Gardea a total of $2,100 in the 2013 CD1 campaign.

But at some point they evidently realized that they’d better hedge their bets, so in June of 2013 they gave Cedillo $700 as well. And that, children, is doubtless why Morrie Goldman had Arturo Chavez’s phone number on the first day of Gil Cedillo’s term. And doubtless why Arturo Chavez answered Goldman’s demands. And told him that yes, Cedillo was writing a letter, and yes, he could pick it up in the morning.

And that, friends, is what $700 buys you from Gil Cedillo, and that, friends, is how Gil Cedillo and his senior staff spent their first day at 200 N. Spring Street. And every other day since then, looks like. Turn the page for a transcription of the entire email conversation and please, take a look at the whole spool because there are doubtless unmined gems lurking in there!
Continue reading July 1, 2013 — Gil Cedillo’s First Day In Office — Ultra-Corrupt Lobbyist Morrie Goldman Needed A Favor Right Away — Senior Staffer Arturo Chavez Was All Like — None Of Our Office Machines Are Even Working Yet But For You Morrie Anything! — Setting The Tone For The Rest Of Cedillo’s Term

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Bakersfield Republican Assemblymember Vince Fong Introduced AB 289 — Seeking To Establish State Level CPRA Ombudsman — Who Would Receive Denied Requests From Members Of The Public For Review — And Would Be Empowered To Disclose Requested Records If Withholding Is Unjustified — This Would Only Apply To State Agencies — Not Local Ones Like The City Of LA And The Damn BIDs — Nevertheless It’s A Step In The Right Direction — Of Making Lawsuits Less Necessary — So That More People Will Be Able To Afford To Dispute Denials

Assemblymember Vince Fong‘s AB-289 would establish the office of CPRA ombudsman under the State Auditor. The ombudsman would review requests made of state-level offices and would be empowered to actually turn the disputed records over to the requester if it were determined that they’d been improperly withheld. This would be a really important development in CPRA-world given that presently the only recourse available to a member of the public whose requests are denied improperly is to file a lawsuit, which is expensive, anxiogenic, and slow as hell. The ombudsman would be required to respond to requests for review within 30 days.

As I said, sadly this would only apply to state-level agencies and not at all to local agencies like the City of Los Angeles and its panoply of damnable business improvement districts, all of whom deny requests improperly all the damn time. I sue a lot of them but I can’t sue all of them, at least not all at once. And a CPRA petition can take close to two years to get a BID to cough up records, so it’s not an ideal solution in any way. An intermediate level of review like this would be really useful on the local level too.

But that’s not to say that it won’t be very useful on the state level. In my experience the state is much better about CPRA compliance than the various local agencies I work with, but state agencies can nevertheless deny access to records improperly, and if this bill passes into law I expect to make fairly regular use of it. Looking at you, Alcoholic Beverage Control, you and your unhinged gun-brandishing special agent in charge Gerry Freaking Sanchez. I’ll be tracking this as it makes its way through the legislative process, and turn the page for a transcription of the Legislative Counsel’s digest and the text of the bill.
Continue reading Bakersfield Republican Assemblymember Vince Fong Introduced AB 289 — Seeking To Establish State Level CPRA Ombudsman — Who Would Receive Denied Requests From Members Of The Public For Review — And Would Be Empowered To Disclose Requested Records If Withholding Is Unjustified — This Would Only Apply To State Agencies — Not Local Ones Like The City Of LA And The Damn BIDs — Nevertheless It’s A Step In The Right Direction — Of Making Lawsuits Less Necessary — So That More People Will Be Able To Afford To Dispute Denials

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Ultra-Corrupt Former ABC Agent Will Salao Is Running A Lobbying Firm For Alcohol Licensing — And Representing Himself As A Knowledgeable Former ABC Special Agent In Charge — The California ABC Is Not Happy About This And They Submitted A Letter To Judge John Kronstadt Asking Him To Prevent Salao From Doing This As A Condition Of His Sentence — Which Will Be Handed Down On March 28, 2019 — Government Seems To Recommend Sentence At Low End Of Sentencing Guidelines For Indicted Salao Co-Conspirator Scott Seo — Although It’s Hard To Be Sure Because A Lot Of Their Reasoning Is Under Seal

Don’t forget that on Thursday, March 28, 2019, at 8:30 AM in Judge John Kronstadt’s Courtroom 10B in the First Street Federal Courthouse ultra-corrupt former ABC agent Will Salao and his thoroughly indicted co-conspirator Scott Seo will be sentenced for their ultra-corrupt crimes. Although probably Will Salao is going to get less than Seo because it seems likely that he is a cooperating witness and Seo is not.1

And recently some sentencing material was filed with the court but it was all filed under seal so we’re not to know what was in it. But just now the government filed an unsealed version of their recommendations for Seo’s sentence. You can get the sentencing position here and the exhibits here. The first item is fairly interesting, and the government recommends the low end of the guidelines-based sentence because Seo has a family to support.

However, one of the exhibits is really interesting. It’s a long letter from ABC general counsel Matthew Botting describing the fairly appalling fact that Will Salao is presently running a consulting business in the advertising for which he characterizes his last job as “Supervising Agent In Charge of the ABC/LA Metro District Office,” omitting salient adjectives like “disgraced,” “corrupt,” “indicted,” and so on.

I have essentially zero sympathy for the ABC on anything at this point because my recent experience has made it clear that they’re all a bunch of power-drunk sociopaths, but I can certainly see their point. The upshot of the letter is that they ask Judge Kronstadt as part of both Seo’s and Salao’s sentences, to bar them from representing, advising, or consulting with people about anything to do with the ABC.

I wonder, though, if this kind of restriction is actually within a judge’s power to impose. It seems at least plausible to me that it’s a violation of the First Amendment. Maybe it’s allowable if they’re forbidden from lobbying for pay? But maybe not. As always, turn the page for a transcription, and maybe come out to the sentencing hearing next week!
Continue reading Ultra-Corrupt Former ABC Agent Will Salao Is Running A Lobbying Firm For Alcohol Licensing — And Representing Himself As A Knowledgeable Former ABC Special Agent In Charge — The California ABC Is Not Happy About This And They Submitted A Letter To Judge John Kronstadt Asking Him To Prevent Salao From Doing This As A Condition Of His Sentence — Which Will Be Handed Down On March 28, 2019 — Government Seems To Recommend Sentence At Low End Of Sentencing Guidelines For Indicted Salao Co-Conspirator Scott Seo — Although It’s Hard To Be Sure Because A Lot Of Their Reasoning Is Under Seal

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Assemblymember Laura Friedman’s AB700 — Adding CPRA Exemptions For University Faculty — Was Completely Rewritten In The Assembly Judiciary Committee On Monday — Now Mostly Exempts Various Unpublished Research Materials Instead Of Office Numbers — And Although It Pains Me To Admit That It’s Reasonable To Add Exemptions To The Law — Most Of These New Ones Actually Make Some Sense

Remember all the way back in late mid February when Assemblymember Laura Friedman introduced AB 700, which would have made the office locations and schedules of faculty at public universities and colleges exempt from release under the California Public Records Act? Well, yesterday1 it came out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee having been completely rewritten.

Previously, as I said, it exempted the office numbers and physical locations of faculty from release. This was both silly and unnecessary. But now it’s a much more formidable, much more reasonable bill. First of all it’s more narrow in that it applies only to researchers rather than to faculty in general. Second, it’s much more serious in its proposed effect, which is to exempt a variety of prepublication research-related materials from release.

And although I can’t stand to see public access to public records limited, I will admit that I can see that it’s not possible to carry on an effective research program if everyone in the world has access to your preliminary drafts, your working papers, emails between you and your collaborators on your work, and the other such things that would be exempted by this bill, should it pass.

And, I guess, I think it should pass. It does still contain an objectionable exemption for appointment calendars, which I don’t like. And although it contains a definition of researcher it fails to define research, which will have to be hashed out in court at some point. Also, it’s possible that much of this material is already exempt under the catch-all at §6255(a), but it’s better for everyone, requesters as well as agencies, to rely on that nonsense as little as possible. But overall it’s not a bad bill. Turn the page for a transcription of the proposed new language.
Continue reading Assemblymember Laura Friedman’s AB700 — Adding CPRA Exemptions For University Faculty — Was Completely Rewritten In The Assembly Judiciary Committee On Monday — Now Mostly Exempts Various Unpublished Research Materials Instead Of Office Numbers — And Although It Pains Me To Admit That It’s Reasonable To Add Exemptions To The Law — Most Of These New Ones Actually Make Some Sense

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Skid Row Neighborhood Council Online Voting Contractor Everyone Counts Seems To Have Gone Out Of Business — Which Seems To Be Making It Impossible For The Formation Committee To Get Evidence For Their Ongoing Lawsuit Against The City Of Los Angeles — So Yesterday They Filed A Motion Asking The Judge To Compel The City To Produce — Or Else To Reject All Online Votes Because They Can’t Be Verified — Which Would Cause SRNC-FC To Win! — Perhaps A Long Shot — But An Audacious One

You may recall that in 2017 Skid Row held an election seeking to form a new neighborhood council as a subdivision of DLANC but Jose Huizar and a bunch of corrupt downtown zillionaires and business improvement districts conspired to illegally thwart their effort by allowing illegal online voting and illegal out-of-district polling locations. The whole mishegoss is the subject of an ongoing and monumental lawsuit.

The evil plan worked as intended with the subdivision proposal putatively defeated by a mere 60 votes out of more than 1,500 with the online voters markedly skewed against formation. Thus information about these online votes is essential evidence for the plaintiffs. The paper ballots ran 183 to 19 in favor of formation whereas the online ballots, at least according to the City of Los Angeles, ran 583 in favor and 807 against.

But Everyone Counts, the contractor hired by the City of Los Angeles to run the online part of the election, was recently bought by a company called Votem, which turned around and went out of business. And the City of Los Angeles has therefore been unable to track down the required evidence. This failure led the SRNC proponents to file an audacious motion with the court yesterday seeking to compel the City to hand over the evidence.

Or, if they remain unable to do so, to void the online ballots as a remedy for the fact that there’s no way for them to analyze the evidence and to compensate them for the fact that the City failed in its duty to preserve evidence. Of course, voiding these ballots would give the election to the Skid Row Neighborhood Council proponents. And of course, that would be a good thing, and in the interests of truth and justice.

To quote the SRNC-FC’s lawyer, Grant Beuchel, “Los Angeles is a pay to play city, and my clients do not have enough money to play.” The hearing for this motion is on the calendar in Department 86 on July 12, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. Maybe we’ll see you there! And turn the page for transcribed selections.
Continue reading Skid Row Neighborhood Council Online Voting Contractor Everyone Counts Seems To Have Gone Out Of Business — Which Seems To Be Making It Impossible For The Formation Committee To Get Evidence For Their Ongoing Lawsuit Against The City Of Los Angeles — So Yesterday They Filed A Motion Asking The Judge To Compel The City To Produce — Or Else To Reject All Online Votes Because They Can’t Be Verified — Which Would Cause SRNC-FC To Win! — Perhaps A Long Shot — But An Audacious One

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LAPD Produces Three Records From The Regional Public Private Infrastructure Collaboration System In Response To My CPRA Suit!

In February, my hand forced by the mindless obstructionism of the City of Los Angeles with respect to compliance with the California Public Records Act, I filed a petition asking a judge to compel them to hand over two classes of records. First were private person’s arrest forms generated in Hollywood in 2018. The point here is to be able once again to track arrests by the BID patrol after their appalling 2016 contract amendment took these records, at least for now, out of the reach of the CPRA.

The second kind of records I’m seeking in the suit are postings to the Regional Public Private Infrastructure Collaboration System, familiarly known as RPPICS. This is some kind of cop bulletin board that a lot of BIDs have access to, and the LAPD claimed that everything on the system could be withheld from me under the so-called investigative materials exemption to the CPRA, found at §6254(f).

And it’s these last ones that seem to have cracked the case. Last Thursday the City of Los Angeles, in the person of Deputy City Attorney Jonathan Bislig, sent over this letter admitting that the City possessed responsive RPPICS material that was not exempt and yet had not been produced. And they attached four pages of material, constituting three responsive records. There’s a transcription of the letter and of one of the RPPICS items after the break, and here are links to all three:

This is not only hugely important because we finally get to see some material from the hitherto top secret RPPICS, but also because the fact that the City released previously withheld material as a result of a suit means that I’m the “prevailing party” and therefore that the City has to pay my lawyer. This was held in the monumental 1991 case Belth v. Garamendi, which interpreted §6259(d) of the CPRA thus:

In this case we hold that Government Code section 6259, subdivision (d), mandates an award of court costs and reasonable attorney fees to a plaintiff who prevails in litigation filed under the California’s Public Records Act. We further hold that the plaintiff has prevailed within the meaning of the statute when he or she files an action which results in defendant releasing a copy of a previously withheld document.

This release is also hugely important because it shows really clearly that LAPD’s original denial was completely bogus. There’s nothing investigative at all about these three records. They falsely characterized them that way purely so they didn’t have to produce them, or even search for them, for that matter. It’s shameful that LAPD, and the City of Los Angeles as a whole, treats its mandated duties under the CPRA so lightly. It’s also shameful that the only means to enforce compliance is a lawsuit.

Together, these shameful facts mean that the only possible strategy is to keep suing them until they get their act together. It’s going to be expensive for taxpayers, who have to foot the City’s legal bill and also the requester’s in successful cases, but as Sigmund Freud famously said, if you don’t pay you don’t get better. More news as I have it, and turn the page for some transcriptions.
Continue reading LAPD Produces Three Records From The Regional Public Private Infrastructure Collaboration System In Response To My CPRA Suit!

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It Appears That The University Of Southern California Is In Violation Of Its Memorandum Of Understanding With LAPD — USC Police Are Required To Submit Regular Reports Describing Their Activities And Giving Various Statistics — According To LAPD Discovery In Response To A CPRA Request There Are No Reports — Given The Vast Off-Campus Area That USC Cops Cover It Is Disconcerting That There Is No Way To Know What They’re Doing — And It Is A Massive Dereliction Of LAPD’s Duty To The People Of Los Angeles That They Evidently Are Allowing USC To Shirk Its Legal Reporting Duties

So it turns out that security guards at private universities can actually be peace officers under California law if certain conditions are satisfied. This is authorized by the Penal Code at §830.75, which lists the fairly minimal conditions. They include a requirement that “[t]he institution of higher education and the appropriate local law enforcement agency have entered into a memorandum of understanding.” Once the conditions are met, the law allows the security guards to act as police officers on public property within a mile of their campus.

And the University of Southern California has taken full advantage of this opportunity, entering into the appropriate MOU with the Los Angeles Police Department so that its security guards, collectively known as the Department of Public Safety, have the arrest power and are allowed to exercise it within the boundaries of the map shown above. I obtained a copy of this MOU from LAPD under the CPRA, and it’s well worth reading.

If you’re paying attention at all you’ll have heard that this situation, with USC policing a vast off-campus area in neighborhoods whose residents are mostly poor, mostly black or brown, is intolerably abusive. Sahra Sulaiman, for one, has been writing about it for years on Streetsblog. See e.g. this 2013 overview and this more recent description of yet another appalling incident.

When the LAPD is involved in activities like this, well, it’s not so easy to stop them, but it is at least possible to use the Public Records Act to try understand what they’re up to. This is not so clearly possible with USC, since they’re a private school and not prima facie subject to the CPRA.1 But the MOU does provide for some transparency about USC operations.

In particular take a look at Article 5, which requires all kinds of reporting about police activities by USC, all of it to be submitted to LAPD.2 USC DPS is required to submit reports of significant incidents, daily reports of calls, weekly crime statistics, monthly reports of all activities pertaining to the exercise of the powers granted by the MOU, and other stuff besides.

So naturally I asked LAPD for copies of all of these reports from 2018 and 2019 under the CPRA.3 And imagine my surprise when the LAPD told me this afternoon that they didn’t have any records. They even said that they asked Southwest Division to look for them, which was the right thing to do as they’re the designated recipients under the MOU.

So if LAPD Discovery is telling the truth and no one actually has copies of all these reports that USC is supposed to submit, then USC is in violation of the MOU and they certainly ought to stop patrolling off-campus immediately and have all the powers granted to them under its terms suspended until they come back into compliance.

This isn’t just some kind of technicality, either. If USC DPS is going to operate on public property, detain and arrest citizens of Los Angeles who aren’t remotely interacting with USC property or employees, and so on, then we have a right to keep track of what exactly they’re up to. If they actually haven’t been submitting these reports, or if LAPD isn’t retaining them or is hiding them, then it’s impossible for us to understand USC’s operations on our streets, which is unacceptable.

On the other hand, obviously, it’s possible that LAPD is either lying or mistaken, either of which would be completely not at all surprising to anyone who’s dealt with them before. So I asked Southwest Division to put me in touch with whoever is their USC liason, and I asked USC senior vice something or other Todd Dickey, who signed the most recent amendment to the MOU, to please let me know what’s going on. If and when I hear back from them well, you’ll read about it here. Meanwhile, turn the page for all the transcriptions.
Continue reading It Appears That The University Of Southern California Is In Violation Of Its Memorandum Of Understanding With LAPD — USC Police Are Required To Submit Regular Reports Describing Their Activities And Giving Various Statistics — According To LAPD Discovery In Response To A CPRA Request There Are No Reports — Given The Vast Off-Campus Area That USC Cops Cover It Is Disconcerting That There Is No Way To Know What They’re Doing — And It Is A Massive Dereliction Of LAPD’s Duty To The People Of Los Angeles That They Evidently Are Allowing USC To Shirk Its Legal Reporting Duties

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Emails From CD13 Reveal Identities Of People Who Installed Anti-Homeless Planters In Hollywood Along Cahuenga Blvd And Lillian Way — And Their Absolutely Appalling Conversations About — For Instance — Denying Homeless People Food To Encourage Them To Move — So Far There’s No Evidence That CD13 Was Directly Complicit — But They Sure Didn’t Do Anything To Stop Them — And Hollywood SLO Eddie Guerra — The Illegal Donation Solicitor — Certainly Was Complicit — Eddie Guerra: “Unfortunately We Are In The Displacement Business” — Eddie Guerra: “[Homeless Displacement] Is Too Sensitive To Discuss Over Email.” — Eddie Guerra: “Power Washing Doesn’t Chase Away Homeless, It Just Makes The Sidewalks Cleaner And They Like It!”

A quintessential slogan of my mother’s generation of feminists is that the personal is political. And this is as true and as profound as it ever was. But it’s also worth remembering that the political is personal. The powers of government are tools, weapons, wielded by individual human beings making daily conscious choices to use these public resources to further their personal goals, no matter how much they want to pretend otherwise, that they’re doing the will of the people or some other abominable abstraction.

And one of the things I do here at MK.Org is to expose these choicemakers, to smoke them out of the holes in which they huddle, all carefully camouflaged round with weighty principles and abstract whatnot, to reveal the little men crouching behind those shimmering curtains.1 This project is viable because, well, you know all that bad stuff that “the City of Los Angeles” does? It’s all being done by individual people, mostly organized via email, and therefore subject to the California Public Records Act.

And one of these bad things that these privilege-addled sociopaths do is to install illegal and appalling planters and fences on our public sidewalks so that there’s no room for tents. They’ve done this in Venice, they’re doing it in Koreatown, and they’re doing it in Hollywood as well. So I asked my good friends at CD132 if they could give me all their emails about these Hollywood ones and, today, they gave me a bunch!3 You can find them all here on Archive.Org, along with a bunch of pictures I took of the planters.4

One of the things we learn from these emails is that the people who attack homeless residents of our streets by installing these antisocial planters do it for really stupid reasons. For instance, Jennifer Mullen of Quixote Studios just doesn’t like the smell of marijuana, at least not if homeless people are smoking it. She thinks it gives customers the wrong impression of her business. Her email address is jenniferm@quixote.com.

And Andrea Kim of Lucky Scent, located at 726 N. Cahuenga Blvd 90038, doesn’t like the fact that homeless people own bikes and sometimes ask people for money. Even people who arrive in Ubers! Her colleagues Adam Eastwood and Franco Wright agree with her that this is intolerable behavior. Their email addresses are, respectively, andrea@luckyscent.com, adam@luckyscent.com, and franco@luckyscent.com.

As for Abbey Jackloski of the Hollywood Production Center, well, she doesn’t even feel like she needs to give reasons for her hatred of the homeless residents of Lillian Way.5 She just tells the thoroughly corrupt LAPD officer Eddie Guerra that “that would be amazing” if he could just get rid of them so they can install more planters. Her email address is abbey@hollywoodpc.com.

And last but in no way at all least we have the freakishly hip post-creatives6 at HQ Creative Office Freaking Space, who own this rusty space alien at 720 N. Cahuenga Blvd. And they also don’t need a reason. Their in-house sorceress of hipness, Na’ama Termechi, sends an email to disgraced SLO Eddie Guerra and is all like “Homeless exist. Squelch them, please.” And he does and says put in some plants when they’re gone and then Termechi and her conspirators put in the meanest, rustiest, horriblest appropriators of public space imaginable, as pictured at the top of the post. Her email address is naama@hqdevelopment.net.

But none of that nonsense is as interesting as this months-long email conversation7 between LAPD officer Eddie Guerra and a bunch of people who own property along Cahuenga Blvd and Lillian way north of Melrose and south of Santa Monica Blvd. He tells them to put in planters, he tells them how to put them in, and off they go, talking about getting donations from local nurseries and pushing homeless people away to somewhere else.
Continue reading Emails From CD13 Reveal Identities Of People Who Installed Anti-Homeless Planters In Hollywood Along Cahuenga Blvd And Lillian Way — And Their Absolutely Appalling Conversations About — For Instance — Denying Homeless People Food To Encourage Them To Move — So Far There’s No Evidence That CD13 Was Directly Complicit — But They Sure Didn’t Do Anything To Stop Them — And Hollywood SLO Eddie Guerra — The Illegal Donation Solicitor — Certainly Was Complicit — Eddie Guerra: “Unfortunately We Are In The Displacement Business” — Eddie Guerra: “[Homeless Displacement] Is Too Sensitive To Discuss Over Email.” — Eddie Guerra: “Power Washing Doesn’t Chase Away Homeless, It Just Makes The Sidewalks Cleaner And They Like It!”

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52.4% Of All Arrests In The Entire City Of Los Angeles For Public Urination/Defecation From 2009 Through February 2019 Were Made In Just Six LAPD Reporting Districts In The Hollywood Entertainment District BID — Yet More Proof That Business Improvement Districts Oppress Homeless People Through Selective Enforcement — And More Proof That The Hollywood BID Patrol Is Completely Off The Chain — And Has Been Running A Private Police State For Years — With The City’s Full Blessing And Collusion Of Course

A few weeks ago I learned from some data released by the LAPD that 73% of all arrests for public marijuana use in the entire City of Los Angeles between 2016 and 2018 took place in the Hollywood Entertainment District BID.1 This is obviously a crime much more likely to be committed by homeless people, since they don’t have a private place to smoke marijuana. Here’s what I said then about the BID’s outrageous rate of arresting homeless residents:

The HPOA BID Patrol is famous for its aggressive arrest policies. In 2013 they were responsible for more than 7% of the arrests of homeless people in the entire City of Los Angeles. Their arrest rate has dropped precipitously in the last few years, but it is still unbelievably high. But since 2016 they have refused to provide data on their individual arrests in response to CPRA requests, so it hasn’t been possible to tell who they were arresting and why.2

And it turns out that LAPD will release these spreadsheets pretty quickly, and just recently they released a couple containing all arrests for violating LAMC 41.47.2, which is the public urination law. And a quick analysis reveals a very similar result. That is, there are essentially six LAPD reporting districts in the Hollywood Entertainment District BID. They are 636, 637, 645, 646, 647, and 666. There are 1135 reporting districts in the City, but these six in the BID accounted for 52.4% of all the public urination arrests in the City from 2009 through 2019, a total of 887 arrests out of 1,693.

Contrast this with Skid Row, which is encompassed by 11 reporting districts.3 Between 2009 and 2019 these 11 reporting districts accounted for only 35 arrests for public urination. That is less than 4% of the arrests in the Hollywood Entertainment District. Obviously the difference isn’t due to less public urination in Skid Row, it’s due to extreme differential enforcement. It’s really unlikely that the LAPD on its own would create such a disparity. If the BID patrol isn’t making all these arrests, nevertheless the BID must be the ultimate cause.

It’s worth noting here, by the way, that public urination was not even illegal in Los Angeles until 2003. Even at the time it was opposed by LACAN and others because the intention was obviously to further the criminalization of homelessness. In response, “Council members pledged that people would be prosecuted only in cases when there is a public toilet nearby that they failed to use.” But such pledges aren’t worth the toilet paper that’s smeared with them, and, as everyone who’s paying attention knows, the law has only been used as the anti-homeless weapon it was obviously intended to be.4

And, it turns out, mostly so used by the most toxic BID in the City, the Hollywood Entertainment District BID. Turn the page for some nifty maps showing the relationship of these six reporting districts to the BID boundaries as well as a histogram showing the freakishly uneven distribution. Click the image to enlarge.
Continue reading 52.4% Of All Arrests In The Entire City Of Los Angeles For Public Urination/Defecation From 2009 Through February 2019 Were Made In Just Six LAPD Reporting Districts In The Hollywood Entertainment District BID — Yet More Proof That Business Improvement Districts Oppress Homeless People Through Selective Enforcement — And More Proof That The Hollywood BID Patrol Is Completely Off The Chain — And Has Been Running A Private Police State For Years — With The City’s Full Blessing And Collusion Of Course

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Yesterday — March 6, 2019 — The Assembly Committee On The Judiciary Introduced AB-1819 — Would Require Agencies Subject To The California Public Records Act To Allow Requesters To Copy Records With Their Own Equipment At No Charge — Mostly Agencies Already Allow This But Some Incredibly Obstinate Obstructionists Do Not — Looking At You, Alcoholic Beverage Control — Hence This Law Is — Sadly — Incredibly Necessary

The California Public Records Act presently requires agencies to allow anyone to “inspect” records at no charge.1 This is an incredibly important right, tempered only slightly by the fact that the law also allows agencies to charge people for copies of the records.2 The ability to charge is used by too many agencies as a way to discourage free inspection, and one way that they do this is to forbid people from making their own copies with their own equipment.

This has been an issue in California for decades,3 but it’s become much more prominent with the widespread use of phones and extremely portable document scanners. These days pretty much every member of the public already owns photographic equipment capable of making sufficiently high quality reproductions of paper records. So not only is it extremely disconcerting when an agency forbids photography of records, but the refusal affects many more people than it might have in the past.

Just for instance, probably in response to the paranoid psychosis of Special Agent in Charge Gerry Sanchez, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has recently begun to forbid me from photographing records, justifying their obvious obstruction with various nonsensically unsupportable claims about security and cell phones. So what a pleasant surprise to learn yesterday of the introduction in the Assembly of AB-1819, which would amend the CPRA to state explicitly that agencies must allow people to make their own copies at no charge.

The bill was introduced by the entire Assembly Committee on the Judiciary, so I imagine that that means it has pretty widespread support. Even the three Republican members of the Committee are listed among the sponsors. And it’s hard to imagine what legitimate reasons there might be for opposing this. But it never hurts to speak up, so consider getting in touch with your representatives and supporting this essential bill. And turn the page for a red-line version showing the proposed changes.
Continue reading Yesterday — March 6, 2019 — The Assembly Committee On The Judiciary Introduced AB-1819 — Would Require Agencies Subject To The California Public Records Act To Allow Requesters To Copy Records With Their Own Equipment At No Charge — Mostly Agencies Already Allow This But Some Incredibly Obstinate Obstructionists Do Not — Looking At You, Alcoholic Beverage Control — Hence This Law Is — Sadly — Incredibly Necessary

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Business Improvement Districts in Los Angeles — Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down!