Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition Trials Relocation to Hollywood and Bronson, Kerry Morrison Initiates Covert Back-Channel Campaign to Subvert, Undermine, and Thwart Efforts

Kerry Morrison at the May 18, 2016 meeting of the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, describing to her zillionaire overlords how she will use every last drippy little droplet of her political juice to thwart the GWHFC in every possible way.
Kerry Morrison at the May 18, 2016 meeting of the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, describing to her zillionaire overlords how she will use every last drippy little droplet of her political juice to thwart the GWHFC in every possible way.
At the HPOA Board Meeting on Thursday, May 18, 2016, Kerry Morrison had a lot to say about the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition. In particular, the Food Coalition, which reportedly had been considering a move from its long-time feeding site at the corner of Sycamore and Romaine in Southwest Hollywood, has been, according to Kerry, trying out feeding people at the Salvation Army facility at Hollywood and Bronson. If you’ve been keeping up with the ongoing efforts by the zillionaire elite of Los Angeles to torpedo the GWHFC by any means necessary it will come as no surprise to you that Kerry’s little speech about this was filled with misrepresentations and promises to stop this development if it’s at all possible to do so. We will run through her account one piece at a time, and you can watch and listen along here. As always, a complete transcription of Kerry’s remarks may be found at the end of the post.

A recent development involves the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition. Many of you may be aware of this organization that has been…had a daily feeding down at Sycamore and Romaine in the Media District for over 20 years. And over that time it has not been without its challenges that it poses to the community.

We just thought we’d note Kerry’s inimitable penchant for sarcastic understatement. When she says “…it has not been without its challenges that it poses to the community. she’s summarizing a decades-long series of attacks on the Food Coalition carried out by her and her zillionaire compatriots, which included an unsuccessful 2011 lawsuit, a bizarre mediation of some sort, an unsuccessful campaign to outlaw the GWHFC, and so on.

Because it is a daily program, 365 days a year, there are the consequences of people not moving too far away from that program, and therefore camping out or staying very close to that intersection for long periods of time. And it has been a challenge for the neighborhood.

This is just not true. Walk by Sycamore and Romaine and you will see that actually homeless people don’t especially hang out there when the feeding program isn’t on. Kerry’s repeating another baseless shibboleth of her zillionaire compatriots here. This isn’t surprising, given Kerry’s penchant for making stuff up instead of doing actual research.

There has been apparently a change in leadership in the organization. The gentleman who founded it, whose name was Ted Landreth, he was very hard to negotiate with and did not really want to be in conversation with the neighborhood about the consequences of that feeding program, and they have formed a new group, called the Friends of the West Hollywood Food Coalition, and he is now just one vote on that board, and they are looking for a relocation, and they want to bring the outside feeding program inside.

It may or may not be true that the GWHFC has reorganized. We can’t find any information about it on their website, but that doesn’t mean anything. We will note, though, that in March 2015 the GWHFC Coalition website did not have any information about a Board of Directors, but in in September 2015 it did. This may or may not be what Kerry’s talking about, but in any case, if it is, this is not news.

More interesting is her characterization of Ted Landreth as “…very hard to negotiate with and did not really want to be in conversation with the neighborhood about the consequences of that feeding program.” We’re used to Kerry1 embedding her prejudices and biases into seemingly factual statements, and that’s certainly what’s going on here. Since founding the Food Coalition in 1987, Ted Landreth has been faced with mobs of angry, crazed, NIMBYs who move into the neighborhood around Sycamore and Romaine or buy property there and then immediately start whining about his food truck. They’re not worth negotiating with because they’re completely insane and he was there first. We will never understand why people move into a neighborhood that they don’t like and then start complaining about stuff that was there before they moved in, in many cases for decades.

So we got an email, the community got an email, a week ago Friday, that the Salvation Army had agreed to a three day test to invite the West Hollywood Food Coalition onto their property at Hollywood and Bronson to test the feeding program last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evening. And so that came as a surprise to everyone.

It might have been a surprise that the GWHFC was working with the Salvation Army. It can’t have been a surprise that they were looking to relocate to Kerry’s BID, though. In fact it was discussed by the Joint Security Committee in January 2016.

What I immediately did was to contact the Salvation Army as a neighbor and a property owner in the BID and on Hollywood Boulevard that we would really like to have a conversation with all the neighbors around the Salvation Army about how, what they are imagining for this property and why bring in an organization from outside the neighborhood when there are a lot of other potential partner organizations in Hollywood that the Salvation Army could work with.

First of all, here’s what Kerry means when she says she’s a property owner in the BID. On her 2015 Form 7002 she has stated that she owns Assessor’s Parcel number 5546-009-084. A little Google juice reveals that that’s located at 1645 Vine Street #505 90028.3

More telling is her nonsensical statement that the Salvation Army is “…bring[ing] in an organization from outside the neighborhood when there are a lot of other potential partner organizations in Hollywood that the Salvation Army could work with.” It’s a measure of how myopic she is that she thinks that the GWHFC, which has its kitchen at Cahuenga and Santa Monica and feeds people at Romaine and Sycamore, is somehow from outside the neighborhood of Hollywood. She means, of course, from outside her Business Improvement District, but a BID is not a neighborhood.

Screenshot of LA Times worship service directory from May 3, 1969, showing that the Salvation Army was at Hollywood and Bronson at least since then, and certainly for some time before.
Screenshot of LA Times worship service directory from May 3, 1969, showing that the Salvation Army was at Hollywood and Bronson at least since then, and certainly for some time before.

This is the same kind of pernicious shortsightedness which leads Kerry Morrison to state, seemingly without irony, that people who live in Hollywood but don’t own property in her BID are not stakeholders in the neighborhood.4 The Food Coalition was feeding people in Hollywood before there even was a BID here, not to mention the Salvation Army, which has been at that location at least since 1969,5 and probably earlier. Why should they be limited to some weirdo, self-interested definition of the neighborhood of Hollywood imposed by a newcomer like the BID, which has only been in existence since 1996, and didn’t even include Hollywood and Bronson when it started?

So we made some headway last week. Hank Hilty, who is the CEO of the A. F. Gilmore Company, who owns the Farmers’ Market and the Grove, and was honored at the Chamber luncheon last Wednesday, had a long talk with him on Friday, I don’t think he was aware that we have an organization in Hollywood called Hollywood 4WRD, which has a lot of nonprofits that are already working with the homeless population in Hollywood. The Salvation Army has never come to a Hollywood 4WRD meeting, the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition does not come to these meetings. And he is on the board of the Salvation Army, and on the advisory board of that particular property, and he pledged that there would be an opportunity to meet with the neighboring property owners.

Hollywood 4WRD started in 2008, more than 20 years after the GWHFC and more than 40 years after the Salvation Army began operations in Hollywood. Hollywood 4WRD is an astroturf bullshit front group whose mission statement belies its claim to be anything else but a false-flag operation to push the BID’s agenda: “Hollywood 4WRD also believes that ending homelessness helps to create a safer neighborhood for residents, businesses, visitors and our homeless neighbors.” Why would anyone in a serious charity get involved with these people? And why would venerable organizations go to their upstart meetings and discuss how to get rid of homeless people to make tourists feel safer? It belies all sense.

In any case, Kerry went running to Sally-Board-Daddy Hank Hilty, whose great-grandfather bought the Northeast corner of Third and Fairfax in 1860 and who still owns it, and cried “NO FAIR” loudly enough that he promised that there will at least “…be an opportunity to meet with the neighboring property owners.” Will there be an opportunity to meet with the neighboring residents who aren’t property owners? Maybe. We shall see, eh? If you’re interested, you can email him at hhilty@afgilmore.com if you want to weigh in.

We’re very, very concerned about the fact that there already is, in fact I was gonna show you, I put this in your packet, we’ve just had a considerable uptick in our homeless population over the last couple of years and this is a, you know, we keep a every month the BID Patrol go out on the last day of the month and will conduct a count of visible homeless in Sunset and Hollywood. And you just look at April 2013 to April 2016 that’s about a 70% increase, and as I mentioned to Hank, we have people here in this neighborhood that need to be served. We don’t need to import another 200 people from Sycamore and Romaine.

We have written before about Kerry Morrison’s innumerate calculations regarding the homeless population of her BIDs, and this looks like more of the same nonsense. In particular, for various timespans she has previously claimed increases of more than 140%, and from her data, using her methodology, we have calculated increases of as low as 25%. This new figure of 70% is in the ballpark, but we have to wonder why she thinks she’s measuring anything but an artifact given that the numbers vary so wildly without any postulated causation. They are far too unreliable to prove anything or suggest or rule out any courses of action.

In any case, her claim that the Food Coalition’s moving to Hollywood and Bronson would bring 200 new homeless people into her BID is as disingenuous as it is unfounded. First of all, many homeless people who spend much of their time in her BIDs go to Sycamore and Romaine for dinner. We’ve spoken to many people who do this and observed many others. Not only that, but her own BID Patrol recommends the Food Coalition to local homeless, so there’s no way she doesn’t know that there’s overlap between the two populations. We don’t know how much overlap there is, but the fact that she’s ignoring it puts the lie to her reasoning.

Finally, if it’s even true that “…we have people here in this neighborhood that need to be served” then why the opposition to freaking serving them? Obviously either they’re not hungry now, in which case the transplanted feeding program will fail, or else they are hungry and no one is currently feeding them, in which case the Food Coalition will actually be feeding hungry people who are not being fed currently. How anyone can be opposed to that, especially anyone who purports to be a Christian, is a mystery to us.

So we’ll keep you posted on that, but that’s been like the kind of issue du jour of the last week and…that’s all I can say right now.

Kerry! You can’t have an “issue du jour of the last week.” That would be an issue de la semaine, n’est-ce pas?6


A recent development involves the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition. Many of you may be aware of this organization that has been…had a daily feeding down at Sycamore and Romaine in the Media District for over 20 years. And over that time it has not been without its challenges that it poses to the community. Because it is a daily program, 365 days a year, there are the consequences of people not moving too far away from that program, and therefore camping out or staying very close to that intersection for long periods of time. And it has been a challenge for the neighborhood. There has been apparently a change in leadership in the organization. The gentleman who founded it, whose name was Ted Landreth, he was very hard to negotiate with and did not really want to be in conversation with the neighborhood about the consequences of that feeding program, and they have formed a new group, called the Friends of the West Hollywood Food Coalition, and he is now just one vote on that board, and they are looking for a relocation, and they want to bring the outside feeding program inside. So we got an email, the community got an email, a week ago Friday, that the Salvation Army had agreed to a three day test to invite the West Hollywood Food Coalition onto their property at Hollywood and Bronson to test the feeding program last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evening. And so that came as a surprise to everyone. What I immediately did was to contact the Salvation Army as a neighbor and a property owner in the BID and on Hollywood Boulevard that we would really like to have a conversation with all the neighbors around the Salvation Army about how, what they are imagining for this property and why bring in an organization from outside the neighborhood when there are a lot of other potential partner organizations in Hollywood that the Salvation Army could work with. So we made some headway last week. Hank Hilty, who is the CEO of the A. F. Gilmore Company, who owns the Farmers’ Market and the Grove, and was honored at the Chamber luncheon last Wednesday, had a long talk with him on Friday, I don’t think he was aware that we have an organization in Hollywood called Hollywood 4WRD, which has a lot of nonprofits that are already working with the homeless population in Hollywood. The Salvation Army has never come to a Hollywood 4WRD meeting, the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition does not come to these meetings. And he is on the board of the Salvation Army, and on the advisory board of that particular property, and he pledged that there would be an opportunity to meet with the neighboring property owners. We’ve also reached out to the Salvation Army social service organization in Long Beach, which is where this decision was made. And so, we’re gonna hold him to that pledge: that there will be a meeting and there will be a conversation. We’re very, very concerned about the fact that there already is, in fact I was gonna show you, I put this in your packet, we’ve just had a considerable uptick in our homeless population over the last couple of years and this is a, you know, we keep a every month the BID Patrol go out on the last day of the month and will conduct a count of visible homeless in Sunset and Hollywood. And you just look at April 2013 to April 2016 that’s about a 70% increase, and as I mentioned to Hank, we have people here in this neighborhood that need to be served. We don’t need to import another 200 people from Sycamore and Romaine. So we’ll keep you posted on that, but that’s been like the kind of issue du jour of the last week and…that’s all I can say right now.


Image of Kerry Morrison is ©2016 MichaelKohlhaas.org.

  1. And all other human beings, it’s true.
  2. BID people don’t have to file form 700s in the City of Los Angeles, although they do in some other California cities. Changing this in LA is a future project of ours, so stay tuned. Kerry Morrison has to file one because she’s a LAHSA commissioner.
  3. And Zillow tells us it’s worth about a million dollars and seems to rent for around $3000 per month.
  4. In a personal communication.The word “stakeholder” is nonsensical enough, but it fills some kind of semantic gap by referring to people who have some stake in how a neighborhood works through a various set of roles; as property owners, residents, business owners, people who work in the neighborhood, whatever. To repurpose it to mean nothing more than “property owner in my BID” leads directly to the kind of willful misperceptions that are on display here.
  5. See image of worship service directory from LA Times of May 3, 1969.
  6. There was some debate here at MK.org this morning over whether or not to mock KM about her misconstruction of this French idiom. As you can see, the pro-mocking forces won out, with the concession that we would include this statement of purpose. It’s well known that totalitarian ideologies must degrade all semantic content of words in order to reach their goals. Thus semantic degradation must be fought by lovers of freedom wherever it appears. Our mocking here is an effort to fight a much more pernicious Humpty-Dumpty-esque tendency in Kerry Morrison’s speech, in the speech of her zillionaire compatriots, to act as if words have no meaning other than the meaning they assign to them. And never forget that BIDs are one of forms that totalitarianism takes in the modern City.
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