Zillionaires Against Humanity At The Los Angeles Poverty Department Opening On Friday, March 9, At 6 p.m. — Exhibit Of Cartoons From This Blog, The Skid Row Neighborhood Council Formation Committee’s Timeline Of Events, And Video By Linus Shentu

Opening on Friday, March 9 at 6 p.m. at the Los Angeles Poverty Department‘s Skid Row History Museum & Archive see an exhibit of cartoons from this blog, a timeline and documents by General Jeff from the Skid Row Neighborhood Council Formation Committee, and videos by Linus Shentu. The exhibit will run through June 30. Here is the press release, and turn the page for a transcription.

Zillionaires Against Humanity: Sabotaging the Skid Row Neighborhood Council

OPENING: FRIDAY March 9, 6-8pm
Friday March 9 through Friday June 30
Open: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 2-5pm

Skid Row History Museum and Archive
250 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
A project of The Los Angeles Poverty Department
Tel. 213 413-1077

For Further Information on the Exhibition and Special Events Please call or email info@lapovertydept.org

You don’t have to be Hillary Clinton to ask “What Happened?” You don’t have to be Russian to subvert an election. When there’s money to be made. This exhibition, Zillionaires Against Humanity: Sabotaging the Skid Row Neighborhood Council, examines through cartoons, photos, videos, documents and ephemera, the outsized investment and great lengths gone to by downtown powerbrokers, to subvert the sub-division election that would have given the Skid Row Neighborhood its own neighborhood council.

  • November 25, 2015- Los Angeles City Council adopted a “subdivision Ordinance” for neighborhood councils.
  • Skid Row, tired of having minority representation and seeing its interests neglected by the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC) organized and submitted a sub-division application.
  • April 6, 2017, the Skid Row subdivision election was held, the first sub-division election in the city. The sub-division was defeated by 60 votes.
  • May 3rd, 2017- The vote was appealed and the Election Challenge Review Panel ruled that due to last minute changes in procedures and questionable election practices by the anti-subdivision forces, that Skid Row should either be awarded its own neighborhood council outright or a new vote should be taken.
  • May 19, 2017-The City’s Department of Neighborhood Empowerment ignored the appeals panel’s recommendations and certified the original election results. Subsequently, through California Public Records Act requests, new material has come to light that reveals how the election was subverted and the Skid Row Neighborhood Council defeated.

The elements of the exhibition: illustrations and narrative from Adrian Riskin’s California Public Records Act inquiry into what really happened from his blog, michaelkohlhaas.org; documents of the entire process provided by the Skid Row Neighborhood Council (SRNC) Formation Committee; and, videos of different stages of the civic process by Linus Shentu and photos and ephemera from the SRNC campaign.

Contributors and their Contributions:

Adrian Riskin: “The subject of this exhibit is the coordinated effort by the Downtown power elite beginning in 2017 to prevent the establishment of a neighborhood council in Skid Row. Riskin’s contribution to the exhibition consists of twenty-one illustrations created for the blog michaelkohlhaas.org. These portraits mockingly depict various players in the overlapping conspiracies formed to prevent the formation of the SRNC.” Adrian Riskin was born and raised in Los Angeles. He blogs obsessively at michaelkohlhaas.org about business improvement districts and the hallucinatory intricacies of municipal political power.

Skid Row Neighborhood Council Formation Committee: Compiled by General Jeff, SRNC-Formation Committee Chair, “The Skid Row Neighborhood Council Subdivision Election Timeline” is a living, breathing document that is still active. This show at the Skid Row History Museum and Archive is the first time it is being shown publicly, albeit in abbreviated fashion.

Linus Shentu covered the process of the sub-division process, attending meetings, covering events and filming promotional testimonials by Skid Row resident supporters. Linus Shentu’s work reflects his passion for social justice regarding issues pertaining to class, race, poverty and the disenfranchised. He has a B.A. in History from the California State University of Los Angeles and a B.F.A. from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena where he studied graphic design and photography.

The Skid Row History Museum and Archive is an exhibition /performing arts space curated by LAPD. It foregrounds the distinctive artistic and historical consciousness of Skid Row, a 40-year-old social experiment. The Skid Row History Museum and Archive functions as a means for exploring the mechanics of displacement in an age of immense income inequality, by mining a neighborhood’s activist history and amplifying effective community strategies. The space operates as an archive, exhibition, performance and meeting space. Exhibitions focus on grassroots strategies that have preserved the neighborhood from successive threats of gentrification and displacement, to be studied for current adaptation and use. The space is activated by: exhibitions, workshops, performances, community meetings and films addressing gentrification and displacement locally, nationally and globally.

About the Los Angeles Poverty Department
Currently celebrating its 33 th year, Los Angeles Poverty Department was the first ongoing arts initiative on Skid Row. LAPD creates performances and multidisciplinary artworks that connect the experience of people living in poverty to the social forces that shape their lives and communities. LAPD’s works express the realities, hopes, dreams and rights of people who live and work in L.A.’s Skid Row. LAPD has created projects with communities throughout the US and in The Netherlands, France, Belgium and Bolivia.


5 thoughts on “Zillionaires Against Humanity At The Los Angeles Poverty Department Opening On Friday, March 9, At 6 p.m. — Exhibit Of Cartoons From This Blog, The Skid Row Neighborhood Council Formation Committee’s Timeline Of Events, And Video By Linus Shentu”

  1. [NOTE: We don’t usually publish comments sent with fake email addresses, but I felt like responding to this one. — Mike]

    Estella Lopez was offered additional seats on the SRNC board and told she could even run for SRNC PRESIDENT by Jeff at a town hall meeting. It’s ridiculous that anyone trying to empower poor people would also try to cater to Lopez. There are witnesses to this and you don’t know the lack of transparency that plagued the Formation Committee. The Formation Committee also banned a community member who was an original Black Panther member for speaking against bylaws changes that would allow any stakeholder to run for President of SRNC. That includes Estella Lopez! Hypocrisy.

    1. NCs are local government agencies. How is it going to be legal to have a government agency that specifically excludes particular people from being president? Why not rewrite the State constitution to say that Estela Lopez isn’t allowed to be the governor, for instance? (Because it’s stupid and illegal is why).

      So even assuming that your statement of the facts is accurate, and I don’t know whether it is or not, I still don’t know what you think the viable choices are. It seems pretty clear to me that the choice is between having an NC where Estela Lopez could run for president and not having one at all. You can characterize this as catering to Lopez, but it seems more likely to me that it’s just politics as practiced by mature realists.

      Anyway, from this comment and all the other comments you’ve left with fake email addresses and different names, I think you really misunderstand this blog’s position on the SRNC. Our position is that the City of Los Angeles violated the state and U.S. constitutions and any number of local, state, and federal laws, not to mention basic principles of morality and fairness in its hysterical rush to smash the SRNC at the behest of local zillionaires. And that all of them, City officials and zillionaires, should be sued, mocked, and punished for doing this.

      The coherence of this position doesn’t rely on any theories about the saintliness of the SRNC formation committee. That’s not relevant at all. Our concern is with the level of stupidity, cupidity, and corruption in the City government that allowed them to subvert the SRNC. We’re concerned with the proper functioning of City government. If the City had acted the same way towards a NC formation effort in e.g. the white supremacist stronghold of Pacific Palisades we’d be covering it the same way.

      1. The residents of Skid Row got screwed over twice. First by Dlanc and United DTLA and then by self aggrandizing leaders of the Formation Committee who threw the residents under the bus. Endorsing luxury developments and give Estella Lopez more business seats is bad for poor people. I have contacted you privately and you never responded. I invite you to come visit Skid Row SRO building and meet the residents who need transparency and accountability in leadership. That is the real issue.

    2. Hi Dude. And yes, Estela COULD rung for President of a new SRNC, even though she worked to destroy it. That’s the way the process works, any stakeholder can run- and she is definitely a stakeholder. As for her being offered more seats- only one seat/per person is allowed, so not sure what you are talking about.

  2. Dude, one of the main reasons I began working to help form the SRNC was because of the overwhelming number of Skid Row residents that would show up to the DLANC (Downtown Los Angles Neighborhood Council) to complain about their current housing (the majority of folks in Skid Row being housed). DLANC would not take up these serious issues nor could they, in my estimation, handle them adequately. So, on this issue of the conditions inside the SROs (Single Resident Occupancy Hotels)- I agree that this issue is serious and for the most part unaddressed (even inside the nonprofit-turned SROs).

    However, when our SRNC application was turned into DONE (Dept. of Neighborhood Empowerment), we were trying to turn in an application based on their current standards to submit- DONE asks for a mix of stakeholders to be listed in NC Bylaws. This mix is generally accepted to include resident seats, business seats, nonprofit or faith-based seats, arts and culture seats, etc- you get the picture. What *some*, read- about 3 people wanted, was for our Formation Committee to turn in an application which had ALL resident Board Seats, and a stipulation that ONLY a low-income Skid Row resident could be President. Certainly, a case could and maybe even should be made for this structure, but we decided we were not interested in making this case- we were interested in getting our application accepted based on what was being asked for by the City. Bylaws are often changed and updated anyways- they are “working documents”- not written in stone. General Jeff had been repeatedly voted as the SRNC-FC Chair (there is video of this)- and as Chair, is was his choice how to submit the application. This was all explained and agreed upon at FC meetings.

    Our application was ultimately accepted by DONE, which should not be forgotten. Another subdivision application in Laurel Grove was rejected by DONE twice now for *allegedly* ONLY including residents in their outreach efforts/application, Not that I take the word of DONE necessarily- but this is what we were told.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *