Tag Archives: CD9

The USC Department Of Public Safety Is Well-Known For Its Racist Policing Practices — Wanna Know How Well-Known? — So Well-Known That Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson Admits That They Racially Profile People — Wanna Know How Marqueece Harris-Dawson Knows The USC DPS Racially Profiles People? — Because They Freaking Racially Profile Him! — Regularly! — He Says So On Freaking Video! — Why Is This Not Enough To Get The City To Fix This Damn Problem?

The University of Southern California calls its security guards the Department of Public Safety. It seems to be not so widely known that, with the explicit consent of the City of Los Angeles, USC security operates on public streets in a huge area surrounding the campus. And as you might expect from a troublesome and troubled institution such as USC their policing is both troublesome and troubled. It’s demonstrably racist and demonstrably outside the bounds of what the law allows them to do as security guards. The problem has been covered for years now by the incomparable Sahra Sulaiman of Streetsblog Los Angeles. See e.g.:

A Tale of Two Communities: New Security Measures at USC Intensify Profiling of Lower-Income Youth of Color

Handcuffing of Cyclist by USC Public Safety Raises Questions about Tactics, Oversight, Accountability

And if you still don’t believe that USC DPS is out of control, watch this video of Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson responding to a constituent concerned about their racist policing by revealing his own personal experiences with their racial profiling. There is, of course, a transcription after the break.1

And this revelation raises a really serious question. If even Marqueece Harris-Dawson gets treated like an “undesirable” by USC DPS, why hasn’t the City of Los Angeles done something to stop them? Why hasn’t Marqueece Harris-Dawson done something to stop them? The logistics wouldn’t be hard. What’s hard is finding political support for a solution.

The City of Los Angeles is deeply invested in the racist policies of its own police force, so how are they going to expend political capital shutting down the racist policies of their little partners at USC? USC DPS is furthering the goals of the City of Los Angeles as implemented by LAPD.

And whether out of deference to his colleague at CD9, Curren Price, in whose district USC situates, or out of respect for the wants and needs of the zillionaires who eventually come to control every council office, Harris-Dawson has made his choice to do nothing. It may not be possible to explain, but it’s so commonplace a situation in LA politics that it doesn’t really need explanation.
Continue reading The USC Department Of Public Safety Is Well-Known For Its Racist Policing Practices — Wanna Know How Well-Known? — So Well-Known That Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson Admits That They Racially Profile People — Wanna Know How Marqueece Harris-Dawson Knows The USC DPS Racially Profiles People? — Because They Freaking Racially Profile Him! — Regularly! — He Says So On Freaking Video! — Why Is This Not Enough To Get The City To Fix This Damn Problem?

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Ever Wonder If You Are Blocked By Your Councilmember On The Twitter?! — We Have The Answer! — Also City Attorney! — Also The Mayor! — But Nury Martinez — And Herb Wesson — And Mike Bonin — And Mitch O’Farrell — They Won’t Even Answer The Damn Requests — Oh, Almost Forgot To Say! — Deputy City Attorney And Insufferable Rich Boy Strefan Fauble Wants To Be Sure You Know — Mike Feuer Isn’t Muting Any Twitter Users But If He Were — The List Would Be Exempt From Release Under The CPRA! — Yeah Right, Strefan Fauble! — Stick To Art Collecting And Leave The CPRA Lawyering To Others!

For about two months now I’ve been looking into the practice of Twitter users being blocked or muted by official City of Los Angeles accounts. I’m still gathering evidence, but yesterday it came out that Police Commission president Steve Soboroff blocks a bunch of users who’ve never even interacted with him, so I thought it’d be timely to write up the information I have so far. This issue is of special interest in these latter days given that in 2018 a federal judge ruled that it is unconstitutional for Donald Trump to block users on Twitter.

What I can offer you today, friends, is Twitter block/mute information for eleven of the fifteen council districts, the City Attorney, the Mayor, and a small selection of official LAPD accounts.1 There’s also an interesting line of hypothetical bullshit from deputy city attorney Strefan Fauble2 about some pretty technical claims about CPRA exemptionism,3 but that, being übernerdlich, is way at the end of the post.

Most of the accounts blocked are porn or spam, but Jose Huizar and David Ryu are notable exceptions. Both reps block accounts that are obviously controlled by actual individual people. Huizar’s list is by far the most extensive, and includes wildly inappropriate blocks like @oscartaracena and @BHJesse.

My research on this question is ongoing, mostly hindered by the City of LA’s familiar foot-dragging CPRA methodology. Turn the page for a tabular summary of the results I have so far along with a brief discussion of how Strefan Fauble is still on his CPRA bullshit.
Continue reading Ever Wonder If You Are Blocked By Your Councilmember On The Twitter?! — We Have The Answer! — Also City Attorney! — Also The Mayor! — But Nury Martinez — And Herb Wesson — And Mike Bonin — And Mitch O’Farrell — They Won’t Even Answer The Damn Requests — Oh, Almost Forgot To Say! — Deputy City Attorney And Insufferable Rich Boy Strefan Fauble Wants To Be Sure You Know — Mike Feuer Isn’t Muting Any Twitter Users But If He Were — The List Would Be Exempt From Release Under The CPRA! — Yeah Right, Strefan Fauble! — Stick To Art Collecting And Leave The CPRA Lawyering To Others!

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How Ellen Riotto And Wallis Locke Of The South Park BID Conspired With Michael Shilstone Of The Central City Association, Kevin James Of The Board Of Public Works, Lee Zeidman Of Staples Center, And A Bunch Of AEG Worldwide Stooges — Including Shelby Russell — To Encourage People To Call LAPD On Vendors And Hang Up Anti-Vending Signs Around LA Live — With A Generous Special Bonus Helping Of My Steaming Hot Amateur Theories On Why The Damn Signs Are Illegitimate And Will Ultimately Be Mostly Removed If Not Completely

The other day LA Taco tweeted out this picture of a no-vending sign near Staples Center and a lot of people were angry and confused. This is the story of how and why1 those signs appeared recently. The story begins with Ricardo Lara‘s monumental Sanity in Street Vending Bill, passed by the California Legislature last year over the strident objections of zillionaires and their BIDdie minions all over the state. The law essentially legalized street vending everywhere, while leaving some really minimal regulatory powers to cities.

One of the regulatory powers that the law allows is the establishment of no-vending zones. But these can’t be established on a mere whim, or just because people hate vendors. Rather any such restriction must be “directly related to objective health, safety, or welfare concerns.”2 But the City of Los Angeles never met a loophole that it couldn’t stretch into a six lane freeway at the behest of the local zillionaires, and our esteemed Councilmembers jumped all over this one.

They went into an embarrassing frenzy of zillionaire-pleasuring and directed the City Attorney to figure out how to establish no-vending zones everywhere any BID or anyone else with enough influence asked them to. The list ended up including the Hollywood Bowl, the Venice Boardwalk, most of Hollywood Blvd, and, of interest to us today, the area around Staples Center.

Lara’s bill took effect on January 1, 2019, so prior to that, in preparation for what they saw as the impending Vendorgeddon, zillionaires all over the City began preparing for vigorously psychotic enforcement of these last few no-vending zones they’d managed to preserve, at least for now. As I said, today we’re focusing on Staples Center, but I’m sure the same kind of thing is happening in all the putative no-vending zones.

I’ve managed to uncover two distinct phases of the process so far. In early January 2019, Ellen Riotto of the South Park Business Improvement District, in which Staples Center situates, notified businesses in the no-vending zone and encouraged them to call LAPD on vendors. A little later, around January 20, 2019, Lee Zeidman, president of Staples Center and member of the board of directors of the South Park BID, used his considerable political power, focused by his flunky Riotto, to harangue City staff about the need for superexponentially increased anti-vending enforcement along with no-vending signs.

He also threatened to hire private security to enforce anti-vending laws on public streets if the City didn’t start enforcing the law itself. And all this focused power ultimately had its effect with the placement of the signs, as we have seen. I don’t presently know if enforcement was in fact stepped up, but I am continuing to look into the matter. Turn the page for a detailed account along with links to and transcriptions of selections from the relevant emails.
Continue reading How Ellen Riotto And Wallis Locke Of The South Park BID Conspired With Michael Shilstone Of The Central City Association, Kevin James Of The Board Of Public Works, Lee Zeidman Of Staples Center, And A Bunch Of AEG Worldwide Stooges — Including Shelby Russell — To Encourage People To Call LAPD On Vendors And Hang Up Anti-Vending Signs Around LA Live — With A Generous Special Bonus Helping Of My Steaming Hot Amateur Theories On Why The Damn Signs Are Illegitimate And Will Ultimately Be Mostly Removed If Not Completely

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What Passes For Wit Among Zillionaires — South Park BID Board Members Paul Keller And Bob Buente Mockingly Refer To Downtown Homeless Encampments As “Bombay” And “Calcutta” — Super-Genius Paul Keller Proposes Illegally Using BID Staff Outside BID Borders To Clean Encampments — Has To Be Talked Down Off That Particular Ledge By BID Zeck Dreck Ellen Salome Riotto Who — Despite Her Devotion To Her Satanic DTLA Masters — At Least Has Some Goddamn Sense — Also Riotto Reveals Hitherto Unknown Illegal Downtown BID Anti-Homeless Intelligence Gathering Conspiracy

Last Thursday morning off I went to the concrete canyons of Downtown Los Angeles to sit through yet another interminable gathering of the Board of Directors of the South Park BID and, just for you, dear reader, I have posted video of the whole damn thing both here on YouTube and here on Archive.org. And it was mostly more of the same old bad BIDness, but without a quorum, so no action was taken.

There were a few interesting episodes though, and I’ll be writing about one or more of them soon enough, but the text for today’s sermon is this little hissy fit, pitched by none other than the finest legal mind of his generation, that is to say self-proclaimed schmuck Paul Keller, accompanied by the narcissistic back-up harmony vocal stylings of the BID’s own Uncle Fester,1 which is to say Bob Freaking Buente. There is, of course, a transcription of the whole damn thing after the break, and juicy quotes interspersed throughout the article here.

Paul Keller wants to talk about … underpasses. The ones he drives under when he gets off the freeway in the morning. They’re filled with homeless people. Paul Keller doesn’t like this. Bob Buente reminds him that in zillionairese underpasses are referred to as “Bombay” and/or “Calcutta.”2 What he really seems to hate about them is that (a) they are offensive to his finely honed zillionaire aesthetics and (b) he can’t ignore them because there’s a traffic signal there: “But unfortunately the light causes you to be in Bombay if it’s red.” The problem evidently is that CalTrans has jurisdiction over underpasses so the usual zillionaire methods of getting shit done, like e.g. giving José Huizar another 700 bucks, aren’t effective.

Turn the page to learn what the other problem is, how Ellen Salome Riotto schooled Paul Keller a little bit but he just won’t listen and wants her to break the law anyway, and the big reveal! All the Downtown BIDs are compiling anti-homeless intelligence which they’re evidently going to pass on to Miguel Santiago, possibly in anticipation of his becoming CD14 repster in 2020 because José Huizar’s rapey incontinence has effectively torpedoed the political ambitions of the other Huizar, his hand-picked successor, that is, of course, Richelle.
Continue reading What Passes For Wit Among Zillionaires — South Park BID Board Members Paul Keller And Bob Buente Mockingly Refer To Downtown Homeless Encampments As “Bombay” And “Calcutta” — Super-Genius Paul Keller Proposes Illegally Using BID Staff Outside BID Borders To Clean Encampments — Has To Be Talked Down Off That Particular Ledge By BID Zeck Dreck Ellen Salome Riotto Who — Despite Her Devotion To Her Satanic DTLA Masters — At Least Has Some Goddamn Sense — Also Riotto Reveals Hitherto Unknown Illegal Downtown BID Anti-Homeless Intelligence Gathering Conspiracy

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First Known Instance Of Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office Involvement In BID Formation Revealed By Emails Between Rampart Neighborhood Prosecutor Andrew Said And Wilshire Center Director Mike Russell About How To Get A BID In Westlake

It’s well known in the anti-BID community that the City of Los Angeles is fully committed to the completely false story that a BIDs is formed by a spontaneous upswelling of property owners, uninfluenced by the City and completely outside of the City’s power to direct. Of course, as I said, this is a lie, and there’s plenty of evidence that it is a lie. State law not only gives the City the absolute right to determine everything BIDs do with their money but the City is not shy about exercising this right when necessary.

And there are plenty of concrete proofs that it’s actually the City of Los Angeles that creates BIDs. From then-CD13-rep Jackie Goldberg’s tireless efforts to form a BID in Hollywood in the mid 1990s to Eric Garcetti’s and Mitch O’Farrell’s almost decade-long quest to put together a BID in Echo Park to CD9 repster Curren Price’s strongarmed extortion of a South LA car dealership to get seed money for a BID along MLK Blvd. to CD11 rep Mike Bonin’s mendacious little flunky Debbie Dyner Harris’s multi-year involvement with the Venice Beach BID formation effort, the City is the motivating force, I’d venture, for every damn BID we have now and are gonna have in the future.

But every case I know of has involved the local Council District. This isn’t just my imagination, either. It’s reflected in these BID formation guidelines, published by the Los Angeles City Clerk‘s BID office, which state unequivocally that the BID formation process begins when: An individual, or a group of individuals (“proponent group”), or a Councilmember, desires to investigate the possibility of establishing a BID in a given area.

Consequently, what a surprise it was to find a set of emails between Andrew Said, who is neighborhood prosecutor for the Rampart Division, and Mike Russell, director of the Wilshire Center BID, which feature Andrew Said asking for Mr. Mike’s advice on how to start a BID in Westlake. The emails, which are part of a larger set I received yesterday,1 are available here on Archive.Org. Turn the page for transcriptions and some more discussion of what this might mean.
Continue reading First Known Instance Of Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office Involvement In BID Formation Revealed By Emails Between Rampart Neighborhood Prosecutor Andrew Said And Wilshire Center Director Mike Russell About How To Get A BID In Westlake

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CD9 Rep Curren Price Requires Developers Of South LA Honda Dealership To Contribute $50,000 Towards Consultant Fees For The Formation Of A New Business Improvement District As Condition Of Approving Development Agreement

Alleged bigamist and CD9 rep Curren Price to developers: Want to build a car dealership? Gimme $50,000 to pay for another damn business improvement district!
Maybe you’ve heard about the impending move of Honda of Downtown Los Angeles to a gigantic new five story building on Martin Luther King Blvd. at Hoover. Building projects of this size don’t happen in Los Angeles without a lot of involvement of the relevant Council District, which in this case is CD9, repped by Alleged bigamist Curren Price.1 The various negotiations and agreements are typically formalized in a development agreement between the City and the developer, and this is no exception. You can read the whole thing here, although it’s a heavyweight 35MB PDF download, so click with care.

And one of the typical elements of these development agreements is a statement of the public benefits that are expected to result from the project. These typically include financial contributions to this or that cause favored by the Councilmember, introduced by the phrase “Additionally, as consideration for this Agreement, Developer agrees to provide the following…” In this case, there are two of these (found on page 7 of the agreement, here’s a PDF of just the relevant page, also find a transcription after the break).

The first is $100,000 for present and future employees of Honda of DTLA to attend LA Trade Tech.2 The other contribution to the putative public benefit is $50,000 to pay a BID consultant for the formation of a new business improvement district in CD9. CD9 presently has three BIDs, which are the Figueroa Corridor BID, the Central Avenue Historic District BID, and the shadowy South Los Angeles Industrial Tract BID, so this would make a fourth.

Originally I thought that this new dealership would be located in the Figueroa Corridor BID, but a glance at their map reveals that the north side of MLK is the BID’s southern boundary, which is why, I suppose, that a new BID is necessary. Anyway, there’s no real moral to this story, although I admit it’s pretty jarring to see the formation of yet another damn BID pitched as a public benefit.

That principle, however, is even written into the Property and Business Improvement District Act of 1994, specifically e.g. at §36601(e), which claims implausibly that ” Property and business improvement districts formed throughout this state have conferred special benefits upon properties and businesses within their districts and have made those properties and businesses more useful…” so I guess it’s no surprise that Curren Price thinks BIDs are good. Anyway, it is always useful to have more information about how and why the LA City government forms new BIDs and pays its BID consultants. Turn the page for a transcription of the relevant parts of the development agreement.
Continue reading CD9 Rep Curren Price Requires Developers Of South LA Honda Dealership To Contribute $50,000 Towards Consultant Fees For The Formation Of A New Business Improvement District As Condition Of Approving Development Agreement

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What To Press For After The Venice Beach BID Is Approved

palm_trees_at_venice_beachBecause it will be approved. We know that. But we also know that Mike Bonin might be susceptible to political pressure. He even thought about moving the hearing date, presumably in response to political pressure and cogent criticism. Maybe the same tactics can help improve what’s presently looking like it’ll be yet another version of the worst that this City’s BIDs in Hollywood and Downtown have to offer. So here are some things which might be attainable politically and which might help mitigate some of the worst excesses to which BIDs are prone.

First of all, maybe you remember the recent tumult over the Arts District BID. If not, there’s a1 version of the story here. In short, some property owners got a judge to dissolve the BID, there was a big fuss about getting a new BID formed, and in order to settle the controversy, José Huizar stepped in and brokered a compromise involving the composition of the Board of Directors. As the L.A. Business Journal put it:

City Councilman José Huizar, whose district includes the neighborhood, on Tuesday announced that the Arts District Community Council Los Angeles has agreed to drop its application to create a BID and support an application sponsored by a group called Arts District Los Angeles. The ADLA, in turn, agreed to give Community Council representatives at least four seats on an expanded 23-member board. In addition, the area’s homeowners association will get three additional seats on the board.

If Huizar can negotiate seats on the Arts District BID Board, Mike Bonin can certainly change the composition of the Board of Directors of the Venice Beach BID if he wants to.2 The composition of the Board is a political matter which can be influenced by political tactics. The Arts District dissenters got four seats out of 23, not enough to change things, although by no means an empty victory. A vote, four votes, is not nothing in such a closed-off political entity. Another moral is that the homeowners association got seats on the Board. That is, Huizar got people who live in the BID a voice on the Board. This is also not trivial.

But one of the City’s newest BIDs, the Central Avenue Historic District BID, suggests an even more promising goal, one which would go a long way toward making something not so bad out of the presently horrifying prospect of the VBBID.
Continue reading What To Press For After The Venice Beach BID Is Approved

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LAHSA’s Erroneous Zombie Eleven Percent Increase in City Homeless Population Resurrected in Two Recent Council Motions Despite May 2016 Retraction

Bob Blumenfield, Councilmember from CD3, providing yet another example of how hard it is to find good staff.
Bob Blumenfield, Councilmember from CD3, providing yet another example of how hard it is to find good staff.
Earlier this year LAHSA announced with much fanfare and gnashing of the old dental protrusions that the homeless population of the City of Los Angeles had increased by 11% year over year. Well, in May Eric Garcetti pointed out that math is hard and after a bunch of frantic recalculations as reported in the Times here everyone, Garcetti’s office and LAHSA in the person of E.D. Peter Lynn, settled on a revised figure of about a 5% increase in the City.

But then in June 2016 Hillel Aron used the 11% figure in the L.A. Weekly, although he retracted it promptly when the error was pointed out to him.1 and I thought that would be the end of it. However, this past week brought us two new Council files supplementary to the Homelessness Crisis file. These are CF 15-1138-S12, moved by Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson and CF 15-1138-S13, moved by Bob Blumenfield and Harris-Dawson again. And both motions (S12 and S13) cite the erroneous 11% figure for some reason. There are some red faces on the fourth floor of 200 N. Spring Street this morning, friends!
Continue reading LAHSA’s Erroneous Zombie Eleven Percent Increase in City Homeless Population Resurrected in Two Recent Council Motions Despite May 2016 Retraction

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