Tag Archives: Emily Alpert Reyes

On Monday Serena Oberstein Quit Her Position As Ethics Commission President — Evidently To Run For Mitch Englander’s Council Seat — She Was A Corrupt And Horrible Commissioner And Would Doubtless Be A Corrupt And Horrible Councilmember — But At Least Some Supporters Of Her Likely Opponent Brad Smith Are A Zillion Times Worse — Repellent Misogynist Neanderthal Piggies Who Think She Shouldn’t Run Because She Has A Young Child — And Other Attack Vectors Too Gross To Put In A Headline — As Bad As She Is There Are Worse Things Out There

According to the incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes, worst-of-the-bunch Los Angeles City Ethics commissioner Serena Oberstein resigned her position on Monday, apparently to prepare a run for Mitch Englander’s to-be-vacated seat as Council District 12 repster. As an Ethics Commissioner Oberstein was so horrible, so corrupt, so willing to betray the interests of the City in favor of her own interests, the interests of her employer, and the interests of her weirdo buddies in the non-profit community, that I have no doubt she’ll fit right in on the Council, at least until the inevitable FBI raid.

And it looks like Brad Smith, who ran unsuccessfully against Mitch Englander in 2011 is going to run against her for the seat.1 And yesterday, evidently because of my incisive, revelatory, and critical reporting2 on Serena Oberstein’s corrupt and destructive habits, I was contacted by some guy calling himself Howard P. Cohen and claiming to be involved with Brad Smith’s campaign and asking for my help to defeat Serena Oberstein.

So I agreed to help cause Brad Smith was endorsed by Democrats last time he ran so that’s good, and she’s so bad. But then later in the day I was CCed on this email from Howard P. Cohen explaining exactly why he thinks Serena Oberstein should be defeated, which seems to boil down to the facts that first, she’s “a YOUNG JEWISH FEMALE,”3 and second, that she, as a woman, shouldn’t run for office, shouldn’t “prioritize POWER,” because she has a young child. In his estimation this makes her a bad mother and therefore unfit to serve on City Council. This is wrong on so many levels it’s really hard to express.

First, it doesn’t make her a bad mother to run for office or to seek power no matter what the age of her child. Second, what about her husband, who has the same kid she has and also has a high power high visibilty political job. Where’s the attack on him for being a bad father? Third, even if she were a bad mother who freaking cares? The only relevant question is whether she’s a good politician. I’m sure there have been plenty of bad mothers who were good politicians. God knows there’ve been plenty of bad fathers.

And there’s worse, which I don’t even want to soil my keyboard by discussing. The email is transcribed after the break, though. And now I can’t have anything to do with either of these people. Howard P. Cohen and anyone who associates with the guy politically are at least a zillion times worse than Serena Oberstein. She will be bad for the City of Los Angeles in the kind of mainstream sell-out way that our City’s mainstream politicians have been bad for us since Harry Chandler invented Los Angeles.

The office of Councilmember in Los Angeles was purposely designed by Chandler and his criminal cronies to encourage selling out to developers, so it’s not a surprise that the job attracts sell-outs. We can survive her like we’ve been surviving people like her for well over a century. But anyone who associates with people who think like Howard P. Cohen thinks will be bad for the City in deep, cosmic, existential ways.

A campaign opposing Serena Oberstein’s candidacy because she’s Jewish and a woman and a mother seeking power rather than because she’s a corrupt politician is intrinsically damaging and is unsupportable by sane people. That’s surely no reason to vote for Serena Oberstein, but it’s certainly a reason not to vote for Brad Smith. And as I said, turn the page for a transcription of the email.
Continue reading On Monday Serena Oberstein Quit Her Position As Ethics Commission President — Evidently To Run For Mitch Englander’s Council Seat — She Was A Corrupt And Horrible Commissioner And Would Doubtless Be A Corrupt And Horrible Councilmember — But At Least Some Supporters Of Her Likely Opponent Brad Smith Are A Zillion Times Worse — Repellent Misogynist Neanderthal Piggies Who Think She Shouldn’t Run Because She Has A Young Child — And Other Attack Vectors Too Gross To Put In A Headline — As Bad As She Is There Are Worse Things Out There

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Herb Wesson Bows To Irresistible Force And Moves To Rescind Council Office Approval Requirement For Homeless Housing — Something Had To Be Done Cause This Was Recently Outlawed By The State Of California — It’s Obvious He’s A Whiny Little Baby, Though, Cause He Obviously Can’t Resist Having The Last Word — It Means Absolutely Nothing And Everyone Can See That, Herb, So You’re Just Exposing Your Whiny Baby-tude To The Whole Damn World!

UPDATE: This motion has now been assigned Council File number CF 18-0955

So in March 2018 the incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes wrote a blockbuster article exposing yet another cynically corrupt practice well-beloved of our cynically corrupt City Council members. As she put it:

Before a proposed
[homeless housing] building can get funding from the housing department through Proposition HHH, the $1.2-billion bond passed by voters, it must have a “letter of acknowledgment” from the local council member. And if a council member simply withholds that letter, a project can be stopped in its tracks.

As you can imagine, various City Council members defended this grant of absolute veto power outside of any democratic process by claiming it was the only way they could have any input into what gets built in their districts. Like it’s obvious somehow that they even should have input into what gets built? Anyway, no one outside of 200 N Spring Street was buying this loco jive, and especially assemblymember David Chiu. Alpert Reyes’s article moved Chiu to introduce AB 829, which flat-out forbade any projects subject to such a requirement from receiving state funding. This passed easily in September and was quickly signed into law by Jerry Brown on September 27.

Obviously the City can’t afford to give up all that state money, so it became incumbent on them to rescind the requirement as soon as possible. Thus did Council president Herb Wesson introduce this morning in Council a motion recommending said rescission. But Herb Wesson, famously a whiny baby even in the gang of world class whiny babies among whom he works, couldn’t just leave it at that. He ended his motion with a whiny baby last word move which, as far as I can see, has no great effect other than to expose his whiny baby attitude even more to the world than it already has been exposed:

I FURTHER MOVE that the Housing Department be directed to report with recommendations on ways that a Council office and neighborhood council of the area can provide meaningful input on proposed City financing of a housing development in the Council district, and in a manner consistent with the new state law.

Boo freaking hoo hoo hoo, Herb Wesson! Anyway, turn the page for the entire text of the motion, if you dare!
Continue reading Herb Wesson Bows To Irresistible Force And Moves To Rescind Council Office Approval Requirement For Homeless Housing — Something Had To Be Done Cause This Was Recently Outlawed By The State Of California — It’s Obvious He’s A Whiny Little Baby, Though, Cause He Obviously Can’t Resist Having The Last Word — It Means Absolutely Nothing And Everyone Can See That, Herb, So You’re Just Exposing Your Whiny Baby-tude To The Whole Damn World!

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Ricardo Lara’s Street Vending Bill SB-946 Clears Senate 22-10 On Straight Party Line Vote

I usually leave this kind of reporting to the professionals at the Times, but as of right now they haven’t published anything, and this is important, so I’m just dropping this short note on you. As you know, we’ve been tracking Senator Ricardo Lara’s hugely important SB-946, which would prohibit cities across California from stifling legal street vending with oppressive zillionaire-friendly regulations. For background, see this fine article on the bill in the Times by the incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes.

Well, yesterday, this bill passed the full Senate on a 22-10 straight party line vote. The opposition amongst Los Angeles zillionaires and their BIDdie minions is building, but has not yet reached the feverish peak that we can surely expect. The bill is not in the clear yet, as it still must pass the Assembly, and it’s not a given that the governor will sign, but nevertheless, this is a huge step. You can find your Assemblymember here and urge him or her to support this essential legislation. See here for sample letters of support to crib from.
Continue reading Ricardo Lara’s Street Vending Bill SB-946 Clears Senate 22-10 On Straight Party Line Vote

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Letters Of Support For SB 946, Senator Ricardo Lara’s Street Vending Regulation Bill, Begin To Arrive At The Capitol — We Have Copies!

As I’m sure you’re aware, the City of Los Angeles has been trying for years now to develop a framework for legalized sidewalk vending, but the process has been so thoroughly hijacked by the City’s Bad BIDdies that we’re going to be lucky if sidewalk vendors get out of this process merely no worse off than they are now.

Just for instance, if the BIDdies have their way, and if it’s left up to their tame councilpets why would they not, they’re going to have vendors on their knees begging the owner of McDonalds can they please sell pupusas outside her damn store and they will have to pay BIDs for the right to vend inside the BID’s territory. These are merely two of the many, many abominable restrictions that BIDdies would dearly love to impose upon our City’s beloved sidewalk vendors.

Well, seeing the years-long series of episodes of confusion and terror that the City of Los Angeles has been putting itself through with respect to this issue, Senator Ricardo Lara decided that enough was, as they say, enough, and introduced SB 946, which would severely limit the ways in which cities are allowed to regulate street vending. The incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes recently published a fine article on this bill in the Times.

One of the most striking limitations is found in the cartoon above, but they’re all very powerful, very sane requirements, and they would, it turns out, completely gut the anti-vendor, anti-human traps and snares that the BIDdies have so successfully schemed to embed in the City’s proposal. Thus, naturally, the BIDdies are gearing up for a fight.

And we mustn’t underestimate the power that these BIDdies have to torpedo state-level legislation when it threatens their weirdo parochial interests. Last year, e.g., we saw them absolutely destroy a very sane, very modest, improvement to the California Public Records Act, merely because they’re a bunch of damn whiny-babies who can’t or won’t live up to contracts that they themselves signed willingly.

In any case, these battles are fought and won or lost at the state level via letters of support or opposition, which are collected by the bill’s author and are available on request. So the other day I asked Lara’s staff to send them to me, and this afternoon they did! I set up a page on Archive.Org to collect them. As of today, there are only five, and they’re all in support. Expect this to change, and I’ll have copies here as they arrive.

Turn the page for links to all five of them and a transcription of one of them. I’m sure no one will mind if you want to appropriate some of the ideas and/or language for your own letter, which you can send to your legislator(s) after locating them using this web page!
Continue reading Letters Of Support For SB 946, Senator Ricardo Lara’s Street Vending Regulation Bill, Begin To Arrive At The Capitol — We Have Copies!

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How Kerry Freaking Morrison Found Out About Senator Ricardo Lara’s Street Vending Bill In January 2018 And Told No-Epithet-Yet Suzanne Holley, Chardonnay-Swilling Scarf Monster Rena Leddy, And Batty Little Fusspot Blair Besten All About It And Suzanne Freaking Holley Went And Told Carol Freaking Schatz, The Zillion Dollar Woman, Who Subsequently Swore A Solemn Oath To Destroy SB 946

Just another quick note from all them DCBID emails I’ve been dining out on for weeks now. It’s inconsequential in one sense, but on the other hand, it illuminates how information spreads among the zillionaire flunkies who run this City’s BIDs. Here is the original email chain, and I’m just going to lay it on you without commentary. Or without much, anyway.

On January 31, 2018, the incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes emailed Kerry Freaking Morrison thusly:

From: Alpert, Emily mailto:Emily.Alpert@latimes.com
Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2018 9:23 AM
To: Kerry Morrison <Kerry@hollvwoodbid.org>

Subject: State bill on street vending

Hi Kerry — I hope all is well! I was curious for your thoughts on this state bill that would override local regulations on vending:

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB946&search_keywords=vendor

I’m at ■■■-■■■-■■■■. Thanks!

Emily

Did Kerry Morrison answer her? Well, I don’t know, but I will say that Emily Alpert Reyes published a fine article on Lara’s bill on February 2, and Kerry Morrison is not quoted in it. In any case, we do know that Kerry Morrison read the email because …. turn the page if you want to find out!
Continue reading How Kerry Freaking Morrison Found Out About Senator Ricardo Lara’s Street Vending Bill In January 2018 And Told No-Epithet-Yet Suzanne Holley, Chardonnay-Swilling Scarf Monster Rena Leddy, And Batty Little Fusspot Blair Besten All About It And Suzanne Freaking Holley Went And Told Carol Freaking Schatz, The Zillion Dollar Woman, Who Subsequently Swore A Solemn Oath To Destroy SB 946

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Tamales Nos Cuidan: Social Cleansing, Kerry Morrison, Donald Trump, And The Battle For Legal Street Vending In Los Angeles And Beyond

Tamalera on Hoover Street, South Los Angeles, January 2018.
Recently, a little after 7 a.m. on a fine cool Los Angeles Winter morning, I found myself on Hoover Street a little South of Vernon. If you know the area, or areas like it, you won’t be surprised to hear that at that time of day there were tamaleras everywhere. At major intersections, of course, and also near schools, selling tamales y champurrado for breakfast. You can see a picture somewhere near this sentence that I took while waiting my turn in line.

The whole scene is entirely social. There are grandmothers buying a dozen at a time to take home, people on their ways to work buying two or three for breakfast, maybe for lunch too, and schoolkids buying singles to eat while they walk.1 The tamalera creates a little bubble of warm sociability around her, momentarily protecting those inside from the chill of the foggy damp onshore flow.

This doesn’t happen only on the streets of South Los Angeles, of course. Last month Gustavo Arellano published a lovely article in the New Yorker entitled The Comfort of Tamales At The End Of 2017 about the significant social role of this ancient food2 in Mexican-American culture. And you can feel that sociability strongly while waiting in line to buy tamales on an L.A. street in the morning.

But as you’re probably aware, it’s looking more and more likely that the City Council, despite their generally supportive pro-vendor rhetoric, is going to allow business interests and property owners to veto street vending on a highly localized basis for essentially no rational reason at all. One of the most random exclusionary zones recommended in the November 2017 report of the Chief Legislative Analyst is anywhere within 500 feet of Hollywood Boulevard.
Continue reading Tamales Nos Cuidan: Social Cleansing, Kerry Morrison, Donald Trump, And The Battle For Legal Street Vending In Los Angeles And Beyond

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How Ethics Commission President Jessica Levinson Postponed Discussion Of Revisions To Enforcement Regulations Until April 2017 Mostly At The Behest Of Lobbying Firms And Why She Was Absolutely Right To Do So

Ethics Commission President Jessica Levinson, with whose actions we do not always agree but with whose reasoning we always do, which matters a great deal more.
One of the essential items on the agenda of last Tuesday’s meeting of the City Ethics Commission was a wide-ranging set of proposals from Enforcement staff for revisions to the CEC’s enforcement regulations. These are the laws and policies which guide the enforcement process. The proposals were emailed to interested parties only a few days in advance of the meeting, evidently leaving everyone feeling kind of blindsided,1 especially because they appeared with a recommendation from staff that they be adopted right then.

So at the actual meeting, when the item came up for discussion, Commission President Jessica Levinson made fairly convincing noises to the effect that the matter should be postponed until April. More interestingly, though, she mentioned almost in passing that she’d received a number of written public comments asking the Commission to table the matter. Well, one of my favorite bits of the Brown Act, §54957.5(a), states unequivocally that:2

any … writings, when distributed to all, or a majority of all, of the members of a legislative body of a local agency by any person in connection with a matter subject to discussion or consideration at an open meeting of the body, are disclosable public records under the California Public Records Act … and shall be made available upon request without delay.

As one might expect, the Ethics Commission is absolutely the best of all City agencies at following this law. They keep a big plastic box at the back of the room during meetings which contains every possible piece of paper necessary for compliance. So as soon as President Levinson3 mentioned that there were written comments, and as soon as it became clear that all the Commissioners had copies, I zipped back to look in the box. How disappointing to find nothing of the sort in there! But the story has a happy ending, never fear, and turn the page to learn the details.
Continue reading How Ethics Commission President Jessica Levinson Postponed Discussion Of Revisions To Enforcement Regulations Until April 2017 Mostly At The Behest Of Lobbying Firms And Why She Was Absolutely Right To Do So

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Almost 200 Emails Between the City Of LA And the East Hollywood BID. Also, Lunada Bay Boys Hearing Tomorrow And Also Ethics Commission Meeting!

Dwarf bottlebrush plant from some plans that the East Hollywood BID exchanged with a bunch of lackeys at the City of LA in preparation for planting them along Vermont Avenue, most likely to thwart the homeless in some manner.
Tonight I had the pleasure of receiving from self-proclaimed active member of the revitalized Hollywood community1 Jeffrey Charles Briggs almost 200 emails between the East Hollywood Business Improvement District and various far-too-friendly folks at the City of Los Angeles. For now these are available here on Archive.Org. They’re PDFs, but they’re that super-PDF-format that one can make with genuine Adobe software that embeds attachments right in there with clickable links.2 I have only been able to give these a cursory look-over, but I can already see a few crucial items. I’ll be writing on these matters as soon as I possibly can, but if you want a preview of one of them take a look at this juicy little number.

And tomorrow is a huge day at the Civic Center. In the morning there is a hearing in the Lunada Bay Boys case, featuring Palos Verdes Peninsula zillionaire surf-localism-thuggery at its most flamboyantly weird. In the afternoon there is an essential meeting of the Ethics Commission. Turn the page for times, locations, and brief descriptions. Perhaps I’ll see you there!
Continue reading Almost 200 Emails Between the City Of LA And the East Hollywood BID. Also, Lunada Bay Boys Hearing Tomorrow And Also Ethics Commission Meeting!

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Sneaky Shit-Sneakers Sneakily Sneak Sneaky Shit Into Current Version Of Street Vending Legalization Process, Setting The Stage For Continued Persecution of Vendors in Business Improvement Districts

Yum, danger dogs!
So today the City Council moved forward with CF 13-1493, which, of course, is the famed street vending thing. For a good, objective,1 discussion of today’s developments, take a look at this article in today’s Times by the incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes.2 This is just a brief post to note the fact that the various anti-human opponents of legalized street vending won a major, seemingly unnoticed by anyone but me, victory via amendment in the current version of the motion.

Today’s motion doesn’t actually legalize street vending. What it does is direct the City Attorney, the Chief Legislative Analyst, and the City Administrative Officer to put together a proposed ordinance. This was to be based on this detailed set of recommendations from the Public Works and Gang Reduction Committee report. This report was amended in Council today before being adopted, and at least two of the amended recommendations are quite sneaky, and, I predict, will undermine the future ordinance in quite underhanded ways that will please business improvement districts and other business interests who have been working tirelessly to keep street vending illegal for years now. See the details and some3 predictions after the break.
Continue reading Sneaky Shit-Sneakers Sneakily Sneak Sneaky Shit Into Current Version Of Street Vending Legalization Process, Setting The Stage For Continued Persecution of Vendors in Business Improvement Districts

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Everybody’s Favorite Puppet-Wielding Crackpot Wayne Spindler Files Yet Another Federal Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles Alleging Violations Of Constitutional Rights — Here Are Copies Of The Pleadings

Wayne Spindler in normal clothes in 2010.
Habitual City Council commenter Wayne Spindler, he of the don’t-go-near-Herb-Wesson restraining order and the subsequent entirely righteous we’re-not-gonna-prosecute-because-being-an-asshole-isn’t-illegal decision by L.A. County D.A. Jackie Lacey’s office,1 has filed a federal suit against the City of Los Angeles for violating various Constitutional rights in connection with his May 2016 arrest.

The incomparable Emily Alpert Reyes has the story in this morning’s Times and we have the primary sources, hot off of PACER! As long as I was getting these pleadings, I figured I’d go ahead and get the ones from the case he filed last July as well,2 and all of them are available here:

I’ll collect the papers in those directories as they’re filed because the cases interest me, but I probably won’t be writing more about them unless something extraordinary occurs. Spindler is an attorney3 and seems to be acting pro se in both these cases. As always, this makes for some fairly lively legal writing, samples of which you can find after the break if you, like so many these days, are PDF-averse.4
Continue reading Everybody’s Favorite Puppet-Wielding Crackpot Wayne Spindler Files Yet Another Federal Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles Alleging Violations Of Constitutional Rights — Here Are Copies Of The Pleadings

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