Tag Archives: Jackie Goldberg

The Checkered History Of Streets And Highways Code §36612 — How The California Court Of Appeals Made BIDs Cry By Holding That They Were Subject To The Brown Act And The Public Records Act — And How Bad BIDmother Jackie Goldberg Soothed Their Hurt Feelings By Passing A Law Stating That They Weren’t Public Officials — Is It Constitutional? — It Hasn’t Been Adjudicated So Who Knows?!

The only reason that this blog even exists is that business improvement districts in California are subject to the California Public Records Act. And the first part of the story of how this came to be is fairly well known. In 1998 Hollywood property owner Aaron Epstein wanted to attend meetings of the Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance1 and Kerry Morrison, who then as now would willingly brook no interference in her proprietary demesne, told him to go pound sand.

Instead of slapping the silica, though, Epstein filed suit against the BID, and the process culminated in the lovely holding, in Epstein v. Hollywood Entertainment District BID, that BIDs2 were subject to the Brown Act and the CPRA. This ushered anti-BID activists into a paradise from which we are unlikely to be expelled. Kerry Morrison didn’t take this outcome with any grace whatsoever and has been pissing and moaning about it from the outset all the way to the present day.

But that opinion isn’t the only authority that subjects BIDs to transparency laws. There is also the famous §36612 of the PBID Law of 1994, which states in no uncertain terms that BIDs are subject to both the Brown Act and the CPRA.3 It also states explicitly (and ominously) that BID board members and staff are not public officials. Obviously this section was added by the legislature after the Epstein ruling, but I never took the time to investigate the history.

Until now, that is. And what an obvious-after-the-fact surprise it was to find that the bill that added that section was written by none other than Jackie Goldberg, who as CD13 Councilmember during the formation of the Hollywood Entertainment District BID was known to have a great deal of blood on her hands already.4 But by March 2001, when Epstein was finally decided, Goldberg was in the Assembly, so naturally it was to her that the BIDdies, emotionally traumatized by the court’s decision,5 went running for comfort.

And in response to their pleas Goldberg introduced AB 1021 (2001) to coat the bitter pill of Epstein with some soothing syrup and to codify these changes in §36612 of the PBID law even while acknowledging that the legislature wasn’t going to be able to change the court’s holding 6 And I recently obtained a copy of the bill analysis prepared at the time for the Assembly’s Committee on Local Government to help them understand what they were voting for.7 Therein are laid out not only the provisions of the new law, but the complaints of the BIDdies, so the connection is perfectly clear.

The main concessions to the BIDdie agenda found in the code section are the explicit statement that BIDs are private corporations and that neither BID boards nor staff can be considered public officials for any reason. This last bit is tied in to the BIDs’ fear that board members might be subject to California’s political reform act and to Government Code §1090 and therefore to various ethics restrictions and financial disclosure requirements, although it’s not really clear to me that the language has that effect. I’m no kind of expert, though.

Another sop to the BIDdies provided here by Goldberg was the authorization of 10 year renewals. Previously BIDs could only renew for up to five years. In any case, turn the page for more detail, more non-expert discussion and, as always, a transcription of the document.
Continue reading The Checkered History Of Streets And Highways Code §36612 — How The California Court Of Appeals Made BIDs Cry By Holding That They Were Subject To The Brown Act And The Public Records Act — And How Bad BIDmother Jackie Goldberg Soothed Their Hurt Feelings By Passing A Law Stating That They Weren’t Public Officials — Is It Constitutional? — It Hasn’t Been Adjudicated So Who Knows?!

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Revealed: Why The City Always Votes Yes on BID Formation. Also Some Speculation On The Shady Reasons Why The City Prefers Property-Based BIDs Over Merchant-Based BIDs Despite The Fact That They Instantiate Peak White Supremacy

Holly Wolcott explaining why she votes.
Holly Wolcott explaining why she votes.
You may recall that last month I raised the question of where the City Clerk gets the authority to vote all of the City’s property in favor of establishing BIDs. That the Clerk does this is undisputed. It’s so reliable that BID proponents are famous for gerrymandering in as much City property as possible to improve their chances of hitting the 50.1% approval needed to start the BID formation process.

Well, of course, I filed a CPRA request on the matter and Miranda Paster, however conflicted her interests may be when it comes to her darling baby BIDs, is by far one of the most reliable and honest City officials with whom I deal with respect to public records, yesterday pointed me to the now twenty year old Council File 96-1972. This file is too old to have documents online1 but there are some summary notes on what went on. In particular, the ordinance passed includes an instruction2 to:

REQUIRE the City Clerk to sign off on Proposition 2183 ballots and support petitions for property-based BIDs, unless the Council directs otherwise.

So I was right. There had to be a law, and there is a law. It’s pleasant to speculate on the possibility of exploiting this to add some democratic sauce to the BID formation process. For instance, as I’ve suggested before, it would be much more fair to let residents of the BID area vote on BID formation and apportion the City’s ballots proportionally to the wishes of the residents. This wouldn’t be perfect, but it would be far, far more fair that what’s done now. Of course given the degree to which our Council worships BIDs, and given the wildly disproportionate influence that BIDs have on City policy, this is not likely to happen except through the courts. As I said, though, it’s nice to think about.
Continue reading Revealed: Why The City Always Votes Yes on BID Formation. Also Some Speculation On The Shady Reasons Why The City Prefers Property-Based BIDs Over Merchant-Based BIDs Despite The Fact That They Instantiate Peak White Supremacy

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Unrealized 1995 Proposal to Turn Hollywood Boulevard Into Literal, Actual Amusement Park Shows, We Guess, that No One Loves Hollywood for Herself and Also, However Bad the BIDs Are, Things Could Always Have Been Worse

Evidently some Disney theme park somewhere east of San Bernardino actually has a through-the-looking-glass replica of a Hollywood Boulevard that might have been real right here in the most real neighborhood in the most real city in the world.
Evidently some Disney theme park somewhere east of San Bernardino actually has a through-the-looking-glass replica of a Hollywood Boulevard that might have been real right here in the most real neighborhood in the most real city in the world. Except, look! Unlike the real Hollywood Boulevard this fake one has benches, because they don’t have a BID destroying every possible thing that might give aid and comfort to anyone.
Amongst the files that our faithful correspondent recently open-sesame-ed out in literal troves from the Ali-Baba-esque locality on Ramirez Street known to the world as the City Archives and Record Center was a most interesting, most singular fax to Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg from a serial candidate for every random political office in California and generally all-round attention-seeking loony named Steve Mozena, self-styled “Chair of HOLLYWOODLAND.” On the handwritten fax cover sheet1 Steve declaims:
I'm Martin Sheen and I "like the idea of  'Hollywoodland.'"
I’m Martin Sheen and I “like the idea of ‘Hollywoodland.'”

Jackie, I’m looking for support for my project. Martin Sheen and Slyvester [sic] Stallone like the idea of “Hollywoodland” Let’s see if we can work together and make this a reality. Steve

Go ahead! Read it! You know you want to! Turn the page now to find out what this is that we’re gonna make a reality! And also what does it have to do with the BIDs…
Continue reading Unrealized 1995 Proposal to Turn Hollywood Boulevard Into Literal, Actual Amusement Park Shows, We Guess, that No One Loves Hollywood for Herself and Also, However Bad the BIDs Are, Things Could Always Have Been Worse

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Files from the Archives: Former City Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg and the Prehistory of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance

Jackie Goldberg, CD13 representative from 1994--2000, midwife, enabler, and founding mother of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance as we know it today.
Jackie Goldberg, CD13 representative from 1994–2000, midwife, enabler, and founding mother of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance as we know it today.
NOTE (Jan. 3, 2019): The records discussed in this post are now also available on Archive.Org.

I was recently seeking some records of Eric Garcetti’s from his time at CD13 and was dismayed to find that former councilmembers’ records aren’t systematically retained, especially when they, like Garcetti, take another city job subsequent to serving on the council. On the other hand, this search did lead me to the website of the Los Angeles City Archives, which is a miracle of rare device indeed. I’m going to write up the details when I have time for inclusion in our Practical Guide to Using the CPRA in Los Angeles, but the TL;DR is that you look here for the finding aids to the archives, find what you want, email the guy a day before, and head on down to 555 Ramirez Street and sit there looking through boxes at folder upon folder upon folder of actual files from actual Los Angeles City Councilfolk. You can copy whatever you want! It’s so lovely I can’t even describe it. I will tell you what I found there, though!
Continue reading Files from the Archives: Former City Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg and the Prehistory of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance

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