Tag Archives: Kent Smith

New And Semi-New Fashion District BID Documents: Minutes, Agendas, Board Packets, A Small Batch Of Emails

This is just a short post to formally announce some records from the Fashion District. Some have been available for a while, others I just uploaded tonight, but I haven’t posted about the existence of any of them yet. If you want some background noise while you’re reading, check out this video featuring Ariana Gomez and Kent Smith of the Fashion District blathering on about God knows what kind of BIDolatry.1

I will be writing in great detail about some of this material in the very near future, but I just wanted to get some links up as soon as possible:
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Lobbyist-Loving Ethics Commissioner Ana Dahan Is Out! Also Tons, Scads, Oodles, And Beaucoup De Fashion District BID Emails!

Lobbyist-Loving Erstwhile Los Angeles City Ethics Commissioner Ana Dahan on August 9, 2016.
Lobbyist-Loving Erstwhile Los Angeles City Ethics Commissioner Ana Dahan on August 9, 2016.
Here are a couple unrelated announcements with which to begin another fine, windy weekend.

First, recall that lobbyist-loving ethics commissioner Ana T. Dahan was appointed to the Commission by Eric Garcetti in November 2014 to finish the remainder of a term, and then permanently a year later. Well, according to a report scheduled to be presented by Ethics Commission executive director Heather Holt at Tuesday’s Commission meeting, Ana Dahan has resigned:

We said farewell to Commissioner Dahan this month. She was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2014, and we deeply appreciate the time she devoted to the Ethics Commission and her contributions to our enforcement and policy work. We wish her well as she embarks on a new career.

No word yet on her new career, although perhaps it is something to do with lobbying?

Finally, a ton of email from the Fashion District BID, thoughtfully and comprehensively provided to MK.Org by the ever-helpful Rena Masten Leddy. Turn the page for links and some description.
Continue reading Lobbyist-Loving Ethics Commissioner Ana Dahan Is Out! Also Tons, Scads, Oodles, And Beaucoup De Fashion District BID Emails!

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How to Destroy a Business Improvement District in California: A Theory

This would be an effective, emotionally satisfying, and poetically just way to get rid of business improvement districts, but I'm hoping for something a little more environmentally friendly.
This would be an effective, emotionally satisfying, and poetically just way to get rid of business improvement districts, but I’m hoping for something a little more environmentally friendly.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a lawyer. But I’m friends with some lawyers. More than zero of them did not laugh out loud at the idea you’re about to read. That’s all I got.

Business improvement districts in California are made possible by the Property & Business Improvement District Law of 1994.1 It’s worth reading, or at least skimming through, because there’s gold in them thar hills! For instance, consider Section 36670(a)(1), which states:

36670.(a) Any district established or extended pursuant to the provisions of this part … may be disestablished by resolution by the city council in either of the following circumstances:

(1) If the city council finds there has been misappropriation of funds, malfeasance, or a violation of law in connection with the management of the district, it shall notice a hearing on disestablishment.

Do you see the potential in that statement? The fact that it’s a tool for laying waste the BIDs of Los Angeles like so many Philistines? It’s a little hard to understand statutes, but here’s a clue: when they say “shall” they mean “must,” not “can.” Now turn the page to find out why this little statute, if not more powerful than Doug Henning and his sparkly rainbow suspenders as pictured above, is possibly as effective a BID repellent but much, much more emotionally satisfying than mere poofsly-woofsly magical annihilation.
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Fashion District BID Executive Director Kent Smith’s Complete July 2015 Emails Now Available. FDBID Managing Director Rena Leddy Wins MK.org Excellence in BID Transparency Award!

Rena Leddy headshot
Rena Leddy, Managing Director of the Fashion District BID and MK.org CPRA Hero of the Fricking Year!!
Just this morning I received, via Dropbox, every one of Kent Smith’s emails for the month of July 2015. You can see all 1098 of them on the archive. Most of it’s dismal mass-blasted junk, of course, but even a lot of that is interesting. E.g. search in there for CCA (Central City Association) to see bunches of their bulletins, like this one, advertising special guests Jessica Borek and Matt Rodriguez. Unfortunately there’s probably no way to find out what was said there, but at least we know it happened.
Yet another smoking gun, as if it weren't clear enough that Marie Rumsey is a big-time lawbreaker.
Yet another smoking gun, as if it weren’t clear enough that Marie Rumsey is a big-time lawbreaker.

The most amazing thing about this document dump is the formatting. They’re PDFs, which often is a bad sign for emails, although these are text-based1 so they can be searched reasonably effectively. Too many agencies think somehow that a scanned PDF of a printed email satisfies CPRA’s requirement that electronic documents be produced in native formats. These PDFs are on a level I’ve never seen before, though. First of all, the links are live, including the links to remote images. Also the links to attachments are live and the attachments are embedded in the PDFs. For instance, look at this email about anti-street-vending strategies from Marie Rumsey to various people. It has an actual schedule of actual meetings with Councilmembers that CCA set up for street vending opponents attached, and you can click on it and read it! Or here it is if you’re lazy. This is the real deal! Look at the properties in that last item and see that Marie Rumsey spent 2015 breaking the revolving door ordinance to an even greater extent than anyone here imagined. Also take a look at this email from Jessica Borek to the gang which comes with a copy of a Power Point thing by Jessica Borek about the Coalition to Save Small Business strategy as well as a marked-up copy of ELACC’s proposed framework. This is the real deal, friends! It’s what CPRA was actually meant to yield.
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New Documents, Mostly Routine, although Assistant LAPD Chief Jorge Villegas Explicitly Acknowledges Limitations of Arrests as a Tool for Addressing Homelessness

Assistant Chief Jorge Villegas, LAPD: "As you know [homelessness] is an extremely complex issue to address.  It is not as simple as simply making an arrest.  As you know, we cannot arrest [our] way out of this complex social issue."
Assistant Chief Jorge Villegas, LAPD: “As you know [homelessness] is an extremely complex issue to address. It is not as simple as simply making an arrest. As you know, we cannot arrest [our] way out of this complex social issue.”
Today I uploaded documents from the DCBID, the Fashion District, and some emails from Raquel Beard to the Mayor’s office. The DCBID’s Operations Committee agendas are here, and according to Suzanne Holley this is all of them for which there are electronic copies. They don’t meet very often, it seems. Next up we have 2015 minutes and agendas for the Fashion District BID Board of Directors. There’s some interesting stuff here, although I haven’t had time to read them carefully. For instance, on February 26, 2015, the Board heard about the Central City Association’s plot to hire Rodriguez Strategies to fight the legalization of street vending in LA. The new information here is that Carol Schatz evidently pegged the cost at $60,000 and Kent Smith of the FDBID asked and received from the Board approval to donate $10,000. I think that, given how the original initiative expanded, including the hiring of subordinate publicists, that original estimate must have ended up to be quite low. In March Kent asked for and received from the board $5,000 to oppose Carol Liu’s Right to Rest Act. I really do wonder if this kind of political activism is a legal use of BID money, since it’s supposed to be used to provide services in the district above and beyond what the City provides. How, I wonder, is taking positions on state laws consistent with this charge? A question for another day, I guess. And finally, after the break, we have some emails from Raquel Beard of the CCEA to Eric Garcetti’s office.
Continue reading New Documents, Mostly Routine, although Assistant LAPD Chief Jorge Villegas Explicitly Acknowledges Limitations of Arrests as a Tool for Addressing Homelessness

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