Tag Archives: Sleeping in Cars

Despite His Generally Sympathetic Rhetoric, It Turns Out That Since 2015 Mike Bonin Has Moved Or Seconded Almost 60% Of Anti-Homeless Oversize Vehicle Bans, Helping To Make Revised Ban On Car Sleeping Even More Draconian Than Anticipated

RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue, banned in 2016 with the help of Mike Bonin.
Here’s the story so far: Last year the City Council repealed its law against sleeping in cars, which it more or less had to do because the Ninth Circuit told them they couldn’t enforce it anyway. Then in November they passed a new version of the law, published as LAMC 85.02, which supposedly corrected the last version’s problems. The new law, according to guidelines published by the City of Los Angeles, purports to allow living in a vehicle under these circumstances:

  • Between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. – more than one block (500 feet) away from licensed schools, pre-schools, daycare facilities, or parks.
  • Between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. – in non-residentially zoned areas which are more than one block (500 feet) away from licensed schools, pre-schools or daycare facilities or parks.


When the law was passed last November, CD11 Councilmember Mike Bonin was quoted in the Times to the effect that these restrictions would leave half the streets in the City open to homeless car dwellers. More recently, the incomparable Gale Holland reported that, not only did the official City map only show about 10% of our streets open, but that that estimate didn’t even take into account so-called block-by-block restrictions. According to Gale Holland, Mike Bonin used this insufficiency as a reason to hurry along his proposed Safe Parking program, which would open up some City property for homeless parking. So I decided to look at these weirdly specific1 block-by-block restrictions, which seem to have been passed almost exclusively post-Desertrain, from 2015 on. Read on for statistics and links to all of the Council Files.
Continue reading Despite His Generally Sympathetic Rhetoric, It Turns Out That Since 2015 Mike Bonin Has Moved Or Seconded Almost 60% Of Anti-Homeless Oversize Vehicle Bans, Helping To Make Revised Ban On Car Sleeping Even More Draconian Than Anticipated

David Ryu’s Staff Evidently Considered and Rejected Lisa Schechter’s and Media District BID’s (Illegal, Unethical) Plea For A Council Motion Regarding Oversize Vehicle Parking In February 2016

Lisa Schechter in February 2016, right around the time that David Ryu's staff was quite sensibly deciding to ignore her illegal and unethical lobbying to ban RV's in the Media District.
Lisa Schechter in February 2016, right around the time that David Ryu’s staff was quite sensibly deciding to ignore her illegal and unethical lobbying to attack homeless people by banning RVs in the Media District.
Recall that in August 2016, Mitch O’Farrell and Mike Bonin introduced a motion in Council to attack the homeless by prohibiting RVs from parking overnight in the Media District BID. This was as a result of lobbying by Lisa Schechter, now executive directrix of the Hollywood Media District BID, but formerly Tom LaBonge’s high muckety-muck for something or another. The full story is here. At the time I wondered why David Ryu hadn’t seconded the motion, given that (a) Schechter had lobbied him heavily to do so, and (b) a significant part of the Media District BID is in CD4:

[His non-involvement] suggests the possibility that Ryu isn’t as invested in pleasing these BIDdies as O’Farrell is. Or maybe he’s sitting it out because his staff has made him aware that Schechter’s up to something sneaky.

Well, I recently obtained emails from CD4 that bear on the matter. These are heavily redacted, but interestingly, as is sometimes the case, the redactions themselves tell part of the story.
Continue reading David Ryu’s Staff Evidently Considered and Rejected Lisa Schechter’s and Media District BID’s (Illegal, Unethical) Plea For A Council Motion Regarding Oversize Vehicle Parking In February 2016

Crime Does Pay At City Hall: Anti-RV Resolution Introduced In Council This Morning At Behest of Media District BID Director Lisa Schechter, Acting in Apparent Violation of Her Post-Employment Lobbying Ban

RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue
RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue
This morning, CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell introduced a resolution seeking to impose restrictions on parking oversized vehicles in a semi-industrialized sliver of the Hollywood Media District BID located roughly between Cole Avenue and Vine Street west to east and Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue north to south. There is a never-ending flow of these seemingly innocuous items in the agendas of our esteemed Council, but I just happen to know an awful lot about the backstory to this one, which is anything but innocuous, actually, and is the subject of today’s post.

The Media District BID is particularly attractive to people living in RVs because it’s industrialized, so no night-time neighbors to annoy, and it’s close to the center of Hollywood. Especially on Lillian Way and its cross streets, Romaine, Willoughby, and Waring, there has been a thriving but quiet community of RV-dwellers for years on end. But the Media District BID hates it. They just can’t deal with it. For instance, see this email chain from March 2015 where Hollywood cop Julie Nony discusses how to get rid of them with erstwhile Media District BID director Steven Whiddon and a bunch of overprivileged proprietors who don’t understand the concept of public space. But, probably not surprisingly, Steven Whiddon was unable to orchestrate any lasting action.

RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue
RVs on Lillian Way between Santa Monica Blvd and Melrose Avenue

So enter Lisa Schechter, employed by erstwhile CD4 rep Tom LaBonge until June 30, 2015. Sometime between then and October 2015 she was hired by the Media District to replace the departed but unlamented Whiddon. Very soon after that, in fact on November 5, 2015, Schechter and current Media District Board President Laurie Goldman met with O’Farrell’s Hollywood Field Deputy, Daniel Halden. Dan was kind enough to supply me with a copy of his notes from that meeting, wherein (on the second page) one can read the portentous words: “Oversized vehicles Resolution — MAP.” There’s no question that this meeting between Halden, Goldman, and Schechter, is the genesis of the resolution introduced this morning by Mitch O’Farrell.
Continue reading Crime Does Pay At City Hall: Anti-RV Resolution Introduced In Council This Morning At Behest of Media District BID Director Lisa Schechter, Acting in Apparent Violation of Her Post-Employment Lobbying Ban

Council Votes to Repeal Unconstitutional Street Sleeping Ordinance, Which Maybe Has Implications For BID Security Registration with Police Commission

Your civil liberties at work.
Your civil liberties at work.
Today the LA City Council repealed LAMC 85.02, which prohibited sleeping in cars, and which the Ninth Circuit found to be unconstitutional in 2014 (even though the BID Patrol never seems to have gotten the message). The Council File is here, and the most interesting part is the the City Attorney’s report explaining why they ought to repeal the law.

Here’s a possibly wack but superficially plausible theory of why this situation might lend independent support to the idea that BID security actually ought to register with the Police Commission.
Continue reading Council Votes to Repeal Unconstitutional Street Sleeping Ordinance, Which Maybe Has Implications For BID Security Registration with Police Commission