Tag Archives: South Los Angeles

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.
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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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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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Business Improvement Districts As A Force For White Supremacy in Twenty-First Century Los Angeles

This is the most obvious and least dangerous form in which white supremacy expresses itself.
This is the most obvious and least dangerous form in which white supremacy expresses itself.
My colleagues and I spill a lot of metaphorical ink referring to business improvement districts and their Boards of Directors as white supremacists, and we certainly stand by that position. However, it’s recently come to my attention that not everyone in our audience is familiar with the literal meaning of the phrase. Evidently it strikes some people as a generic, semantically empty insult, or else they’re confused by the fact that the phrase refers to at least two fairly distinct ideologies. Thus I thought it would be useful to explain in detail why BIDs are in a very literal sense white supremacist organizations.

First let’s get the definitions straight. As always, our friends at Wikipedia give us a good starting place. Their article on white supremacy tells us that the phrase has two principal meanings. The salient one for our purposes is that white supremacy is:

…a political ideology that perpetuates and maintains the social, political, historical and/or industrial domination by white people

It’s crucial to note that there’s nothing inherently racist about this kind of white supremacy.1 Now, the history of the racial segregation of real estate in Los Angeles is well-known, and Hollywood was at the forefront of it from the early years of the last century. What’s not so well understood is how racially segregated the commercial real estate market was. In fact2 it was certainly more segregated than residential real estate, since white people owned much of the commercial real estate even in areas of the City where nonwhites were allowed to own houses.3
Continue reading Business Improvement Districts As A Force For White Supremacy in Twenty-First Century Los Angeles

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Ham-Fistedly Delusional LA County Sheriff’s Deputy on how MacArthur Park Vendors are Responsible for ALL Crime: “It’s the equivalent of putting too many animals in one cage.”

Lee Baca, Paul Tanaka, and this freaking genius...nothing but the best and the brightest for the LA County Sheriff...
Lee Baca, Paul Tanaka, and this freaking genius…nothing but the best and the brightest for the LA County Sheriff…
Our correspondent hasn’t been to the Joint Security Committee of the HPOA and the CHC in a long time, but we do miss his reports; that’s where the real crazy happens. You can watch last Thursday’s meeting in its entirety and we’ll be presenting a few different selections from it over the next few days. Tonight’s little jewel has to do with the unknown LA County Sheriff’s Deputy whose picture is presently gracing your screen somewhere near this sentence. No one could understand his name when he announced it during the introductions, which is unfortunate because blasting the personal identity of ham-fisted babbling Sarah-Palin-wannabe cheese eaters like this genius all over the internet in close Google-cinity of their carefully transcribed moronic pronouncements is kind of this blog’s whole raison d’être and stuff. But ’twas not to be.

Anyway, listen and learn as he moves from one nonsensical bit of jibber-jabber to the next, playing into the delusional terrors of his zillionaire audience like a master baiter plays into the appetites of a trout in a stream. As always a full transcription appears at the end of the post.
Continue reading Ham-Fistedly Delusional LA County Sheriff’s Deputy on how MacArthur Park Vendors are Responsible for ALL Crime: “It’s the equivalent of putting too many animals in one cage.”

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Kerry Morrison Declares that Hollywood Street Performers Must Be Unmasked Because of Terrorism While All the While Taking Financial Advantage of Masked KKK Terrorism In Hancock Park

Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is acceptable.
Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is acceptable (and very, very good for business).
We have written many a post about Kerry Morrison’s weirdly obsessive hatred of the street characters at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue and how she uses the power of her BID to attack them at every turn. Her surreality-based antipathy has at various times inspired her co-conspirators at the LAPD to crack down heavily on these performers, even to the point where Carol Sobel had to sue the cops in Federal Court to stop the neurotic vendetta.

She’s spent at least a decade railing against these characters and working with the City Attorney, the City Council, private attorneys, everyone in sight, without notable success, to ban their activities, to stop them wearing masks, to require them to wear identity badges, to conflate them with terrorists, and so on. Well, we’ve been looking into the matter a little more deeply, and today we’re here to tell you a story about street characters, the KKK, domestic terrorism, anti-mask laws, and property values in Hancock Park.1 First let’s take a little trip through 7 years worth of the minutes of the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, concentrating on the street characters of Hollywood and Kerry Morrison’s efforts to thwart them by any means necessary:

Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is unacceptable.
Terrorism according to Kerry Morrison: This is unacceptable.

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Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Board Member Alyssa Van Breene: Financial Beneficiary of a Century of Poison-Saturated Environmental Racism in South Los Angeles

Standard Plating Company at 826 E. 62nd Street, Los Angeles.  Like the Hollywood Gower Plaza, this property has been in Alyssa Van Breene's family for four generations.  She's not bragging about it on the internet, though, possibly because, rather than being associated with glamor and glitz it's associated with poisons saturating the land and the groundwater.
Standard Plating Company at 826 E. 62nd Street, Los Angeles. Like the Hollywood Gower Plaza, this property has been in Alyssa Van Breene’s family for four generations. She’s not bragging about it on the internet, though, possibly because, rather than being associated with glamor and glitz, it’s associated with poisons saturating the land and the groundwater.
When first we met Ms. Alyssa Van Breene, round about the middle of 2015, she was out in Boyle Heights, shooting off her privileged mouth about street vending and how it must be forbidden because she and her strange BIDfellows “…work very hard to keep the sidewalks clean, safe, and hospitable for all pedestrians: tourists, workers, residents, and students.” Make a note of that “clean” bit. It’s going to come up again later.

When next we met Ms. Alyssa Van Breene she was boasting in her Board bio that her family had owned the northeast corner of Hollywood and Gower for four freaking generations, as if this were some kind of accomplishment to be proud of, predicated as it was and is on the white supremacist real estate policies that made Hollywood what it is today.

The human face of white supremacy, hypocrisy, and wanton saturation of the earth and water of South Los Angeles with poisons.
The human face of white supremacy, hypocrisy, and wanton saturation of the earth and water of South Los Angeles with poisons.

And when last we met Ms. Alyssa Van Breene, she was sitting in a room watching, not protesting, a gang of her white supremacist BID buddies laughing it up with Cowboy Cory Palka of the LAPD’s Hollywood Division about how fucked up South Los Angeles is. And really, this is how we meet her every month, as the HPOA plots to turn its BID Patrol into a tool for the LAPD to avoid civilian oversight, as they arrange the destruction of their own records to avoid criticism, as the BID Patrol continues to arrest the homeless merely to harass them, as they plot and plan to keep arresting street vendors, not to mention illegally destroying their wares, and so on. Her silence, obviously, equals her consent.
The famous four-generation Dulgarian/Van Breene strip mall at Hollywood and Gower is the non-toxic side of Alyssa Van Breene's holdings.
The famous four-generation Dulgarian/Van Breene strip mall at Hollywood and Gower is the non-toxic side of the holdings of Alyssa Van Breene’s people.

But we had assumed, without evidence or even much thought, that her destructive activities were confined to Hollywood, that yes, she was willing to oppress non-zillionaires by arresting them, mocking them, and chasing them out of Hollywood, but that that was the extent of the damage.

So what a surprise it was when the almighty Google turned us on to the fact that her mom, Dickie Van Breene (née Dulgarian) and her uncle Duke Dulgarian (and a bunch of other Dulgarians, but they don’t concern us here) were sued every which way but loose in 2013 in Federal Court by Kamala Harris and the California Department of Justice for illegally dumping a bunch of poisonous shit at a nickel-chrome plating factory in on East 62nd Street in South L.A. that they all inherited down the generations along with the Hollywood and Gower property, the economic benefits of which inure to Alyssa Van Breene just as surely as do those of the famous strip mall. You can read the initial complaint here, and it has some interesting history in it:
Continue reading Hollywood Property Owners Alliance Board Member Alyssa Van Breene: Financial Beneficiary of a Century of Poison-Saturated Environmental Racism in South Los Angeles

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Kerry Morrison Accuses Street Vending Proponents Collectively of “Almost Resembl[ing] a Circus,” Being “Completely Dysfunctional [and] Disrespectful,” and “Being Bused in,” Elides True Nature of Putative Coalition

Kerry Morrison at the July 9, 2015 meeting of the Joint Security Committee being the opposite of dysfunctional, disrespectful, and circus-like.
Kerry Morrison at the July 9, 2015 meeting of the Joint Security Committee looking mighty fed up with something while at the same time, of course, being nondysfunctional, nondisrespectful, and in no way resembling a circus.
We’ve written before about the HPOA’s crazed-and-at-the-mouth-foaming opposition to Councilmembers Huizar’s and Price’s proposed ordinance legalizing street vending in the city of Los Angeles. We’ve written about the HPOA’s scheme to send its agents to public meetings in the ill-concealed guise of concerned citizens opposing the ordinance. Today we report on Kerry Morrison’s recent discussion of her experience orchestrating that whole fiasco. We’ll analyze it line by line, and you can watch the whole thing here and/or read a transcription after the break.

there were a series of four hearings that the chief administrative office staff held on the… the sidewalk vending ordinance. … It’s just this kind of amorphous set of hearings, which were completely dysfunctional, disrespectful, and almost, um, resembled a circus.

This painting by Georges Seurat almost resembles a circus also, but, and this is a subtle point but sound, Cela ne veut pas un cirque.
This painting by Georges Seurat almost resembles a circus also, but, and this is a subtle point but sound, cela ne veut pas un cirque.

Kerry’s been on before about this issue, people not treating her agents provocateurs to what she delusorily imagines to be the duly appropriate level of forelock-tugging, although she hits a new high note1 here. We mean, we weren’t at the hearings, but it’s hard to imagine that they were dysfunctional. It’s easier to imagine that perhaps Kerry’s mistaken the purpose. It’s hard to see how a public hearing can be disrespectful without being told towards what or whom it’s disrespectful. Does she mean the hearing was disrespectful towards her minions? What is it that they’ve done to earn anyone’s respect? Perhaps she means something else. And as for the hearings “almost…resembl[ing] a circus,” well, we imagine that’s nothing more than the reaction of someone who has done her illegal best to make sure that the public doesn’t feel welcome at the meetings she’s the boss of to finding out that she’s not the boss of every meeting in Los Angeles and, just possibly, maybe not so welcome at all of them her own self.
Continue reading Kerry Morrison Accuses Street Vending Proponents Collectively of “Almost Resembl[ing] a Circus,” Being “Completely Dysfunctional [and] Disrespectful,” and “Being Bused in,” Elides True Nature of Putative Coalition

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Anatomy of a Hustle

Consuelo Marshall: People of Los Angeles, this woman is NOT your friend.
Nine justices of the United States Supreme Court to Consuelo Marshall and the City of Los Angeles: Dear Consuelo and LA, are you fucking serious?!
I would like to recommend the book Anatomy of a Hustle to anyone who’s interested in practical aspects of the governance of the city of Los Angeles. It’s a memoir by Clinton Galloway of his attempt, along with his brother Carl, to get a franchise to bring cable television to South Los Angeles in the 1970s and beyond. They were thwarted at every turn by an astonishingly corrupt city government and an astonishingly corrupt federal judge, spawned in the bowels of City Hall itself; Consuelo Marshall. Things haven’t changed much over there.

Marshall’s blatantly biased decision in favor of her cronies at City Hall was reversed unanimously by the 9th circuit and again unanimously by the U.S. Supreme Court, and yet she continued to violate their orders and judicial ethics at every possible point for almost a decade after the big courts remanded the case back to her with a note attached saying roughly: “Dear Consuelo and city of Los Angeles, are you fucking serious?!”
Continue reading Anatomy of a Hustle

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