Tag Archives: Street Vending

We Applaud Randall Tampa’s (Weirdly) Professional Reaction To Ongoing Police Commission Registration Of BID Patrol Officers — He Thinks It’s A Good Thing For All The Right Reasons! (And 500+ More Emails From The Fashion District BID Courtesy Of Also-Highly-Professional Exec Direc Rena Masten Leddy!)

Here’s a brief summary of the background: Late last year, on the basis of my complaint to the Police Commission, the City of LA resumed enforcement of LAMC 52.34 against BID security forces.1 Since then I’ve been tracking the progress of this massive project via various CPRA requests. In November 2016 the Police Commission informed all BIDs of the registration requirement. In December 2017 the Police Commission told the BIDs to quit whining and comply with the law.

Meanwhile, the latest piece of evidence in the ongoing saga of the registration of BID Patrols with the Police Commission comes from a huge release of emails by the Fashion District BID2 These span the time from July 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017 and are mostly between BID staff and the City of Los Angeles.3

There is an awful lot to write about here, but today I just want to highlight this interesting December 2016 email from FDBID operations director Randall Tampa to Eugene Shin, who’s the Police Commission investigator who’s handling the registration project. Randall Tampa sees the bigger picture here. It’s not a loss for BIDs who want to be free of any kind of oversight by the City, but a win for higher quality governance for everyone in Los Angeles:

I totally agree and support the police commission (and you) in your efforts to assure that only qualified personnel are patrolling the streets of Los Angeles.

In his email, Randall Tampa explicitly relates this opinion to his own experience as a police officer, proving yet again that people with experience in matters usually are much saner and have much more robust insights into how to regulate them. Most of the BIDs in our fair City are run by a bunch of cop-loving wannabes4 who are essentially see City governance as some kind of bizarre role-playing game, like Zillionaires versus Homeless, or whatever, rather than as an arena where wisdom and experience are far more essential than zillionaire-itude.

True, the Fashion District BID is presently having the stuffing sued out of it in federal court for its malfeasance and illegal conspiracies with the LAPD, and rightly so. They will lose this suit if there’s justice in the world, and be forced to pay endless amounts of money, but while they’re losing that suit, while they’re criminally conspiring with the cops, at least they’re putting up a professional front. At least they’re not a fricking embarrassment to themselves and others. (Turn the page for a complete transcription of Randall Tampa’s email and some musings on the nature of evil and frontery.)
Continue reading We Applaud Randall Tampa’s (Weirdly) Professional Reaction To Ongoing Police Commission Registration Of BID Patrol Officers — He Thinks It’s A Good Thing For All The Right Reasons! (And 500+ More Emails From The Fashion District BID Courtesy Of Also-Highly-Professional Exec Direc Rena Masten Leddy!)

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The Actual Mechanism By Which Suzanne Holley And The Central City Association Strangled The Incipient Street Vending Ordinance In Its Cradle By Sneaking In Unilateral Councilmember Opt-Out On Behalf Of BIDs, The Role In This Debacle Played By Criminal Conspirators Jessica Borek and Matt Rodriguez, And How The Council Messaged It To BIDs

The Wicked Witch of the Southeast corner of Wilshire and Hope giving instructions to her flying monkeys.
Recall that I’ve been tracking the hysterical, irrational opposition of LA’s business improvement districts to the ongoing process of legalizing (some aspects of) street vending in the City since the Spring of 2015. A truly astonishing level of bitching and moaning in 2015 stalled out the whole process for most of 2016 because, I believe, everyone was too freaking sick of the whining and the carefully orchestrated lying on any number of occasions and the City just needed a rest.
A man arrested, transported, and handcuffed to a bench by the Andrews International BID Patrol in Hollywood for selling umbrellas on the street. At least it appears that this horror show is over, although I wouldn’t be surprised if there are even more loopholes and it’s not over at all.
Until the November election of Donald Trump and his subsequent threats to deport essentially anyone, U.S. citizen or not, who’d ever smiled while thinking of eating a taco spurred the Council into action on at least the small part (small but in no way insignificant) of the plan to decriminalize illegal street vending so that, no matter how much trouble the zillionaires might cause the heladeros, at least they wouldn’t be subject to arrest and subsequent deportation. That bit seemed urgent enough to pass Council outright, and even the anti-vending forces of the zillionaire elite seemed to realize that they were just going to be exposed as the nasty little mean creeps that they are if they fought back on this particular issue. However, the Council put off acting on an actual legalization framework until later.

But recall, as I reported in January, the instructions for the report-back were altered from the original, and quite sensible,1 request for

A process to create special vending districts to be initiated by Council, the Board of Public Works, or petition (with signatures from 20 percent of property owners or businesses in the proposed district), based on legitimate public health, safety and welfare concerns that are unique to specific neighborhoods with special circumstances.

to a request for language

Providing the City Council the ability to opt out of certain streets by Council action.

At that time I didn’t understand yet how this had all taken place, but now I’ve accumulated enough documentary evidence that it’s possible to sketch out a picture. The short version is that in December 2016, Suzanne Holley, at that time acting Executive Director2 of the Schatzian horror show known as the Central City Association of Los Angeles, wrote a letter to the City Council telling them to make the change. This was distributed to the BIDs via the BID Consortium. They all told their pet Councilmembers to change it. It got changed, and all the BIDs rejoiced, some of them quite publicly. The consequences of this are going to be horrific, and whatever street vending framework gets put in place will be DOA. Details and evidence after the break.
Continue reading The Actual Mechanism By Which Suzanne Holley And The Central City Association Strangled The Incipient Street Vending Ordinance In Its Cradle By Sneaking In Unilateral Councilmember Opt-Out On Behalf Of BIDs, The Role In This Debacle Played By Criminal Conspirators Jessica Borek and Matt Rodriguez, And How The Council Messaged It To BIDs

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Anxious Rich White Palisadeseans Are Reassured That Mike Bonin Won’t Allow Street Vendors To Besmirch The Lily-White Palisadesean Streets (Except For The Farmers’ Market Cause White People Like Farmers’ Markets) And Also LAPD Advises How To Get Rid Of Scary Fat Nasty Angry Black Homeless Male Man!

When last we peeked into the Minutes of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Palisades BID, we learned that they were all sitting around up there in Northwest Zillionaireville quaking in their super-pricy boots over the influx of gang members from urban Santa Monica. Today, well, there’s the serious matter of street vending to discuss, of course, but first, take a look at the minutes from January 4, 2017, where we learn about this:

Homeless issue – One person is a problem on Via de la Paz lately. He is a 300 lb., male black man with a nasty temper. Officer Moore recommends signing a “Trespass Arrest Authorization” form which was handed out.

Got it? He weights three hundred pounds.1 He’s black. And not only that, he is both male and a man. This is a truly frightening situation! I’m wondering if their trespass authorization form has a place to put the weight of trespassers that the cops are authorized to arrest? The standard form does not, but the LAPD is famous for deploying multiple helicopters to fly against the homeless in the Palisades. Are they going to refuse them a custom anti-homeless trespass form? Especially if they’re being overrun by a horde of three hundred distinct pounds of angry homeless black male man?

I mean, I know you can never be too rich or too thin, but that the Palisadesians are extra-scared of this man because “he is a 300 lb., male black man…” is somewhat unexpected, even though 300 lb. people can certainly “pose to be dangerous.” I would have thought that fear of the homeless would be measured more by the individual than by the pound, but I’m wrong again. Certainly this is why I can’t afford to live in the Palisades amongst the jittery little psychopathic self-interested zillionaire theorists of homelessness. My priorities are obviously really confused.

And if they’re going to pieces to this extent over one “300 lb., male black man,” how are they going to feel about the gracious shimmering snow-white streets of their little village2 being overrun by the herds of dark-skinned heladeros, frutateros, and eloteros that are even now massing at their borders just waiting for the City Council to give them the go-ahead to swarm in and start supplying their victims, the hitherto-uncorrupted-by-Mexican-ice-cream-treats Palisadeseans, with paletas de limón? Not good, I’m telling you that much. But their man on Spring Street, Mike Bonin, is there for them as he always is. Turn the page for details.
Continue reading Anxious Rich White Palisadeseans Are Reassured That Mike Bonin Won’t Allow Street Vendors To Besmirch The Lily-White Palisadesean Streets (Except For The Farmers’ Market Cause White People Like Farmers’ Markets) And Also LAPD Advises How To Get Rid Of Scary Fat Nasty Angry Black Homeless Male Man!

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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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Street Vending Lawsuit Trial Date Set For January 30, 2018, Fashion District BID Finally Sets Out Preliminary Position On Allegations

This kind of thing really has to stop soon.  This man was arrested and handcuffed in Hollywood and his ice cream set out to melt by the Andrews International BID Patrol, but the LAPD does the same and worse, as mostly likely does the Fashion District BID's rent-a-cops.
This kind of thing really has to stop soon. This man was arrested and handcuffed in Hollywood and his ice cream set out to melt by the Andrews International BID Patrol, but the LAPD does the same and worse, as mostly likely does the Fashion District BID’s rent-a-cops.

You can read up on the background in this 2015 LA times story and also in our multiple stories on the subject. Most of the paper filed in the case is available here.

A number of new documents have been filed in the National Lawyers’ Guild’s suit against the City of Los Angeles and the Fashion District business improvement district for their disgraceful treatment of street vendors. Here’s a list, followed by my usual uninformed commentary:

  • Joint Rule 26(f) report — This is a surprisingly interesting document. It’s evidently required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f), which regulates pretrial discovery agreements. For our purposes, though, it also seems to require that all the parties lay out their views of the case. This is especially interesting with respect to the Fashion District, which, even though it did answer the complaint, did so in a completely vacuous manner. There’s some substance here, and I discuss it after the break.
  • Court Order re: Scheduling Conference — Here Judge O’Connell cancels a settlement conference that was to be held Monday, orders that the parties complete the dispute resolution process by December 4, 2017, and file a joint report on it within 7 days of its conclusion.
  • Court Order re: Alternative Dispute Resolution — This order declares that the Alternative Dispute Resolution will be handled by the Magistrate Judge assigned to the case.
  • Order for Civil Jury Trial With relevant dates — This is an order for a trial, to take place on January 30, 2018, and other relevant dates.

Continue reading Street Vending Lawsuit Trial Date Set For January 30, 2018, Fashion District BID Finally Sets Out Preliminary Position On Allegations

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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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Many, Many New Emails from CD13 About Homeless Encampments, From CD4 About the Food Coalition, and From South Park BID About Street Vending

An image attached to one of many CD13 emails discussing breaking up homeless encampments on Melrose, Vermont, Alvarado, Beverly, and some adjacent streets.
An image attached to one of many CD13 emails discussing breaking up homeless encampments on Melrose, Vermont, Alvarado, Beverly, and some adjacent streets.
Today I’m just announcing three new collections of emails, all of which can be found (for now) exclusively in our Archive.org collections. First we have emails to and from CD13 about homeless encampments on Vermont Avenue, Melrose, Beverly, Alvarado, and some adjacent streets. The Council District was involved with breaking up these encampments in March 2016 and these emails document the process. They also contain a lot of fodder for future requests, since some of them list specific document numbers for Bureau of Street Services and also Sanitation Department orders and reports. It’s almost as if no one at CD13 was aware that breaking up homeless encampments puts federal money in jeopardy.
Continue reading Many, Many New Emails from CD13 About Homeless Encampments, From CD4 About the Food Coalition, and From South Park BID About Street Vending

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Epic Fact-Finding Journey to Echo Park to Document What Will Be Lost if the Proposed BID is Established and Call to Political Action!

If the BID is established forget about food trucks.  BIDs freaking hate food trucks.  Especially if they're near a restaurant, like this one on Logan Street North of Sunset is.
If the BID is established forget about food trucks. BIDs freaking hate food trucks. Especially if they’re near a restaurant, like this one on Logan Street North of Sunset is.
If the Echo Park BID is established forget about little old ladies selling flowers, like this one on Sunset Blvd. just West of Echo Park Avenue.  BIDs freaking hate little old ladies!
If the Echo Park BID is established forget about little old ladies selling flowers, like this one on Sunset Blvd. just West of Echo Park Avenue. BIDs freaking hate little old ladies!
If the Echo Park BID is established forget about signs like this.  BIDs freaking hate signs on the sidewalk.
If the Echo Park BID is established forget about signs like this. BIDs freaking hate signs on the sidewalk.
If the BID is established in Echo Park say goodbye to RVs around the Park itself.  BIDs freaking hate RVs.
If the BID is established in Echo Park say goodbye to RVs around the Park itself. BIDs freaking hate RVs.
Due to some kind-hearted click bait1 bestowed by loyal FOMs Esotouric, my colleagues’ recent post on the resurgence of the long-dormant proposed Echo Park Business Improvement District has turned out to be one of our most popular posts of 2016. The colleagues left out some absolutely essential information and so I’m following up on their behalves. Also I used the whole situation as an excuse to ride the 704 Eastbound to Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Blvd. to check out the situation on the ground.

First the essential info: This thing is on the agenda for the Economic Development Committee meeting on Tuesday, May 10, in room 1010 in City Hall. You can go tell them what you think about it. Unfortunately I have other commitments, and I’m sure approval is a foregone conclusion, but there’s the info if you want it.

Second, as you can see from the images accompanying this post, if the BID’s approved a lot of stuff is going to change out there. They’re going to chase off taco trucks. BIDs hate taco trucks with a passion that’s hard to understand. They even, believe it or not, hate taco trucks parked on private property. Showing an astonishing ignorance of the rights of property owners in a free society, they’ve been known to express amazement that they’re not against the law.

If the BID is approved, sidewalk signs have got to go. BIDs freaking hate sidewalk signs. In fact, one of the very first things Kerry Morrison did in the 1990s after the Hollywood Entertainment District BID was established was to go after businesses with signs on the sidewalk. Why? Who the hell knows? It offended her sense of order or something. Why should Echo Park expect anything different.
Continue reading Epic Fact-Finding Journey to Echo Park to Document What Will Be Lost if the Proposed BID is Established and Call to Political Action!

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Just When You Thought it was Safe to Go Back in the Water: Zombie Echo Park BID Comes Roaring Back to Life After 6 Years of Inanition

Garcetti's last laugh...the Echo Park BID claws its grimy way out of its once-forgotten grave.
Garcetti’s last laugh…the Echo Park BID claws its grimy way out of its once-forgotten grave.

NOTE: Part Two of this series is now live on the internets.

I mean, sure, we’re being overdramatic, but what is anyone to think when a long-forgotten council file comes roaring back to life after six years of inactivity. We didn’t even know that was legal!

It seems that back in January 2010, big bad BID buddy Eric Garcetti, then of CD13, made a motion to spend $40,000 of public money to facilitate the formation of a BID in Echo Park. And, weirdly, in March of that year, sent his aide Alejandra Marroquin to plump for the BID in front of the Jobs and Business Development Committee.1 Anyway, the forty grand was approved in April 2010 and there it stopped. Until this April, anyway, when more funding was approved and they’re all-systems-go yet again. Evidently Echo Park hit some kind of gentrification tipping point and now they need to hire some armed minions of their own to run the heladeros out of the park. Unless the yuppies think they’re too cute to shackle, that is, and they just might, cause ain’t that just like a yuppie?
Continue reading Just When You Thought it was Safe to Go Back in the Water: Zombie Echo Park BID Comes Roaring Back to Life After 6 Years of Inanition

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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.
Continue reading 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!

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