So much stuff to announce this morning! Here’s a brief list with links, and there’s a more detailed list after the break.
- January 2017 Wilshire Center BID Emails — These are emails between the City of Los Angeles and the Wilshire Center BID. I didn’t notice anything momentous in this batch on first review, but it’s been my experience that I often don’t understand the import of documents until long after I get them. WCBID Executive Director Mike Russell provides these to me in mbox format, which is the gold standard for sharing emails as it preserves their exact structure. I extracted all the emails as emls and put those up on the Archive along with the usual PDFs in order to preserve searchability and provide the attachments. If you need help extracting attachments drop me a line. Mr. Mike is so helpful and so law-abiding with respect to CPRA that we named a prize after him.
- 2016 Figueroa Corridor BID Emails — This is 13 months worth of emails between the FCBID and the City of Los Angeles. I haven’t covered this BID before now, but I got interested because they’re managed by Urban Place Consulting. This seems to be a full-service, nationwide BID consulting and management firm. Some of the material in these emails has to do with the FCBID’s ongoing renewal with the City. This process has turned out to be fascinating to study, not least with respect to the issue of whether BID consultants are lobbyists, and therefore required to register with the City. Some do and also some don’t, and no one from Urban Place does. There are also interesting items in here related to the City Clerk’s Great Newsletter Crackdown of 2016 as well as the BID Patrol registration fiasco.
- 2016 North Hollywood BID Emails — The North Hollywood BID is also managed by Urban Place Consulting, so I’m interested in them for essentially the same reasons as I am the FCBID. Another really interesting and as-yet unexplored issue with this BID is the so-called North Hollywood Pedestrian Plaza. This is a former public alley that was converted to a pedestrian mall in 2015 via the City’s People St Program. According to LADOT, this is still public property, but according to the NOHOBID, they have exclusive control over its use. So not only does the City privatize its municipal functions by handing them over to BIDs, they have actually privatized public property and handed control of it over to this BID. I’ll be looking into this phenomenon.
- 2016 East Hollywood BID Emails — Ah, the freaking BID Consortium. BIDs themselves are subject to the CPRA and the Brown Act, but they have formed this organization which, for various technical reasons, is not so subject. Thus, as long as they only send their staff to its meetings and not too many of their board members, BIDs can discuss whatever they want to completely in secret. So the only way to pierce the veil is to request records about the Consortium from the individual BIDs. If nothing else, this is a good way to collect email addresses for BID people. These emails came to me as PDFs made by some kind of Adobe/Outlook extraction tool. Such PDFs are the next best thing to native format for email, and even though some searchability is degraded, the East Hollywood BID is so cooperative with CPRA and provides the material I request so promptly that it’s worth it to me to accept these. The PDFs have attachments embedded in them in some way that doesn’t seem so easy to extract without official Adobe software or esoteric command line tools. If you need help getting the attachments out of the PDFs, drop me a line, as always.
- 2016 BID Consortium agendas — These are extremely sparse, but they do show who’s meeting with the BID Consortium. They seem to have regular monthly dates with the City Clerk and the City Attorney. On one occasion in 2016 Mike Feuer himself attended one of their meetings. They do not seem to distribute minutes by email, which is a pity, certainly.