Highland Park BID Executive Director Misty Iwatsu Wanted To Apply For A Job In Culver City But Thought Culver City Is Part Of Los Angeles — Thank Goodness The Leaders Of Los Angeles Have Chosen To Appoint To Its Positions Of Influence And Power Persons Of Such Deep Wisdom And Knowledge About The Politics, Society, And History Of Our City!

Tonight I have for you another juicy morsel from the recently announced set of emails from the Highland Park BID. Our story begins with this email from the BID Consortium to all of its zombie-like followers who, it seems, include Misty Iwatsu. The email was a listing of job opportunities for the LA BIDdie community, ensubjectified “Announcement:::BID Opportunities” and containing, in pertinent part, the following likely little slab of puckey:

Culver City Arts District BID – Executive Director

The Culver City Arts District is looking to hire a part-time Executive Director to help manage the programs and Board. The position will only be about 20-25 hours a month ($45-50 an hour). They are hoping to find someone that can assist with the business outreach, events, board administration, oversee a marketing consultant and generally keep things humming along. It is fairly low-key – and relatively flexible – though the board is looking for a self-starter with exceptional communication skills that can keep things moving along without a lot of oversight.

Contact: Elaine Gerety Warner (elaine.warner@culvercitv.org)

And friend Misty Iwatsu evidently read that and thought something along the lines of “I’m gonna cut me a slice of that cake!” because, somewhat less than three days later, she sent this cheerful little missive off to City of Los Angeles employed BIDmeisterin Rita Moreno, whom so many of our BIDs rely on for her good sense and relative sanity,1 asking for some job-related info and, in the process, fatally revealing the fact that she thought Culver City was somehow a part of Los Angeles when everybody who’s actually paying attention knows it’s its own damn place, got their own damn mayor, their own damn city council, their own damn muni code. It’s just like a real city, only smaller!

As usual, turn the page for a transcription, more emails, and the usual mockery!

So anyway, as I was saying, Misty Iwatsu fired off this little email to Rita Moreno, and here is what it said:

Subject: Culver City Arts District
From: Misty Iwatsu <mistyli@aol.com>
Date: 01/15/2018 12:00 PM
To: rita.moreno@lacity.org

Happy New Year Rita!!

Wondering if you could send me the MDP2 and the Engineers report for the Culver City Arts District. I looked for it on the LACity website and couldn’t find it on there.

Misty Iwatsu, Executive Director
North Figueroa Association
Lincoln Heights Benefit Assn of LA

The L.A. City website she’s talking about is presumably the Clerk’s BID page, which is very, very useful indeed, But obviously it’s only useful for BIDs in the City of Los Angeles and not at all in Culver City which is, recall, a whole nother city! Which was the subject, by the way, of Rita Moreno’s reply email, which stated kindly but firmly, well, read it yourself!

Subject: Re: Culver City Arts District
From: Rita Moreno <rita.moreno@lacity.org>
Date: 01/16/2018 09:06 AM
To: Misty Iwatsu <mistyli@aol.com>

Hi Misty,

Happy New Year to you too!

Culver City is an incorporated city and not part of the City of Los Angeles. Here is a link to their website: https://www.culvercity.org/work/doing-business/business-districts

I’m not sure how similar their MDP and ER would be to those of BIDs in L.A. You might want to check out our own BIDs on our website: http://clerk.lacity.org/business-improvement-districts


If only we had funded that damn MK.Org tactful non-elected City employee of the moment award! Rita Moreno would have won it right here!! It was going to have an endowment in the high two figures!! But we went and blew the whole wad on beer and lottery tickets!! Anyway, Rita Moreno couldn’t have been kinder, could she have? And here is Misty Iwatsu’s somewhat anticlimactic response:

Subject: Re: Culver City Arts District
From: Misty Iwatsu <mistyli@aol.com>
Date: 01/16/2018 09:09 AM
To: rita.moreno@lacity.org

Thanks. They are looking for an Exec Dir. Thought I might apply.

Misty Iwatsu, Executive Director
North Figueroa Association
Lincoln Heights Benefit Assn of LA

And Rita Moreno, tactful to the bitter end, does not disappoint her fans! Here’s her thread-ending response:

Subject: Re: Culver City Arts District
From: Rita Moreno <rita.moreno@lacity.org>
Date: 01/16/2018 11:21 AM
To: Misty Iwatsu <mistyli@aol.com>

Good luck!

Now, here at MK.Org, it’s true, we are in no way above mocking BIDdies for really random superficial meaningless qualities. We find the act of mocking itself to be self-justifying. It would be perfectly within our editorial policy to end this post with the literary3 equivalent of “nernie nernie, Misty Iwatsu didn’t know Culver City isn’t in Los Angeles!!” However, that’s not what we’re going to do this time.

See, it really matters that Misty Iwatsu doesn’t know that Culver City isn’t in Los Angeles. She’s not just some random who moved here last week from some godforsaken town back East in America. As the executive director of a BID, or actually two BIDs,4 she’s one of the chosen conduits of power between the zillionaires who own commercial property and the City officials who service their needs and desires.

She testifies at public hearings on behalf of her zillionaire masters and gets giggled with by Eric Garcetti as he happily swallows their zillionaire juices. She uses her City-granted powers to assist in the anti-Latino ethnic art cleansing of Highland Park, just as her colleagues in BIDs all over the City have helped to cleanse Latino-associated art genres from our City’s aesthetiscape.

She’s one of the elite class that the City Council appoints to its commissions and otherwise elevates to weirdly high levels of influence. So the fact that she doesn’t even know which areas are part of Los Angeles and which aren’t is strikingly dischordant. At least it’s dischordant if you assume the City wants smart, aware people in powerful positions subordinate to the City Council. This, of course, is what they’d want if they had the best interests of the City in mind, at heart. But they’re so consistent about picking essentially incompetent people to run so many of their BIDs5 so I really think they must be choosing the EDs that they want.

There are a number of clear advantages to a CM in having pushover brain-dead people running their BIDs, e.g. people who think Culver City is part of Los Angeles, that I guess it’s not surprising that that’s who they’re choosing. But there are no advantages to the people of Los Angeles to have City funds used to hire these people, City funds used to pay their salaries,6 City time spent on their weirdo concerns, exceptions to City laws granted to them over and over and over again, City powers ceded to these parochial white supremacist zillionaire cults, and so on.

As usual, the Councilmembers are helping themselves and hurting everyone else. And that, friends, is why it matters that Misty Iwatsu doesn’t know that Culver City is not in Los Angeles.

Image of Misty Iwatsu is ©2018 MichaelKohlhaas.Org and I made it all up outta this other picture of Misty Iwatsu.

  1. I don’t know much about Rita Moreno, so I don’t know if any of that nonsense is true, but I usually just assume that anyone who works for the City in an unelected position is smarter, saner, and more sensible than anyone who works for a BID in any position. It may not be completely accurate as rules go, but it has not failed me yet!
  2. Management District Plan.
  3. Yes, literary, thank you very much!
  4. She also seems to run something called the Lincoln Heights Benefit Association, which seems to be a BID. It may be that it’s kind of an unusual vestigial BID, and I don’t know much about it yet, so I’m relegating this to a footnote.
  5. Perhaps you’re thinking that the City doesn’t pick who to run the BIDs, that the BID boards pick who to run their own BIDs. This is false as a matter of law, given that the PBID law at §36624 gives the City Council the absolute right to determine what a BID spends its money on, which must include the salary of a given ED. It’s false as a matter of theory since, given that a major function of BIDs is to lobby the City, why would the property owners in a BID want to have an ED that the City Council rejected? How would such a person be able to lobby effectively. And it’s false as a matter of practice, since Councilmembers actually have forced BID boards to hire their chosen candidates as ED. The most famous case is Jose Huizar and Blair Besten, who the HCBID Board didn’t want to hire at all, but then did. Of course, usually nothing this overt happens, but these forces are totally sufficient to explain why BID boards pick EDs that are acceptable to their CMs. If they didn’t the CMs could force a change, and given this, why would the boards want to offend by picking unacceptable candidates?
  6. They’re City funds, no matter how much the property owners bleat about using their own damn money. It’s as much their money as the money I pay to the IRS every year is my money.

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