As you’re surely aware, our old friend Kerry Morrison has managed over the last twenty two years to position herself as some kind of neutral expert on homelessness in Los Angeles and thereby to be appointed to all kinds of influential positions even though actually, as executive director of the Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance, she earns her salary by overseeing the arrest of homeless residents of Hollywood at an astonishing rate as part of her ultimate goal of moving them out of her BIDs by any means necessary.
For instance, as a result, former CD13 rep Eric Garcetti felt free to appoint her to the LAHSA Commission and subsequently to the Prop HHH Citizens’ oversight committee.1 The fact that Kerry Morrison is a politically viable candidate for such appointments despite the fact that her positions differ not at all in any pragmatic way from those of e.g. open advocate for violence, slavering anti-homeless psychopath, and manifestly unappointable-to-anything Mark Ryavec shows the disheartening extent to which she’s managed, through deception and the inattention of journalists to BIDs in Los Angeles, to maintain her public image as some kind of local Mother Teresa figure.2
Kerry Morrison’s genius for reputation-laundering reached a kind of apotheosis in 2016 when she wangled herself a Stanton Fellowship, which is some kind of grant awarded by the Durfee Foundation3 to “allow leaders to test a hunch,” whatever that means.4 And regardless of what it means to the Foundation, it’s also very convenient for Ms. Kerry Morrison as yet another way to fail to acknowledge her paymasters at the BID.5
Given all this it was no surprise to discover that in 2017 Kerry Morrison somehow found her way onto something called the Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission‘s Ad Hoc Committee on LA County’s Board And Care System. When I learned of this in February, naturally I went ahead and sent a CPRA request to the County for all relevant emails. After an astonishing level of obstructionist shenanigans6 they finally released some subset of what I asked for, and you can read the whole set here on Archive.Org.
One moderately interesting item lurking amongst the chaff is the actual report prepared by the Ad Hockies. It’s mostly expected platitudes and stuff, though. The most interesting part is that, as discussed above, Kerry Morrison gives her institutional affiliation as “Stanton Fellow 2016-17” rather than as something honest like, e.g., queen homeless killer for the HPOA.
And there is a lot to write about in this set of records, but the text for today’s sermon is this June 12, 2017 email from Kerry Morrison7 to her gang of yes-people on the Hollywood 4WRD mailing list8 asking if any of them want to be appointed to the County Mental Health Commission. Turn the page for links to the emails, transcriptions thereof, and some commentary!
So here’s the email that kicked it all off:
On June 12, 2017 at 12:29:08 PM, Kerry Morrison (firstname.lastname@example.org ) wrote:
l am aware that the Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission is looking to fill five vacancies on their citizen, volunteer commission. At least 50 percent of the seats must be filled by individuals with lived experience (either personally, or through family connections). The Commission also seeks to reflect the diversity of the county, and values a variety of disciplines and expertise: law, business, nonprofit, health care, law enforcement, etc. The seats are filled by members of the board of supervisors.
If you would like to know more about what it takes to serve on the commission, or if you have someone in mind who might be a candidate, let me know. I offered to reach assist [sic] the chair in cultivating some names that could be presented to the supervisors.
And all her BIDdie buddies were evidently willing and able to get on the Mental Health Commission and start legislating away the rights of the homeless in Los Angeles County, because a mere 31 hours later, Kerry Morrison informed Caroline Kelly, the Commission Chair, via this email, that she had a little list:
From: Kerry Morrison <Kerry@hollvwoodbid.org>
Date: Tue, Jun 13, 2017 at 7:16 PM
Subject: RE: Board and Care project
To: Caroline Kelly <email@example.com>
Caroline, I sent out an email to Hollywood 4WRD and I received some TERRIFIC replies. Here is a sampling:
Rev. Kathy Cooper Ledesma, pastor at Hollywood United Methodist Church – she has been very involved in this issue
Keegan Hombeck, social worker, works with GettLove. Lives in South LA, I believe
Antquan Washington, works at the CES matcher for the Mid-Wilshire section of SPA 4, and is a pastor for Broken Hearts Ministry which is street-based work with homeless
Jackie Lawson, deputy city attorney. Lives in West LA, I believe.
Steve Seyler, former detective with Inglewood PD; security director for BID Patrol (Andrews International Security); lives in Simi Valley.
We’ll talk more when I get back!
So there’s our old friend Steve Seyler vying at Kerry Morrison’s request to get on the Los Angeles County Mental Health Commission. One problem? He lives in freaking Simi Valley, caucasian cop’s paradise and famously NOT IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY. Does this matter? I don’t know, probably. After all, Kerry Morrison did say that appointments sought “ to reflect the diversity of the county.” Do white cops who can’t even stand to live in the same county as the people they police do that? Arguably, anyway. There are certainly enough of them.
And although that problem ought to take second place to the next problem I’m going to discuss, I’m guessing it would not. After all, where one lives is a technicality, and politicians love to decide things on the basis of technicalities. Which county one lives in is a bright-line matter. There are no nuances. As opposed to, e.g., not only being completely incompetent, but being actively hostile towards the very existence of the mentally ill. One would prefer that kind of thing to be dispositive rather than the random matter of which side of an imaginary line one lives on. But that’s not our world, is it?
And when I say the guy’s hostile and incompetent with respect to mental health issues, let me clarify. This is a guy who believes in involuntary commitment of the homeless because arresting them so freaking many times is a burden on his security guards. His subordinates think it’s OK to repeatedly arrest homeless people in order to build a record leading to involuntary commitment. He believes that conservatorship is a valid tool for moving homeless people out of Hollywood, which is what he and Kerry Morrison are ultimately paid to do.
This is a guy who thinks “we’re here to help you” is a valid first approach to the homeless, to be followed up immediately with handcuffs and an arrest if being nice doesn’t work. This is not a guy who ought to be anywhere near a commission with significant responsibility over how the mentally ill, the homeless, are treated by our public officials. This guy is part of the problem. He is not part of the freaking solution.
This is a guy that Kerry Morrison, self-proclaimed compassionate expert on homelessness and mental health, is trying to insinuate into our County government because this is a guy who thinks in a way she’s comfortable with when it comes to homeless policy. This is the kind of danger our politicians create for us when they let business improvement districts run freaking everything to do with homelessness and mental health. It’s a big problem, and sadly a solution, or even some kind of mitigation, is not readily apparent.
Image of Kerry Freaking Morrison doing what she does is ©2018 MichaelKohlhaas.Org and is floofed over de esta cosa, si se importa.
- Along with her fellow BIDdie Blair Besten, providing yet another example of the appalling extent to which responsibility for homelessness policy in Los Angeles, both executive and legislative, has been infiltrated, subverted, and repurposed by business improvement districts.
- Which, as we have noted before, is, given the proper understanding of the Caudilla of Calcutta, not at all an inapt comparison.
- Which doesn’t seem to be complicit in Kerry Morrison’s antihuman shenanigans, at least if the fact that they also awarded something to Pete White of LA CAN is any indication, and I think that it is.
- For Kerry Morrison, according to her statement on the Foundation’s website, it means furthering one of her long-time goals of dismantling whatever constitutional protections are still standing in the way of her wholly-controlled gang of gunmen in Hollywood forcibly removing all homeless human beings from the boundaries of her BIDs. She states this goal quite openly, but describes it as compassionate instead of what it really is, which puts her in appropriate company historically: [Nazi doctor Alfred] Hoche argued in the book that a policy of killing was compassionate and consistent with medical ethics. Clearly she hasn’t managed to make much progress, with her putative film seemingly still unmade and the attempted legislative implementations of her weirdo program faltering in the face of sanity. It’s also worth noting that in this statement Ms. Kerry Morrison uses one of her favorite phrases to describe her self-assembled gang of oppressors, that is, “a coalition of the willing.” Of course this phrase, like so many of Kerry Morrison’s pet descriptors, has uniquely military origins. Along these lines, another favorite of hers is “harden the target.” For someone so obsessed with maintaining an image of selfless compassion and loving Christian kindness towards our suffering homeless brothers and sisters on the street, Ms. Kerry Morrison surprisingly (I guess) can’t manage to stay much more than one Freudian slip away from advocating a military solution, which I guess is what her quasi-sexual obsession with the LAPD is all about.
- Kerry Morrison is famous for using multiple institutional affiliations to obscure who’s really paying her salary and therefore influencing and benefiting from her myriad political communications. For instance, at a series of public hearings on street vending in 2015 she directed her literal flack Devin Strecker and her functional flack Alyssa Van Breene to identify themselves as associated with the Central Hollywood Coalition and the Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance respectively, while she identified herself as representing the Hollywood Entertainment District and the Sunset-Vine BID. Obviously she knows and knew that not a single person outside her small circle of BIDdie friends would think there’s a whit of difference between these four entities. There is not.
- Astonishing because in my experience local government agencies are not as reflexively, mindlessly obstructionist with respect to the CPRA as are business improvement districts. For whatever reason, BIDs mostly assume that the fact that they’re subject to the CPRA is some kind of mistake which’ll be fixed as soon as the government realizes that this mistake is inconveniencing zillionaires. Counties, many cities, and so on, may obstruct access to records, but not in the grinding, mind-numbing, lobotomized-by-privilege manner that’s so characteristic of BIDs. The LA County Mental Health Commission is an unexpected exception to this general principle. I’ll have more to write on this topic later on, so stay tuned!
- I’m really sorry for the gross and unusable form of the PDF. As you can see from looking at the whole production, the County printed out all these emails, apparently shuffled the pages to optimize the material for uselessness, scanned the pages to PDF, broke the scans up into nine PDFs not organized on any principle known to or comprehensible by the non-schizophrenic, and sent me those. This is part of the weirdo and apparently unprovoked obstructionism I mentioned above. There’s a lot more, and some of it is actually interesting to the CPRA-nerd community, so I’ll be writing about it in some detail later on. One immediate result of the mess they produced is that in order to link to individual emails I have had basically to screenshot them (since many are broken across PDF pages) and export the screenshots to PDF. Also since the production was so incomplete many of the emails involved are only recoverable as fragments of other email chains.
- Which, not coincidentally and possibly not legally, is served from the mailserver of the Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance.