The Discreet Fascism of the Bourgeoisie, DTLA Edition: Featuring DCBID and CCA Führerin Carol Schatz and LAPD Kahuna Charlie Beck Sticking His Tongue Someplace Where, in a Free Society, it Don’t Belong

Carol Schatz talking authoritatively at some point in time about some topic from some location for some reason, her pearls at the ready in case they need clutching.
Carol Schatz talking authoritatively at some point in time about some topic from some location for some reason, her pearls at the ready in case they need clutching.
Amongst the vast array of documents sent over yesterday by our faithful correspondent, we found a few revealing, upsetting, disgusting little servings of reprehensibility in the Board of Directors Minutes.

We’ll write about most of them later, but for today, consider the minutes of March 4, 2015. In fact, look on page 3, where we find some jive-ass nonsense labeled “President’s Report.” The President is DCBID and Central City Association Führerin Carol Schatz. The first section of her report is labeled “On the CCA Side.” CCA, of course, is the Central City Association, a private group which claims explicitly that the “work we do lobbying government and advancing policy is shaping the future of Los Angeles business.” That’s not something BIDs are allowed to be involved with, and yet, here they are, being involved with it. Fascism, as we’ve stated repeatedly, thrives on this kind of blurring-of-the-lines between private groups like the CCA and public city agencies1 like the BIDs. BIDs aren’t allowed to lobby on matters that don’t affect stuff within their boundaries. But that’s an argument for another day. Let’s look at what Carol had to say:

Charlie Beck talking authoritatively at some point in time about some topic from some location for some reason, his sidearm at the ready in case it need brandishing.
Charlie Beck talking authoritatively at some point in time about some topic from some location for some reason, his sidearm at the ready in case it need brandishing.


Carol had a meeting with Chief Charlie Beck and other BIDS regarding street vending and increase in crime Downtown. The biggest concern is that legalizing street vending will result in streets becoming uncontrollable. The fashion district is a prime example of the effects of street vending. These street vendors are being referred to as micro-entrepreneurs.Chief Beck advised that he would speak to Councilmember Price and Wesson to make it clear that he does not have the resources to manage street vending and it will be very damaging to what has been accomplished in Downtown.

See the problem? Read on!

Charlie Beck, the chief of the LAPD, is going to tell the city council that they should not legalize an activity because he doesn’t have the resources to manage it. That is, there’s an activity that’s currently illegal that the chief of police thinks should stay illegal because there aren’t enough police to manage it if it’s legal. We’re repeating ourselves, but only because this is so freaking hard to comprehend. First, how can it take more police to manage an activity when its legal than it does when it’s illegal? It defies all sense. If it’s legal, the police don’t have to do anything about it. If it’s illegal they have to arrest everyone who’s doing it. How can arresting everyone take fewer police than arresting no one?

But the fact that the chief of police is a liar is not even the big news here. The big news is that he’s taking a position at all, and that he’s doing it to suck up2 to a bunch of freaking whiny-baby zillionaires. Here’s how things work in a free society: the legislators make the law and the executives enforce it. The cops don’t get to make the law, and law isn’t made for the comfort of the cops. Now, surely Charlie Beck understands this. Doesn’t he? Don’t the zillionaires? Is this the reason Donald Trump is the freaking Republican front-runner? Jesus God!

Ken Nakano talking authoritatively at some point in time about some topic from some location for some reason, his shadow across his face in case it needs obscuring.
Ken Nakano talking authoritatively at some point in time about some topic from some location for some reason, his shadow across his face in case it needs obscuring.

Also in that set of minutes, we have a brief discussion of the LAPD’s shooting of Charly Keunang on March 1, 2015. Recall, if you will, that we’re discussing the March 4, 2015 minutes here, so the shooting occurred just three days before. Here’s what the minutes have to say:

Cushman asked Nakano about the status of the safety team as a result of the recent shooting by an LAPD officer. Nakano advised that there is an uptick in aggressiveness from the homeless. Cushman asked if LACAN or another organization was responsible for the increased aggression. Nakano did not indicate that it was any one particular organization and that there were a number of contributing factors including Prop 47 which reduced penalties for a number of crimes resulting in the homeless population being increased with formerly incarcerated individuals.

This, by the way, is Robert Cushman of Brookfield Office Properties who has, God help us, a freaking twitter feed and Ken Nakano, director of operations (something sinister, but it’s not clear what) with DCBID. It’s hard to describe how upsetting this is. Three days after the LAPD killed yet another mentally ill homeless person for extremely questionable reasons Ken Nakano is talking about “uptick[s] in aggressiveness from the homeless.” Freaking “UPTICKS.” Like he’s measuring homeless aggression? Like there’s some quantitative measure of this? A man is dead on the sidewalk for what’s looking more and more like no reason other than the off-the-charts aggressiveness from the LAPD and there’s been an “uptick?!”

Fine, then. And why the uptick? Could it be because the homeless don’t like to see their friends and neighbors gunned down on the street? Nah. It’s because LACAN is stirring them up, isn’t it, Robert? Remember the 1960s? Remember how in the South when black people used to get all mad because, we don’t know, they’d been denied every possible civil right for over a century and it wasn’t even against the law to rape and kill them, and Southern white people would be happy to explain to you that all their nigras used to be perfectly content until the “outside agitators” showed up? That’s what’s happening here. Robert can’t imagine any reason for aggressiveness upticks in the face of murder. It’s got to be outside agitators.

But Ken is more reticent. He’s got other fish to fry. He’s not ruling out the outside agitator theory. After all, it may become useful in the future. But there’s something more urgent. That’s Proposition 47. If you’ve been following the issue at all you’ll have noticed that this is a constant theme in the law enforcement echo chamber: Prop 47 is causing everything. Here, in March 2015, we see an early example. What’s the chance that Ken is right about this? Approximately zero, we’d say.

Next up we have Suzanne Holley:

Suzanne added that DCBID is working with BOMA to develop an educational flyer for downtown tenants on homelessness. She indicated that we have also partnered with Exodus Recovery on utilizing their mobile response team to assist our homeless population who are at highest risk. Ken noted that we scheduled an Exodus unit to be set up in Pershing Square and notified several of our homeless residents of the opportunity. Counselors, nurses, etc. were on hand to assist with all aspects of treating these critical cases. The focus is to treat their urgent needs and get them on the path to housing. Unfortunately none of our homeless population attended.

We don’t have much to say about this other than it’s so sad. It’s so sad how confused these BID people are about everything that’s happening around them. We suppose it’s more confirmation of David Graeber’s theory that the powerful and the violent are doomed to be really freaking stupid because everyone else has to work hard to understand the needs, wants, desires of those with the guns. Do they really not see why homeless people don’t want to come to their event here? Really? Well, we’re not going to be the ones to explain it to them.

Simon Ha smiling authoritatively at some point in time about some topic from some location for some reason, his hair at the ready in case it needs tousling
Simon Ha smiling authoritatively at some point in time about some topic from some location for some reason, his hair at the ready in case it needs tousling

Finally, we turn to the minutes of September 9, 2015 and the musings of board member Simon Ha, who’s evidently some kind of architect. Here’s what Simon has to say:

Ha discussed the new park at Pershing Square and conflicts between families and homeless individuals attempting to camp out and being aggressive towards security. Ha advised that some Downtown families are fed up and are planning to move out of Downtown as a result. These families will be appearing at Council Committee to address. Schatz advised Ha to encourage the families to write letters to the Mayor and City Council expressing their concerns and intentions.

And, you know, more aggression towards security on the part of the homeless. And Carol Schatz whipping up another frenzy. We don’t understand what these people expect from city life. Is it so different now than it was when they freaking moved downtown? We’re not even especially, stridently anti-gentrification, we just wonder why people move somewhere and then expect the whole place to be changed, changed utterly just because they showed up. Why don’t they just move some place where they already like how it is? Or shut up about it? Or try to change it? But for God’s sake, stop whining. For God’s sake, Carol Schatz, stop using every human feeling as ammunition in your malcriado war for your zillionaire masters in the CCA. Everybody stop being so horrible!

You know, at this point we’re sorry we even started writing about this. It’s too much. Long-time readers will recall that we only got into it because Fabio Conti said that the DCBID purple shirts were a lot meaner than the Hollywood BID Patrol. We still don’t think that’s true. It’s also not that the Hollywood BIDs are saner. They’re almost certainly objectively crazier. Maybe we’re coming down with a mild case of Stockholm syndrome. We’ll get back to this on another day.

  1. This is bait on a hook. Will you bite? Do it in the comments section if you will.
  2. If you were reading this merely to find out where Charlie Beck stuck his tongue, that’s all we have for you right there.

Image of Carol Schatz is a screenshot of a video uploaded to YouTube by the DCBID, making it a California public record and therefore in the public domain. If the video’s in the public domain then, a fortiori, so are screenshots of it. Suck on that, copyright maximalists! Image of Charlie Beck is freely licensed according to Wikimedians, who never lie about anything ever! Image of Ken Nakano and some cops is taken from an LAPD Twitter feed which, we’re going to say, puts it in the public domain. Image of Simon Ha is from the DLANC website, and is therefore in the public domain.

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