It not only seems like just yesterday, but it was in fact just yesterday that I wrote about a meeting in January 2017 wherein Estela Lopez of the freaking Central City East Association, Blair Besten of the freaking Historic Core BID, and furtive hereditary imperialist zillionaire Michael Delijani all got together in a pile like puppies with ironically-styled-heartthrob Councilboy José Huizar of the good old 14th. At that time, I had no idea what the subject of the confabulation was, although I insinuated just a little teensy bit that it might have had something to do with the creepy-slash-shadowy-slash-illegal zillionaire total war against the formation of the Skid Row Neighborhood Council.
Well, this morning bright and early I hopped the good old 704 eastbound to the good old Red Line to good old Pershing Square Station and beat it on up to the HCBID where I was allowed, under the too-close-for-civility observation of a bunch of weirdo BIDdies and one DLANCkie old yank in his clanky old tank,1 to sit in the freaking dark on a freaking bench2 and look at a freaking bunch of emails. You’ll be hearing much, much more about this surreal episode in both the near and the distant futures,3 and the purpose of tonight’s episode is just to get before you one of the essential pieces of evidence that turned up in the partial yield.
It seems, in fact, as I thought yesterday but did not yet have the evidence to state explicitly, that the subject of the January 2017 meeting between Delijani, Besten, Lopez, and Huizar was in fact the formation of the Skid Row Neighborhood Council. And given the positions taken by all the principals over the course of the next few months leading up to April’s disastrous election, you know it wasn’t a conversation in which the interests of the actual residents of Skid Row were treated with any respect at all. It’s not presently possible to say in detail what was discussed, but you can turn the page for an exhaustive look at the proof that it was all about Skid Row.
- January 12, 2017 2:17 p.m. — Blair Besten writes to Huizar scheduler Mayra Alvarez, stating: “I’ve been asked to schedule two meetings next week – The first is more urgent regarding the Rosslyn Lofts with Ruben Islas and me. Anytime next week with Wednesday being ideal. And the second one with Michael Delijani, Estela López, and me regarding the Skid Row Neighborhood Council formation process.” Of course, this is the money shot right here, kids. If all you wanted was proof you can stop reading right now. But if you’re also interested in how these zillionaires and flunkies of zillionaires lobby the City of Los Angeles, read on for an excruciating amount of discussion relating to the scheduling of these meetings.4
- January 12, 2017 3:09 p.m. — Friend, write to your councilboy5 and see if his staff answers you in 52 minutes or less. Not happening unless you too are a zillionaire or zillionaire-associated. All she had to say at this time was: “Hi Blair – I’ll be getting back to you shortly. Thank you!”
- January 12, 2017 9:15 p.m. — Ms. Blair, overflowing with politesse when there’s something in it for her or her puppetmasters: “Thanks for accommodating us.” Note that as of yet, no accomodation had actually occurred. But that 52 minute response window speaks of mega-accomodation to come. That’s what the thanks were actually for.
- January 17, 2017 9:19 a.m. — Blair Besten checking in with Mayra Alvarez: “Mayra, Just checking in. Anything possible for a quick one Wednesday with Ruben? We could meet him close to where he is such as Council Chambers… LMK. Hope you had a nice holiday weekend! Kind regards,” Subtext: You didn’t forget about me, did you?!?!!
- January 17, 2017 9:34 a.m. — Mayra Alvarez to Blair Besten: “I will get back to you shortly.”
- January 17, 2017 5:29 p.m. — Mayra Alvarez comes through! “Hi Blair! I have your dates: 1/20 @ 9am – City Hall (Re: Rosslyn Lofts) 1/24 @ 10:15am – City Hall (Re: Skid Row NC) Let me know if these work.Thank you!” There it is again in plain pixels, friends. Skid Row NC is the subject of the meeting.
- January 17, 2017 5:36 p.m. — Blair Besten, her finger obviously having been hovering over the reply key, replies a mere 7 minutes later: “Yes thank you to both!” Obviously at least in some sense Blair Besten was raised up right. Not just “yes” but “yes thank you.” Mom taught her that limited lesson quite well, it certainly seems. Now if only Blair Besten could get the hang of “if you don’t have anything non-psychopathic to say, don’t say anything at all.” But perhaps that’s only taught in the master class.
- January 18, 2017 11:42 a.m. — More smoogly-woogly-woo. Reading these people’s email is like field anthropology, and not in a good way. Thus spake Maya Alvarez: “Perfect! I’ll confirm both. Let me know if parking arrangements are needed!”
- January 18, 2017 1:32 p.m. — Mayra Alvarez to Blair Besten: “Hi Blair – What is the exact subject to the meeting on Friday re: Rosslyn Lofts?” Unfortunately, Blair Besten, evidently having learned her lesson6 does not seem to have answered by email. Oh, I would dearly love to know what the answer was, though. Perhaps we’ll find out at some point.
- January 19, 2017 7:09 p.m. — Blair Besten to Mayra Alvarez: “Mayra, Thank you so much for being so accommodating. We will take the time slot on Tuesday (1/24) for Ruben at 10:15am and the following Friday (1/27) with Michael and Estela at 10:05 am. Let us know if there are any changes. My cell is 213.700.9829 or Diana can get ahold of me day of if he is running behind. Kind regards,” Blair Besten, pay attention! “Ahold” is not a real word, friend!7
- January 20, 2017 4:40 p.m. — Alvarez paging Besten: “Thank you Blair!”
- January 24, 2017 8:50 a.m. — Blair Besten explaining that the dog ate Ruben’s homework: “Hi there- Deepest apologies but Ruben had an emergency come up and must reschedule. Sent from my iPhone”
- January 25, 2017 3:14 p.m. — Ah, Michael Delijani throws another spanner in the works. Blair Besten to Mayra Alvarez: “Mayra, Sorry this has been so difficult. Michael Delijani has asked for Monday. Is that possible at anytime? If not I guess we can keep our appointment this Friday and Estela and I will meet without him. Sent from my iPhone” Zillionaires can do this. You try it if you want to, I don’t know, get the sidewalk in front of your house fixed. Well, maybe if you and other people with your last name had contributed $319,500.00 to LA City candidates over the years you could do it too. Hi friends from the media! See how I can bury the lead (read: lede) if I want to?! It’s cause I don’t have a freaking editor bossing me about!! What’s that you say? It shows that I don’t have an editor? Well, I know that! I also don’t have a news-driven paycheck. What of it?!
- January 25, 2017 3:25 p.m. — “Hi Blair – Unfortunately, the Councilmember is unavailable on Monday. Would you like to reschedule for another date?”
- January 25, 2017 3:58 p.m. — “Mayra, Thank you – No. we will keep the Friday slot and Michael will call in. Sent from my iPhone”
- January 25, 2017 4:05 p.m. — “Thank you Blair.”
- January 25, 2017 4:07 p.m. — “Again – Thank you. You are the coordinating wizard. Sent from my iPhone”
And what did Michael Delijani, Blair Besten, Estela Lopez, and King Huizar talk about with respect to the Skid Row Neighborhood Council? Well, we don’t know right now, and we may never know, but it didn’t end well for anyone sane. We at least know that.
The image of Michael Delijani featured above started its young life among friends at the Downtown News and I have now made such utterly transformative use of it that I feel confident in stating that, with or without any direct action on my part, it has turned out to be ©2017 MichaelKohlhaas.Org.
- But in the company of a stolid compatriot!
- Not an exaggeration. This was a CPRA event for all times, friends! They’ll be telling stories about this around the fires in CPRAlandia for generations to come. Don’t be surprised if you read about it in an opinion of the California Supreme Court sometime in 2021 or thereabouts, it was that bad. I will blog about this in more detail later.
- If you literally cannot wait another second, you can look at some of the fruits of the mission here, but the stories behind the data will have to come in their own good time.
- I am including the first one, about the Rosslyn Lofts, even though I don’t yet understand the issues, because it looks very much like it’s going to turn out to be quite interesting. Also it’s not exactly clear how to separate the emails concerning the two issues.
- Or, these days, councilgirl even! Slowly, Los Angeles moves into the 20th Century with two women on our City Council. Can the 21st be far behind?!
- Or at least one of her lessons, cause we can think of a number of her lessons that she not only has not learned yet, but doesn’t even seem to have mastered a conceptual vocabulary sufficiently mature to have comprehended the fact that there are lessons to be learned.
- Everyone at this blog is vehemently descriptivist rather than prescriptivist when it comes to questions of language. We all do in fact think that “ahold” is a real word. However, the editorial policy of this blog, which reads in part that Blair Besten must be mocked mercilessly for every aspect of her being as long as it’s related to BID issues, overrides our personal beliefs in the reality of not only the word “ahold” but also every other word which is sensibly used and understood by native speakers. Got it?! Good!!