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Dr. Katie Sobczak Chau — Supreme Commander Of The Gentrifying Charter Conspiracy Known As El Rio Community School — Is Very Unhappy That She Is Required To Comply With The California Public Records Act — And She Seems To Think I’m A Big Meany For Asking For Records — And Maybe I Am A Big Meany But I’m Not The One Who Signed A Contract With LAUSD Agreeing To Comply With The CPRA — And I’d Rather Be A Meany Than A Whiner Who Whines About Having To Live Up To My Own Freely Made Promises — I Mean For The Sake Of Argument Only Of Course — Since I’m Not A Meany — Or At Least Not Because Of My CPRA Requests

All over the State of California local agencies are using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to deny the public access to records required by the California Public Records Act. I don’t, therefore, have nearly as much material to write about so in response I’m writing about the lack of records instead, and the various ways agencies deny access. Here are some earlier posts on this topic.

It’s well-known among requesters of public records that agencies don’t just violate the law, they don’t just ignore it or misunderstand it or willfully misinterpret it. They also whine about it constantly, they aggressively mischaracterize requesters to create the impression that the requests are the problem rather than the agency’s noncompliance, and so on.

Such behavior is bad enough when governments do it, but at least in the state of California numerous private corporations, if created by the government to carry out government functions, are also subject to the Public Records Act. These entities, mostly business improvement districts and charter schools, are not only subject to the CPRA by law but also due to contracts they sign with their authorizing governments.

It strikes me as especially egregious when such quasi-private entities whine about their CPRA obligations and gaslight requesters because they voluntarily agreed via contract to comply. This is a brief post to highlight a recent example involving the gentrification-enabling Highland Park charter conspiracy known as El Rio Community School. It’s not the most egregious instance I’ve encountered, but it’s straightforward, so a good illustration.
Continue reading Dr. Katie Sobczak Chau — Supreme Commander Of The Gentrifying Charter Conspiracy Known As El Rio Community School — Is Very Unhappy That She Is Required To Comply With The California Public Records Act — And She Seems To Think I’m A Big Meany For Asking For Records — And Maybe I Am A Big Meany But I’m Not The One Who Signed A Contract With LAUSD Agreeing To Comply With The CPRA — And I’d Rather Be A Meany Than A Whiner Who Whines About Having To Live Up To My Own Freely Made Promises — I Mean For The Sake Of Argument Only Of Course — Since I’m Not A Meany — Or At Least Not Because Of My CPRA Requests

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Rick Lemmo — Super Genius — Caruso Flunkie — And Supreme Commander Of The Pacific Palisades BID — Goes On Paranoid Rant About Pretextually Protesting Violent Criminals Poised To Invade The Palisades — And Beverly Hills — And Brentwood — And Loot — And Wreak All Manner Of Havoc — But Don’t Worry — Says Lemmo To His Zillionaire Cronies — Your McMansions Are Safe!! — Because LAPD Has Secret Plans In Place To Stop These Scary Criminals — But Don’t Tell Anyone I Told You — (Says Super Genius Rick Lemmo) — Because Even Though This Is A Public Meeting — Open To The Public — Who Is Allowed To Video Record The Meeting — And Publish It On YouFreakingTube If They Want To — Neverthess I Declare It To Be Off The Record!!! — You Can’t Attribute This To Me!!! — (Says Rick Lemmo About Something That Rick Lemmo Said) — Feel Like You’re Not Smart Enough To Be A Zillionaire? — Rick Lemmo Is Proof That However Not Smart You May Be That Isn’t Why You’re Not A Zillionaire

Can I just say that Rick Lemmo is a moronic lying narcissistic zillionaire bootlicking authoritarian poobutt blundering weirdo? In any case, this dude, who I forgot to say is some kind of flunky employee of Rick Caruso and also runs the Pacific Palisades BID, presided this morning over a meeting of the BID’s board of directors, and you can watch the whole damn thing on YouTube if you’re interested.1 And they talked about the usual array of trivial crapola with which these backwater zillionaire BIDdies seem to be obsessed.

But also Lemmo went on an extended rant about violent looters poised to overrun the three most vulnerable areas in Los Angeles County today. He revealed that his top secret sources in “security” and “law enforcement” had blessed him with this information and also told him not to worry because they had plans to occupy the contested territories immediately if there were any threat at all to property.2 And in one of the most curiously stupid episodes I’ve ever experienced at a BID meeting, Lemmo told everyone that his rant was off the record, not available to the press, and not for attribution to him.

He said this in public. At a public meeting. In front of a freaking camera. What was he thinking, if anything?3 These three most especially extra threatened areas, if you’re curious, are Brentwood, Beverly Hills, and the Pacific Palisades. Those are the essential zillionaire strongholds which must be defended at all costs against the marauders. In case you’re wondering, Lemmo’s top secret sources in “law enforcement” have “identified a variety of criminal groups that utilize peaceful protestors as a smokescreen for them to loot businesses and promote violence.”

And not only that but “LAPD and National Guard are fully aware of the situation and prepared to fully deploy in and around these areas and protect them based upon whatever up to date intelligence they receive from the unrest.” Then there’s Lemmo’s zillionaire-specific version of the appalling all lives matter trope: “all business areas are small business areas.” And his overflowing abundance of whack-job paranoia: “And purpose of this statement is to let you that there is a lot more out there than what is visible to us from a protection standpoint and also unfortunately from a criminal element.”

There was more interesting stuff at the meeting, it’s worth a watch. And as usual the craziness speaks for itself better than I can speak for it. Read on for a transcription of Lemmo’s lunacy!
Continue reading Rick Lemmo — Super Genius — Caruso Flunkie — And Supreme Commander Of The Pacific Palisades BID — Goes On Paranoid Rant About Pretextually Protesting Violent Criminals Poised To Invade The Palisades — And Beverly Hills — And Brentwood — And Loot — And Wreak All Manner Of Havoc — But Don’t Worry — Says Lemmo To His Zillionaire Cronies — Your McMansions Are Safe!! — Because LAPD Has Secret Plans In Place To Stop These Scary Criminals — But Don’t Tell Anyone I Told You — (Says Super Genius Rick Lemmo) — Because Even Though This Is A Public Meeting — Open To The Public — Who Is Allowed To Video Record The Meeting — And Publish It On YouFreakingTube If They Want To — Neverthess I Declare It To Be Off The Record!!! — You Can’t Attribute This To Me!!! — (Says Rick Lemmo About Something That Rick Lemmo Said) — Feel Like You’re Not Smart Enough To Be A Zillionaire? — Rick Lemmo Is Proof That However Not Smart You May Be That Isn’t Why You’re Not A Zillionaire

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Rena Leddy — Executive Director Of The Drug Cartel Funded Fashion District Business Improvement District — Is A Bloodthirsty Psychopath Who Would Rather Kill The Mailman — And Me — And Surprisingly Even Herself — Than Comply With The California Public Records Act — She Apparently Thinks This Is OK Because Her Lawyer Said It Was OK — Which Is A Strange Way For A Self-Proclaimed Adult To Make Moral Choices — But Not Uncommon Among Zillionaires And Those Who Serve Them — Who Have Shown Themselves Willing To Risk The Lives Of Essential Workers For The Most Stupid — And Trivial — And Self-Serving — Reasons Including Haircuts — Manicures — And Unnecessarily Exchanging Physical Copies Of Electronic Data — The Real Question Is — As Framed By The Incomparable Kitty Wells — Will Her Lawyer Talk To God For Her? — Knowing Carol Humiston I’d Say The Chances Are About Zero That She’ll Even Get A Chance — Being Much More Likely To Head In The Other Direction When The Time Comes

All over the State of California local agencies are using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to deny the public access to records required by the California Public Records Act. I don’t, therefore, have nearly as much material to write about so in response I’m writing about the lack of records instead, and the various ways agencies deny access. Here are the first and also the second post not to mention the third posts in this series, and you’re reading the fourth!

Rena Leddy, supreme commander of the cartel-drug-money-funded criminal conspiracy known as the Fashion District Business Improvement District, refuses to let members of the public inspect records in person due to the pandemic, which may well be fine and normal.1 But she also insists that in order to protect public health and safety the only way for requesters to get access to electronic records is to mail her a brand new unopened USB drive onto which she will copy the records and mail it back.

This is an element of her pre-COVID program of obstructing access to records by making the process as onerous and costly as possible. But obviously any method which requires physical objects to be transferred between strangers is more likely to transmit disease than a method which does not. This is true not only for the people exchanging the objects but also for all the intermediaries, like mail carriers, mail sorters, staff members who have to open the envelopes, and so on.

Leddy is willing to increase the risk of disease and therefore death for requesters, essential workers, her own staff, and herself for the sole reason of delaying and obstructing access to records, and to do so in the name of protecting their safety. When confronted with these facts Leddy declined to contradict them, merely stating that the narrative was “out of control.” And it’s certainly out of her control, but where’s the lie, Ms. Leddy?
Continue reading Rena Leddy — Executive Director Of The Drug Cartel Funded Fashion District Business Improvement District — Is A Bloodthirsty Psychopath Who Would Rather Kill The Mailman — And Me — And Surprisingly Even Herself — Than Comply With The California Public Records Act — She Apparently Thinks This Is OK Because Her Lawyer Said It Was OK — Which Is A Strange Way For A Self-Proclaimed Adult To Make Moral Choices — But Not Uncommon Among Zillionaires And Those Who Serve Them — Who Have Shown Themselves Willing To Risk The Lives Of Essential Workers For The Most Stupid — And Trivial — And Self-Serving — Reasons Including Haircuts — Manicures — And Unnecessarily Exchanging Physical Copies Of Electronic Data — The Real Question Is — As Framed By The Incomparable Kitty Wells — Will Her Lawyer Talk To God For Her? — Knowing Carol Humiston I’d Say The Chances Are About Zero That She’ll Even Get A Chance — Being Much More Likely To Head In The Other Direction When The Time Comes

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Why Are Uber Black And Premium Limo-Like Lyft Cars — And For That Matter Actual Limousines — Still Allowed To Pick Up Passengers Curbside At LAX — When Taxis And Regular Uber/Lyft Pickups Got Moved Off-Site Last Year? — This Is Obviously An Important Question And I’ve Been Trying To Learn The Answer Through Public Records Requests Since October 2019 — With Absolutely No Success So Far — But Here Is Part One Of Yet Another Incredibly Detailed Story About How Local Agencies Deny The Public Access To Records Via Stalling — Temporizing — Mischaracterizations Of The Law — And So On — Because The Local Version Of The Old Lemons/Lemonade Adage Is — When Agencies Deny Records Requests Write Blog Posts About Their Denials!

All over the State of California local agencies are using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to deny the public access to records. I don’t, therefore, have nearly as much material to write about so in response I’m writing about the lack of records instead, and the various ways agencies deny access. Here are the first and also the second posts in this series, and you’re reading the third!

For more than six months now I’ve been looking into the question of why Uber and Lyft premium services, the ones that approximate limousines, I guess, continued to be allowed to pick up passengers at curbside in LAX even after October 2019 when the airport banned taxis and regular Uber/Lyft drivers, relegating them to a special off-site pickup lot. The matter first came to my attention via this October 29, 2019 Spike Friedman tweet and I sent them this request that same day. And as is typically the case the process is taking forever, although a little bit of information has dribbled out.

In February of this year e.g. LAX, in the person of Supreme Operations Commander Angela Jamison, produced a few emails, only one of which related to the question. This email, from Landside1 Management staffer Shirlene Sue, seems to be an answer to Jamison’s request for records responsive to my request. It basically says that Uber/Lyft premium services operate under different rules from regular Uber/Lyft and taxis and that’s why. It’s also worth noting that I made the request in October 2019 and Jamison sent me these three emails four months later. That’s more than a month per email.

Of course, the explanatory power of this statement is nil — essentially all it says is that they’re allowed to pick up passengers at the curb because the rules allow them to pick up passengers at the curb. It tells us nothing about how or why the decision was made. But Jamison claimed that these three emails were the only records responsive to my request (ridiculous color scheming in original; blue is from my request, red is Jamison’s response):
Continue reading Why Are Uber Black And Premium Limo-Like Lyft Cars — And For That Matter Actual Limousines — Still Allowed To Pick Up Passengers Curbside At LAX — When Taxis And Regular Uber/Lyft Pickups Got Moved Off-Site Last Year? — This Is Obviously An Important Question And I’ve Been Trying To Learn The Answer Through Public Records Requests Since October 2019 — With Absolutely No Success So Far — But Here Is Part One Of Yet Another Incredibly Detailed Story About How Local Agencies Deny The Public Access To Records Via Stalling — Temporizing — Mischaracterizations Of The Law — And So On — Because The Local Version Of The Old Lemons/Lemonade Adage Is — When Agencies Deny Records Requests Write Blog Posts About Their Denials!

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Two Of My Public Records Act Lawsuits Against Charter Schools Settled In April 2020 — ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ PUC Charter Schools — Between Them They Paid More Than $11K — Which Was Supposed To Be Spent On Educating Children — But Which These Privatizing Pirate Academies Wasted Due To Their Appalling And Antisocial Arrogance — Here’s Some Background And Copies Of The Settlement Agreements!

As you probably know I’ve been investigating LAUSD charter schools using the California Public Records Act since January 2019. I was moved to this work1 by the monumental UTLA strike and especially the union’s focus on charter co-location.

I obtained some striking early results including an incredibly consequential release of emails from Green Dot Charter Schools, some of the fruits of which got wide and fairly devastating coverage in the media, including the Los Angeles Times, and Capital and Main, and Diane Ravitch’s blog, and elsewhere.

But this kind of success breeds resistance, so a lot of charters lawyered up and stopped producing records in response to my requests, or even stopped producing without the benefit of a lawyer’s advice.2 The only option left in such a situation is to start filing lawsuits, and that’s just what I’ve been forced to do.

In January 2020, for instance, I filed two.3 One ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ and the other against white savior charter conspiracy PUC Charter Schools, in some vague sense co-founded by former LAUSD board member and convicted felon Ref Rodriguez.
Continue reading Two Of My Public Records Act Lawsuits Against Charter Schools Settled In April 2020 — ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ PUC Charter Schools — Between Them They Paid More Than $11K — Which Was Supposed To Be Spent On Educating Children — But Which These Privatizing Pirate Academies Wasted Due To Their Appalling And Antisocial Arrogance — Here’s Some Background And Copies Of The Settlement Agreements!

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Mitch O’Farrell And The California Public Records Act — Second Part Of A Series On His Outrageous Violations — He Has Instructed His Flunky — Dan Halden — To Redact The Names Of Constituents Who Send Him Insane Rage Rants Against Homeless Human Beings — Advocating Starvation — Forced Relocation — And Similar Genocidal Measures — And The Reason He Thinks He Can Hide Their Identities? — Because — Halden Says — Publicity Would “Chill” Their Willingness To Ask Mitch O’Farrell For “Help” — What He Means Is They Don’t Like Being Exposed And Mocked On The Internet For Their Sociopathy — At O’Farrell’s Bidding Halden Also Redacts The Names Of Actual Public Officials — Like Jittery Little Peruvian-Hating Psychopath Carol Massie — Of The Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance — And Refuses To Explain Why — Although The Real Reason Is Obvious — O’Farrell Hates The Constitution — And He Hates The Law — And He’s Really Got To Go

Here’s another installment in my ongoing series of posts about the City of Los Angeles and the interesting ways in which its various departments violate the California Public Records Act.1 Today I’m looking once again at Los Angeles City Council District 13, repped by the fecklessly idiotic troll doll Mitch O’Farrell, and some of O’Farrell’s illegal email redaction policies.2 The story actually begins last March.

At that time I received some emails from CD13 containing conversations between staffers, LAPD officers, and local owners of commercial properties about homelessness. The discussions were filled with dehumanizing stereotypes and calls to starve the homeless, to use pressure-washing and illegal planter placement and other hostile measures to displace them, and so on. All of this not just uncriticized, not just accepted, but actively encouraged and facilitated by City staff and LAPD officers.

I found the whole scene appalling and wrote a number of posts exposing these privilege-addled sociopaths, the main one of which is here but this other one about Kanye West flunky Anthony Kilhoffer is also good. Some of them flipped out and threatened me and apparently others complained to CD13 that I had exposed their sociopathy to the world or that I was mean to them on the internet or whatever. Since then, clearly in response, CD13 has redacted email addresses of basically every correspondent who’s not using a government email address.3

Dan Halden, who’s responsible for handling some of my CD13 CPRA requests,4 has told me that such redactions are legally justified because exposing constituents to personal mockery for advocating genocide against the homeless would create a chilling effect on their willingness to contact their elected officials. Here’s one instance of Halden’s articulation of this novel5 legal theory:
Continue reading Mitch O’Farrell And The California Public Records Act — Second Part Of A Series On His Outrageous Violations — He Has Instructed His Flunky — Dan Halden — To Redact The Names Of Constituents Who Send Him Insane Rage Rants Against Homeless Human Beings — Advocating Starvation — Forced Relocation — And Similar Genocidal Measures — And The Reason He Thinks He Can Hide Their Identities? — Because — Halden Says — Publicity Would “Chill” Their Willingness To Ask Mitch O’Farrell For “Help” — What He Means Is They Don’t Like Being Exposed And Mocked On The Internet For Their Sociopathy — At O’Farrell’s Bidding Halden Also Redacts The Names Of Actual Public Officials — Like Jittery Little Peruvian-Hating Psychopath Carol Massie — Of The Hollywood Property Owners’ Alliance — And Refuses To Explain Why — Although The Real Reason Is Obvious — O’Farrell Hates The Constitution — And He Hates The Law — And He’s Really Got To Go

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Zillionaire Developer Albert Taban — Of The Famous Zillionaire Taban Klan — Is Building A Whole Block Mixed Use Monstrosity In CD14 — The Arts District — 2110 Bay Street — Which Needs Any Number Of General Plan Amendments — And Rezoning — And The Usual Load Of One-Off Ad Hoc Bespoke Exponential Property Value Multipliers Poured Out By Our City Council — Like Yummy Slop — Into The Piggy-Trough At Which These Developers Gorge — And So Taban Hired Lobbyists As These Zillionaires Will Do — But For Whatever Reason Jose Huizar Isn’t Pushing This One — So Eric Garcetti Took A Break From His Self-Declared State Of Emergency — And Sent It To The Planning And Land Use Management Committee Last Week — Which Might All Be Business As Usual — Who The Heck Even Knows? — But What’s Not So Usual Is That Stuart Waldman — LA Olympics Booster — LA 2028 Board Member — Supreme Commander Of Rightwing Fash Front Group VICA — Valley Industrial And Commercial Association — Who Is Not One Of The Lobbyists Hired By Taban — In Fact He’s Not A Registered Lobbyist At All — Actually Wrote The Damn Rezoning Resolution — That Got Submitted To Planning Commission Unchanged — Which Is Revealed By The Metadata — Waldman’s Not On Any Other Record As Being Involved In This — In Some Cities The Lunatics Are Running The Asylum — In Los Angeles The Piggies Are Running The Trough — Is It A Surprise Everything’s Falling To Pieces?

A couple months ago I wrote on how a massive development project in CD1 was approved. One of the aspects of the story most surprising to me was the intimate involvement of lobbyists at every stage of the process. Somehow I had thought that their role was more like influencing City officials, suggesting outcomes to them, talking to them, and so on. Something like ordinary public comment even if supercharged by highly enhanced access to official ears.

But it turned out to be far more than that. E.g. lobbyists actually write ordinances, resolutions, and motions which are then submitted to Council by Council District staff. The lobbyists understand City procedures much more clearly than electeds and staff.1 In some sense the lobbyists are actually running the planning and land use process with civil service staff effectively working for them. In the case I wrote about in March Gil Cedillo’s planning director, Gerald Gubatan, seemed to do little more than serve as a conduit between lobbyists for the developers and City civil service staff.2

And I’m sure this is the norm, but given the dedication with which City officials and staff flout the requirements of the California Public Records Act proof is pretty hard to obtain. However, despite such obstacles there are still a few clues available here and there. For instance, let’s take a look at a project, apparently pending at least since 2017, at 2110 and 2130 E. Bay Street in the Arts District in CD14.

This is a massive project with the usual nauseating mix of live/work and creative blah blah blah of the too-familiar type beloved of zombie urbanist flackmonsters like Urbanize LA. Like all such projects, this one requires bunches of spot-zonings, variances, general plan changes, and so on. In particular, in exchange for a mere 12 “restricted affordable units”3 the City is proposing to rezone the parcels from Heavy Industrial to Commercial Industrial.
Continue reading Zillionaire Developer Albert Taban — Of The Famous Zillionaire Taban Klan — Is Building A Whole Block Mixed Use Monstrosity In CD14 — The Arts District — 2110 Bay Street — Which Needs Any Number Of General Plan Amendments — And Rezoning — And The Usual Load Of One-Off Ad Hoc Bespoke Exponential Property Value Multipliers Poured Out By Our City Council — Like Yummy Slop — Into The Piggy-Trough At Which These Developers Gorge — And So Taban Hired Lobbyists As These Zillionaires Will Do — But For Whatever Reason Jose Huizar Isn’t Pushing This One — So Eric Garcetti Took A Break From His Self-Declared State Of Emergency — And Sent It To The Planning And Land Use Management Committee Last Week — Which Might All Be Business As Usual — Who The Heck Even Knows? — But What’s Not So Usual Is That Stuart Waldman — LA Olympics Booster — LA 2028 Board Member — Supreme Commander Of Rightwing Fash Front Group VICA — Valley Industrial And Commercial Association — Who Is Not One Of The Lobbyists Hired By Taban — In Fact He’s Not A Registered Lobbyist At All — Actually Wrote The Damn Rezoning Resolution — That Got Submitted To Planning Commission Unchanged — Which Is Revealed By The Metadata — Waldman’s Not On Any Other Record As Being Involved In This — In Some Cities The Lunatics Are Running The Asylum — In Los Angeles The Piggies Are Running The Trough — Is It A Surprise Everything’s Falling To Pieces?

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The City Of Los Angeles Shells Out More Than $2.2M Per Year To Business Improvement Districts — Add In Other Local Public Money — Like LAUSD — And Metro — And LA County — The Total Is More Than $3.7M Per Year To The BIDdies — Not Sure How Many People That Could Put In How Many Hotel Rooms For How Many Nights — But It’s A Lot — Not Sure How Many City Employee Furloughs That Money Could Prevent — But It’s A Lot More Than Zero Of Them — Remember That When They Tell You They Can’t Afford Something — They’re Choosing Not To Afford It

Spend some time hanging around business improvement districts and you’ll certainly hear a bunch of entitled zillionaires whining, bragging, or lying about how they voluntarily agree to spend their own damn money to provide services that the City of Los Angeles is too incompetent, too broke, or too both of these to provide. They just love explaining this to everyone. And the City of Los Angeles is also thrilled with that narrative. This City-produced BID FAQ explains it quite clearly:

[A] majority of business owners of commercial property owners in a given area decide to acquire special benefits and to pay for those benefits themselves.

The story serves everyone’s interests. The BIDdies get to imagine themselves as heroes of putative private sector efficiency and the City gets a bunch of useful idiots to carry out policies that would be incredibly illegal if the City did them directly. Everybody wins but the citizens of Los Angeles. The part you don’t hear too much about, though, the part that none of them really like to discuss, is that when property owned by the City or by other public agencies is included in a BID then the City or the other public agency is also subject to these assessments.

This is specifically authorized by the Property and Business Improvement District Law under which BIDs are established in California.1 This means that when the City Council approves a business improvement district it’s often also approving an ongoing annual payment to the BIDdies. Which, by the way, can be substantial. Over the last few days I looked at various public records involved in BID formation in LA and learned that the City of Los Angeles is on the hook for annual payments to BIDs of at least $2,278,604.2

If LAUSD, Metro, and the County are included the total is $3,710,281 and property owned by the State of California brings the total amount of public money paid annually to LA BIDs to $4,203,276.3 These days, with the City of Los Angeles furloughing employees and moaning about the price of hotel rooms to protect unhoused residents from the ongoing pandemic, there are much, much better uses that that money could be put to.4
Continue reading The City Of Los Angeles Shells Out More Than $2.2M Per Year To Business Improvement Districts — Add In Other Local Public Money — Like LAUSD — And Metro — And LA County — The Total Is More Than $3.7M Per Year To The BIDdies — Not Sure How Many People That Could Put In How Many Hotel Rooms For How Many Nights — But It’s A Lot — Not Sure How Many City Employee Furloughs That Money Could Prevent — But It’s A Lot More Than Zero Of Them — Remember That When They Tell You They Can’t Afford Something — They’re Choosing Not To Afford It

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Eric Garcetti And His Wife Amy Wakeland Own Three Rental Properties Between Them — One Commercial In The City Of Beverly Hills — And Two Residential In The City Of Los Angeles — But Even More Interesting Than That Is Garcetti’s Shares In Two Real-Estate-Owning Limited Partnerships — Formed Decades Ago By Zillionaire Gil Garcetti Crony Edward Zolla — And Now Controlled By His Widow Susan Zolla — Both Of Whom Have Been Major Donors To Eric Garcetti’s Campaigns — And Apparently Also To His Personal Wealth By Allowing Him To Partner Up With Them In A Hotel And An Apartment Building

I recently wrote on the fact that at least seven members of the Los Angeles City Council are landlords, which may well have something to do with their reluctance to implement serious and effective protections for vulnerable tenants during the pandemic.1 And in the last few days tenants’ rights activists have organized two demonstrations at the home of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to protest his failure to implement a blanket eviction ban and rent forgiveness during the pandemic.2

So it didn’t really surprise me that much to learn that Garcetti is also a landlord. But I was surprised by the layered complexity of his real estate holdings, at least as compared to the fairly straightforward setups the Councilmembers have.3 It all starts, of course, with his Form 700, which lists three properties on Schedule B.4 One of these is a commercial building in the City of Beverly Hills5 but the other two are residential rentals in the City of Los Angeles.

First up we have 1299 Meadowbrook Avenue, which consists of three units,6 bought by Garcetti and his wife, Amy Wakeland, in 2016 as reported in the Los Angeles Times. On August 8, 2018 Garcetti and Wakeland formed the 1299 Meadowbrook LLC and then a few days later signed over the property to that entity as recorded in this grant deed.7 According to the Times article in 2016 the main house was listed at $5K per month and the two apartments at at least $2K each.8

The next property listed is 1809 W. 37th Place, which is a duplex near Exposition and Western. This is listed as Amy Wakeland’s sole property, which is consistent with the grant deed, on which Garcetti’s name does not appear. She bought the property on July 10, 2018 and, I guess to be extra-safe, that same day Garcetti filed a transfer deed assigning his rights in the property to Wakeland.9

And then things get really interesting! On Schedule A-1 of his Form 700, which covers “Stocks, Bonds, and Other Interests,” Garcetti lists a couple of limited partnerships, which are IPDR Associates and Del Rey Vista Associates. Later, on Schedule C,10 it turns out that IPDR owns a hotel at 435 Culver Blvd and Del Rey owns an apartment building at 11519 Culver. These two corporate entities were formed decades ago by zillionaire real estate developer Edward Zolla and are now owned11 by his widow, Susan Zolla.12
Continue reading Eric Garcetti And His Wife Amy Wakeland Own Three Rental Properties Between Them — One Commercial In The City Of Beverly Hills — And Two Residential In The City Of Los Angeles — But Even More Interesting Than That Is Garcetti’s Shares In Two Real-Estate-Owning Limited Partnerships — Formed Decades Ago By Zillionaire Gil Garcetti Crony Edward Zolla — And Now Controlled By His Widow Susan Zolla — Both Of Whom Have Been Major Donors To Eric Garcetti’s Campaigns — And Apparently Also To His Personal Wealth By Allowing Him To Partner Up With Them In A Hotel And An Apartment Building

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