Category Archives: Homeless Issues

LAHSA Director Heidi Marston Fired Kristy Lovich In July 2020 For Advocating That LAHSA Cut Ties With Law Enforcement — For The Simple Reason That Cop Involvement Makes Effective Outreach Impossible — As Her Comms Staff Struggled To Concoct A Response To The Subsequent Outcry Marston Told Them Not To Say Explicitly That The Response Was About Lovich — And To Rewrite Their Messaging “To Infuse A Tone Of Compassion” — You Can Read The Actual Comments She Inserted In The Document!

This post is based on a few items from a small set of emails that LAHSA produced to me recently. There’s other interesting stuff in there, so take a look at the whole set!

In June 2020 Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority staffer Kristy Lovich started a petition calling on her employer to sever ties with law enforcement agencies. On July 28, 2020 LAHSA Director Heidi Marston fired her in retaliation,1 which prompted swift and brutal criticism on social media and a powerful public response from Lovich the next day, July 29. And very soon thereafter Marston’s publicity machine started revving its powerful engines! I don’t yet have the full story,2 but on July 30 Marston emailed her communications staff and thanked them for their work:

From: Heidi Marston <hmarston@lahsa.org>
To: Christopher Yee <cyee@lahsa.org>, Nadia James <njames@lahsa.org>, Ahmad Chapman <achapman@lahsa.org>, Paloma Beltroy <pbeltroy@lahsa.org>
Subject: Letter response for social

Hi all,

Thanks for pulling this together. My comments are attached but overall, I like the google doc and the messaging in that the best. Also love the call to action in asking municipalities to commit to our principles. The more we can center on compassion and humanizing this, the better.

Continue reading LAHSA Director Heidi Marston Fired Kristy Lovich In July 2020 For Advocating That LAHSA Cut Ties With Law Enforcement — For The Simple Reason That Cop Involvement Makes Effective Outreach Impossible — As Her Comms Staff Struggled To Concoct A Response To The Subsequent Outcry Marston Told Them Not To Say Explicitly That The Response Was About Lovich — And To Rewrite Their Messaging “To Infuse A Tone Of Compassion” — You Can Read The Actual Comments She Inserted In The Document!

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September 2019 CARE/CARE+ Team Training Powerpoint From LA Bureau Of Sanitation Reveals Incredible Detail About Team Organization — Including Daily Schedules — Team Roles And Size Of Teams — Differences Between CARE And CARE+ — Guidelines For How To Do Outreach To Encampment Residents — When To Call In LAPD — Role Of Unified Homelessness Response Center — SECZ Rules — Some Of This Has Changed Recently But Much Of The Structural Info Is Probably Still Good — And It’s Fascinating To Compare The City’s Humanitarian Self-Presentation With The Actual Reality Of Encampment Sweeps

I recently obtained a few huge sets of records from the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation and wrote about them here. The most important record in the set, by far, is this 96 slide Powerpoint presentation from September 2019.1 The date is significant as that’s when,thanks to the indefatigable Services Not Sweeps Coalition, the City implemented a new and putatively more humane version of its encampment sweep policy.

The point of this training is to explain these new policies to the Sanitation staff responsible for conducting the actual sweeps, how they’re expected to behave, when to call in LAPD, and so on. In July 2020 the City Council apparently abandoned this ostensibly humane approach, with predictably appalling results, making at least some of the information in the Powerpoint file outdated, but the organizational information is likely to still be accurate. Also note that the claims about the City’s humanitarian goals were false at the time and by now they’ve actually dropped the pretense. So while it’s tempting to expose the hypocrisy in detail it’s not useful enough for me to spend the time on it.
Continue reading September 2019 CARE/CARE+ Team Training Powerpoint From LA Bureau Of Sanitation Reveals Incredible Detail About Team Organization — Including Daily Schedules — Team Roles And Size Of Teams — Differences Between CARE And CARE+ — Guidelines For How To Do Outreach To Encampment Residents — When To Call In LAPD — Role Of Unified Homelessness Response Center — SECZ Rules — Some Of This Has Changed Recently But Much Of The Structural Info Is Probably Still Good — And It’s Fascinating To Compare The City’s Humanitarian Self-Presentation With The Actual Reality Of Encampment Sweeps

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Huge Set Of Records From LA Bureau Of Sanitation — Including A 96 Slide Training Powerpoint For The CARE/CARE+ Team Revisions In September 2019 — And Job Descriptions For CARE/CARE+ Staff — And An Incredibly Rich But Sadly Mostly Pretty Old Spreadsheets From LA San’s Livability Services Division — Which Coordinates Encampment Sweeps — Lots Of Stuff To Look At Here

I recently obtained a huge pile of records from LA Sanitation about encampment sweeps and some other issues. Most of them are current versions of the kind of things we’ve seen before, but there are also a few unexpected and incredibly interesting items.

The most important, the most shocking of these is a 96 slide powerpoint presentation prepared by LA San to train its homeless encampment sweep teams in the new protocols adopted by the City of Los Angeles in September 2019.1 I wrote a separate post just on this one item. The others are job descriptions of the various roles in the encampment sweep teams. Here are links to the three full sets:

CARE/CARE+ job descriptions — These are from November 2019. The relevant ones are:2
      ▸ Environmental Compliance Inspector
      ▸ Maintenance Laborer
      ▸ Refuse Collection Truck Operator
      ▸ Senior Environmental Compliance Inspector

LA San training materials — This looks like the most important set of the three right now.3 Four of these came to me as Powerpoint files, and I exported those to PDF for convenience and they’re what’s linked to below.4 The rest were PDFs originally.
      ▸ 56.11 Public Information Powerpoint — From October 2016, so completely outdated by now, but of historical interest.
      ▸ Biological Agents Decontamination Policy
      ▸ Bloodborne Pathogens PPT — Perhaps made by OSHA?
      ▸ CARE/CARE+ Training Powerpoint September 2019 — This is an immensely important document. I’ll be writing about it separately.
      ▸ Human Waste Cleanup Policy — From February 2019.
      ▸ LA San 56.11 Standard Operating Procedure — From 2018 so only of historical interest now.
      ▸ Clean Harbors Staff Enforcement Manual — I’m not sure what this is.
      ▸ LA San Operation Healthy Streets Bloodborne Pathogen Control Plan — From 2018.
      ▸ Bloodborne Pathogen Training Course Outline — I’m also not sure what this is.

Spreadsheets from LA Sanitation — Sanitation does a lot of its sweep scheduling and planning via spreadsheets, many stored on the City’s Google Drive account so they can be collaboratively edited. This is a set of 44 spreadsheets of various kinds. There is a lot to be learned from these, but I’m not going to write about them in detail.
Continue reading Huge Set Of Records From LA Bureau Of Sanitation — Including A 96 Slide Training Powerpoint For The CARE/CARE+ Team Revisions In September 2019 — And Job Descriptions For CARE/CARE+ Staff — And An Incredibly Rich But Sadly Mostly Pretty Old Spreadsheets From LA San’s Livability Services Division — Which Coordinates Encampment Sweeps — Lots Of Stuff To Look At Here

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Chinatown Business Improvement District Chief George Yu Calls Self-Electrocution Of Homeless People “Natural Selection” — Yu Told LAPD Officer Stephen Nichols Not To Repair Dangerously Altered Streetlight Wiring — So That More Homeless People Would Die When They Charged Their Phones — Because “that will be the only way that the City will take care of business” — And LAPD Officer Stephen Nichols’s Response To Yu’s Homicidal Mania? — And I Quote — “☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺”

Homeless people need cell phones to survive, and charging them is a perennial problem. Although the City of Los Angeles could very, very easily put electrical outlets on streetlights they refuse to do so, which leads to the dangerous but necessary practice of makeshift rewiring by unhoused people. As revealed by this newly obtained email conversation, in March 2019 this was happening regularly in Chinatown.

LAPD Officer Stephen Nichols told George Yu, the unhinged megalomaniac leader of the reprehensible Chinatown Business Improvement District, that if Yu gave him a list of affected lights he would personally deal with the unauthorized wiring. But Yu told him not to do that. Yu cited a recent electrocution death in Westlake and told Nichols:

“Lets let BSL do their work. I would prefer natural selection like the Westlake incident to happen as that will be the only way that the City will take care of business.”

When Nichols finally got Yu’s point, which took a surprising amount of discussion, he thought it was hilarious. Nichols’s entire response: “☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺” Here we see the thoroughly disgusting spectacle of an LAPD officer, sworn to protect and to serve, sharing a laugh with a notorious psychopath over the tactical political utility of mass electrocutions of homeless people.
Continue reading Chinatown Business Improvement District Chief George Yu Calls Self-Electrocution Of Homeless People “Natural Selection” — Yu Told LAPD Officer Stephen Nichols Not To Repair Dangerously Altered Streetlight Wiring — So That More Homeless People Would Die When They Charged Their Phones — Because “that will be the only way that the City will take care of business” — And LAPD Officer Stephen Nichols’s Response To Yu’s Homicidal Mania? — And I Quote — “☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺☺”

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A Brief Discussion Of How Homeless Encampment Sweeps Are Scheduled In The City Of Los Angeles — Or At Least Part Of The Process — The Whole Thing Is Driven By Housedweller Complaints — Filtered Through Council Districts As Political Patronage — LAHSA Involvement — Every Kind Of Outreach — Is Basically A Cover For Relocation — The Only Actual Goal

A couple days ago it came out on Twitter that a lot of people in Los Angeles don’t understand how homeless encampment sweeps get scheduled and why, in particular how encampments to be swept are chosen. I promised to write a post about it, and here we are!1 Part of the reason for the delay is that the story is really complex, so I’m just going to talk qualitatively about how encampments end up being targeted by Council Districts and leave the rest for another post or two.2 For instance, the City has two kinds of sweep teams, which are CARE and CARE+, but I’m not going to talk about the differences,3 which are probably important, but not for this post.

Each Council Office has a staffer whose job is to work out their District’s sweep schedule with LA Sanitation. I think that ordinarily every request for a sweep in a given District goes through this San contact.4 The scheduling is done by email as well as by editing Google Docs, and the emails occasionally reveal the reason a given encampment is being targeted. Here are the sets of records this post is mostly5 based on. If you’re interested in the subject it’s really worth looking at these. There’s a lot more information there than I’m using here:

Some 2020 Emails Between CDs and LA San

Housedweller Complaints to Juan Fregoso About Echo Park Encampments — From 2019 and 2020

CD15 Emails With LA Sanitation — January through May 2020
Continue reading A Brief Discussion Of How Homeless Encampment Sweeps Are Scheduled In The City Of Los Angeles — Or At Least Part Of The Process — The Whole Thing Is Driven By Housedweller Complaints — Filtered Through Council Districts As Political Patronage — LAHSA Involvement — Every Kind Of Outreach — Is Basically A Cover For Relocation — The Only Actual Goal

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Huge Record Releases From Los Angeles Sanitation — Encampment Sweep Scheduling — And So On — CD13 Staffer Hector Vega Scheduled A Full-On Encampment Sweep After The City Had Announced It Was Stopping Them Due To COVID — Possibly Sacrificing Human Lives To Build Up His Favor Bank With LADOT Ticket-Fixer Freddie Nuño — And It Turns Out That LAPD Can Actually Choose Encampments To Target For Sweeps — Which Surprised Me Because Mostly People Talk As If LAPD’s Role Is Backing Up LAHSA And LA San — Not Choosing Sweep Targets — And Finally CD15 Staffers Gabriela Medina And Jacob Haik Gloat Gleefully About The Possibility Of Weaponizing Scheduled Street Resurfacing To Displace RV Dwellers During The Pandemic When It Would Probably Otherwise Be Illegal To Do So — And Whether Or Not It’s Illegal It’s Certainly Reprehensible — And More Than Reprehensible During The Pandemic

Over the last few days I’ve received a few massive releases of records from Los Angeles Sanitation about homeless encampment sweep authorizations. There’s far, far too much information here for one post but I want to get links published because the information is essential. The records illuminate a number of important issues, not least of which has to do with the sweep selection process.1

For the most part encampments to be swept are chosen by Council District offices, who make selections based on complaints from property owners and probably other reasons too. These records reveal something I hadn’t seen before, though, which is that on its own initiative LAPD can also select encampments to be swept. Here are links to the new material, followed by a story or two gleaned from it.

CD15 2020 sweep scheduling emails

Various CDs 2020 sweep scheduling emails

2020 Sanitation sweep completion reports
Continue reading Huge Record Releases From Los Angeles Sanitation — Encampment Sweep Scheduling — And So On — CD13 Staffer Hector Vega Scheduled A Full-On Encampment Sweep After The City Had Announced It Was Stopping Them Due To COVID — Possibly Sacrificing Human Lives To Build Up His Favor Bank With LADOT Ticket-Fixer Freddie Nuño — And It Turns Out That LAPD Can Actually Choose Encampments To Target For Sweeps — Which Surprised Me Because Mostly People Talk As If LAPD’s Role Is Backing Up LAHSA And LA San — Not Choosing Sweep Targets — And Finally CD15 Staffers Gabriela Medina And Jacob Haik Gloat Gleefully About The Possibility Of Weaponizing Scheduled Street Resurfacing To Displace RV Dwellers During The Pandemic When It Would Probably Otherwise Be Illegal To Do So — And Whether Or Not It’s Illegal It’s Certainly Reprehensible — And More Than Reprehensible During The Pandemic

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Remember Last Year When We Learned That LAPD Was Helping Psychopathic NIMBY Housedwellers To Install Illegal Anti-Encampment Planters — And I Filed A Complaint Against A Bunch Of Them From Pacific Division — Well In June 2020 LAPD Informed Me That They Had Completed Their Investigation And Declared My Complaint “Unfounded” — And Invited Me To Ask Them Questions If I Had Any — Which I Did — Namely Would They Release The Results Of The Investigation — And The Investigator — A Dude Known As Sergeant Paul Aeschliman — Told Me He Wasn’t Allowed To Release The Info — But He Didn’t Know Why He Wasn’t Allowed — And The Laws He Cited In Support Of His Position Actually Didn’t Forbid The Release Of The Documents — So That Discussion Is Ongoing Even If The Officers Aren’t Busted For Their Illegal Planter Placing — Or Not Yet Anyway!

It’s strange in these apocalyptic times to remember that just last year anti-encampment planters, illegally placed on sidewalks in utter antisocial defiance of the law, were such a huge part of the City’s discussions about the rights of the unhoused. The planters were set up by psychopathic NIMBYs like Mark Ryavec, assisted by the LAPD, the Venice Neighborhood Council, and CD11 rep Mike Bonin, who lied about his office’s involvement until emails revealed the deep complicity of his former Venice field deputy Taylor Bazley.1

I ended up reporting Bazley to the Los Angeles Ethics Commission and a bunch of LAPD officers to Internal Affairs. I haven’t heard back about Bazley yet2 but last month I did hear back from LAPD about the officers I’d complained about. Here’s their response, also transcribed below. Can you imagine?! LAPD investigated themselves and discovered that they were innocent! We knew it would happen, and it did. What turns out to be slightly more interesting is my subsequent conversation with Paul Aeschliman, the officer who conducted the investigation,
Continue reading Remember Last Year When We Learned That LAPD Was Helping Psychopathic NIMBY Housedwellers To Install Illegal Anti-Encampment Planters — And I Filed A Complaint Against A Bunch Of Them From Pacific Division — Well In June 2020 LAPD Informed Me That They Had Completed Their Investigation And Declared My Complaint “Unfounded” — And Invited Me To Ask Them Questions If I Had Any — Which I Did — Namely Would They Release The Results Of The Investigation — And The Investigator — A Dude Known As Sergeant Paul Aeschliman — Told Me He Wasn’t Allowed To Release The Info — But He Didn’t Know Why He Wasn’t Allowed — And The Laws He Cited In Support Of His Position Actually Didn’t Forbid The Release Of The Documents — So That Discussion Is Ongoing Even If The Officers Aren’t Busted For Their Illegal Planter Placing — Or Not Yet Anyway!

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Homeless Residents Of Echo Park And Their Supporters Tried And Tried And Tried To Meet With Mitch O’Farrell Earlier This Year — To Discuss Essential Human Needs — Like Bathrooms — And Not Being Killed By Police — And Hygiene Supplies — And Other Equally Important Matters — But Mitch O’Farrell Wouldn’t Meet With Them — Or Direct His Staff To Meet — Meanwhile Both He And His Staff Met Repeatedly With Psychopathic Echo Park Housedwellers — To Discuss Their Idiotic Concerns — Like How Unpleasant It Is To See Homeless People — And Property Values — And Freaking Cholera — And How They Could Fuck Up The Lives Of The Unhoused Even More Than Usual — And Sometimes Just To Drop Off Gifts — Like Care Packages — And This Led To The Damn Housedwellers Exposing O’Farrell — And His Appalling Field Deputy Juan Fregoso — To COVID-19 In April 2020 — Which — Given That Cholera Business — Is A Level Of Irony Rarely Seen In Actual Reality

In January 2020 the unhoused residents of Echo Park came together to protest their displacement by an ongoing series of sweeps ordered by CD13 Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell. They wrote O’Farrell an exceedingly reasonable letter explaining their precarious situation, the dangers to which his sweeps exposed them, a number of proposals for assuaging the1 so-called concerns of the local housedwellers, and, for our purpose most crucially, a request to meet with him to discuss the burgeoning crisis.

This letter and the protests that inspired it turned out to be the beginning of an ongoing and still-active resistance movement in the Park, the story of which is ably told by Liam Fitzpatrick in Knock LA. This movement has merged seamlessly with the ongoing rebellion against police violence, as seen e.g. yesterday in a massive protest against LAPD and the City’s attacks on the unhoused residents, which culminated in a march to O’Farrell’s office, a series of really moving speeches calling out his weaponized incompetence, and an impressive display of art.

And over these six months of unrest, O’Farrell has repeatedly ignored the activists’ requests to meet, to discuss, to find solutions. According to Streetwatch LA, a group deeply involved in organizing the campaign, the only in-person contact O’Farrell’s office made with any of the activists consisted of O’Farrell’s absolutely despicable field deputy Juan Fregoso meeting with one resident of the Park and aggressively suggesting that the guy enter a shelter while continuing to ignore reasonable requests from these constituents for serious meetings to discuss policy.2

The City of Los Angeles is famous for using encampment sweeps and other violent tactics against unhoused residents in response to complaints, which are characteristically both deeply sociopathic and astonishingly trivial, from unhinged local housedwellers, and the Echo Park sweeps which catalyzed the protests are not an exception. I recently received a small but significant set of emails from CD13 on the subject which suggest that this particular round of violence was seeded by complaints in late 2019 from residents of Parkview Living, which is some kind of retirement home across the street from the Park.

The emails are heavily redacted, by the way, in accordance with a newly-adopted and highly illegal CD13 policy of hiding the identities of psychopathic anti-homeless constituents in order to encourage them to continue to freely express their psychopathic anti-homeless rage. Nevertheless it’s still possible to figure out what’s going on. The housedwellers are worried, as usual, about having to look at unhoused residents as well as the effect of a visible encampment on their property values. Not so much about the well-being, the health, or even the very lives of the unhoused residents.

Even more upsetting given his refusal to even talk to the actual unhoused residents is the fact that O’Farrell and his staff met repeatedly with these angry hypersensitive housedwellers to assuage their wounded sensibilities and to promise, accurately, to step up enforcement against the suffering residents of the Park. O’Farrell explicitly encouraged the Parkview housedwellers to bring their concerns to the media, presumably to bolster the appearance of public support for his violent encampment sweeps.

Fregoso, on the other hand, apparently validated their weird self-pity by telling them falsely that the City had in fact singled them out by specifically allowing encampments near Parkview, probably with the same goal.3 In addition to meetings O’Farrell and his staff apparently dropped by in person to give gifts to Parkview residents. Which foolishness, ironically, led to O’Farrell and Fregoso being exposed to COVID-19 in April 2020.
Continue reading Homeless Residents Of Echo Park And Their Supporters Tried And Tried And Tried To Meet With Mitch O’Farrell Earlier This Year — To Discuss Essential Human Needs — Like Bathrooms — And Not Being Killed By Police — And Hygiene Supplies — And Other Equally Important Matters — But Mitch O’Farrell Wouldn’t Meet With Them — Or Direct His Staff To Meet — Meanwhile Both He And His Staff Met Repeatedly With Psychopathic Echo Park Housedwellers — To Discuss Their Idiotic Concerns — Like How Unpleasant It Is To See Homeless People — And Property Values — And Freaking Cholera — And How They Could Fuck Up The Lives Of The Unhoused Even More Than Usual — And Sometimes Just To Drop Off Gifts — Like Care Packages — And This Led To The Damn Housedwellers Exposing O’Farrell — And His Appalling Field Deputy Juan Fregoso — To COVID-19 In April 2020 — Which — Given That Cholera Business — Is A Level Of Irony Rarely Seen In Actual Reality

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Donald Trump Is Poised To Forcibly Relocate Homeless Human Beings – Move Them Into Concentration Camps To Please His Bloodthirsty Constituents – Meanwhile A Newly Obtained Email Shows That Mike Bonin Does The Same Sort Of Thing – Arranging For An Encampment Sweep Across The Street From The St. Joseph Center On Hampton Avenue For No Better Reason Than To Placate Housedwelling Psychopaths – He’s Willing To Sic The LAPD On The Unhoused For No Better Reason Than That It Suits His Political Goals – Keep This In Mind The Next Time Bonin Flips Out And Compares Advocates For The Rights Of Homeless Human Beings To Donald Trump

In this troubled time, perhaps to be known to future history as the early days of fully formed American fascism, sane people have legitimate reasons to worry about the President of the United States adding homeless human beings to the already too-long list of people he’s willing to intern in camps, torture, and kill in order to further his political purposes.1

Meanwhile our local politicians keep up their characteristically hypocritical performance of opposition to Trump and empathy towards the unhoused2 while continuing to call down sweeps on their encampments, displacing them, endangering them, occasionally killing them. Endangering, sacrificing, just as Donald Trump does, the lives of actual human beings for no better reason than to please their bloodthirsty constituents, who demand visible action in lieu of actual solutions.

Of course, that’s not how these politicians frame their activities. They go on and on and on about how police-attended encampment sweeps are necessary to help homeless residents, to disincentivize them from living on the street and encourage them to accept shelter, et cetera. But that’s not a reason the City of Los Angeles has sweeps, not at all. And whatever all the reasons might be, political expedience is certainly one of them.

Just for instance, take a look at this December 2017 email from Taylor Bazley, formerly on CD11 repster Mike Bonin’s staff, to LAPD senior lead Adrian Maxwell, asking him to “focus resources” a homeless encampment on Hampton Avenue in Venice. Bazley was communicating Bonin’s concerns which had nothing to do with helping the inhabitants in any way at all. No, Bazley’s stated reason for focusing resources on this “particularly disadvantageous” encampment were that:

… across the street is the primary homeless serving organization for the SPA (St. Joseph Center) – people will think that the encampment is due to the organization and the Councilmember is concerned that this will make projects we all want to move forward, more difficult with an already skeptical neighborhood.

Continue reading Donald Trump Is Poised To Forcibly Relocate Homeless Human Beings – Move Them Into Concentration Camps To Please His Bloodthirsty Constituents – Meanwhile A Newly Obtained Email Shows That Mike Bonin Does The Same Sort Of Thing – Arranging For An Encampment Sweep Across The Street From The St. Joseph Center On Hampton Avenue For No Better Reason Than To Placate Housedwelling Psychopaths – He’s Willing To Sic The LAPD On The Unhoused For No Better Reason Than That It Suits His Political Goals – Keep This In Mind The Next Time Bonin Flips Out And Compares Advocates For The Rights Of Homeless Human Beings To Donald Trump

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Remember When Dozens Of Wise – And Sane – And Thoughtful – Advocates For The Rights Of Our Homeless Neighbors Spoke Before The Los Angeles City Council – And Gave Any Number Of Reasons – Based On Facts And Deeply Felt Lived Experience – For Council Not To Renew The Reprehensible LAMC 85.02 – Outlawing Vehicle Dwelling – And Council Renewed It – And Protests Broke Out – And They Cleared The Room – And Had Someone Arrested – And Lied About The Activists Being Paid For Their Commentary – Now Compare And Contrast – Last Week Some Unhinged Lobbyists Wrote An Ultra-Crackpot Letter Against Street Vendors – And Paul Koretz – Without Even Blinking At The Crazed Crapola Submitted By These Kooks – Introduced An Amending Motion Granting All Their Appalling Desires – More Despicably Characteristic Pandering To Zillionaires – When We’re Commenting We’re Commenting For History – Not For The Korrupt Klown Krew Running Things For Their Zillionaire Masters

Maybe you remember how in June and July 2019 the Los Angeles City Council was considering renewing the appalling LAMC 85.02, which makes vehicle dwelling illegal? And dozens of advocates for the rights of the unhoused took time to appear and give public comment urging the Council not to renew the law. They stayed away from work, from family, from the countless obligations and responsibilities that unpaid volunteers have to neglect in order to participate in civic life.

And the City Council ignored their wisdom, their experience, their sincere and deep understanding of the facts, they ignored the fact that not one single public commenter spoke in favor of their wicked ordinance, not one. They voted to renew their reprehensible legal ban on vehicle dwelling and then, when the chamber erupted in protest, the Councilmembers first had the police arrest one member of the public and clear the rest from the room. They then assuaged their own fully justified guilt and shame by telling one another the soothing lie that the protesters were paid for their advocacy? Well, anyway, that’s what happened.

And maybe you also remember that for the last eleventy seven years or so the local zillionaires have been fighting rabidly against street vending in Los Angeles, weaponizing the municipal power they pay so dearly to control through many violent conduits against these helpless workers. Their psychopathic campaign got so out of hand that last year the State Legislature had to step in and pass a law forbidding municipalities from outlawing vending.

But there are some loopholes, or at least some language that can be made by zillionaire lawyers to appear enough like a loophole to serve their purposes for now, and the zillies have been hard at work chipping away at the protections afforded by the law to the vendors, telling blatant lies when it serves their wicked purposes.. And it seems that one of the things away at which they’re determined to chip is food vendors who actually cook on stoves and stuff, and maybe have some chairs for their customers.

If you live in actual real live Los Angeles instead of some kind of collective zillionaire delusion like the Pacific Palisades, which almost certainly doesn’t actually exist in normal reality, this is the kind of thing you see every day, or at least every evening, when they really come out in numbers. Pupusas, tacos, pollo rostizado, churrascos, and so on. This is a ubiquitous style of street food vending. Street vending, even complex setups like these, are an essential part of the cultural fabric of Los Angeles, and are to be celebrated, not outlawed.
Continue reading Remember When Dozens Of Wise – And Sane – And Thoughtful – Advocates For The Rights Of Our Homeless Neighbors Spoke Before The Los Angeles City Council – And Gave Any Number Of Reasons – Based On Facts And Deeply Felt Lived Experience – For Council Not To Renew The Reprehensible LAMC 85.02 – Outlawing Vehicle Dwelling – And Council Renewed It – And Protests Broke Out – And They Cleared The Room – And Had Someone Arrested – And Lied About The Activists Being Paid For Their Commentary – Now Compare And Contrast – Last Week Some Unhinged Lobbyists Wrote An Ultra-Crackpot Letter Against Street Vendors – And Paul Koretz – Without Even Blinking At The Crazed Crapola Submitted By These Kooks – Introduced An Amending Motion Granting All Their Appalling Desires – More Despicably Characteristic Pandering To Zillionaires – When We’re Commenting We’re Commenting For History – Not For The Korrupt Klown Krew Running Things For Their Zillionaire Masters

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