And then Parkie board members self-proclaimed schmuck Paul Keller and Bob “Mr. Clean on Halloween” Buente were all like why don’t we just send our cleaning crew over to “Bombay” and “Calcutta” and clean up the damn streets? Like what would actually happen to us? Would we go to jail with the homelesses?! And Ellen Salome Riotto, zeck dreck of the Parkies, said no, friends, we would get sued cause it’s illegal but never fear we are taking pictures and uploading them to the Dropbox and almost certainly that’s going to fix everything.
Well, whatever, amirite? Cause who has time to waste on interpreting the delusional legally-themed meanderings of a bunch of zillionaires? But when I hear about BIDs putting stuff on Dropbox I know it’s time to fire off yet another request for public records, and that’s just what I did! And, because whatever their flaws, faults, failings, and foibles, the South Park BID under Ellen Salome Riotto is exceedingly ultra-compliant with the CPRA,1 just a few days later I got a link to the very Dropbox itself.
One of the advantages that zillionaires have over humans with respect to City politics is that they can hire innumerable minions to keep up with the firehose of crap spewed forth by City Hall, certainly in an effort to keep the minion-deprived majority too busy to address everything. Which is my half-serious, half-silly1 excuse for only having noticed this evening the two matters addressed in this post.
First we have Council File 14-0903, in which Holly Wolcott asked for and received an “amount not to exceed $100,000 …for a period of two years with two one-year extensions to assist with the creation and implementation and coordination of a Public Information Campaign” having to do with how fricking great BIDs are for the City of L.A. Additionally they’re getting “an amount not to exceed $150,000 … for a period of two years with two one-year extensions to assist with the creation and implementation of a capacity building and leadership training series relative to business improvement districts and create public/private partnerships with other nonprofit organizations..” None of this seems like very much money given (a) the amount of truth they’re going to have to overcome in order to achieve the first goal and (b) the amount of sheer incompetence and bloody-mindedness to achieve the second. Brace yourself for the incoming propaganda!
I’m writing to urge you to postpone consideration of the proposed Venice Beach business improvement district and to think about placing a moratorium on the formation of new BIDs until we as a City can have a much-needed, long-delayed conversation about their proper role. A major problem is that as they’re now constituted, there is no way for anyone not on their Boards of Directors to have any influence over property-based BIDs in Los Angeles. They have effectively isolated themselves from every one of the City’s means of contractor oversight. People who live in or near BIDs are directly impacted by their activities in many ways but have no effective means of influencing them. Since the property owners associations that administer the BIDs are mostly controlled by self-perpetuating Boards there aren’t even effective ways for the property owners in BIDs to influence their policies. Property-based BIDs also covertly and perhaps inadvertently perpetuate racist policies from the past in unexpected ways. Continue reading Open Letter to City Council Asking For Postponement of Venice Beach BID And A Moratorium On New BID Formation→