Tag Archives: CPRA 6253.1

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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Paul Koretz’s Office Does Not Track Constituent Opinions On Issues — Or At Least They Have Not Done So In 2019 — This Is According To David Hersch — Koretz’s Deputy Chief Of Staff — So All That Dutiful Public Comment You’ve Been Submitting To CD5 O Best Beloved? — No One Over There Even Cares — Did You Call Or Email Koretz And Beg Him To Have A Damn Heart And Not Outlaw Vehicle Dwelling? — Your Thoughts Were Not Recorded — Along With The Story Of How I Learned This Tragic Fact — Which Illuminates The Uncaring Arrogance Of The City Of Los Angeles In Responding To Requests For Public Records

I can’t write yet about the City Council’s appalling behavior on Tuesday with respect to outlawing vehicle dwelling by renewing LAMC 85.02. It’s still too raw, and it’s too soon to have related records to publish. Local hero Lexis-Olivier Ray has an essential story on it in L.A. Taco, a story he inadvertently became a participant in when the police illegally forced him, a working journalist, to leave the room.

The day before the vote a lot of folks were calling their Councilmembers, leaving messages, sending emails, and so on, urging their repsters to vote against this abhorrent nonsense, much of it coordinated via Twitter. And to encourage action, @MamaWetzel told us that these calls do matter because there are staffers whose jobs it is to track public opinion on issues via spreadsheets and so on.1 And at that word, spreadsheets, well, my eyes just rolled back in my head with joy because, as you know, a spreadsheet is a public record!

So I immediately asked a few representative council offices for 2019 records used to track constituent opinion on issues, giving spreadsheets as an example but not limiting it just to spreadsheets.2 This, as I said, was on Monday, just a few days ago. In CPRAlandia that’s nothing, no time at all, an eyeblink. So I wasn’t, and still am not, expecting results soon. But despite that, yesterday, July 31, 2019, I did actually get some very interesting news from CD5, who is pretty easy to make requests of, being on NextRequest.

Their designated CPRA responder, David Hersch, initially told me that my request was “overboard, [sic] unduly burdensome and unfocused” because, he claimed, there were too many records responsive and that therefore he wouldn’t process it until I narrowed it down. This is a standard move in the City of Los Angeles and I discuss it in great detail below. I responded, as I typically do, by asking how many records there were and explaining that the request was exceedingly focused.

Hersch responded five hours later by saying that actually there were no records at all and that CD5 didn’t keep track of constituent opinions, or at least had not done so in 2019.3 This is pretty interesting news even apart from the interesting but technical matters regarding CPRA. It’s not like Koretz doesn’t do stuff on the Council. He’s famous for his animal rights work, the importance of which I am not discounting.

For instance, just recently he’s been spending a lot of time saving Billy the Elephant, and there was that vegan food thing from December. This year alone he’s sponsored 80 motions. But all those calls and letters you folks in CD5 have spent the time to send? All that public comment? No one over there is keeping track at all. Paul Koretz has his mind made up, he’s gonna do what he’s gonna do, and ain’t all your tears wash out a word of it.4

And at this point I won’t be surprised if none of them keep track. I will certainly be working on finding out, of course. Which would be an important part of an explanation as to why Los Quince Jefes can sit up on their dais so complacently day after clueless day fiddling with their phones while their computers automatically vote yes on oppression and the City prepares to burn. That’s today’s revelation and today’s rant. Read on for the CPRA wonkery!
Continue reading Paul Koretz’s Office Does Not Track Constituent Opinions On Issues — Or At Least They Have Not Done So In 2019 — This Is According To David Hersch — Koretz’s Deputy Chief Of Staff — So All That Dutiful Public Comment You’ve Been Submitting To CD5 O Best Beloved? — No One Over There Even Cares — Did You Call Or Email Koretz And Beg Him To Have A Damn Heart And Not Outlaw Vehicle Dwelling? — Your Thoughts Were Not Recorded — Along With The Story Of How I Learned This Tragic Fact — Which Illuminates The Uncaring Arrogance Of The City Of Los Angeles In Responding To Requests For Public Records

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CPRA Goes Meta: Holly Wolcott Refuses To Release Some Records But Ends Up Releasing Advice Email From Deputy City Attorney Mike Dundas Authorizing Her Refusal

Holly Wolcott reimagined as a child of the 60s, chanting the Nam Myoho Renge Kyo of her people, which goes like this: “CPRA does not obligate me to answer questions. Only to provide records. CPRA does not obligate me to answer questions. Only to provide records.” HEY HOLLY!! CPRA also does not obligate you to not answer questions…
Perhaps you remember the long and winding narrative of how I spent almost half of last year trying to get the City Clerk’s office to cough up mailing addresses for the property owners in the Venice Beach BID, which they finally did do. There is a reasonable summary with links right here. Today I can reveal a little behind-the-scenes episode in that story.

A few weeks ago, in the middle of about a thousand pages of emails that the City Clerk’s office finally handed over, only about six months after I asked for them, I found this little gem of an email chain. Most of it is me hassling various Clerk staffies for the list of addresses, but right in the middle of it all, there’s an interlude between Holly Wolcott and Deputy City Attorney Mike Dundas, who’s evidently some kind of CPRA specialist over there in City Hall East.1

The TL;DR is that she goes: “Mike, do I gotta give him the goods?” and Mike’s all: “Nah, Holly, you don’t gotta because reasons.” It’s also interesting that the reasons he gives her are specious, providing, among other things, yet another example of how the Property and Business Improvement District Law of 1994 (which makes BIDs subject to CPRA) seems not to be understood so well over at City Hall. You will find some discussion after the break, along with quotes if you’re PDF-averse.
Continue reading CPRA Goes Meta: Holly Wolcott Refuses To Release Some Records But Ends Up Releasing Advice Email From Deputy City Attorney Mike Dundas Authorizing Her Refusal

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