Tag Archives: Downtown Center BID

LAPD Transit Services Division Monitored Extinction Rebellion’s Social Media In April 2019 And Sent Out Reports To Allied Universal Security — A Private Security Firm Employed By Many Business Improvement Districts In Los Angeles — Subsequently AUS Distributed LAPD Intelligence Reports To Its Clients

As you may well know there is a group of activists here in Los Angeles, known as Stop LAPD Spying, which is dedicated to the goal of stopping LAPD from spying. Such a group is, sadly, really necessary because LAPD just will not stop spying. From the famous red squad to the present, they just will not cut it out. And one of the forms LAPD spying takes in the present day is the monitoring of social media accounts and the dissemination of so-called intelligence gathered there. For instance, in 2017 dedicated LAPD social media stalkers learned of an unpermitted demonstration planned by a group called Code Pink, and they emailed a bunch of security people and BIDs Downtown about it and possibly even sent cops to the event.

And just today I learned of another such incident, this time involving LAPD’s Transit Services Division. It seems that Extinction Rebellion Los Angeles was planning a protest for April 22, 2019 to take place on the Red Line train, although the location was not at first revealed. As folks will do these days they coordinated it via social media, and the TSD was watching. And screenshotting. And disseminating their work to various private security companies, who sent it along to their clients, which include business improvement districts.

I learned of this from an April 21, 2019 email sent by Brian Raboin of Allied Universal Security to his clients, including the Downtown Center Business Improvement District. Raboin quotes extensively from an LAPD email that I don’t yet have a copy of, in which it’s revealed that not only was TSD monitoring Extinction Rebellion’s social media, but that the Media Relations Division was as well. There is a transcription of this email below. And Raboin also sent an attachment consisting of thirteen pages of screenshots from various Extinction Rebellion social media pages. Selected images from this document appear below as well.

On April 22, 2019 Extinction Rebellion announced via Facebook that the protest would take place, or at least start out, at Universal City Station. And, even more ominously in the jaundiced view of these cops and their henchies in private security, recommended that participants wear “clothes that can get stained.” The police sent out an update immediately and Raboin forwarded it along to his clients. That’s the story. I’ll leave the moral for you to formulate.

But it’s essential to continue to piece together evidence about what LAPD can monitor, what they do monitor, and with whom they share the fruits of their monitoring. Just yesterday it seems like the whole human population of New York City rose up against violent overpolicing on their subways. And the whole human population of Los Angeles can see that we have the same problem and that it might well lead to the same kind of reaction. So it’s worth remembering while we’re organizing, friends and fellow humans, that the cops are reading our Twitters.
Continue reading LAPD Transit Services Division Monitored Extinction Rebellion’s Social Media In April 2019 And Sent Out Reports To Allied Universal Security — A Private Security Firm Employed By Many Business Improvement Districts In Los Angeles — Subsequently AUS Distributed LAPD Intelligence Reports To Its Clients

Share

Brookfield Property Partners Assistant Security Director Paul Burr Refers To Human Beings Forced To Sleep On Grates For Warmth In The Rain As “Zombies” — Because He’s A Hate-Spewing Psychopath — And Downtown Center BID Associate Director Of Operations Jorge Castro Accepts The Phraseology And Sends Out The Security Forces — Because It’s Not Enough For These People That They Own Enough Property In Los Angeles To Provide A 150 Square Foot Apartment For Every Homeless Person In The City — Not Enough That Their BID Lets Them Wield Government Power As A Personal Weapon — They Also Have To Openly Express Their Utter Dehumanizing Contempt For Their Victims — And No One Involved In The Process Says Anything At All About It

Brookfield Property Partners is yet another faceless bunch of zillionaires who own everything while so many have nothing. According to Forbes Magazine they own 8.3 million square feet of commercial property in Downtown Los Angeles, including a building at 333 S. Grand, right there in the good old Downtown Center BID, which evidently has some grates in front of it.

And on December 6, 2018, around 4 or 5 a.m. when it was raining and foggy and cold, evidently some homeless human beings slept on those grates, presumably trying to stay alive by staying warm. But according to Paul Burr, assistant director of security, in an email he sent that day to Jorge Castro of the BID they ” made the shuttle workers very uncomfortable”. So he asked Castro to arrange for “a patrol to rouse them at that time and get the area clear”

And Castro did as he was asked to do, forwarding the email on to Adrian Marquez, the BID’s director of safety services, and Marquez, by return email, agreed to the plan. That’s an ordinary story, repeated many times every single day of every single year in Los Angeles and everywhere else in the world where zillionaires and their victims are forced to exist in close proximity.

It’s also not a surprise to see hateful zillionaires using language associated with disease, inhuman mindless predators, infestation, and so on, when they’re talking about human beings who happen to presently not have an indoor place to live. The subject line of Burr’s emails is a particularly graphic but sadly not unusual example of this: “Zombies on our Grates”.

It’s not even surprising to see BID staff ignoring Burr’s dehumanizing language. But that doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. BIDs are public agencies.1 They’re funded with public money. The City of Los Angeles allows them to wield municipal power uncontrolled in any practical sense by political processes. And all that public power, all that public money, is in this instance in the hands of the Board of Directors of the Downtown Center BID, guided by its chair, Brookfield senior vice president Robert Cushman.

So what we have here is an organization, Brookfield, whose local boss, Robert Cushman, controls vast amounts of public money and power, most of it spent in opposition to homeless human beings forced to live on the streets by the very economic policies that Brookfield thrives on, employing people who, as revealed by their unselfconscious language, don’t think of those homeless people as human beings at all, let alone as equal citizens of the City of Los Angeles, but rather as mindless inhuman disease vectors.

These are the people that the City of Los Angeles chooses, by a process guaranteed and likely intentionally designed to promote white supremacy, to spend our money, to wield our power, against us, people who live here.. I do not, will never, understand how anyone thinks this is OK. But you knew that, I’m guessing. Read on for a transcription of the entire conversation.
Continue reading Brookfield Property Partners Assistant Security Director Paul Burr Refers To Human Beings Forced To Sleep On Grates For Warmth In The Rain As “Zombies” — Because He’s A Hate-Spewing Psychopath — And Downtown Center BID Associate Director Of Operations Jorge Castro Accepts The Phraseology And Sends Out The Security Forces — Because It’s Not Enough For These People That They Own Enough Property In Los Angeles To Provide A 150 Square Foot Apartment For Every Homeless Person In The City — Not Enough That Their BID Lets Them Wield Government Power As A Personal Weapon — They Also Have To Openly Express Their Utter Dehumanizing Contempt For Their Victims — And No One Involved In The Process Says Anything At All About It

Share

In September 2018 — After The Release Of That Damning UC Berkeley Law Report On Nefarious BID Activity — Suzanne Holley Of The Nefariously Active Downtown Center BID Got In Touch With Assemblymember Miguel Santiago’s Office — And Was All Like Obviously This Report Is Wrong — And Biased — And Stupid — And Puerile — And Delusional — But Nevertheless We Are Worried That Some Unhinged Legislator May Try To Enact Legislation Based On It — Therefore Can Your Boss Commit To Helping Us Avoid This Fate — And The Staff Of Miguel Santiago — Who Never Met A Zillionaire Whose Interests He Wouldn’t Bootlickingly Pander To — Was All Like “Sure BIDdies! We Will Protect You From Any Potential Legislation!”

Perhaps you recall that in 2018 a group of dedicated and accomplished students at the UC Berkeley Law School’s Policy Advocacy Clinic released a blockbuster report on the criminalization of homelessness by business improvement districts in California, a copy of which can be obtained here. You should definitely read this. It’s one of the indispensable texts of contemporary radical BIDdology.

One of the report’s major points is that it is probably illegal under existing state law for BIDs, which are publicly funded entities, to use those public funds for lobbying for anti-homeless legislation. And, the report goes on to say, if it’s not illegal now it certainly ought to be, so they call for legislation to regulate BIDs with respect to advocacy.

As you might expect from a report from an institution at the level of UC Berkeley, the arguments are powerful, convincing, and intensely well-supported by extensive evidence1 and if our local BIDdies had or have any brains at all, or at least any of that sentience-independent primordial reptilian survival sense on which rich dumb mean people rely so heavily, the irrefutable arguments in this report would have, ought to have, made them extremely nervous.

Of course BIDs, like the zillionaires they serve, don’t look to arguments and their refutation to protect their survival, preferring instead to guard themselves with the weaponized raw political power that they’ve gathered around themselves like armor. And that this is an accurate picture is revealed by some recently obtained emails2 between Suzanne Holley of the Downtown Center BID and the staff of Downtown Los Angeles Assemblymember Miguel Santiago.

The BIDdies were worried that legislators might actually take the report’s recommendations seriously and start trying to rein them in with laws, so they wrote to Santiago asking for protection from any potential legislation inspired by the report, even though none had yet been introduced. But irrespective of that Santiago, long-time asshole buddy of our Downtown BIDS3 or at least his staff, was all over that. Yes, they said, yes, yes, yes, BIDdies! We will save you from any future legislation!
Continue reading In September 2018 — After The Release Of That Damning UC Berkeley Law Report On Nefarious BID Activity — Suzanne Holley Of The Nefariously Active Downtown Center BID Got In Touch With Assemblymember Miguel Santiago’s Office — And Was All Like Obviously This Report Is Wrong — And Biased — And Stupid — And Puerile — And Delusional — But Nevertheless We Are Worried That Some Unhinged Legislator May Try To Enact Legislation Based On It — Therefore Can Your Boss Commit To Helping Us Avoid This Fate — And The Staff Of Miguel Santiago — Who Never Met A Zillionaire Whose Interests He Wouldn’t Bootlickingly Pander To — Was All Like “Sure BIDdies! We Will Protect You From Any Potential Legislation!”

Share

Business Improvement Districts And A Bunch Of Backwater Small Towns Oppose Assemblymember Todd Gloria’s AB1184 — Which Will Require Local Agencies To Retain Emails For Two Years — Read Their Letters Of Opposition And See What Shameless Liars They Are — Especially Suzanne Holley Of The Downtown Center BID — Who Argues With A Straight Face That Allowing Them To Delete Emails Will Increase Public Access To Information Because They Will Only Save The Important Stuff — By The Way Though I Have Proof That Holley’s BID Has Intentionally Deleted Very Important Emails In The Past — Icky Sticky BIDdie Boy Andrew Thomas Of Westwood Village BID Also Opposes — And He’s Also An Email Deleting Liar

Assemblymember Todd Gloria introduced AB 1184, which would clarify an ambiguity in state law by requiring public agencies to retain emails for a minimum of two years. You can read my earlier article on it here. Well, on Wednesday the bill was amended1 and passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with a 10 to 1 tally in favor.2 It’s really worth reading the Judiciary Committee Counsel’s analysis of the bill, by the way.

And I also have copies of support and opposition letters. Powerful support comes from the California News Publishers Association and the First Amendment Coalition. Here are their letters:

California News Publishers Association support for AB1184
First Amendment Coalition support for AB1184

The opposition letters are predictably stupid, self-serving, and dishonest. They mostly take the position that it will cost too damn much to store two years worth of emails. Obviously, though, none of them provide any evidence because it’s just not true.3 Here are the links:

City of San Carlos opposition to AB1184
City of West Hollywood opposition to AB1184
Various BIDdie Associations opposition to AB1184
Downtown Center BID opposition to AB1184

And, probably unsurprisingly, this last one, penned by Downtown Center BID executive director Suzanne Holley, already known to be one of the most mendacious of an exceedingly mendacious crew of Los Angeles BIDdies, is perhaps the most twisted, the most dishonest, and the most ineffective, it turns out, out of all of them. There is a transcription after the break, but behold a few highlights with commentary and counterpoint.

Suzanne, why is your BID opposed to this? “Agencies would be forced to maintain an onerous amount of data.” And why is this not in the public interest, Suzanne? “the public would need to sort through thousands of emails to find the relevant needle in the haystack.” Suzanne! See that little box in your email client with a magnifying glass in it? If you put words in there and click on something the computer will sort through the emails for you! I use mine all the time!

Explain again, Suzanne! “Requiring the retention of tens of thousands of emails will bury relevant information…” And what is your answer to this imaginary problem, Suzanne? ” we believe the bill can be amended to ensure that the retention only apply to information relevant to the public business.” Of course, Suzanne, the problem is that on your scheme, YOU would be the one who decides what the public business is when obviously it’s the public that needs to decide.

And what kind of stuff would Suzanne delete if allowed? Here’s what she says doesn’t need to be retained: “Every email, regardless of how irrelevant would need to be retained. … Even an email asking a colleague out to lunch would fall under the purview of this bill.” See? Suzanne is asking the public to trust her to determine which emails it’s in the public interest to retain. She seems to be saying she’s just going to delete a lot of emails about lunch dates.

Leaving aside serious arguments that such emails may be very important indeed, let me tell you a little story about what kinds of emails Suzanne Holley actually does in fact delete. Remember all those emails I got in 2017 about BID involvement in the destruction of the Skid Row Neighborhood Council? That Jason McGahan, then of the LA Weekly, used in his blockbuster article? That are now evidence in the lawsuit against the City for illegally tampering with the subdivision election? Well, I got the first batch of those emails from Suzanne Holley at the Downtown Center BID.
Continue reading Business Improvement Districts And A Bunch Of Backwater Small Towns Oppose Assemblymember Todd Gloria’s AB1184 — Which Will Require Local Agencies To Retain Emails For Two Years — Read Their Letters Of Opposition And See What Shameless Liars They Are — Especially Suzanne Holley Of The Downtown Center BID — Who Argues With A Straight Face That Allowing Them To Delete Emails Will Increase Public Access To Information Because They Will Only Save The Important Stuff — By The Way Though I Have Proof That Holley’s BID Has Intentionally Deleted Very Important Emails In The Past — Icky Sticky BIDdie Boy Andrew Thomas Of Westwood Village BID Also Opposes — And He’s Also An Email Deleting Liar

Share

“They’re Saying It’s A Constitutional Right To Have Stuff” — More Performative Insanity From Batty Little Fusspot Blair Besten — The Finest Legal Mind Of Her Generation — As She Explains The Mitchell Injunction To You — From The Point Of View Of A Whiny Entitled Privileged Stupid Person — A Constituency That Doesn’t Get Nearly Enough Attention In Los Angeles — That’s Sarcasm — They’re In Charge Of The Damn Asylum — And Listen To Her Run Her Poormouth About How Her Putatively Underfunded BID Makes Do With Low Budgets By Being More Efficient Than The Fashion District — Which Spends Proportionately Half Of What Besten Spends On Administration — Lie Or Incompetence? — The Perennial Besten Question

It’s been a long while since we here at the blog have heard from Blair Besten, the half-pint Norma Desmond of the Historic Core.1 Well, it’s because, like with El Duckworth, she is so convinced that she is above the law that I haven’t gotten any substantial records out of her infernal BID in ever so long, and without records I will not, I can not, mock.

And of course, as you know, I’m in the process of suing her and her damnable BID to enforce compliance with the Public Records Act. And she’s going to lose, because losing is what she does best. So at some point the records will be rolling in again and the full-time mockery will resume. Until then, though, well, I have always relied on the kindness of strangers, and they are strangely kind to me.

In particular, just recently, unsolicited, was handed to me2 an audio track of an unscheduled appearance made by Ms. Besten at some bullshit meeting conducted at some bullshit Downtown residential bullshit location, having something to do with some bullshit or other. So I made it into a video3 and you can listen here on YouTube and here on Archive.Org, where you can also download it more easily. And of course there’s also a complete transcription after the break!

And best of all, this unexpected bit of Besteniana means that it’s gonna be like the good old days around here what with all the mere mockery unloosed upon the world! Gonna mock around the clock tonight! Turn the page, I’m gonna lay it on you in increments, but before then let’s just spoil the ending and take a look at the single most incomprehensibly lobotomized proclamation proclaimed by Ms. Blair Besten in a long unbroken chain of incomprehensibly lobotomized proclamity!

What, you may ask, does Ms. Blair Besten think that the plaintiffs in the lawsuit Mitchell v. Los Angeles are so freaking wrong about? Why “they’re saying that it’s a constitutional right to have stuff in Skid Row.” If you stop and think about it, Ms. Besten, that’s kind of like, almost, what the Fourteenth Amendment to the constitution is saying with all that jive about “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

See the part about property? That’s what grownups call “stuff.” And I don’t see anything about it not being true in Skid Row. In fact, all kinds of people have “stuff” in Skid Row. Like e.g. all those property owners in the Downtown Industrial District BID. Gonna tell them they can’t have stuff there?

And the amendment goes on to say that states may not “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” They seem to have left out the not in Skid Row bit there too. So on Blair Besten’s testimony it’s hard to see why she’s so upset at the prospect of the City settling Mitchell. But she is very upset. Can see how it might get confusing to folks like Besten. And listen, lest you think I’m being pointlessly mean to Blair Besten, please keep in mind that this is not just some kook spouting her theories to the waves on Venice Beach.

She is the head of a major Downtown Business Improvement District, hand-picked by Jose Huizar over the objections of its board of directors to administer its outrageously high $2.2 million budget. She is widely considered by City officials to be some kind of expert on homelessness, to the point where they appointed her to the damn HHH citizens’ oversight committee over the objections of a lot of sane and accomplished people. She’s not just a kook, although she is a kook. She’s a dangerous kook with a lot of power. So yeah, I’m being mean to Blair Besten, but not pointlessly mean. Anyway, read on, friends!
Continue reading “They’re Saying It’s A Constitutional Right To Have Stuff” — More Performative Insanity From Batty Little Fusspot Blair Besten — The Finest Legal Mind Of Her Generation — As She Explains The Mitchell Injunction To You — From The Point Of View Of A Whiny Entitled Privileged Stupid Person — A Constituency That Doesn’t Get Nearly Enough Attention In Los Angeles — That’s Sarcasm — They’re In Charge Of The Damn Asylum — And Listen To Her Run Her Poormouth About How Her Putatively Underfunded BID Makes Do With Low Budgets By Being More Efficient Than The Fashion District — Which Spends Proportionately Half Of What Besten Spends On Administration — Lie Or Incompetence? — The Perennial Besten Question

Share

Los Angeles Police Department Sued To Enforce Compliance With California Public Records Act — At Issue Are Two Classes Of Records — Both Of Which LAPD Claims Are Investigative And So Exempt From Release — First Are Private Person’s Arrest Forms — Necessary To Track BID Patrol Arrests — Second Are Reports From RPPICS — Some Kind Of Top Secret Cop Tracking And Discussion System — Putatively For Anti-Terrorism

The LAPD has been notoriously bad at complying with the California Public Records Act. So much so that in 2017 the ACLU sued them for systemic violations of the law, which is in addition to any number of small-scale suits based on individual violations, like e.g. Stop LAPD Spying has had to sue them twice, once in 2015 and again in 2018.

These suits were based on the LAPD’s longstanding habit of completely ignoring CPRA requests, often for years at a time. However, since the City of LA started using the NextRequest CPRA platform the LAPD has gotten quite a bit more responsive, although they can still take a maddeningly long time to respond and produce records.

This welcome improvement in LAPD responsiveness does not mean that all is well in Cop-CPRAlandia. They will still arbitrarily deny requests and then cut off the conversation, and they did this to me twice in 2018. Sadly, the CPRA provides no recourse at all for arbitrary unjustified denials beyond the filing of a lawsuit,1 which is what the path I was forced to follow by the LAPD’s extraordinary and unsupportable intransigence. You can read the complaint here, written by the incomparable Abenicio Cisneros, and/or see transcribed selections below the break.

There are two issues at stake. In the first place, remember back in 2016 when Kerry Morrison and her merry gang of curb-stomping thugs at Andrews International Security altered their contract to be able to withhold public records from me? That left me with no way to tell exactly who said curb-stomping thuggie boys arrested, information they naturally wanted to obscure from me because they tend to arrest the wrong people and rather than mend their ways they prefer to cover up their misdeeds.

But last year I discovered that every time the BID Patrol arrests someone they fill out a form for the LAPD. Here is an example of one. As it’s essential to find out not only how many arrests the BID Patrol makes2 but who they’re actually arresting, I requested that the LAPD give me all of these forms from Hollywood from 2018. They refused, and that is my first cause of action.

The other issue has to do with some Orwellian slab of web app crap known as the Regional Public Private Infrastructure Collaboration System. I learned about this from some emails I got from the Downtown Center BID in response to a CPRA request. You can see the emails here on Archive.Org, but they’re not that interesting. They mostly just announce that new information is available on RPPICS, and since they won’t give up the goods, there’s no way to tell what that is.

But this kind of public/private collaboration sharing between police and security is famous for being misused for political surveillance and other illegal and antihuman activities. The LAPD and private security already get up to enough of this in open emails, as does the freaking BID Patrol. Imagine what they’re doing in secret. But we don’t have to imagine, we can make CPRA requests! Which is what I did, asking LAPD for a year’s worth of postings so as to learn what the heck these people were up to in their little secret world. Again, they denied my request, and this is my second cause of action.

And turn the page, if you will, for a few technicalities about the LAPD’s exemption claims and transcribed selections from the petition itself.
Continue reading Los Angeles Police Department Sued To Enforce Compliance With California Public Records Act — At Issue Are Two Classes Of Records — Both Of Which LAPD Claims Are Investigative And So Exempt From Release — First Are Private Person’s Arrest Forms — Necessary To Track BID Patrol Arrests — Second Are Reports From RPPICS — Some Kind Of Top Secret Cop Tracking And Discussion System — Putatively For Anti-Terrorism

Share

In 2017 Nonprofit Housing Provider — Retirement Housing Foundation — Sued The Downtown Center BID And The City Of LA Seeking To Invalidate The BID And Lost — RHF Sued In 2012 Also And A Confidential City Attorney Report Reveals That The City Felt Sure RHF Would Win That Case — Victory Would Endanger All Other BIDs In LA — And So Sought To Settle — Ended Up Refunding $500,000 In Assessments To The Nonprofit — When DCBID Renewed In 2017 The City Declined To Renew The Settlement — Hence The Second Lawsuit — Get Copies Of All Pleadings Filed — Including Notice Of Appeal Filed On Wednesday

The Retirement Housing Foundation owns and operates a variety of low-income housing facilities around the country, including two, Angelus Plaza and Angelus Plaza North, which are located within the Downtown Center Business Improvement District. In 2012 RHF sued the DCBID and the City of Los Angeles, arguing that because they were a nonprofit provider of low-income housing none or few of the BID’s activities benefited them and that therefore under requirements of the California Constitution they could not be required to pay BID assessments.1

A confidential 2013 report to the City Council by Deputy City Attorney Daniel Whitley, a copy of which I recently obtained, states that the City Attorney’s office considered the City’s case extremely weak.2 However, the report continues:

Because of the many Business Improvement Districts that would potentially be affected by either litigation or settlement, initially we were instructed to defend the City in this litigation but also to attempt to settle the matter so as to protect other Business Improvement Districts.

In accordance with this instruction, the City Attorney negotiated a settlement with RHF in which the City would refund all assessments paid to RHF, to the tune of a little more than $100K per year over the five year life of the BID. Whitley recommended to Council that they approve it. His reasoning was stark:

Given that the City will almost certainly lose this litigation (as we discussed earlier), should the City wish for the DCBID to continue in operation, we recommend approval of the settlement.

This settlement was approved by City Council on February 13, 2013. And the City did pay the money. But then the DCBID expired and was renewed starting in 2018.3 And RHF asked the City to renew the settlement, and the City refused. So RHF filed suit again in 2017. Turn the page for the sordid details.
Continue reading In 2017 Nonprofit Housing Provider — Retirement Housing Foundation — Sued The Downtown Center BID And The City Of LA Seeking To Invalidate The BID And Lost — RHF Sued In 2012 Also And A Confidential City Attorney Report Reveals That The City Felt Sure RHF Would Win That Case — Victory Would Endanger All Other BIDs In LA — And So Sought To Settle — Ended Up Refunding $500,000 In Assessments To The Nonprofit — When DCBID Renewed In 2017 The City Declined To Renew The Settlement — Hence The Second Lawsuit — Get Copies Of All Pleadings Filed — Including Notice Of Appeal Filed On Wednesday

Share

Annals Of LAPD Spying — Sometimes Protesters Don’t Get Permission From The Cops For Their Protests — And Sometimes The Cops “Monitor” Social Media To Uncover Protesters’ Plans — And Sometimes The Cops Share This Information With The Department Of Homeland Security — Not To Mention With Business Improvement Districts — Who Are No Strangers To Creepy-Ass Social Media Spying Themselves — So Watch What You Say On Facebook, Friends, If You Don’t Want A Bunch Of Unanticipated Cops Showing Up!

This is just a short note to discuss this email chain, which I recently received from the Historic Core BID as part of the fruits of a public records act request.1 It seems that last year, some group called Code Pink was planning a protest in Pershing Square on April 29, 20172 and they did not ask the permission of the LAPD. Even more interestingly it seems that the LAPD has officers dedicated to “monitoring social media” who track this kind of thing.

And one of them, James Baker, emailed a bunch of his fellow polices on April 22, 2017, to fill them in on the upcoming reign of anarchy Downtown. He mentioned explicitly that Code Pink was not cooperating with the LAPD, that there was no discussion of any civil disobedience, and that his officers would “continue to monitor social media for updates.”

Also interesting is the fact that four of the recipients were with the Department of Homeland Security.3 Another was Senior Lead Officer Michael Flanagan, who turned around and emailed batty little fusspot Blair Besten of the Historic Core BID, Brian Raboin of the Downtown Center BID, and Banyon Hutter of Allied Universal Security.

The record doesn’t show what,if anything, the BIDs did with the information, but it’s worth keeping in mind that this is happening. If you’re an activist, if you use social media to coordinate your events, don’t forget that the cops are reading it too, the BIDs are reading it, BID security is reading it, and they’re all coordinating with each other. Plan accordingly. Turn the page for transcriptions of the whole email chain and some additional discussion.
Continue reading Annals Of LAPD Spying — Sometimes Protesters Don’t Get Permission From The Cops For Their Protests — And Sometimes The Cops “Monitor” Social Media To Uncover Protesters’ Plans — And Sometimes The Cops Share This Information With The Department Of Homeland Security — Not To Mention With Business Improvement Districts — Who Are No Strangers To Creepy-Ass Social Media Spying Themselves — So Watch What You Say On Facebook, Friends, If You Don’t Want A Bunch Of Unanticipated Cops Showing Up!

Share

In 2016 The City Of Los Angeles Revised Its Standard BID Administration Contract To Remove Language About Complying With CPRA And The Brown Act — Which Is Yet Another Example Of The City Refusing To Hold BIDs Responsible For Complying With Any Laws Whatsoever — It’s Not Clear What Effect This Will Have On Anything — They Certainly Did It In Response To My Activities, Though, For What That’s Worth

Regular readers of this blog are well aware that business improvement districts in California are subject to the California Public Records Act and to the Brown Act by virtue of the Property and Business Improvement District Law at §36612, which states explicitly that BIDS … shall comply with the Ralph M. Brown Act … at all times when matters within the subject matter of the district are heard, discussed, or deliberated, and with the California Public Records Act … for all records relating to activities of the district.1

Also, maybe you recall that the standard contract that BIDs sign with the City of Los Angeles contains2 a clause basically repeating this requirement. There’s a transcription of this section after the break. So in March 2016, faced with blatant disregard of the CPRA by the Downtown Center BID, I wrote to the City Clerk, Holly Wolcott, asking her to enforce the terms of the City’s contract with this obstructionist BID.

And on March 14, 2016, she wrote back to me, stating pretty clearly that she wasn’t going to make sure that BIDs complied with the Public Records Act. Again, there’s a transcription of her response after the break, but her main argument was that the City wasn’t obligated by the contract to consider whether a given BID was complying with the CPRA.

And I thought that was the end of it, but I just recently discovered that actually, it’s likely that the City took my argument much more seriously than anyone was letting on. So seriously, in fact, that in April 2016 the City Attorney completely rewrote the standard contract between BIDs and the City to eliminate all language about CPRA and the Brown Act!
Continue reading In 2016 The City Of Los Angeles Revised Its Standard BID Administration Contract To Remove Language About Complying With CPRA And The Brown Act — Which Is Yet Another Example Of The City Refusing To Hold BIDs Responsible For Complying With Any Laws Whatsoever — It’s Not Clear What Effect This Will Have On Anything — They Certainly Did It In Response To My Activities, Though, For What That’s Worth

Share

Zillion Dollar Woman Carol Schatz Tells California State Senate That The Downtown Center BID Has Been Working For Years To Help Street Vendors And That Senator Lara’s SB-946 Is Going To Make Things Worse For Everybody — Thirty Eight New Support/Oppose Letters Regarding Lara’s Bill Now Available

Last month I published five letters to the State Senate supporting Senator Ricardo Lara’s SB-946, the Sanity in Street Vending Bill which, by the way, cleared the Senate last week and is awaiting consideration by the Assembly. And yesterday I received 38 more support/oppose letters, and I’ve updated the Archive.Org page with copies of these.

The letters supporting Lara’s bill are excellent reading, of course,1 but, as usual, it’s the letters opposing it that really crack open the seething skulls of the zillionaire elites of this City2 and let the fevered fragments of their sociopathic ids spill out for all to see. And, of course, that’s what this blog is all about!

For whatever reason these letters, both in support and in opposition, borrow a lot from one another. And an interesting theme running through the opposition letters from Los Angeles is the idea that somehow our City’s various zillionaire-serving institutions have been working hard to help our City Council craft laws that help street vendors and that Lara’s bill would interfere with all this putative good will.

For instance, see this letter from Carol Schatz at the Downtown Center BID, of which there’s a transcription after the break:

Over the past several years, we have joined a broad coalition of organizations working with the Los Angeles City Council to create a sidewalk vending program that balances the needs of brick-and-mortar establishments with the needs of vendors.

Or check this little slab of puckey from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, with contact person none other than former Huizar staffer Diana Yedoyan, evidently now shilling for the man out on Bixel Street:
Continue reading Zillion Dollar Woman Carol Schatz Tells California State Senate That The Downtown Center BID Has Been Working For Years To Help Street Vendors And That Senator Lara’s SB-946 Is Going To Make Things Worse For Everybody — Thirty Eight New Support/Oppose Letters Regarding Lara’s Bill Now Available

Share