This story is in some sense about the absolutely intransigent refusal of Patti Berman, president for life of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council,1 to comply with the California Public Records Act. I’ll spare you the details of her violations for now,2 but they’re weird, unnecessary, and secretive. And she leads other board members into violating the law by rephrasing requests so that they can’t actually comply. It’s really bad, and DLANC records are really important,3 not least because they violate the Brown Act all the damn time, often4 via email.
But DLANC matters to me, and it has since they went to such horrific lengths to scuttle the Skid Row Neighborhood Council formation effort. So it occurred to me that, rather than moving straight to yet another lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles, I might give a presentation to the DLANC Board on Berman’s violations, on how she induced violations from other members, and some suggestions on how to comply with the law while also significantly reducing the work and time involved in responding to requests.5 Continue reading Today I Was Forced By The Weirdly Parochial Outlaw Intransigence Of DLANC President For Life Patricia X. Berman To File A Grievance With The Department Of Neighborhood Empowerment — Not Against Berman Even Though She And Only She Is The Violator — Because DONE Doesn’t Accept Grievances Against Individuals — Only Against Entire Neighborhood Councils — Because I Asked DLANC Secretary Claudia Oliveira To Put Me On An Agenda To Talk About Berman’s Absolutely Shameless Flouting Of The Public Records Act — And The Bylaws Require Such Requests From Stakeholders To Be Honored — But Berman Refused — And Said I Would Have To Submit My Proposed Statement For Vetting — She Said She Would “Send It To Legal” — Which Suggests That She’s Either Lost Her Mind — Or Watched Too Damn Many Movies And Forgot That Not All Of Them Were Documentaries — Or Both Of Course — Which Seems More Likely