Tag Archives: Juan Fregoso

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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More Detail On Mitch O’Farrell’s April 2020 Coronavirus Exposure — Which Happened Because He Insisted On Meeting In Person With Angry Psychopathic Housedwellers In Echo Park — But Still Wouldn’t Talk To The Unhoused Community — And If You Read As Many CD13 Emails As I Do — You’re Aware That O’Farrell Rarely Commits Himself In Writing — Or His Staff Is A Bunch Of Lying CPRA Violators And Withholds What He Writes — I’m Pretty Sure Both Are True — But When He’s In Fear For His Own Life — It Seems More Real To Him Somehow — And Now The Dude Cannot Shut Up — But Quizzes Juan Fregoso About Where The Guy Who Tested Positive Was Standing — And How Close Did He Get — And What Color Shirt Was He Wearing? — It’s Pretty Clear That O’Farrell Saves His Deepest — His Most Sincere — Concern For Himself Only — But Then His Damn Voting Record Already Told Us That

A couple weeks ago I reported that in April 2020, smack in the middle of a pandemic no less, Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell had an in-person meeting with a bunch of unhinged housedwellers about how much they hated having to look at unhoused people living in Echo Park. And this all was going on at the same time that both O’Farrell and his staff were, despite their pleas and letters, refusing to meet with the unhoused people themselves, refusing to meet with activists who were organizing them, refusing to discuss public health with anyone, and refusing even to discuss the reasons for his refusal.

And not only that but O’Farrell was exposed to coronavirus at his meeting with these angry housedwellers. And by now it seems pretty ironic that actually they were the ones spreading disease. You may recall that in their list of demands to O’Farrell, one of the housedwellers’ reasons for demanding the eviction of the Echo Park homeless encampment was the threat to their health created by its presence: “[t]here is a high risk due to human waste and illegal drug waste, which is a haven for an epidemic of Cholera, dysentery,hepatitis A & E, typhus, and even leprosy.”1

The bare fact of the exposure was all I knew of when I wrote that earlier post. But since then CD13 has produced a little more material, all of which you can find here on Archive.Org,2 and among this stuff is an email conversation in which O’Farrell quizzes his nightmare field deputy Juan Fregoso about who had it, where he was standing, was he likely to have transmitted it, and so on.3 It’s the kind of thing you might expect from a guy like Mitch O’Farrell, and there’s a transcript below. There’s no big news here, no breakthrough explanations of the characteristic feckless idiocy with which O’Farrell conducts all his public business.

But if you read as many of these City staff emails as I do you’ll recognize that O’Farrell is being weirdly talkative here. It’s so rare to get anything in writing out of CD13 that’s actually from the Councilmember. Either O’Farrell is consciously not putting things in writing or his staff is way, way overclaiming exemptions to withhold all of it.4 There’s certainly plenty of evidence that they do that. And of course if you’re the wrong kind of constituent he doesn’t have a single word for you nor a single moment in which to speak it. But here he is, in fear for his life,5 and all of a sudden he’s got plenty to say.
Continue reading More Detail On Mitch O’Farrell’s April 2020 Coronavirus Exposure — Which Happened Because He Insisted On Meeting In Person With Angry Psychopathic Housedwellers In Echo Park — But Still Wouldn’t Talk To The Unhoused Community — And If You Read As Many CD13 Emails As I Do — You’re Aware That O’Farrell Rarely Commits Himself In Writing — Or His Staff Is A Bunch Of Lying CPRA Violators And Withholds What He Writes — I’m Pretty Sure Both Are True — But When He’s In Fear For His Own Life — It Seems More Real To Him Somehow — And Now The Dude Cannot Shut Up — But Quizzes Juan Fregoso About Where The Guy Who Tested Positive Was Standing — And How Close Did He Get — And What Color Shirt Was He Wearing? — It’s Pretty Clear That O’Farrell Saves His Deepest — His Most Sincere — Concern For Himself Only — But Then His Damn Voting Record Already Told Us That

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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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CD13 Staffers Marisol Rodriguez and Juan Fregoso Conspire With Bureau of Sanitation Employees Jose Garcia and Renee Shackleford to Subvert City Homeless Encampment Cleanup Policies and Procedures Just So Mitch O’Farrell, Other “VIPs,” Don’t Have To Walk By Homeless People On Their Way To Give A Speech

Low income housing at 215 N Vermont Avenue.  Note the distinctive lack of homeless people for VIPs to step over, thanks to the foresight and strongarm tactics of CD13's Marisol Rodriguez and Juan Fregoso.
Low income housing at 215 N Vermont Avenue. Note the distinctive lack of homeless people for VIPs to step over, thanks to the foresight and strongarm tactics of CD13’s Marisol Rodriguez and Juan Fregoso.
Well, it turns out there’s this company called AMCAL Housing, and according to their about-us page they build affordable housing in exchange for tax breaks, or some such thing. They’re building a big project at Vermont and Beverly1 called the Meridian Apartments, and they broke ground officially on February 11, 2016, with Mitch O’Farrell scheduled to speak at the ceremony.

Thus, on February 1, 2016, Paige Horn of AMCAL Housing emailed Marisol Rodriguez, Dave Cano, Juan Fregoso, all of CD13, and some people from Korean Churches for Community Development, which is working with AMCAL on this project, telling them:

Thank you all for your participation in the Meridian Groundbreaking Event on Thursday, February 11th at 11am! … There should be ample street parking, however, I have reserved VIP Parking for all speakers at the lower parking lot of Hubbard College of Administration that can be accessed from Juanita Avenue.

Map of the area.  (a) is the parking lot, (b) is the encampment.  A speculative VIP path to the event is shown in purple.  Click to enlarge.
Map of the area. (a) is the parking lot, (b) is the encampment. A speculative VIP path to the event is shown in purple. Click to enlarge.

But local knowledge counts for a lot. The very next day, our very own Juan Fregoso emailed Victor Gutierrez (#26802) with a cc to Matthew Ziegler (#34208)2 to report:

Hi Vic,
Here is the info for the event on the 11th.

We have CSI3 scheduled for February 9th.

As you can see, VIPs will park on Juanita and will have to walk through the encampment.

Me and Marisol are working to see how to address this but wanted to flag the event.

Thanks again for all your help.

And amazingly enough, I have a copy of the lengthy email chain between Juan Fregoso, Marisol Rodriguez, and a bunch of people from the L.A. Sanitation department showing exactly what those two CD13 stalwarts were doing “to see how to address this.” You can probably guess what’s coming, because if VIPs (?!) have to walk near homeless people, something’s gotta give, and it ain’t gonna be the VIPs,4 You’d be right, and you can read the sordid details after the break!
Continue reading CD13 Staffers Marisol Rodriguez and Juan Fregoso Conspire With Bureau of Sanitation Employees Jose Garcia and Renee Shackleford to Subvert City Homeless Encampment Cleanup Policies and Procedures Just So Mitch O’Farrell, Other “VIPs,” Don’t Have To Walk By Homeless People On Their Way To Give A Speech

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