They continued to ignore the whole situation so last week our attorneys filed a motion asking the judge to hold them in contempt of court for refusing to comply with his order. They didn’t show up for the hearing on that either, which was on Friday morning, so the judge ordered them to show up on December 27, 2019 at 9:30 AM1 and explain themselves. The charge is contempt of court, which is defined in the California Code of Civil Procedure at §1209 to include “Disobedience of any lawful judgment, order, or process of the court.”
George Yu, executive director for life of the Chinatown Business Improvement District, is well-known for his defiance of the law in BID-related matters. For instance, he has utterly refused to participate in a lawsuit brought against the BID to enforce the California Public Records Act.1 And he cannot keep his mouth shut about his outlaw proclivities, like for instance last year at a BID board meeting he announced that he had broken the law by spending BID money on harassing homeless human beings outside the boundaries of the BID.2
So, you know, I went to today’s meeting expecting more of the usual George Yu crapola. But what actually happened was far, far more important than the stuff on the agenda. During the section of the meeting on public safety, long-time Chinatown residents Zen Sekizawa and Mario Correa had a few things to say to Yu and to the public at large about multiple attacks on them by George Yu and, at his direction and with his support, the BID’s off-the-chain security forces. I filmed the whole meeting, of course, and you can download a copy here from Archive.Org or watch it here on YouTube. The chaos starts at 23:19
It’s been a fluff piece about how great this gentleman is, however, what I have understood is that he has an antipathy against unhoused people. He calls them bums. He stalks. He surveils. He does everything in his power to make it uncomfortable. I am the gentleman that was on that quality of life issue the previous meeting. So I decided to come and have my side of the story because obviously this [unintelligible] has been posted everywhere. I have heard several different crazy stories. If I had not known it was about me I would be understandably afraid. So let us not excuse his behavior and try to de-escalate or invalidate these people’s concerns. These are legitimate. These are homeowners. These are community members. I have been a community member. I have lived over here over ten years before I became unhoused. So I have as much of a right as anybody else in here. He doesn’t even live here. He lives way out in some gated community. So this is the issue that community members that sit here and listen to him and hang on to his every word need to understand. We do not want him or his business improvement district employees here. He is a terrorist to people that are working class, an elitist, and an outright bully. And it is unacceptable. I am tired of it, and I want the community to understand and to do something about it.
George Yu did not like what he heard. Not. At. All. George Yu argued, accused, tried to derail, and when he could not shut down the flow of truth, adjourned the meeting unexpectedly and rose out of his chair in anger and walked aggressively toward Theo Henderson, another member of the public giving comment. This is a turning point in the history of this BID, maybe of all BIDs in Los Angeles. George Yu has long been unhinged, but now he’s decompensating.
You can read transcribed selections below and here’s a super-short summary. The Chinatown BID is a major player in municipal politics. This includes George’s Yu’s participation in the conspiracy against the Skid Row Neighborhood Council. Through our CPRA requests we sought to understand the BID’s role in this and their relationship with the City in general.
Well, it turns out that he’s also the man who thinks that he can ignore people’s requests for public records for more than a year without even answering. We’re hoping this petition, which is a little different from most of the ones I report on here in that Katherine McNenny and I filed it jointly, will teach him the error of his ways, at least with respect to the CPRA.
Independently of Katherine McNenny’s requests but for the same purpose, in March 2018 I sent George Yu three requests also, slightly broader than hers but still focused on the SRNC formation effort and George Yu’s role in sinking it. He also ignored these requests. To date he has not even made the initial response required by §6253(c). For reasons I will never understand George Yu3 thinks its better to break the law repeatedly and then pay potentially tens of thousands of dollars as a consequence than to just comply in the first damn place.
Well, it’s always interesting to visit a new BID for the first time, and today’s journey out to Chinatown was certainly no exception. The BID meets in the Far East Plaza upstairs1 so up I went. They tried to get me to sign in, but I just ignored them because that’s illegal, innit?2 I did record the meeting, and you can watch the whole thing if you want here on YouTube and also here on Archive.Org if Google gives you the willies.3
Now, a lot of other interesting stuff happened at this meeting, but I’m going to have to put off writing about it, because the very most interesting thing that happened today happened right after the meeting. As you’re probably aware, Howlin’ Rays does not actually define the the Far East Plaza, which also has some nice restaurants that are NOT overrun by zombie hipster hordes. And since the BID meeting was right at lunch time I thought I’d eat a banh mi and some pho before hopping the good old 45 southbound back to reality.
But after I ordered and before most of my food came,5 a security guard came busting into the restaurant and told me that the Far East Plaza was private property and that the owner didn’t want me there any more and that I would have to leave. Did I mention I recorded him too? Watch it here on YouTube or here on Archive.Org.6