Public records, you may have noticed, are essential to the work I do here on MK.Org. Without them it’s hard for me to find subjects without turning to unsubstantiated mouth-off-shooting.1 And local agencies including pretty much every department of the City of Los Angeles have always been very bad about producing records. They stall, they temporize, they lie, they go silent, and use a tediously unvaried set of ridiculous excuses to explain their noncompliance with the law.
And to that list of standardized and implausible excuses they’ve added the COVID-19 pandemic.2 About which they’re almost certainly mostly lying, but I still don’t feel right hassling actual individual City employees about my requests because who knows what unimaginable personal tragedies they might be dealing with? It occurred to me pretty recently that if the City’s going to fail to produce records for me to write about I could write about their failures to produce.
One minor part of their proposal would have clarified without altering the application of these laws to business improvement districts which then, as now, are almost certainly required to register as lobbyists, even though none of them do nor have they ever. This minor clause in a major reform proposal kicked off a whirlwind of mouth-slavvery craziness on the part of the BIDs, which ended with Eric Garcetti effectively killing the CEC’s proposal in 2010 for no good reason other than that Kerry Morrison giggled at him in a committee meeting.1
This is just a quick post to announce the availability of tons of new records (with more to come this weekend, I hope!) These are available both on Archive.Org and locally through the menu structure above or directly from our document storage.
My recent success in using CPRA to get advance notice of an encampment clean-up from the City reminded me that I had a number of emails to/from Council District 13 organizing such operations between January and April 2016 that I still hadn’t prepared for publication.1 So I spent this morning getting them into shape and putting them up on the Internet. This material sheds new light on the City’s still-mysterious encampment-breaking system. Also, some of the attachments to these emails reveal crucial information about the computer database(s) used by the City to coordinate the process. I discuss this matter, along with some other issues, after the break. Meanwhile, here are the locations of these emails:
On the Internet Archive — As usual, this has the advantage that you can get the whole batch via BitTorrent if that’s useful. By later today, also, there should be OCRed PDFs there, and text versions.