Tag Archives: Services Not Sweeps

September 2019 CARE/CARE+ Team Training Powerpoint From LA Bureau Of Sanitation Reveals Incredible Detail About Team Organization — Including Daily Schedules — Team Roles And Size Of Teams — Differences Between CARE And CARE+ — Guidelines For How To Do Outreach To Encampment Residents — When To Call In LAPD — Role Of Unified Homelessness Response Center — SECZ Rules — Some Of This Has Changed Recently But Much Of The Structural Info Is Probably Still Good — And It’s Fascinating To Compare The City’s Humanitarian Self-Presentation With The Actual Reality Of Encampment Sweeps

I recently obtained a few huge sets of records from the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation and wrote about them here. The most important record in the set, by far, is this 96 slide Powerpoint presentation from September 2019.1 The date is significant as that’s when,thanks to the indefatigable Services Not Sweeps Coalition, the City implemented a new and putatively more humane version of its encampment sweep policy.

The point of this training is to explain these new policies to the Sanitation staff responsible for conducting the actual sweeps, how they’re expected to behave, when to call in LAPD, and so on. In July 2020 the City Council apparently abandoned this ostensibly humane approach, with predictably appalling results, making at least some of the information in the Powerpoint file outdated, but the organizational information is likely to still be accurate. Also note that the claims about the City’s humanitarian goals were false at the time and by now they’ve actually dropped the pretense. So while it’s tempting to expose the hypocrisy in detail it’s not useful enough for me to spend the time on it.
Continue reading September 2019 CARE/CARE+ Team Training Powerpoint From LA Bureau Of Sanitation Reveals Incredible Detail About Team Organization — Including Daily Schedules — Team Roles And Size Of Teams — Differences Between CARE And CARE+ — Guidelines For How To Do Outreach To Encampment Residents — When To Call In LAPD — Role Of Unified Homelessness Response Center — SECZ Rules — Some Of This Has Changed Recently But Much Of The Structural Info Is Probably Still Good — And It’s Fascinating To Compare The City’s Humanitarian Self-Presentation With The Actual Reality Of Encampment Sweeps

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Huge Set Of Records From LA Bureau Of Sanitation — Including A 96 Slide Training Powerpoint For The CARE/CARE+ Team Revisions In September 2019 — And Job Descriptions For CARE/CARE+ Staff — And An Incredibly Rich But Sadly Mostly Pretty Old Spreadsheets From LA San’s Livability Services Division — Which Coordinates Encampment Sweeps — Lots Of Stuff To Look At Here

I recently obtained a huge pile of records from LA Sanitation about encampment sweeps and some other issues. Most of them are current versions of the kind of things we’ve seen before, but there are also a few unexpected and incredibly interesting items.

The most important, the most shocking of these is a 96 slide powerpoint presentation prepared by LA San to train its homeless encampment sweep teams in the new protocols adopted by the City of Los Angeles in September 2019.1 I wrote a separate post just on this one item. The others are job descriptions of the various roles in the encampment sweep teams. Here are links to the three full sets:

CARE/CARE+ job descriptions — These are from November 2019. The relevant ones are:2
      ▸ Environmental Compliance Inspector
      ▸ Maintenance Laborer
      ▸ Refuse Collection Truck Operator
      ▸ Senior Environmental Compliance Inspector

LA San training materials — This looks like the most important set of the three right now.3 Four of these came to me as Powerpoint files, and I exported those to PDF for convenience and they’re what’s linked to below.4 The rest were PDFs originally.
      ▸ 56.11 Public Information Powerpoint — From October 2016, so completely outdated by now, but of historical interest.
      ▸ Biological Agents Decontamination Policy
      ▸ Bloodborne Pathogens PPT — Perhaps made by OSHA?
      ▸ CARE/CARE+ Training Powerpoint September 2019 — This is an immensely important document. I’ll be writing about it separately.
      ▸ Human Waste Cleanup Policy — From February 2019.
      ▸ LA San 56.11 Standard Operating Procedure — From 2018 so only of historical interest now.
      ▸ Clean Harbors Staff Enforcement Manual — I’m not sure what this is.
      ▸ LA San Operation Healthy Streets Bloodborne Pathogen Control Plan — From 2018.
      ▸ Bloodborne Pathogen Training Course Outline — I’m also not sure what this is.

Spreadsheets from LA Sanitation — Sanitation does a lot of its sweep scheduling and planning via spreadsheets, many stored on the City’s Google Drive account so they can be collaboratively edited. This is a set of 44 spreadsheets of various kinds. There is a lot to be learned from these, but I’m not going to write about them in detail.
Continue reading Huge Set Of Records From LA Bureau Of Sanitation — Including A 96 Slide Training Powerpoint For The CARE/CARE+ Team Revisions In September 2019 — And Job Descriptions For CARE/CARE+ Staff — And An Incredibly Rich But Sadly Mostly Pretty Old Spreadsheets From LA San’s Livability Services Division — Which Coordinates Encampment Sweeps — Lots Of Stuff To Look At Here

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Huge Record Releases From Los Angeles Sanitation — Encampment Sweep Scheduling — And So On — CD13 Staffer Hector Vega Scheduled A Full-On Encampment Sweep After The City Had Announced It Was Stopping Them Due To COVID — Possibly Sacrificing Human Lives To Build Up His Favor Bank With LADOT Ticket-Fixer Freddie Nuño — And It Turns Out That LAPD Can Actually Choose Encampments To Target For Sweeps — Which Surprised Me Because Mostly People Talk As If LAPD’s Role Is Backing Up LAHSA And LA San — Not Choosing Sweep Targets — And Finally CD15 Staffers Gabriela Medina And Jacob Haik Gloat Gleefully About The Possibility Of Weaponizing Scheduled Street Resurfacing To Displace RV Dwellers During The Pandemic When It Would Probably Otherwise Be Illegal To Do So — And Whether Or Not It’s Illegal It’s Certainly Reprehensible — And More Than Reprehensible During The Pandemic

Over the last few days I’ve received a few massive releases of records from Los Angeles Sanitation about homeless encampment sweep authorizations. There’s far, far too much information here for one post but I want to get links published because the information is essential. The records illuminate a number of important issues, not least of which has to do with the sweep selection process.1

For the most part encampments to be swept are chosen by Council District offices, who make selections based on complaints from property owners and probably other reasons too. These records reveal something I hadn’t seen before, though, which is that on its own initiative LAPD can also select encampments to be swept. Here are links to the new material, followed by a story or two gleaned from it.

CD15 2020 sweep scheduling emails

Various CDs 2020 sweep scheduling emails

2020 Sanitation sweep completion reports
Continue reading Huge Record Releases From Los Angeles Sanitation — Encampment Sweep Scheduling — And So On — CD13 Staffer Hector Vega Scheduled A Full-On Encampment Sweep After The City Had Announced It Was Stopping Them Due To COVID — Possibly Sacrificing Human Lives To Build Up His Favor Bank With LADOT Ticket-Fixer Freddie Nuño — And It Turns Out That LAPD Can Actually Choose Encampments To Target For Sweeps — Which Surprised Me Because Mostly People Talk As If LAPD’s Role Is Backing Up LAHSA And LA San — Not Choosing Sweep Targets — And Finally CD15 Staffers Gabriela Medina And Jacob Haik Gloat Gleefully About The Possibility Of Weaponizing Scheduled Street Resurfacing To Displace RV Dwellers During The Pandemic When It Would Probably Otherwise Be Illegal To Do So — And Whether Or Not It’s Illegal It’s Certainly Reprehensible — And More Than Reprehensible During The Pandemic

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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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Emails From The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office Reveal The Existence Of Pilot Programs To Handle Homeless Encampments — Known As Operation Please Follow The Rules — (Not Making That Up) — That Literally Condition Provision Of Social Services On Taking Tents Down During The Day — Featuring The Direct Participation And Complicity Of Private Social Service Providers — Cornerstone And The People Concern — In This Project — Actually Agreeing To Withhold Services From Noncompliant Homeless People — And To Tell LAPD Who’s Compliant And Who’s Not — So That LAPD Can Arrest Noncompliers — And These People Wonder Why Everyone Lies To Them — Why Nobody Trusts Them — It’s Pretty Obvious Why

Services Not Sweeps is a coalition of dozens of Los Angeles area community organizations who are working for, among other things, the removal of LAPD from all City street cleaning initiatives. There are many reasons for excluding law enforcement officers from encampment cleanups. Police arrest people or do worse to them. The threat they represent, the linking of that threat with the service providers present, cannot help but discourage homeless residents from cooperating in the cleaning process, from taking advantage of the offered services.

Arresting people who are already suffering by being forced to live on the streets destroys any trust the arrestees, their families, their neighbors, might have had in the good intentions of the system. It destroys what might be left of their dignity. It is a bad, bad thing. These encampment sweep teams include not only LAPD, but LA Sanitation workers and other City officials, and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is tasked with pre-sweep outreach. Outreach, at least ideally, consists of offering various social services to the encampment residents and, in theory, helping them take advantage of whatever help is available to them.

And I wasn’t previously aware of this fact, but it turns out that at least sometimes the City invites private social services organizations to be part of the encampment sweep process. Two such groups are Cornerstone and The People Concern. These organizations’ websites, well, they hit all the right notes. E.g Cornerstone talks up “clients develop[ing] trusting relationships with counselors” and TPC is all about “build[ing] self-sufficiency, restor[ing] dignity and help[ing] our vulnerable neighbors become contributing members of the community”.

But these laudable ideals are belied by the fact that at least on some occasions both of these groups have been complicit in pilot programs, organized by the City Attorney’s office, that attempt to coerce people living in encampments into taking their tents down during the day by actually “making services dependent on following this rule” and, with the blessing of the LAPD, immunizing them from arrest if they complied by taking down tents when told to do so.

These programs were evidently started because, in the thoroughly idiotic and offensive words of Assistant City Attorney Tamar Galatzan, “everyone was getting frustrated that the homeless people were telling outreach one thing and LAPD another”. And in its inimitably totalitarian style the City Attorney seems to have called these programs “Operation Please Follow The Rules”.

It’s certainly difficult enough to gain the trust of people who, forced by circumstances beyond their control to live in encampments on public sidewalks, have seen their lives devalued by society, have been repeatedly abused and betrayed, criminalized and infantilized. And yet without gaining their trust it’s impossible to help anyone, no matter what their housing circumstance.

It’s easy to see what the City gets from the complicity of these private agencies, but it’s impossible for me to understand what the agencies get from it. Which is why I don’t explain these stories, I just tell them. And this one is told through a bunch of emails I got recently from the City Attorney’s office. Read on for details and transcriptions!
Continue reading Emails From The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office Reveal The Existence Of Pilot Programs To Handle Homeless Encampments — Known As Operation Please Follow The Rules — (Not Making That Up) — That Literally Condition Provision Of Social Services On Taking Tents Down During The Day — Featuring The Direct Participation And Complicity Of Private Social Service Providers — Cornerstone And The People Concern — In This Project — Actually Agreeing To Withhold Services From Noncompliant Homeless People — And To Tell LAPD Who’s Compliant And Who’s Not — So That LAPD Can Arrest Noncompliers — And These People Wonder Why Everyone Lies To Them — Why Nobody Trusts Them — It’s Pretty Obvious Why

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Tia Strozier Continues To Act As George Yu’s Catspaw To Further His Vendetta Against Theo Henderson — Amplifying George Yu’s Weirdo Unsupported Defamatory Insinuations — Apparently Setting Henderson Up To Be Killed By Police — Just Because Yu Hates The Guy — Oh And Also Because Gil Cedillo Wanted To Have An Event In Alpine Rec Center — And Someone At CD1 — Probably Ricardo Flores — Perceived Henderson’s Presence As An Impediment — Also LAPD Senior Lead Officer Elizabeth Ortega Expresses Her Dismay At Being Unable To Arrest Henderson Just For Existing — “Unfortunately” — Says Ortega — “unless he commits a crime he is allowed to be at the park during park hours”

Here’s the latest episode in the continuing story of the unholy obsession of psychopathic rageball George Yu, commander in chief of the Krazy Kriminal Konspiracy known as the Chinatown Business Improvement District, Los Angeles neighborhood prosecutor Tia Strozier, and LAPD senior lead officer Elizabeth Ortega, with the very existence of Chinatown resident Theo Henderson. You can read a report on this through May 2019 here.

The short version is that at Yu’s behest, Strozier and Ortega, with the cooperation of other City officials from CD1 and Rec and Parks have been trying unsuccessfully for months to arrest Henderson or at least find a way to ban him from Alpine Recreation Center. They have subjected him to police hyperscrutiny in the hope of finding actionable violations and aggressively try to impose “services” on him as a way to forcibly relocate him. Today’s post will bring the story up through July.1

One of the favored tactics George Yu and his minions at the City of Los Angeles2 use against the homeless people they’re targeting is involuntary mental health commitments. So it’s no surprise to see Ortega reassuring Yu via email on June 3, 2019 that she’s arranged for the County Department of Mental Health to “speak to Theo” What’s slightly surprising, though, is to see the putatively professional Ortega telling ostensibly private citizen Yu what seems like private medical information about Henderson. This ethical lapse certainly highlights the fact that the point of the intervention Ortega has arranged has little to do with Henderson’s well-being and lots to do with Yu’s vendetta.

Not that it needs to be highlighted. The fact that anyone with any training whatsoever, or even with any common sense, could sincerely think that Theo Henderson has any mental health problems at all, is completely implausible. It’s ridiculous. There is no legitimate reason for any competent person to call DMH about Henderson, who is among the sanest people I know. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him, and want to judge for yourself3 you can watch him speaking some truth to Yu at a recent BID meeting.

On June 27, 2019 Henderson and other homeless rights activists held a press conference at City Hall to promote the Services Not Sweeps Coalition, which stoked Yu’s always-smoldering rage at Henderson into an unhinged thermonuclear frenzy. On June 28 Yu sent an email to Ortega and Strozier, the subject line of which read “Theo’s Press Conference”, accusing Henderson of being a pedophile based on the exceedingly thin evidence of some pictures Henderson had taken of children at Alpine Rec Center and posted on Instagram.
Continue reading Tia Strozier Continues To Act As George Yu’s Catspaw To Further His Vendetta Against Theo Henderson — Amplifying George Yu’s Weirdo Unsupported Defamatory Insinuations — Apparently Setting Henderson Up To Be Killed By Police — Just Because Yu Hates The Guy — Oh And Also Because Gil Cedillo Wanted To Have An Event In Alpine Rec Center — And Someone At CD1 — Probably Ricardo Flores — Perceived Henderson’s Presence As An Impediment — Also LAPD Senior Lead Officer Elizabeth Ortega Expresses Her Dismay At Being Unable To Arrest Henderson Just For Existing — “Unfortunately” — Says Ortega — “unless he commits a crime he is allowed to be at the park during park hours”

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Public Records Newly Obtained From LAHSA Shed Some Light On Homeless Encampment Cleanup Process — And LAHSA’s Role In It — Including Training Powerpoint By LAHSA Administrator Matthew Tenchavez — Organizational Chart Of LAHSA Outreach Personnel — And More Than 8K Entries From The Encampment Tracking Database — Showing Very Specific Information About Each Encampment Worked In 2019

I recently received a small but crucial set of records from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority relating to that organization’s role in the process of homeless encampment sweeps. LAHSA outreach workers are required to contact encampment residents and offer them services before LA City Sanitation and the LAPD come in and throw away all their stuff.

These records shed some light on the practical aspects of that requirement. How they’re organized across Los Angeles County, who the outreach workers are, how LAHSA characterizes the controlling policies in its training materials, and so on. These documents provide essential but fairly technical information about local government’s response to the crisis of homelessness. There’s nothing lurid here, just a mass of crucial details. You can browse through them here on Archive.Org and here are links, descriptions, and some samples of this material:

★ Org chart for LAHSA encampment outreach workers — XLSXPDF — LAHSA is a joint powers authority rather than a department of the City of Los Angeles. It therefore operates across the entire county, which they have divided into Service Planning Areas, or SPAs. This chart gives names and funding sources for outreach workers and supervisors for each SPA. The XLSX file is the original and I also exported it as a PDF for utility.

★ 2019 encampment tracker entries — XLSX — This is a crucial document.1 It contains short descriptions of almost 9,000 encampment outreach instances, including date, location, names of LAHSA outreach workers, number of residents, and brief notes from the outreach staff. Here’s a sample of what’s in there, click to enlarge:

★ CSLA Training Powerpoint — PDF — This is a powerpoint presentation prepared by LAHSA administrator Matthew Tenchavez about the Clean Streets Los Angeles program, which is one of at least two City of LA encampment sweeping initiatives. This is essential information for understanding how LAHSA sees its role in the process, the rules they believe they are meant to follow, and so on. It also explains various software tools used in planning encampment sweeps, with some screenshots. If PDFs aren’t convenient, I have images of the 11 pages below.
Continue reading Public Records Newly Obtained From LAHSA Shed Some Light On Homeless Encampment Cleanup Process — And LAHSA’s Role In It — Including Training Powerpoint By LAHSA Administrator Matthew Tenchavez — Organizational Chart Of LAHSA Outreach Personnel — And More Than 8K Entries From The Encampment Tracking Database — Showing Very Specific Information About Each Encampment Worked In 2019

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Newly Obtained Emails From CD13 Reveal Existence Of Hitherto-Unknown-To-Me LAPD Unit Called Coordinated Outreach Resource Enforcement — AKA CORE — Dedicated To “identifying wanted suspects of active investigations living within the homeless population of Hollywood” — And Potentially Other Divisions As Well — In 2018 There Were 8 Cops On This Job In Hollywood And A Supervising Sergeant — Shannon Geaney — They Seem To Go On Sweeps And Use Outreach As A Pretext For Warrant Searches — Thus Obviously Exacerbating And Increasing Distrust Of Their Motives — Which Legit Are Not Pure — Yet Another Reason To Remove Cops From Encampment Actions Of All Types — And Actually Institute The Demands Of The Services Not Sweeps Coalition — Not To Mention Some Idiotic Victim Blaming By Geaney — Who Proposes To Stop LAPD & LA Sanitation From Throwing Away Homeless People’s Property By Giving Them More Plastic Bags — And ” educat[ing] them on the importance of their role in safe guarding their property”

I have been spending a lot of time looking into how the City of Los Angeles organizes sweeps of homeless encampments on the most micro-level possible. The picture painted by the evidence is of an essentially complaint-driven process, with sweeps being called in mainly by Council offices, for the most part in response to constituent complaints or even to facilitate the illegal installation of hostile architecture. It’s possible, even likely, that there are other mechanisms, but I don’t yet have a clear idea of what they are.

Ideas aren’t guiding City policy, but personalities are, raw animal desire, hatred, anger, so it’s not likely that ideas, morality talk, and so on, could change the policy. It’s extremely important therefore to understand the processes at this personal level not least to learn what is motivating City policy, what kinds of pressures City officials feel that guide their choices, and so on. Whose anger counts.

And it’s surprising whose anger does count. Like see the crazed emails from Hollywood landlord and Kanye West operative Anthony Kilhoffer and the City’s reaction to them or these genocidal freaks who want to starve homeless human beings away from their properties. And yet City officials, police included, are deferential throughout their interactions. Without understanding how this happens, why it happens, it will be harder than it already is to change the way the City deals with the homeless, and it’s already impossibly hard.

The best tool I know for understanding City politics is, of course, the California Public Records Act.1 So I spend a lot of time collecting and reading rage-filled hateful screeds, written by self-righteous privileged housedwellers. And to collect these, well, the CPRA requires that a request “reasonably [describe] an identifiable record or records”.2 Which makes it a little tricky in that probably “all rage-filled hate screeds emailed by psychopathic housedwellers” is not a reasonable description of an identifiable record. It’s too subjective, not least because one person’s psychopathic housedweller is another person’s most honored campaign donor.

So to obtain emails, then, it’s best to provide search terms. These can be domain names, email addresses, words, phrases, anything. The presence or absence of a term in an email is objective, and therefore provides a reasonable description of an identifiable record. There’s still the problem, and it’s not trivial, of coming up with appropriate search terms for this particular genre of public records.

But recently I have come pretty close to what seems to be an ideal solution. At least the phrase I’ve been using turns up a lot of interesting stuff. My current best search term is “quality of life.” Indeed, this was probably3 made up by a bunch of broken windows theorists as a way to explain why their theories lead them to think it’s actually OK, actually desirable, to lock people up for an entire freaking year for pissing in an alley when sane people actually don’t know why pissing in alleys is even illegal.4

And this abhorrent circumlocution evidently serves its conscience-soothing function well, based on its popularity among that segment of psychopathic homeless-hating housedwellers who so desperately need their consciences soothed, or would if they had any. It’s freaking everywhere in precisely the emails I’m looking for. And just the other day I got a big stack of these quality of life emails from Mitch O’Farrell’s staff at CD13.5 And you can read all of them here on Archive.Org.6

And there is some good stuff in here, both interesting and important.7 I will be writing about it from time to time, and today I’m looking at this March 30, 2018 email from LAPD officer Shannon Geaney to a panoply of what passes for community leaders in Hollywood asking for their help in coordinating a distribution “one-thousand, high density, clear, zip-closure bags that will be printed “ESSENTIAL PERSONAL PROPERTY” with a box to write the owner’s name.” There’s a transcription of this entire essential email below.

The point, as you may well have guessed immediately, is that Geany has “heard the frequent complaint that important paperwork, documents, identification cards, birth certificates, citations, or medications are frequently lost during clean-ups or incident to arrest.” Note, by the way, the absolutely stunning level of deflection here as Geaney refuses to acknowledge that the property isn’t “lost” but is rather illegally confiscated by police or other City officials and illegally destroyed or thrown away.

And it gets worse. Why is Geaney concerned about police and sanitation workers confiscating and destroying people’s medicine and paperwork? Well, she says she “understand[s] how this can cause significant delay in a client’s case management and enrollment in appropriate programs.”8 Maybe it’s too much even in these latter days to expect a police to be concerned about violations of people’s constitutional rights because they’re violations of constitutional rights rather than for such absolutely demeaning reasons.9

And why is Geaney writing to these Hollywood thought leaders, providers of services, and, for some reason, the Hollywood Entertainment District BID? Well, because “It is [her] hope that each of you will want to distribute these bags to your clients and educate them on the importance of their role in safe guarding their property.” In short, because it helps her make the point that even though the LAPD and City Sanitation workers are the ones throwing away the property in question, and even though they’re doing it illegally, nevertheless the fact that it gets thrown away is the fault of the property owners. Because they don’t live in houses. Got it?

Good, because now finally we’re going to discuss the reason why this email is really important.10 It reveals an anti-homeless unit of the LAPD that I don’t know anything about yet. It’s called the Coordinated Outreach Resource Enforcement Unit, which because the City’s cute-names-for-tools-of-oppression policy seems to require it, is known as CORE. Tangentially, please read the whole email, transcribed below. There’s a lot of interesting stuff in there, very revealing of cop attitudes towards human beings forced to live on sidewalks, and I do not have time11 to discuss it all.
Continue reading Newly Obtained Emails From CD13 Reveal Existence Of Hitherto-Unknown-To-Me LAPD Unit Called Coordinated Outreach Resource Enforcement — AKA CORE — Dedicated To “identifying wanted suspects of active investigations living within the homeless population of Hollywood” — And Potentially Other Divisions As Well — In 2018 There Were 8 Cops On This Job In Hollywood And A Supervising Sergeant — Shannon Geaney — They Seem To Go On Sweeps And Use Outreach As A Pretext For Warrant Searches — Thus Obviously Exacerbating And Increasing Distrust Of Their Motives — Which Legit Are Not Pure — Yet Another Reason To Remove Cops From Encampment Actions Of All Types — And Actually Institute The Demands Of The Services Not Sweeps Coalition — Not To Mention Some Idiotic Victim Blaming By Geaney — Who Proposes To Stop LAPD & LA Sanitation From Throwing Away Homeless People’s Property By Giving Them More Plastic Bags — And ” educat[ing] them on the importance of their role in safe guarding their property”

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Huge Release Of City Of Los Angeles Homeless Encampment Sweep Scheduling Emails Reveals Crucial Steps Of Planning Process — Including Scouting Reports — Time Estimates — Daily Schedules — Notice Posting — Obtained From LAHSA — This Is Essential And Fundamental Primary Source Material For Understanding The Encampment Sweep Scheduling Process — And Another Incremental Step Toward The Years-Long Struggle To Make Sweep Schedules Public

One of the most egregious ways in which the City of Los Angeles terrorizes and oppresses homeless human beings is with so-called encampment sweeps, in which City officials, guarded by police, swoop in and confiscate and dispose of people’s possessions, including in many cases life-essential materials such as medicine, official papers, tools, tents, bicycles, and so on.

This appalling practice has inspired a long chain of successful federal lawsuits against the City, the most recent one of which1 was filed on July 18, 2019.2 Human rights activists, for instance to name just a couple Streetwatch and Services Not Sweeps, have been trying for years to get advance notice of sweeps for many purposes, not least among which are monitoring and outreach to the victims.

Since 2016 I have also been trying to get the City to cough up advance notice via the California Public Records Act. I had one early success, thus proving that the concept at least could work, but since then the City has mostly ignored me. And even on one occasion worse than ignored me, they illegally denied me entry into the Public Works Building, thus preventing me from seeing advance schedules.3 I wrote about my progress a couple more times, once in October 2016 and again in November of that year. There haven’t been enough new developments since then for a post,4 until today, that is.

One of the key strategies in public records activism is making requests for the same materials from every possible agency that might hold records. This increases the odds of getting a complete set of responsive material in the face of obstruction.5 I have been working on getting access to sweep scheduling materials through LA Sanitation, who has ignored me since 2017, through LAPD, which is slightly better but still routinely takes up to a year to produce material, through various Council offices, the office of the Mayor, and so on.

But for some reason it never occurred to me before May 2019 to request records from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which is also deeply implicated in the process of planning and carrying out sweeps. But request them then I did, and last week they released about 5% of a promised 16GB6 collection of emails between LAHSA operatives involved with sweeps and various complicit parties at the City of Los Angeles, and you can get your copies here on Archive.Org.
Continue reading Huge Release Of City Of Los Angeles Homeless Encampment Sweep Scheduling Emails Reveals Crucial Steps Of Planning Process — Including Scouting Reports — Time Estimates — Daily Schedules — Notice Posting — Obtained From LAHSA — This Is Essential And Fundamental Primary Source Material For Understanding The Encampment Sweep Scheduling Process — And Another Incremental Step Toward The Years-Long Struggle To Make Sweep Schedules Public

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News About My CPRA Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles Concerning Emails Between CD1 And LAPD — The City Has Abandoned Its Exemption Claims And Provided More Than 200 Pages Of Records — Which Is Good News On The Prevailing Party Front — And At Least One Of The Newly Released Emails Is Exceedingly Important — Not To Mention Appalling — Shows Gil Cedillo’s Deputy District Director Jose Rodriguez Calling In A Homeless Encampment Sweep — In February 2019 — At The Explicit Behest Of Sociopathic Developer Trammell Crow — Because The Mere Presence Of Displaceable Homeless Human Beings Was Interfering With A Project Schedule — Senior Vice President And Failed Screen Actor Alex Valente Has A Lot To Answer For — As Does Gil Freaking Cedillo — And Jose Rodriguez — And Everyone Else Involved In This Abuse Of Municipal Power

There are two parts to today’s story. First, recall that last month I was forced by the arbitrary, pointless, and utterly inscrutable intransigence of Gil Cedillo‘s Senior Policy Deputy Mel Ilomin to file yet another writ petition against the City of Los Angeles seeking to enforce compliance with the California Public Records Act. And I have some excellent news about this, which is that yesterday the City completely abandoned its indefensible exemption claims and produced more than 200 pages of material responsive to the request at issue. It came to me in two PDFs, which you can get copies of here:

CPRA emails part 1.pdf

CPRA emails part 2.pdf

You might recall that Ilomin, completely backstopped by ought-to-know-better Deputy City Attorney Strefan Fauble, had claimed that every single one of these emails was exempt due to that putative deliberative process nonsense that the City of Los Angeles loves so well. And I won’t belabor the details, but if you read through the yield, you’ll see that this exemption claim was entirely unfounded, indefensible, just utter nonsense. For instance, a nontrivial number of these emails are widely published announcements that there will be mobile showers available on various dates at Lincoln Park which, whatever the hell they may be, aren’t exempt from production under any theory acceptable to even the marginally sane.

And there’s some other reasonably interesting material in there, about some of which I might write at some point. But there is also one exceedingly important record, which is this February 2019 email conversation between Cedillo’s Deputy District Director Jose Rodriguez and a long list of LAPD officers, LAHSA staffers, and others, scheduling a sweep of homeless encampments along Llewellyn Street in Chinatown for the explicitly stated reason that they were impeding construction on a huge housing development owned by the Trammell Crow Company, done at the request of Trammell Crow’s senior vice president Alex Valente.

Now, you might recall an instance where an encampment was swept for no better reason than that Eric Garcetti was making a political appearance in the area later. This incident was reported in the Los Angeles Times and evoked the following quasi-denial from Garcetti’s spokesman Alex Comisar, who said it did “not reflect the mayor’s approach to interacting with Angelenos experiencing homelessness.” And this same tired implausible story of utter compassion is told by everyone involved with homelessness no matter how messed up their motives actually are. Our City officials, just ask them, do not use the vast municipal power entrusted to them to fuck up the lives of the unhoused for petty stupid venal purposes.

Even, no doubt, Gil Cedillo will tell you what a goddamned humanitarian he is on these lines. And yet when we look at what he does, what they all do, well, here is Cedillo’s staff arranging for homeless human beings to be displaced from their community just because some sociopathic zillionaire didn’t want his damned construction project to be held up. And the sweep did take place. In fact, on the very next day, February 26, 2019, as reported by Joanna Swan on Twitter, because that’s where the City’s priorities are, what their actions are, no matter what their empty words might suggest. Read a transcription below, and if you haven’t done so already, look into Services Not Sweeps.
Continue reading News About My CPRA Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles Concerning Emails Between CD1 And LAPD — The City Has Abandoned Its Exemption Claims And Provided More Than 200 Pages Of Records — Which Is Good News On The Prevailing Party Front — And At Least One Of The Newly Released Emails Is Exceedingly Important — Not To Mention Appalling — Shows Gil Cedillo’s Deputy District Director Jose Rodriguez Calling In A Homeless Encampment Sweep — In February 2019 — At The Explicit Behest Of Sociopathic Developer Trammell Crow — Because The Mere Presence Of Displaceable Homeless Human Beings Was Interfering With A Project Schedule — Senior Vice President And Failed Screen Actor Alex Valente Has A Lot To Answer For — As Does Gil Freaking Cedillo — And Jose Rodriguez — And Everyone Else Involved In This Abuse Of Municipal Power

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