Since January I’ve been following the story of New Los Angeles Charter Elementary School and its forcible colonization of Baldwin Hills Elementary School. I was inspired by the UTLA strike and this fine article by Daniel Hernandez of LA Taco. And after a relatively minimal amount of fuss I managed to obtain a small cache of emails that revealed a great deal of tension between the privatizers and the public school, which inspired the privatizers to seek another school site for the 2019-2020 year.
However and sadly they were unable to do so and hence are
forced to spend at least one more year being universally scorned on the BHES campus. Which brings us up to last Monday, March 18, 2019, when a brave and determined group of BHES parents brought a resolution to the West Adams Neighborhood Council asking them to declare the BHES campus a “charter-free zone.” There is a transcription of this remarkable document after the break.
So I attended the meeting and made video of the BHES segment. And you can watch the whole thing
here on YouTube or here on Archive.Org, which is extra good if you want to download it. The NC Board gave each side seven minutes to speak on their positions. Also, Vernail Skaggs of LAUSD spoke to explain how the co-location process works. There was vigorous public comment as well, and in the end the Board voted 8 to 3 in favor of supporting the resolution and declaring Baldwin Hills Elementary School a “charter free zone.”
NC resolutions are advisory even on the City of Los Angeles, and since LAUSD is completely independent of the City government, they’re even less than advisory in that context. Nevertheless, this is an important victory. The more NCs and other community groups in Los Angeles speak out against charter schools the more incentive City politicians will have to oppose them. The school board and the legislature take the opinions of our City pols seriously, so even though this resolution is symbolic in itself, it’s nevertheless an important piece of a large-scale anti-charter movement in Los Angeles.
Like I said,
the whole video is definitely worth watching. But it is over an hour long. Turn the page for links into the highlights with a little commentary, not to mention a little mockery. There’s also a transcription of the resolution itself.
Continue reading Baldwin Hills Elementary School Parents Present Resolution To West Adams Neighborhood Council Declaring School A “Charter Free Zone” — Co-Locating Privatizers From New Los Angeles Charter Schools Speak In Opposition — But ‘Twas All In Vain As the Neighborhood Council Approved The Resolution — Which Of Course Is Advisory But This Is An Important Symbolic Victory For Public Education In Los Angeles
West Adams is famous for many things, its signature Victorian architecture, having been the legendary home of many famous African-Americans in the 20th Century, center of black gay culture in Los Angeles, and so much besides. But none of that really matters in these latter days. Ultimately the fate of West Adams will be determined solely by the fact that it’s really close to Culver City but the rent is a lot lower at the very moment when Tech Bro World, having been priced out of Venice, is expanding in that very direction.
Which is why, in case you missed it, the thuggish
Trump-buddy real estate zillionaires who call themselves CIM Group have been buying properties all over the neigborhood, developing live/work multi-use monstrosities and and hotels and God knows what-all. CIM Group is famous for its outlaw behavior, what with illegally chasing tenants out of rent-stabilized buildings, and illegally AirBnBing buildings that don’t have occupancy permits, and violating the terms of their building permits, and other such shenanigans.
And CIM Group is also famous for its support of business improvement districts in neighborhoods where it’s parking its considerable capital. Just for one instance, there’s
perennial Hollywood Entertainment District BID Boardie Monica Yamada, vice president for incomprehensible nonsense at CIM. And earlier this month I first learned that BID consultants New City America were working on setting up a BID in West Adams and, more recently, that CIM Group seems to be the main proponent.
In particular, CIM groupies Catherine Randall and Geffen Kuba seem to be walking point. These facts, and not much more, come from some recently obtained emails relating to the BID formation process. First see
this conversation between Marco Li Mandri and Wesson staffer Kimani Black. There’s also this short note from Shirley Zawadski to the City Clerk letting them know that the formation process is underway.
According to Li Mandri the plan is to have the
engineer’s report and the management district plan in to the Clerk’s office by the middle of January. I don’t know if they have gone to petitions yet. The BID is expected to raise $370,000 in its first year of operation. Turn the page for links to and transcriptions of the emails on which the story is based.
Continue reading West Adams BID Is In The Pipeline — Management District Plan May Be Submitted To City As Early As January — Backed By Thuggish Outlaw Real Estate Trump-Buddies CIM Group — Who Are Developing At Least Three Properties In The Area — Clearly BID Will Support, Enhance Gentrification — Pressure For Which Is Created By Culver City Adjacency And Tech Boom
Last month Kerry Morrison in 2012 explaining to Jane Ellison Usher why it’s so important to get rid of street characters in Hollywood. we broke the story of Kerry Morrison’s insistence that street characters on Hollywood Blvd. must be outlawed to curb terrorism while carving out a performative exception for the Ku Klux Klan’s Hancock Park operations. One of the incidents described there was a terse summary from HPOA Board minutes about how some meeting was tense because the City Attorney’s office had and they walked out of the meeting (due to shame or something). “…dropped the ball…”
Jane Ellison Usher in May 2009, three years before receiving “repeated kicks to the head” from Kerry Morrison and “bully[ing]” friends.
Well, we recognize a whitewashing when presented with one, so we directed our faithful correspondent to investigate further, and, with the assistance of ever-helpful Mike Dundas of the City Attorney’s office, he came up with this little gem right here, which is an email from Special Assistant City Attorney Jane Ellison Usher to Kerry Morrison, Joe Mariani, and Leron Gubler, taking them to task for allowing their psychotic crazed white property owner constituents to berate Ms. Usher and her colleague Tamar Galatzan over a perceived, albeit delusionally so, inaction with respect to the TERRORISM street character problem at Hollywood and Highland. Ms. Usher’s description is far, far more plausible than that of the anonymous minutes-taker quoted above and far, far less flattering to the crazed HPOA-ites than is their own description. In particular:
Continue reading That Time in 2012 When Kerry Morrison’s OCD Street Character Rage Incited Rabid, Frothing-at-Mouth Angry White Property Owning “Bull[ies]” to Attack Jane Ellison Usher and Tamar Galatzan with “Repeated Kicks to the Head”