I’ve been tracking a nuisance abatement case filed by the Los Angeles City Attorney against a West Adams liquor store, Holiday Liquors, on Adams a little east of La Brea. West Adams is gentrifying super fast,1 of course, and this nuisance abatement suit is clearly part of the plan. New residents in all of LA’s gentrification battlegrounds are obsessed with access to upscale retail choices2 and also are famously terrified of many of the original inhabitants.
Liquor stores like Holiday impede gentrification by scaring new residents, by not being cute succulents-n-linen shops or brunch spots, and by being useful to the original residents. One way in which the City uses nuisance abatement suits to promote gentrification is by attacking impediments like Holiday Liquor.3 Gentrification funnels money to real estate developers who turn around and show their pleasure by sending a small percentage back to elected officials. Mike Feuer needs this kind of support for his 2022 mayoral campaign, so nuisance suits like this are to be expected.
So I attended the meeting and made video of the BHES segment.1 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,2 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.
Last month 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 “…dropped the ball…” and they walked out of the meeting (due to shame or something).