LAPD Chief Michel Moore told The Times that Metro’s vehicle stops have not proven effective, netting about one arrest for every 100 cars stopped, while coming at a tremendous cost to innocent drivers who felt they were being racially profiled.
It appears that Mark Smith, Inspector General of the Los Angeles Police Department, and Mayor Eric Garcetti planned earlier this year to open a satellite Inspector General’s office in South Los Angeles “when COVID allows.” According to emails I obtained recently, Garcetti aide Jeff Gorell, Smith, and Police Commission President Eileen Decker were ready on July 9 to announce this publicly.
On July 7 Gorell emailed Garcetti to inform him of the plan, in which the satellite would have “some capacity for in-person report-taking and meetings [and] staffed 2 days per week.” Apparently Garcetti nixed the announcement, though, because it was never made.
According to Gorell’s later email to Decker they’d decided “to postpone the announcement of the satellite IG office until later when we can couple it with other UOF reforms.” The point being, I guess, that Garcetti intended the satellite office, like the use of force reforms, to placate people protesting daily to express their disgust for LAPD’s apparently unslakeable thirst for blood.
In particular, though, see this comment by community activist Beverly Roberts, who wants to know why the board members present are all white when they’re running a school in South Los Angeles. She waits for an answer until the point where Juli P. Quinn, president of the board, who has a guilty conscience and a bad case of demonic possession, just seething with anger, with privilege, with rage at Roberts’s insubordinance, tells her out freaking loud that “this is public comment, we don’t need to respond.” The protest essentially lasted for the first half hour of this interminable meeting, ending with this exceedingly dramatic exit.
But every case I know of has involved the local Council District. This isn’t just my imagination, either. It’s reflected in these BID formation guidelines, published by the Los Angeles City Clerk‘s BID office, which state unequivocally that the BID formation process begins when: An individual, or a group of individuals (“proponent group”), or a Councilmember, desires to investigate the possibility of establishing a BID in a given area.
Recently, a little after 7 a.m. on a fine cool Los Angeles Winter morning, I found myself on Hoover Street a little South of Vernon. If you know the area, or areas like it, you won’t be surprised to hear that at that time of day there were tamaleras everywhere. At major intersections, of course, and also near schools, selling tamales y champurrado for breakfast. You can see a picture somewhere near this sentence that I took while waiting my turn in line.
The whole scene is entirely social. There are grandmothers buying a dozen at a time to take home, people on their ways to work buying two or three for breakfast, maybe for lunch too, and schoolkids buying singles to eat while they walk.1 The tamalera creates a little bubble of warm sociability around her, momentarily protecting those inside from the chill of the foggy damp onshore flow.
This doesn’t happen only on the streets of South Los Angeles, of course. Last month Gustavo Arellano published a lovely article in the New Yorker entitled The Comfort of Tamales At The End Of 2017 about the significant social role of this ancient food2 in Mexican-American culture. And you can feel that sociability strongly while waiting in line to buy tamales on an L.A. street in the morning.
Maybe you’ve heard about the impending move of Honda of Downtown Los Angeles to a gigantic new five story building on Martin Luther King Blvd. at Hoover. Building projects of this size don’t happen in Los Angeles without a lot of involvement of the relevant Council District, which in this case is CD9, repped by Alleged bigamist Curren Price.1 The various negotiations and agreements are typically formalized in a development agreement between the City and the developer, and this is no exception. You can read the whole thing here, although it’s a heavyweight 35MB PDF download, so click with care.
And one of the typical elements of these development agreements is a statement of the public benefits that are expected to result from the project. These typically include financial contributions to this or that cause favored by the Councilmember, introduced by the phrase “Additionally, as consideration for this Agreement, Developer agrees to provide the following…” In this case, there are two of these (found on page 7 of the agreement, here’s a PDF of just the relevant page, also find a transcription after the break).
Originally I thought that this new dealership would be located in the Figueroa Corridor BID, but a glance at their map reveals that the north side of MLK is the BID’s southern boundary, which is why, I suppose, that a new BID is necessary. Anyway, there’s no real moral to this story, although I admit it’s pretty jarring to see the formation of yet another damn BID pitched as a public benefit.
My colleagues and I spill a lot of metaphorical ink referring to business improvement districts and their Boards of Directors as white supremacists, and we certainly stand by that position. However, it’s recently come to my attention that not everyone in our audience is familiar with the literal meaning of the phrase. Evidently it strikes some people as a generic, semantically empty insult, or else they’re confused by the fact that the phrase refers to at least two fairly distinct ideologies. Thus I thought it would be useful to explain in detail why BIDs are in a very literal sense white supremacist organizations.
First let’s get the definitions straight. As always, our friends at Wikipedia give us a good starting place. Their article on white supremacy tells us that the phrase has two principal meanings. The salient one for our purposes is that white supremacy is:
…a political ideology that perpetuates and maintains the social, political, historical and/or industrial domination by white people
Our correspondent hasn’t been to the Joint Security Committee of the HPOA and the CHC in a long time, but we do miss his reports; that’s where the real crazy happens. You can watch last Thursday’s meeting in its entirety and we’ll be presenting a few different selections from it over the next few days. Tonight’s little jewel has to do with the unknown LA County Sheriff’s Deputy whose picture is presently gracing your screen somewhere near this sentence. No one could understand his name when he announced it during the introductions, which is unfortunate because blasting the personal identity of ham-fisted babbling Sarah-Palin-wannabe cheese eaters like this genius all over the internet in close Google-cinity of their carefully transcribed moronic pronouncements is kind of this blog’s whole raison d’être and stuff. But ’twas not to be.
We have written many a post about Kerry Morrison’s weirdly obsessive hatred of the street characters at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue and how she uses the power of her BID to attack them at every turn. Her surreality-based antipathy has at various times inspired her co-conspirators at the LAPD to crack down heavily on these performers, even to the point where Carol Sobel had to sue the cops in Federal Court to stop the neurotic vendetta.
She’s spent at least a decade railing against these characters and working with the City Attorney, the City Council, private attorneys, everyone in sight, without notable success, to ban their activities, to stop them wearing masks, to require them to wear identity badges, to conflate them with terrorists, and so on. Well, we’ve been looking into the matter a little more deeply, and today we’re here to tell you a story about street characters, the KKK, domestic terrorism, anti-mask laws, and property values in Hancock Park.1 First let’s take a little trip through 7 years worth of the minutes of the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, concentrating on the street characters of Hollywood and Kerry Morrison’s efforts to thwart them by any means necessary:
June 2006—Morrison and Deputy City Attorney Bill Kysella have drafted a resolution for consideration by Council President Eric Garcetti that the City Attorney’s office work with the Hollywood Entertainment District and the Hollywood Division of the LAPD to evaluate potential solutions to document the identity of the street characters and performers, regulate their activities, and ban the use of masks in the interests of protecting public safety on the public right-of-way within the Hollywood Enterainment District.
When first we met Ms. Alyssa Van Breene, round about the middle of 2015, she was out in Boyle Heights, shooting off her privileged mouth about street vending and how it must be forbidden because she and her strange BIDfellows “…work very hard to keep the sidewalks clean, safe, and hospitable for all pedestrians: tourists, workers, residents, and students.” Make a note of that “clean” bit. It’s going to come up again later.
But we had assumed, without evidence or even much thought, that her destructive activities were confined to Hollywood, that yes, she was willing to oppress non-zillionaires by arresting them, mocking them, and chasing them out of Hollywood, but that that was the extent of the damage.