Tag Archives: Streetwatch

The City Of Los Angeles Emergency Operations Center On East Temple Street Houses The Unified Homelessness Response Center — And A Lot Of Other Departments As Well — It’s Managed By Two Committees — The Emergency Management Committee — And The Emergency Operations Board — These Bodies Meet Inside The Emergency Operations Center — And Their Meetings Are Subject To The Brown Act — Which Means That The Public Can Attend — Inside The Building — Therefore At Least Sporadically It’s Open To The Public — Which Is Big News For Various Reasons — And LAPD Chief Michel Moore Chairs The Board — Although Not The Committee — Which Would Seem To Offer An Interesting Opportunity For General Public Comment

The City of Los Angeles has an Emergency Operations Center situated at 500 E. Temple Street. There are a lot of different departments housed in the building, but of most interest to me is the Unified Homelessness Response Center. You may recall, if you follow my Twitter feed, that last November as part of our years-long quest to get accurate information about upcoming encampment sweeps, Tommy Kelly of Streetwatch Los Angeles and I went over to UHRC in person and demanded access to the schedules. And we were menaced by a confused-about-the-law cop and made to leave.

According to the cop at the time the building isn’t open to the public. This may or may not be true, but the fact that he said it at all explains how exceedingly interested I was to discover this very morning that the Emergency Operations Center is managed by two distinct committees, whose meetings seem to be open to the public. There’s the Emergency Management Committee and the Emergency Operations Board.

This last body is chaired by the Chief of Police, currently of course Michel Moore, and would therefore seem to offer an interesting and hitherto unexploited opportunity for public comment. You can sign up to receive agendas for both of these groups via email. There’s also an archive of old agendas and minutes on the Emergency Operations Center website — Here for the Board and here for the Committee.

I certainly plan to attend these meetings in the future when possible. It’ll be really something to get inside that building, to even be allowed to make video of the goings-on, without being menaced by loony-tunes know-nothings from LAPD. See you there, perhaps?!

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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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