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ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - A well-regarded Oaxacan public speaker said, “I’m dark brown and I'm short. It’s not only racist, it's colorist. Thank you.”  

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ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Gil Cedillo said in a text to The LA Times it was ordinarily his instinct “to hold others accountable when they use derogatory or racially divisive language.”  

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ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Frederick Wiseman’s mammoth-length City Hall documentary finds humanity alongside the bureaucracy.  

One reviewer said, ”A lot of City Hall feels like C-SPAN: You’re witnessing important work, but is that really what you want to be doing?” 

City Hall is a character-driven drama, centering on the lives of the three most powerful people in Boston, who don’t always see eye-to-eye politically but are committed to making the city a better place. 

Hmmm.  One way to spice things up is to say horribly offensive things and get caught. 

Here in Los Angeles,  the second most corrupted nation in America, the City Council has revealed itself to be a “rainbow” of rather bigoted d-bags. 

The Latino caucus was conspiring to draw the redistricting maps, and Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo and Kevin DeLeon said horrible things and were recorded.   

It happened at the Labor Federation property. 

Next speaker.  

The gloves are off.  The message is clear.    

Self-Identification:

Neighborhood Council leaders in LA recently urged tougher ethics laws at city hall. The unpaid volunteers who bravely serve the council member from their district and theoretically the community they represent, want speakers who are working for a company or interest like VICA, the Valley Industry Commerce Association who blocked me recently on Twitter, to identify themselves before speaking in public comment.   

VICA, often identifies themselves before speaking. But when sticky issues like the horrible retaliation at the YMCALA … 

“Sir, you’re disrupting the meeting.” 

The current proposal would bring more regulation to the lobbyists, requiring lobbyists to identify themselves by affiliation, before speaking in public comment.  

There is no requirement to identify your political party, just which company you’re being paid to lobby for.  Another proposal, if a nonprofit heaves down less than $2 million a year, they’re exempt. RED FLAG 

The new language also wants to define someone, who is paid to lobby for 30 hours, as a lobbyist who must register.   

At what rate?   Public comment at city hall is a maximum of four minutes per speaker, so… 

It’s a hornet’s nest.  

One fresh-like idea emerged over the weekend, following what Curren D. Price referred to as the “facade” that came crashing down.  

Should lobbyists also be required to reveal the racial epithet or preferred expletive, that our two-faced city council favor? 

My name is Antonia Ramirez and “I’m a chango latino gangbanger” and I’m with the helicopter lobby.  

Friday: Before the fall

Curren D. Price is one stately mutherf**ker. Tall, dark, and handsome with just a touch of grey.  Also, he went to Stanford, so this mojo is smart. "I would like to welcome the ambassador from Ethiopia to US., who is here to strengthen the relations.  

Kevin DeLeon, jumped up as usual, "Thank you, Price for your incredible leadership." 

He went on to say, “I've had an Ethiopian staff member, by the way, and LA represents the second largest diaspora of Ethiopians in the nation. The only nation in Africa that was not colonized." 

Mitchell O’Farrell’s turn.  ”We are on sacred ground... we must recognize our past, the sacrifices made. He was talking about the ‘first peoples’  not the Ethiopians and how we have come to live in peace and build our lives and families on this sacred land. 

O'Farrell invited "Come and get your love people..."  as he touted an event with vendor booths and activities for youth. "God bless indigenous America..." he said. 

Gil Cedillo must have been thinking… "developable" land. It’s likely that Cedillo will move to the private sector to cash in somehow now that he’s been run out of town by a woman half his age. 

Finally,  it was time to celebrate the massive contributions of the Filipino community.   

“Everyone knows Jo Koy,” according to Tiffany Haddish, who did not attend his city hall recognition, but once took him to a highfalutin party and she was stunned by all the big-namers glad-handing him.   

Koy, who is a very funny stand-up comedian who sold out the Forum for four nights in a row recently, was downtown to be honored by council.  

His comments were funny and surprisingly touching. He spoke about the Filipino healthcare workers, who work all day in hospitals and care centers, and come home to watch TV and see nobody "who looks like them."  They're invisible.  

Careful city observers recognize that speech from Herb Wesson and the scandal-plagued, council president, Nury Martinez.  RED FLAG. 

Mr. Koy, named John Lee of CD12 (Staffer B) "Mr. Lee, I want to see everyone represented. Everyone's voice deserves to be heard." [But preferably not recorded without permission in California.] 

Among the dignitaries crowding around the Filipinos was, Mike Feuer, who is about to finish an illustrious career as the City Attorney.  

When it was Gil Cedillo's turn to thank the Filipinos, he thanked Feuer, for his "voice, that will be missed... sober, articulate and reality-based."   

That's not accurate. “He knew or should have known…" 

"Sir, you're disrupting the meeting." 

DeLeon called our city a "beautiful mosaic..." the most diverse...and largest diaspora outside of Manila.  

When Monica Rodriguez plugged a "Filipino American Life" podcast, she briefly referenced toiling in the fields up north.  

For a moment, Angelenos' eyebrows went up, because it sounded like she was referring to her own past, but she grew up as the daughter of an LAFD fireman in Pacoima.  

For clarity, she was referring to the Delano grape strike, in which Filipino farm workers played a significant role.   

Regardless, she said, she was frequently confused for a Filipina.  

DeLeon said any Filipinos who encountered hate crimes could contact his office.  Oy.  

No word if Caruso will drop Gil Cedillo's endorsement following the implosion. 

Koy popped back on after more accolades and said he wanted to thank "Dreamworks, and Spielberg."   

Blowback:

Bob Blumenfield, who is married to an African American woman who once worked at the Discovery Cube Museum out in CD3, says racist depictions of children should be off-limits period.   

Blumenfield issued a lengthy statement but still he seemed to leave open the possibility that racist depictions of adults, might be okay, on an ad hoc basis.  

This is in line with the first amendment stylings of the City Attorney’s office.  

Folks will remember how Blumenfield flanked Mitchell Englander when he referred to the Budget and Finance committee, which is actually run by Paul Krekorian, who is not Jewish, as “run by Jews.”  He was referring to himself, Koretz, and Blumenfield, who are all Jewish.  Disclosure: So am I!  

One former candidate for office who would only speak under the condition of anonymity, said, “ Armenians are sometimes referred to as mountain Jews, in an affectionate characterization of the shared values among (some) Jews and (some) Armenians.”   

Education, family, and service NOT “graft, corruption, and greed.” 

Karen Bass apologized last week for remarks that she made at the recent mayoral debate accusing her opponent, developer Rick Caruso of paying to receive an endorsement from the Avance Democratic Club, a local Latino political group.  “How much did you pay for it?” Bass asked Caruso. 

It’s not exactly threatening to beat Mike Bonin’s child while referring to him as a monkey in Spanish, but not OK. 

Ask a Mexican:

When Herb Wesson bid farewell to the Los Angeles City Council (the first time pre-indictment of MRT), he thanked everyone in Los Angeles including those who criticized or said hurtful things to him.  

He even thanked the children who used to beat him up in his native city of Cleveland because he said those experiences made him “tough.”  

Heather Hutt, who replaced Wesson is the fourth woman on the 15-member council and just the third Black councilwoman in the city's history.  She received 12 votes.  

Will she behave like a staffer or an elected?  

An elected, like say, District Attorney George Gascon, who received 2,002,865 votes and defeated a recall.   

Nury Martinez apparently said, Gascon was “with the Blacks.” So, “Fuck that guy.” 

Some of the truly disturbing reactions to this horror show included infuriating references to the 'mutual respect' among the pernicious, dehumanizing “crass and ignorant” comments.  

One smallish white council member who has children of color, said the comments by his colleagues were "incongruous with the values. " 

Yes. 

If you are important and represent a lot of people, talking shit is expected.  Everyone is a comedian.  

Last year, Villanueva called L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis a “malinche” — a sexist Mexican Spanish term for a traitor — during one of his Facebook Live session. 

And then when he went on Gustavo Arellano’s new podcast that was recently renewed, the said, “I have a name for your new [column] if The Times decides to give you a regular [slot],” he said, barely masking the smirk that was about to burst out. “It’ll be called ‘Ask a Vendido.’ 

“Among Latinos, to call someone a vendido stings even more than the English translation. It means the individual in question knows how hard Latinos have it in American society, claims that struggle for themselves, and vows to champion their community upon making it to the big time, but instead not only forgets their roots but works actively to quash their former comrades.” 

And who can forget the mayoral scandal? Not the one that tanked Garrcetti’s appointment to become the US ambassador to India, but his other in-house fiasco. 

“I hate her. You hate her,” Ana Guerrero wrote under a photo of Latina icon, Delores Huerta, who co-founded the National Farmworkers Association with Cesar Chavez, in which she also called her in Spanish a “jealous old lady!” 

Offensive. She took a brief leave of absence to pay for her sins, but her salary was restored immediately.  What about MRT's salary?

Shhh. 

We should not be so upset with Nury Martinez because she has a potty mouth, but rather, because she's a two-faced liar.  

Caruso should drop Gil Cedillo's endorsement and Bass should drop Nury Martinez’s.  

What's the fix?  

A velvet bag for the phones, so nobody can make an illicit recording, like a three-star Michelin restaurant?   

No. 

A velvet rope, to keep a buffer of friendly contributors between the city council and the unwashed public?   

Good idea, but the only solution: unelect them all. 

 

(Eric Preven is a longtime community activist and is a contributor to CityWatch. The opinions expressed by Eric Preven are solely his and not the opinions of CityWatch) 

 

ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Thomas Hagen is a fictional character in Mario Puzo's 1969 novel The Godfather and Francis Ford Coppola's films The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather Part II (1974). He is portrayed by Robert Duvall in the movies. 

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