VIEW FROM HERE--The fact that Donald J Trump told more blatant falsehoods than any other US President should not blind us to the fact that lying has become a way of life for both the Right and the Left.
My last CityWatch article gave a small taste how the city of Los Angeles and the courts make nonsense claims that Up is Down and Down is Up. The most unsettling aspect is that almost no one cares when their side lies. The acceptance of lies has become the new loyalty oath.
Garcetti’s habitual lies about our non-existent population growth and his lies about homelessness being caused by lack of construction are ludicrous, but who is really to blame? Garcetti or the people who believe obvious falsehoods?
Here’s the Current Big LA Lie
Both the city and courts are pushing the new Big Lie that the homeless crisis can be solved by destroying single family neighborhoods. The proposal is that any developer should be able to buy any single-family home, tear it down and put up a multi-unit building. Somehow building apartments in R-1 areas will solve homeless and if you hew to Judge David O. Carter’s way of thinking, if disagree, you’re white racist.
The Incredibly Shrinking Hollywood
Because Mayor Eric Garcetti’s began his tenure as Los Angeles’s longest serving elected official in 2001 as Hollywood Council District 13's councilmember, Hollywood shows where Garcetti’s Manhattanization, anti-homeowner policies are taking us as a city.
Garcetti’s destruction much of historic Hollywood in the Flats and his replacing old Hollywood with high rises and hundreds of Infill projects has resulted in Hollywood’s continual population decline. Garcetti’s initial Manhattanization so devastated Hollywood between 2001 and 2010, that it ceased to have enough people to be legal council district. Thus, CD 13's borders had to be expanded to take in portions of CD 4 and Koreatown. Thus, in 2010, CD 13 was geographically enlarged with a new population of 198,288 ppl. By 2019, the enlarged CD 13's had lost more people and was down to 195,729 ppl. Garcetti had a simple solution. Lie! Garcetti said the population was 206,000 ppl. Just as he did back in 2012, Garcetti falsely claims a population increase and we need to build more when he knows that the population is shrinking and there is a housing glut.
When the lies were bought to the city’s attention, it did not correct the error. The city lied again and said that the numbers came from SCAG, but SCAG had no data about Hollywood’s 2016 population.
History can be Prologue
Here is what one may deduce from Hollywood’s continual downward population spiral since Garcetti launched his Manhattanization – It is a horrible failure. Following a trickle down, supply side economics, which is an absurd GOP invention, Garcetti believed that if he torn down rent-controlled apartments and had high rises and Infill projects built throughout Hollywood, people would move in and the developers would make a fortune. The actual results were: (1) the Homeless Crisis since the RSO homes of poor people had been destroyed and (2) the new places remained largely vacant. This trend was documented in Hollywood Becomes Fraudywood in 2012. March 2, 2012, CityWatch, Hollywood Becomes Fraudywood
Garcetti’s rescue plan for developers’ pocketbooks was the fraudulent scam to sell bonds, give developers $1.2 Billion to construct projects attached to a bogus Affordable Housing requirement. After taking the city money, the developer will declare bankruptcy, keep 100% of the city’s money but the city has to repay Wall Street the $1.2 Billion with interest. That was the corrupt scheme behind HHH and JJJ: get voters to approve construction bonds where the taxpayers and not the developers would be liable to repay the loans while developers keep all the city money.
The underlying motivation behind this criminal plot was Wall Street’s reluctance to further finance the LA’s construction into a glut. Wall Street knew there was no demand for the projects and the developers would have trouble repaying loans. Thus, the taxpayers had to be financially liable by buying bonds.
In bankruptcy court, the developer would tell the judge that it could not keep Affordable Housing as part of the project aa which point the kindly judge would remove the Affordable Housing requirement so that the developer would have a fully market rate project. The Ninth Circuit Court stopped this scam in the Sunnyslope development in Arizona The Ninth Circuit, which covers both Arizona and California, ruled that if a developer took Affordable Housing money, the Affordable Housing requirement could not be removed.
The Sunnyslope Case is the main reason almost none of the HHH & JJJ funds were spent. The HHH’s and JJJ’s goal was not construction of Affordable Housing but to finance a scam to use public money to subsidize private construction.
The Attack on South Los Angeles
The Gentrification of South Los Angeles had nothing to do with any racist anti-Black conspiracy. It was pure economics – property was cheaper south of DTLA, where the residents were increasingly Central American. That too was economics; newer immigrants occupy older housing. Garcetti’s Manhattanization had ethnically cleansed Hollywood of Hispanics. Thursday, January 3, 2013, LA Weekly, Hollywood's Urban Cleansing, By Patrick Range McDonald.
Every time a minority group is affected by economics is not due to racism as Judge Carter would have us believe. In fact, race may have nothing to do with it.
The percentage of Blacks among the homeless in 2011 was over 49% and by 2020, it had fallen to less than 35%. It is not politically correct to even mention the decreased percentage of Blacks among the homeless. So far, the cause drop of percentage of Blacks has not been documented, but most likely it is because of what Patrick MacDonald described – the destruction of Hispanic low rent housing. By significantly increasing the Hispanic percent, the Black percent is likely to decrease. When people insist on the myth that white racism is the cause of all ills, we cannot actually understand the real forces acting in society.
Single Family Homes Are Cheap to Buy
Now that the developers are finding out that people will not move into their fancy new units in Transit Oriented Districts [TOD’s], they have decided to buy up cheap single-family homes.
Single family homes are cheap in comparison with an RSO apartment house in an area zoned for multi-unit housing. R-1 Zoning places these homes out of the developers’ reach, but when all R-1 Zoning is ended (because Judge Carter can see only racism as the cause of apparently anything), a developer can buy an R-1 home north of Franklin for $1.5 Million and build 12 units. Since his new project will be away from a main boulevard, he figures it will be easier to rent.
The Attack on R-1 Neighborhoods Is Not Racism, It 100% Corruptionism
The developers have to build to stay in business and they need to buy low and the cheapest properties are single family homes. As for people living in R-1 areas, don’t worry about poor people moving in. The developers’ target population is all upscale people with money.
Oops maybe homeowners should worry. That upscale market exists only in the developers’ and politicos’ dreams. Family Millennials who are the prime home buying market are the ones who are fleeing Los Angeles for Austin, Denver, Inland Empire, Tennessee, The Carolinas, etc. They are not staying in LA and paying 3 times the real market rate of an apartment.
What Fuels the Habitual Lies?
Like a narco-drug state, the city of Los Angeles’s economic well-being rests on corruption. The construction industry is such a huge portion of our economy that if the politicos and judges admit the truth and the excessive construction should stop, LA’s economy would collapse. Los Angeles became addicted to construction during the decades when our population was zooming (1970's & 1980's).
That era ended but the corrupt Community Redevelopment Agency [CRA] used taxpayers dollars to subsidize the mega developers, when it should have re-focused on upgrading the quality of existing housing. That approach would have helped small Mom and Pop size contractors who specialize in remodeling and upgrades, but they were not able to bribe city councilmembers. Thus, the big lie continued that hordes of more people were coming to LA. Now Los Angeles is fatally addicted to Corrupt Constructionism.
(Richard Lee Abrams has been an attorney, a Realtor and community relations consultant as well as a CityWatch contributor. The views expressed herein are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch. You may email him at RickLeeAbrams@Gmail.com)