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Solis Village. . .

THE CITY-“Care first” is not just a mantra but one that requires action. I don't get it. Aren't we getting $50 million from FEMA for her village? 

Now, it's $500,000 for the scoping of more villages that will reflect Supervisor Solis something like Mt. Rushmore.   

It's more than just a name. . .it's also "Potential acquisition and/or lease of real estate properties in the proximity of MCJ."   

Solis is good at that. In a prior article I had a little run-in with Marqueece Harris Dawson when I discovered that the Goldbergers of Atlas Capital, a sponsor of the Central City Association decided to return their Richelle Huizar contributions 14 days before the FBI investigation.   

Solis adores the Goldbergers because she pulled $24 million out of her county pocketbook to buy a parking lot from them for $24 million. Sheesh. 

NAC Architecture, Inc. is excellent. . .presumably.  

And we do need additional community services to divert individuals from incarceration into mental health, substance use, housing, and trauma-centered services. As we have needed since forever. 

The proposal for a “one-stop-shop” for resources in a centralized location for those who are being released from jail, individuals who are being diverted from arrest, and vulnerable populations in the adjacent areas receive those services sounds like it might be a bad idea. Are we trying to warehouse the folks mired in hell looking to get out of downtown? 

It is a “build-out” of the Alternatives To Incarceration [ATI] and “care first” initiatives which is vital . . . but we thought Kevin Deleon wants them in "Sherman Oaks" and he wants them in "Pacoima". . .  

One-stop shopping for soft-incarceration services downtown may not be what people are dreaming of. A huge bureaucracy from a group that has canceled public comment while hiring an architecture firm to dig up some community engagement.   

The board's cancellation of civil discourse, the definition of public comment, will very likely result in more arrests over the summer. 

Care first? Re-open public comment, Supervisor Solis! 

Caring is sharing. 

The Board, however, does not want to pay County wages. They want to pay less. 

The Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) seeks Board approval to award two contracts to Universal Protection Services, LP dba Allied Universal Security Services (Allied) for Armed and Unarmed Security Guard services at DPSS locations. It can be more economically performed by an independent contractor than by County employees. 

"More economically” means the people who will be doing this work will receive lower pay or benefits than they would if they were doing it as direct County employees.   

Outsourcing this work is contributing to the wealth/poverty division the Supervisors say they are attempting to reduce.  

How much are we talking about? The contracts will be effective for three years, from June 23, 2021 through June 22, 2024, with a maximum contract sum of $12,268,536 for the North Sector and $21,258,662 for the South Sector for a total of $33,527,198

And kudos to the CD10 strongman Mark Ridley-Thomas for further consideration with an exclusive REVISED agenda item 6. CFM 21-0347 for an Application for Determination of Public Convenience or Necessity for the sale of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption at Dal ay Restaurant, located at 3377 Wilshire Boulevard, Space 200. sic.   

And kudos to Avak Keotahian for dropping the second "d" in Dalday. Dalday is correct.   

Sausalito Encampment 

It started with one tent in Dunphy Park in December 2020 and grew from there into a tent city populated by an eclectic mix of characters.  

Many live part-time on boats illegally anchored off the shore and use the camp as a safe place to come ashore for supplies or spend the night in case of a storm. They call the encampment Camp Cormorant, and fly rainbow flags emblazoned with drawings of the black water birds. 

In February, the City Council decided Marinship Park — which, unlike Dunphy Park, has bathrooms and is regularly visited by a shower truck — would make a better location for the encampment. 

But when the city attempted to move the encampment, camp residents, backed by the California Homeless Union, sued. 

A federal judge has sided with the camp residents, blocking the city from forcing them to relocate during the pandemic so far.  

Makes one wonder if the tech billionaires and the LA billionaires have any ideas on this, other than the public beach parking lots? 

How about pool some of the giving pledge money and more from all the profit wealthy landowners have seen and are seeing and buy up some land at market prices but don't build market rate units, but rather FIXED rate affordable units with long term covenants by owner. . . 

If people could pay $800/month to Bezos for a flat that would be fine. But paying $2,700 or $3,500 is out of whack with pay and cost of living.  

Bait and Switch 

An all-girls middle school found a spot in Van Nuys, but neighbors say it’s an “invasion.” If fully approved, the new campus at 14203 West Valerio St. would feature an an outdoor athletic field, running track and educational garden. But neighbors are worried about traffic and parking issues.

“The surrounding neighborhood has legitimate concerns about excessive traffic during dropoff and pickup periods, removal of protected trees, noise,” according to a statement.  

Looks like Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian is siding with the neighbors.

A representative said in a statement that Krekorian “would be honored” to have the school in his district, but he opposed putting hundreds of students at the current proposed location. 

Special Electioneer 

Isaac Bryan of the UCLA Policy Project has been elected to AD 54, the district held by Sebastian Ridley-Thomas and Sydney Kamlager. They always manage to maneuver toward a "hard to challenge" Special Election schedule one way or the other. #5Surgeries     

The special election this time was necessitated by Sydney Kamlager's election to the state Senate in a special election March 2, filling the vacancy caused by Holly J. Mitchell's election to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.    

Bryan has advised Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, so this is an expected #Special lovefest. 

Hookah pipes & Huckleberries 

They have a somewhat mild flavor, similar to that of a blueberry and tend to be tarter, while darker purple, blue, and blackberries are sweeter in flavor. The milkshakes are irresistible up in Idaho when they're in season. 

Also, denying people the right to use hookah pipes is getting ridiculous.  

Caution: Do not give the politicians on either side of this horribly debate any money. 

Let it unfold, and a smart member of the public will sue them and win. The city council has a bad rack record when it comes to hamfisted litigations that are not even remotely in the public's interest.  

A million years ago 

"In late 1951, San Francisco Chronicle reporter Mike Harris spent six weeks looking into the way local agencies conducted meetings. State law had long required that business be done in public, but Harris discovered secret meetings or caucuses were common. He wrote a 10-part series on “Your Secret Government” that ran in May and June 1952." 

Only 10?

Out of the series came a decision to push for a new state open meeting law. Harris and Richard (Bud) Carpenter, legal counsel for the League of California Cities, drafted such a bill and Assembly Member Ralph M. Brown agreed to carry it. The Legislature passed the bill and Governor Earl Warren signed it into law in 1953.  

The Ralph M. Brown Act, known as the Brown Act, has evolved under a series of amendments and court decisions, and has been the model for other open meeting laws. Assembly Member Brown is best known for the open meeting law that carries his name. He was elected to the Assembly in 1942 and served 19 years, including the last three years as Speaker.  

Ralph M. Brown went on to become an appellate court justice. Sigh. 

Right-hand Man 

In June of 1998 Richard Riordan was Mayor.  James Hahn the longtime city attorney 1985–2001 appointed Paul Krekorian to the Ethics Commission. 

The rules committee back then was chaired by THE John Ferraro, for which the Temple of Hypocrisy chambers was named. Like almost everything else it was unanimous in favor of Krekorian's appointment. Even a younger Mark Ridley-Thomas opted not to abstain.    

The document shows that Krekorian had spent a summer working for the DOJ in Las Vegas as an intern in the summer of1983! 

That's the office that captured Englander.  #conspiracy 

Krekorian also cut his eye-teeth up in Sacramento, resolving issues as a legislative deputy for Tom Bane an influential right-hand man to former Assembly speakers Jesse Unruh and Willie Brown.   

The Bane Act (California Civil Code § 52.1.), also known as the Tom Bane Civil Rights Act, is a civil code in California Law that forbids people from interfering with a person's constitutional rights. 

So, it's interesting as Krekorian is definitely smart enough to know better, that he's been advising Nury to keep blocking people's comments.  

Once a right-hand man always a right-hand man. In that sense, probably, either a very good choice or very bad choice for temporary mayor.  

Encourage and accommodate. 

Here are a few of the Public Comments at the September 30, 2016 Rules Committee

Robert Silverstein, the attorney who collected $230,000 tk. to drop the lawsuit brought by George Abraham, over multiple comment section issues, hasn't responded to my reach out for help. We shall see. Obviously, nothing has been resolved.   

The "multiple comment" section is segregation, plain and simple, and can only be an option or choice by the speaker. Not a sentence from a tyrannical chair. #Herb #Mitch #Nury #Buckets #Koretz  

Doug Haines -- I don't believe that this is really proper. The community is not aware of it. 

First off, I believe that the agenda item description does not satisfy the Brown Act requirement that the wording not be a code phrase unintelligible to the public. Nobody knows what council rules numbers 7, 8, 11 etc. are. The agenda should read amendments to council rules to limit public speaking time. Then it would be something that the community would understand. There is no community impact statement (CIS) on this item because this item was slipped in yesterday and the community is not aware of it. 

Also, I will point out for council because this is a Special Agenda item -- Special Agenda items require that all agenda items be open for public comment and that's in the Brown Act that says: Every notice for a Special Meeting shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to directly address the legislative body concerning any item that has been described in the notice. So, when it goes to council it must be open for public comment. Also, I don't believe that this is really proper. Please delay this so the neighborhood councils can have input on it and the community is more aware of what is going on. Limiting our comment time. . . 

George Abraham -- It's your Job. 

The council has long ignored fair speaking rules in many venues. Alright. One is at the land use hearings. We've gone to court many times. We've complained about it during these EIRs. These planning cases, we never know how much time we are going to get to speak. And so, I think leaving something to the call of the chair, how much time you get to speak is just arbitrary and unfair. It's part of your job to listen. Your paid to listen. That's why you are here. To find out what the public thinks about issues that come before this body. And so, I think it is wrong for you to treat the speakers basically like they are some kind of a nuisance. Something -- Oh, how can we stop these people from coming up here and speaking all the time. Well, it's your job, so I hope that you will not adopt these new rules.  

Grace Yoo -- Amazingly ludicrous. 

Good morning Rules Committee members, my name is Grace Yoo and I came here for a different item and saw this special agenda item where you are basically taking the rights of people to speak before the city council or city governing bodies. And that's an incredible shame. This is supposed to be a democracy. You're elected by the people. What you're causing is for people to really get so infuriated that they have to recall you. That's what you're setting us up to do.  It's a travesty that people spend an hour plus to come downtown, to try to park, to pay twenty dollars and then be told “you can't speak” or “you are limited to one minute.” Now you won't even let people give, cede their time to the next. And then you also limit two minutes per committee agenda. This is amazingly ludicrous.  

Micki Jackson -- This is draconian. 

I agree with everything Doug Haines said. New City Hall public comment rules will make it harder to conduct due process hearings at Los Angeles City Council meetings and Committee meetings. The new rules on multiple items means community members or land use appellants will be forced to testify before an item is called on the agenda for public hearing. Additionally, they may be forced to comment, represent their land use appeals before any amending motion is made public under current city council rules. In other words, on crafting new rules targeting certain frequent public commenters at City Council and Committees is about. . .City Council is about to shoot itself in the foot. As a matter of constitutional due process and the Brown Act rules on distribution of written materials. This matter should be sent back to the City Attorney to consider how the council will conduct its affairs in accordance with due process and land use appellants adjacent property owners as well as the Brown Act requirements. This is draconian.  

Jay Beeber -- There is important information that you get from the public. 

Good morning, my name is Jay Beeber. I echo the things that have already been said, but I also want to talk to this body regarding the fact that there are members of the public who do come to city council and provide very valuable information to members of committees and also to city council. And to punish everyone for what may be perceived as something the city council doesn't approve of or like from certain members of the public is not the proper way to do this. There is important information that you get from the public. And you also talk a lot about wanting the public to be involved, wanting the public to vote. These kinds of things are the reason the public feels that they don't want to engage with their, and that they can't engage with their elected officials. So, I think this is the wrong way to go and as a member of the neighborhood council system, to not give the neighborhood councils or the rest of the public time to comment is not appropriate.  

Annie Gagan -- City Council seems to think that they don't have to abide by the rules. 

Good morning, I am Annie Gagan, and I am opposed to this as a Neighborhood council board member, we all have to do our ethics training and are well aware of the Brown Act and we abide by all the rules. However, City Council seems to think that they don't have to. You are setting a terrible example here. With an initiative on the ballot that you obviously are all opposed to, one would think that you would make some effort to be more transparent and to listen to the communities of Los Angeles rather than, now limiting their time to speak about what's going on in their communities.  It's just shameful.  Thank you. 

John Walsh -- Unreasonable.  

John Walsh, blogging at Hollywood Highlands.org. The Brown Act says you must establish reasonable rules. Five minutes is reasonable. Okay, if you don't think we are going to go to court, you're wrong.  And we're going to take your nose and squash it in this crappy rule. And you'll enjoy it. I'm telling you right now, then comes two minutes, then comes one minute, then comes sixty seconds, because this is fascistic. . .I hope you all saw the nine-year-old African American girl speaking in Charlotte under public comment. It was heard throughout the world. All she would have gotten here was sixty seconds. You want to be the number one guy; you want to run things. We'll go to court and the judges always. . .this is unreasonable. Unreasonable.  And anyone who votes for it is going to have do it in front of the camera.  

Herbert J. Wesson, Council President -- We've done a lot to try to encourage and accommodate the public. 

Thank you. Thank you. And again, just to clarify things, we've been operating, using this policy for about six weeks. So, it’s not a surprise. We're not eliminating individuals’ rights to speak; we're moving public comment from the end of the session to the beginning. So, that people can come here; they can speak, and if they choose to leave and go back to work, they can. The neighborhood councils, with community impact statements can speak up to five minutes. So, I think we've done a lot to try to encourage and accommodate the public. So, with that said, that's item 5. We will adopt the motion and the council rules as amended, as amended, we do that without objection. So that brings us to item 7, so why. . .in fact, why don't we do 4. . .

 

(Eric Preven is a longtime community activist and is a contributor to CityWatch.)