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ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK

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.”  

He said that he did not engage, but “clearly, I should have intervened,” careful to point out that he did not “make a racist statement and I did not mock my colleagues.”  Cedillo, who was defeated in the June election by community activist Eunisses Hernandez and steps down in December, should be issued a final, virtual adios.  For the next few weeks, Cedillo, should not be seen and the city should allow his “contract” to run its course.  He should take much of the blame for the Dodgers loss to the Padres.

As for Kevin De Leon — a bit more complicated.  This tireless fighter for the people just started and as he has frequently reminded constituents for more than a decade that he is the son of a housekeeper for rich people, La Jolla Edition— she struggled with Ovarian cancer later in life. 

Code: Not rich, like f’rinstance, Curren D. Price, the city’s most frequent recuser, who went to Stanford and is married to the highly successful businesswoman, Del Richardson, who facilitates the removal of residents as an adjunct to Price’s swift gentrification bidness, or auto correct badness.  

De Leon cannot be expected to give up his “robustico” salary, voluntarily.  

Recommendation: Pay the man through his first term, replace him with someone, not necessarily a woman, but possibly someone who grandstands less.  “”Color?”  would be good.  “Rich?”  Can’t hurt.

Next Item. 

“Step down or we shut down! Step down or we shut down!!…”

“We’re rolling”:

The most likely event is that one or more rooms at the Federation of labor were being covertly recorded during a period spanning at least a year from 2021 to ... last month. 

Continuously? Or intermittently? Live?  We don’t know.

My guess is someone, who was not in the room, had to retrieve a device that had been planted, strategically.  Someone like Areen or Justin Wesson or that sneaky bastard, Andrew Westall. 

It could have been any of a crew of at least a dozen insiders, like Jeanne Min, Chad Molnar, David Hersch, Karo Torossian.  Not Matt Hale because he has been 24/7 trying to wrangle our mayoral candidates’ water bills. 

The upper level deputies current and past would have or could obtained access.  That’s why its so important to cover the buh-bye section of city council meetings. 

Home of the Olympics:
Los Angeles is much more than greedy back slappers and 'borderline Marxists'... we’re also the 'cabin communities’ with ‘'tiny homes' and the new village named after Supervisor Hilda Solis, near the jail. 

If Rick Caruso gets his way, Los Angeles will have (become) the greatest homeless shelter in the world. “I build nice stuff,” he once remarked.

The City of Los Angeles is not only a tiny home enclave but also has the world's tiniest public speakers, as shown three times a week on the "Temple of Hypocrisy" telecast on taxpayer funded channel 35.

And, if you believe in Eric Garcetti’s dream of democracy, the John Ferraro chambers is the place where "the microphone, that makes us all equal.” 

Hint: He’s full of it. 

The truth is there is no more dedicated pack of bigots as we've long suspected and confirmed recently thanks to KnockLA, who adore Mark Ridley-Thomas and they seemed to get very nervous when …

“Sir, please speak to the agenda."

Gustavo Arellano, said “the Old guard falls down, the new guard comes up, say never again, and then it happens again.”

But as the old guard attempts to redirect attention anywhere, the newbie progressive wing… Nithya Raman, Eunisses Hernandez and Marqueece Harris Dawson are ready to bust a move with bestie, Isaac Bryan. 

(Harris-Dawson & Bryan shown below) 

 

 

Paul Krekorian has said that he is in fact interested in becoming council president, think: Camp counselor! 

He argues that the city of LA is about to go through huge political changes — the arrival of a new mayor, city attorney, city controller and at least four new councilmembers. 

The council, he said, will need someone experienced to lead the council through its “latest crisis.” Code: Someone who knows where the bodies are buried and will keep them buried until the New York Times goes back to covering the drought.

Three years ago on December 12, 2018, late in the council meeting, it was announced that it would be Mitchell Englander’s last day in City Council.   The end of an era and beginning of an endless investigation. 

Gil Cedillo, who has been a labor leader for decades and will happily update any human with a pulse, as to his real accomplishments for the working poor.  

That’s why it was so freaking weird when he told a story about how he had taken an epic adventure with Mitchell Englander to Mexico.  Englander was a charming, dashing, criminal con man, sported a MAGA hat at an official event they attended in Mexico.  

Think "Hangover," Mexican Edition.    They laughed and laughed.  

Poor Mike Bonin.  He never wanted anti-black racism from Nury Martinez aimed at a white dad, but Bonin was also forced to witness the day Cedillo yucked it up about Englander wearing a MAGA hat in Mexico.  He didn’t say anything.

Muy Malo:

Angelenos are grappling with censorship.  We’re dealing with air pollution 24/7.  The corruption is blooming, and invariably the city and county face allegations of discrimination.

But where are we this week … in retaliation?!

Frank Preciado v. City of Los Angeles, is on Tuesday’s City’s agenda. Possibly the weirdest / meanest story of the year, in which an officer who worked in the media relations division of LAPD with Josh Rubenstein, alleged that he was forced to turn off the Spanish television newscast and eventually was banned from speaking Spanish at work.  rufkm 

This presented major problems as his job was gathering the Spanish-language news. When he complained about discriminatory Spanish television censorship, his boss wanted the TVs off during non-news hours, he alleged he encountered horrible discriminatory animus, and faced an English-only language restriction that was imposed in the office.  Also, he alleged repeated acts of retaliation, including they took his car. (This is sometimes referred to as a "Patty Giggans") 

Preciado continues to suffer humiliation, embarrassment, anxiety, mental anguish, and emotional distress.  We’re all suffering. 

cc Rob Bonta 

The Cicero Olympics: 

The organizing committee for the 2028 Olympic Games (@LA28) has quietly removed former LA Fed president Ron Herrera from the list of board members on its website.

Steve Lopez quoted Cicero in his very short piece the other day.  I had to look him up for refresher.

In The Republic, Cicero argued that laws are not enough for a just state. There also must be liberty. "But if liberty is not equally enjoyed by all the citizens," he declared, "it is not liberty at all." 

Therefore, liberty cannot exist unless "the people have the supreme power" in government [and the Olympics in 2028!]

Cicero looked into the ideal form of government for upholding natural law, establishing justice, and ensuring liberty. He started by examining three "good states" and their perverted forms, described earlier by the Greek historian Polybius.

Cicero believed the best of the good states was a monarchy, but the king could turn into a tyrant. (Caruso)

Cicero also approved of an aristocracy, rule by the best men +women*, but it was vulnerable to conspiracies by factions intent on grabbing power (an oligarchy). (Bass)

In Cicero's view, the worst of the good states was a democracy, where all the people participated directly in running the government. It eventually led to mob rule. (“Step down or we shut down! Step down or we shut down!!…”)

Even so, Cicero recognized each good state had its merits. A king could act quickly and decisively in an emergency.  (Order a million cots from IKEA)

The people in a democracy enjoyed liberty with equal rights.  (Sixty seconds to comment for every twenty items of interest).

The aristocrats possessed experience and wisdom. (Fundraisers)

Remember,

  1. ”Nothing rarer can be found in the race of man than an accomplished orator.” [De Leon]
  2. "No place is so strongly fortified that money cannot capture it.”  [Caruso]
  3. "The laws are silent in times of war.” [Crime pays during emergencies]
  4. "Nothing is more unreliable than the people.” [except the politicians.]
  5. "We are all attracted by praise, and the best men are especially motivated by glory.” [City Council could win Gold in ass-kissing competition, under consideration for entry to 2028 lineup.]
  6. "There is indeed, no uglier kind of state than one in which the richest men are thought to be the best.” [Bass: “Amirite?"]

 

Cut for content:

An attorney had lashed out at the online publication with a threatening letter, when her client was put on blast in a column by the columnist. The editor pulled the article and sent along the attorney's letter.    

The columnist flipped out, "This is all true. Why has the article been pulled?"  The editor explained that he didn't doubt it, but wasn't ready for a lawsuit at his age.  The writer explained that the content was absolutely protected and shared a link to an IRE seminar on libel, slander and defamation that I'd attended featuring the great windbag, George Freeman, who is the Executive Director of the Media Law Resource Center, and was the big dog attorney for the New York Times. ($75) 

After the editor watched the windy but informative seminar, the parties agreed that the best way forward would be to publish the columnist’s response to the letter from the lawyer, in the online publication!  

It was a perfectly satisfying solution.  The columnist effectively reposted the entire screed that had been objected to, substantiating each claim.  

A hostile admonishment was included as a bonus! 

What a terrific weekend!  The editor was uncharacteristically pleased and the bonding around, ”these damn lawyers can go to hell" was liberating.  

Nobody can intimidate the free press. 

KNOCK knock: 

Dear Knock:

I’m prepared to submit a dispatch with a lite overview of today’s mockery of a sham. Any interest in posting something like that? It’s a response to no public comment. You know ... "our signal cannot be broken." 

Response: (silence)  

@GroundGameLA  21k,   @KnockdotLA 25k, &  @ktownforall 16K 

Small Mighty Team:

Angel Jennings touted her "great colleagues on the @latimes’ City Hall reporting team who she said received the audio Saturday (10/8) evening and worked until the wee hours Sunday to have the FIRST STORY ready to go live online around 9:30 am Sunday (10/9).  

The Times published “this story” despite legal threat over use of leaked audio “It is a fundamental principle in the United States that we do not prohibit or punish the receipt and publication of newsworthy information,” LAT attorney Glasser wrote. 

"Well, let's not go crazy...." 

Cut him off. Next Speaker.  

The Times had the first in-depth piece with comments from those on the tape & an analysis up online for readers last Sunday (10/9) at 9:23am even under threat of legal action. (Brave!) 

The recording was long and Times reporters continued to update the story throughout the day. 

The good folks over at  @KnockDotLA posted clips of the recordings an hour and a half later. The accompany article was transcribed quotes. No comments from the officials on the tape, no context, just quotes, like “Fuck that guy… He’s with the Blacks.” 

LA City Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Gil Cedillo, Kevin de León and LA Labor Federation President Ron Herrera making racist comments and discuss redistricting.  Listen to the audio. 

Jennings cited @KnockDotLA and said, “The small but mighty team should be applauded for its work in spreading the news. The role of journalism is to keep people informed about the things that impact their lives.  

“We need as many media outlets as possible doing this important work” 

Verse excerpted from September 1, 1939: H. Auden - 1907-1973 

"All I have is a voice

To undo the folded lie,

The romantic lie in the brain

Of the sensual man-in-the-street

And the lie of Authority

Whose buildings grope the sky:

There is no such thing as the State

And no one exists alone;

Hunger allows no choice

To the citizen or the police;

We must love one another or die.”

 

 

YMCA:  The Six Pillars of Character 

"The Pandemic should never be used as an excuse to provide bad service..." I lectured the YMCA agent who I have known for many years. She's a good soldier in a bad war.    

Later, and it's a conversation, I'll raise the point that it does not scan or make any sense to not have lifeguards available between 10am - 4pm.  Every day!  To the public and the local swimming community...  an open pool is an essential service.  

Mayor Eric Garcetti made the announcement, during one of his maddening but strangely nostalgic daily briefings, that the YMCA would be opening nine locations for people experiencing homelessness to use for showers and restrooms.  I wondered selfishly, what about opening the East Valley Y pool for some appointment swimming, concurrent.   

For many, the loss of a constitutional swim may have taken years off our lives.  

The Y locations were spread throughout the city. The city agreed to pay $20,000 a month for each of the locations.  

The service at the East Valley has suffered but we've been back swimming since May 10. When I asked the local director about the reduction in hours he shrugged and implied that it was going to be hard.  

He claimed they lost 200,000 members during the pandemic. 

I started in New Rochelle, New York as an eight and under. There will be no Booster Club Dinner and featured photos of me with children as there was when Councilman Mitch Englander ran unopposed for his north San Fernando Valley District 12 seat, but I am a lifetime member of the Y. 

Disclosure:  At one point, I drilled into a service problem and Alan C. Hostrup  et al. the President & CEO YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles initiated a contractual retaliation. I have a lot of experience with these guys and civil rights, so it's a love fest.  And I use the facility daily. [Update: The YMCA team dropped me as a member, and then the leadership resigned.] 

Some will recall at least 27 donors with business before City Hall gave to the North Valley YMCA  providing sponsorships of up to $10,000, according to an article in The LA Times.  

They included lobbying firms, city contractors, real estate companies and a billboard firm. North Valley Family YMCA executive director Jane Stanton did not respond to questions about the fundraiser and Englander’s role.  

Donors to the North Valley Family YMCA have included firms with business at City Hall, such as trash-hauling companies Waste Management and Republic Services, the billboard company Clear Channel Outdoor, which has lobbied the city over regulations on outdoor advertising; and AEG Anschutz Entertainment Group, for whom Englander helped stuff an unprecedented wad of taxpayer support to the bros at LA Live.  

John Wickham is an excellent resource of the finer points of that pig out deal.  Armbruster Goldsmith and Delvac banked an eye-catching $950,000 one quarter, to provide assistance at... gittin' r done, under Englander's enduring leadership. 

For the scholars, Oakview Group, a firm that I hounded the LA Times to dig into offered Englander what seemed to be a fake job. Hindsight being 2020, at that moment Englader was on an FBI hot seat.   

Incidentally, not a single person could provide a budget schedule for 2021 even when I was asking, but somehow I received a text message noting that: 

Name:  MITCHELL ENGLANDER 

Register Number: 79364-112  

Age: 50  

Race:  White  

Sex:  Male  

Release Date: 05/28/2022

Located At: USP Tucson

 

Arizona is where Englander gobbled up so many Taser, now Axon contributions.   

Doug Corcoran, a director of public sector services for Waste Management, told the LA Times, one of its managers sits on the YMCA board. Waste Management gave a combined $8,500 in the past two years,  Greig Smith adores those guys over at Waste Management.  

“I spoke to John Choi from Airbnb and asked him to donate Airbnb voucher/gift cards,” legislative deputy Stephanie Uy wrote to a North Valley Family YMCA executive, asking if Airbnb could include vouchers as part of its sponsorship.  

“Yes he can,” responded the executive director. “We need the gift cards too!”   A few weeks later, Englander said he wanted to look into loosening some of the proposed restrictions on Airbnb-type rentals.  

The Judge From the Valley gives a … ”Two”

If it were a gymnastic exercise Emily Alpert Reyes and Kerry Cavanaugh of the Editorial Board would get very high marks for avoiding the down and dirty stuff in the tag team competition. 

Turns out Mitch Englander  ALSO gave the affiliated west valley YMCA which is rather upscale a $250,000 donation from discretionary Sunshine Landfill money.  This was during a period when Englander was traversing the county raising major sums of money for the Fifth district supervisor seat with Mike Feuer's endorsement.   But you won't read about that in the Times.  

Kerry whose been on the Editorial Board for as long as I can remember pointed out that despite a flurry of daily debates in the CD4 LaBonge replacement race, "As for the other council races, there appear to be no debates set." 

She noted that Councilman Paul Krekorian has a "challenger for his District 2 seat in the southeast San Fernando Valley, but he has received no invitations for a debate, his campaign said." 

I leapt forward when I read that and shared the emails showing that I had "requested", "invited" even "begged" Krekorian to a short debate on any terms.  

He simply refused, which was his strategy, but the Times gave him cover.  

I nearly gagged when I received a notice from Casey West Banks of the YMCA boasting that both State Assembly member, Adrin Nazarian and Los Angeles City Council member, Paul Krekorian BOTH would be giving speeches at the 7th annual youth in government awards. [Update: Nazarian is running for CD2 and married to Director of Office of Finance and LA City Treasurer, Diana Mangioglu] 

"We could not be more proud."   

This "awesome" bit of civics was scheduled by my own YMCA less than a week after election day.  

A parent with a student in the youth in government program who I know had specifically requested a CD2 debate from the director. 

The suggestion that Paul Krekorian wasn't invited to a debate is laughable. It was literally a stated and documented campaign strategy to use the matching fund requirement. 

But Krekorian, who was an ethics commissioner at LA City when he was a young Glendale school boardist or something, deployed the "check the fine print" argument.   

Here's how it works.  He simply ignores the request.  To launch the defense of his indefensible action, we have David Tristan.  

The now Executive Director is very approachable. He'll tell you that the law only requires that a candidate sign that they will "agree to a debate" to get the matching money. Nowhere, he'll point out does it say that the candidate must "actually debate."   

Tristan must have a tough time looking in the mirror delivering that kind of news.  

I remember thinking, what about those kids?

 

(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)