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Thu, Jun

The Great Backpedal

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK - According to experts, even the enormous bounty of rain delivered in the form of cycling winter storms recently is not enough. 

Mayor Bass seemed pleased, "We have housed ... 31 people in Hollywood and 92 people in Venice.  Unhoused Angelenos were suffering in these encampments. Neighbors felt less safe.” 

On Wednesday, Lydia Ponce called into the city council meeting to decry doing four ayem sweeps in Venice as unnecessarily stressful and called for the recall of Traci Park the Mike Bonin replacement in CD11, demanding, “Where is all the Quimby money from all of the oversized tissue box houses you’ve built? Get on your jobs, Being taken away to a location, that you are not familiar with at four in the morning."   

Thank you, Speaker.  

The mayor was not the only one taking a proactive strategy to confront a crisis. The City Council, due to inclement weather, disruptive participants, and dangerously high sanctimony levels, is currently under something of a meeting evacuation order. 

One public speaker from Canoga Park called in to say, “I need people to pray for me because I have covid. Especially, my basic fans.”   

As the public wished Sean a speedy recovery the city seemed to be pivoting seamlessly, from one emergency (covid) to another (Homelessness). 

Paul Krekorian, the first Armenian American Council President, who could easily have been jet-lagged after his recent co-announcement about Armenia with Mayor Bass, was in no mood. 

After reminding everyone how patient and tolerant he'd been up to this point with the infuriating protestors, in green hats, black shirts, and white masks, Krekorian finally drew the line and whipped out… the  “A” word. 

Avak?  No.  

Asshole?  Certainly, but no. 

Arrest?!   Bingo. 

“I want to make this very clear... there has not been one citation or one arrest… But if you don't leave this meeting, you will be subject to arrest.” 

Gasp. Krekorian, hemmed and hawed but in the end, couldn’t pull the trigger. 

Eunisses Hernandez, the Gil Cedillo replacement from CD1 made a motion the following day saying that, she and Hugo Soto-Martinez wanted to explore public meetings without armed LAPD.   

The city is going off the rails.   

Following the news of three LAPD killings in two days tk. and Chief Moore’s remarks, Eunisses said, “We can no longer look away from this crisis in our policing system — it’s long past time that we establish permanent, life-affirming, care-first responses to mental health crises that truly uplift the public’s safety and address the root causes of harm." 

Krekorian, swiveled back and said he would give 45 minutes to the in-person crowd, a glorious mix of poverty-stricken hispanohablantes afraid of losing everything they own and angry protestors enraged by the mere presence of Tenacious-D, Kevin De León.  

Krekorian seemed to be in a rush like he  had someplace better to be,  

The Great Backpedal of 2023:

On Sunday, January 15th, 2023, Council President Paul Krekorian will be celebrating the grand re-opening of Campo de Cahuenga and so commemorating the 176th anniversary of the Capitulation at Cahuenga. 

The treaty, signed by the Mexican military commander of the area and a U.S. army colonel, was made without the formal backing of either the American government in Washington or the Mexican government in Mexico City, still, both sides observed it and the fighting ceased, thus ending the war in California.  It’s a great story to illustrate local control. 

When one particularly smart speaker chimed in — that the restroom at the museum is overrun by people desperate to use a public restroom at the Universal Metro station. 

Cut him off.  

"Hope to see you there!" 

The great backpedal of January 11th 2023, commemorates the day that the first Armenian American Council President in Los Angeles City History, finally threatened to have Mr. Jason Reedy arrested. 

Krekorian took office, following a tsunami-sized wave of city corruption over which he presided capably as the consiglieri of choice for budgeting and high sneakery.  Krekorian, vowed to represent all of the people of Los Angeles with integrity, and without preference or favor.  

“The People of Los Angeles,” he said, “can’t wait for action on housing, on homelessness, on public safety, on reform.” 

He said the council had forfeited the public’s trust but shared a vision for a collective future.  The painful moments, the crises, and the challenges. 

Krekorian said, his era would NOT be one of unilateral decision-making, not consolidating power.   

Smart Speaker:  Item 17… I have to say asking the city attorney and the chief legislative analyst to provide some recommendations about ways to torture Mr. De León who has the right to be in the room, despite his racist comments... is absolutely abhorrent beyond belief. 

I mean, I've looked at the list and just can't even believe it.  

Limit discretionary funds and ability to sign contracts? 

Which of the council members is going to pay for the legal fight when this is challenged? 

Limiting his ability to make and introduce certain types of motions? 

What do you mean? The ones his colleagues don't agree with? 

What the -- mass communications or mailings.  He can't send out mailings to his constituents?  

OK, you've gone around the bend and it has to stop. 

You have turned the hallowed John Ferraro Chambers at City Hall into a circus.  A circus led by two guys, now jumping over one another in two languages, thanking the public as they arbitrarily limit the public speaking window. 

Every speaker who called in, or comes in should be heard. That is your job.  Take a seat and do it for a change.  

It's unbelievable. It is absolutely unbelievable.  I have to say, I am disgusted by this. I'm And where is the Mayor?  

The Mayor has David Michaelson, the I*&(&*le from the city attorney's office who is refusing to give the records about the mayor's out-of-state activities, as it relates to who is serving as the backup mayor.   

We need to know so that we can commemorate the triple-A initiative. the first out-of-state trip for Bass as it will represent the first Armenian American Acting Mayor...  

Michaelson has been blocking that information for months, for some reason.    

Get. It. Together. 

Krekorian turned red as a beet and had steam shooting out of all three ears, “Unfortunately,” he said, “there have been improper abject lies... to the CD14 hispanohablantes.” 

He said he could tell from the testimony that the Spanish-speaking media  had engaged in misinformation when it suggested that the  City Council of Los Angeles would take money away from the district.. “that is a lie.”  

"To get senior citizens upset is absolutely irresponsible and outrageous," he said, “It gets me enraged... that they were not told the truth.” 

The Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council sent in a letter to Mayor Bass and Krekorian saying that the NC's logo should not be used alongside Councilmember de León's name, but only his office's generic logo. 

That's a diss. 

Mr. Soto-Martinez, the Mitch O'Farrell replacement in CD13, jumped up to say, "I couldn’t have said it better than Krekorian. Every. Single. Word. " 

Hugo's popularity plunged the instant he jumped in Krekorian's arms to embrace the exploration (of bad ideas). 

Bob Blumenfield, equivocated for the city scholars, “We need to be wary...need to be blind to the who what when of the time...and think of long haul or play long ball.  

Monica Rodriguez, the only member of the council with principles,  made it super clear, a recall was the correct way to go if CD14 constituents wanted to replace DeLeon. Everything else was "anti-Latino." 

De León is the best speechmaker on the council, and he finally got his turn, “colleagues, yesterday... several comments were made about me.” 

He said he was busy not with rhetoric or tweets but with real actions. 

De Leon said it was a fact that he fought for Tenant Protections, "You know me as a hardworking representative who doesn't cut corners but delivers results for his constituents." 

I have a long record of using public dollars to help my people, and no one has ever questioned that. Ever, he said.  

Still, even a report back...is playing with the Latinos in my district's lives.  

"I spend my funding to buy food for my constituents, every month not just during Thanksgiving and Christmas, every month.   I have a food desert... and the largest homeless population in America... the school-to-prison pipeline...  

After that rhetorical flourish, De León clarified, that this is not a rhetorical flourish on Twitter.  

Last month, he said, he personally secured  $47.5 million dollars.  Awarded...because I used $250,000 of discretionary funds to hire experts in urban transportation -- not through the mayor's office. I did it through CD14.   

"The largest investment in skid row ever, " he boasted. 

"To limit my motions... what kind of motions I can make...  this creates a second class status for CD14.   It's unconstitutional." 

"To limit mass mailings with my community. This is a basic tool... when and where... civic events... (like Campo Cahuenga Capitulation), and the homeless food bank." 

Prohibiting that communication is only intended to hurt De Leon's constituents. 

In conclusion, he said, "only one council member has ever been censured by this council ...only Huizar, not MRT.  Now you want to do an 'exploration'...  If eight members don't like something ...it's a slippery slope." 

"Thank you very much." 

County Narcissism: 

When Oscar® winner Nicolas Cage makes a terrifying appearance in the trailer for Renfield, the new Dracula movie, the group leader remarks, "Okay, we're obviously dealing with a little more than narcissism here." 

Mark Prestrella came right out of the gate at the first big JHahn Board meeting and took a potshot at the Los Angeles Times.   

"We are doing quite well..." he said, "we've captured 21 billion gallons of water ... so far... through the backbone of our system, the reservoirs...spreading grounds...but the safe clean water ,,, thanks to the $400 million worth of projects, you've put out.  

We expect to capture more. Up to 200 RoseBowls filled to the brim, every year...double what we have now!  

Why not grab all the water in the roaring river when it rains?   

Too hazardous to capture... 

At 19ft per second...from the north end to San Pedro, capturing it would be risky.  

Currently, we are investing in above-grade storage within the City of Los Angeles. 

One smart speaker was enthusiastic about the report. 

Smart Speaker:    What can I say, A star is born!  This is one of my favorite presentations all year. This has been so much more fun than the public health gang droning on and on.  

This is excellent. This is public safety. This is the climate crisis -- this is one of the best presentations. Pestrella did a great job.  

Let's give him credit. Admittedly, they are bilking the public for an enormous amount of money, but we made great progress.  

I love the idea of adopting a drain and naming it the interceptor…  I propose naming one of the interceptor drains, The David Michaelson, because he is the angling City Attorney who thinks it’s appropriate to deny access to public records in mayor bass’s office, right out of the gate.  

Kevin James, who shimmied from Public Works at the City over to the City’s Attorney’s office … is doing a great job but when one hands off to Michaelson the interceptor….  DIAL TONE. 

All of the Supervisors, Janice Hahn and Holly Mitchell and Lindsay Horvath, and Hilda Solis all get a lot of credit for this amazing presentation from Public Works.  

This is the kind of meeting that the public deserves. Thank you. 

Sup. Janice Hahn, Chair:  Eric, that was fantastic. Give the man another 10 minutes! Just kidding.  Next speaker. 

“As for Narcan in schools, yes,” the smart speaker continued, “But let’s stop short of safe injection sites at elementary schools. Can we agree on that? 

Narcan saves lives.  but let's promote the kids, like getting George Clooney and Don Cheadle and Mindy Kaling involved.  

Let’s promote, not poison.  

How's that for a sound byte?  

We all have to do our part. That said, Danny Trejo, has done a lot.  A. lot.  

Can we get Bad Bunny to help get the word out about fentanyl? 

And where else can we put Narcan?  I suggest in addition to libraries which are such vital resources,  how about sports gambling venues as well as houses of worship?! 

And re: the homeless emergency, “We need to be sure the team over at CES (Coordinated Entry System) have access to urgent mental healthcare, as well, because the work they have been doing over there has been going terribly for nearly a decade and that can take a toll. 

This is why I am so proud of Supervisor Horvath for rolling up her tiny little sleeves and appointing herself to LAHSA. (The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority)  

Sup. Janice Hahn, chair: Thank you. 

Smart speaker: She has to go in there herself, it’s very moving.  

Sup. Janice Hahn, chair: Yes. We are proud of her, too.  

Okay. 

Now, I am cutting you off: 

The next speaker said, “I walk with god 24/7 365”   

Another said, “The 5G upgrade makes my kidneys bleed.” 

Wise One:

Kareem Abdul-Jabaar said another smart thing this week, “When I call someone out for what I deem bad behavior, it’s because I want that behavior to stop—in them and others.” 

Ditto. 

“Which is why” he goes on, “we have to be careful to only point out behavior that is detrimental to society, not just personally offensive.” 

A judge said last week that a school employee’s right to wear a MAGA hat, like Mitch Englander did in Mexico City with Gil Cedillo, is protected “‘That some may not like the political message being conveyed is par for the course and cannot itself be a basis for finding disruption of a kind that outweighs the speaker’s first amendment rights,’” 

Still, here’s your hat.  What’s your hurry? 

(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)