ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOKI - One speaker informed the City Council the other day about Kevin De Leon, "His besties are ghosting him and plotting to replace him." Ouch.
People miss the playful patter among City Council, in a simpler era, when it was di rigoeur to open meetings with an offensive joke among our shameful leaders.
All of the comedians in the following sketch from May of 2021, except for the last man standing, Council President Paul Krekorian, have been re-categorized. Actually, he's been promoted, so that's a re-categorization, too!
It was a Tuesday, and the entire meeting lasted one hour and thirty-five minutes.
The Council President Nury Martinez came on to kick tings off by announcing that the telephone lines had been crossed. The line intended for Spanish speakers was hearing English and the line intended for English speakers was hearing the Spanish.
The new frat-house vibe at City Council could not collectively resist the realization that the public input had been scrambled.
Kevin Deleon: This sounds like a good policy. . .
Paul Krekorian: A teachable moment.
Gil Cedillo: Yo hablo espanol, pero senor Cedillo diga una cosa ininteligible.
Mark Ridley-Thomas: I understand, waiting on the Swahili from you man.
Gil Cedillo: I'm going to play some Gil Scott Heron.
Mark Ridley-Thomas: I am ready for it. If we opened the meeting with that, it would be good.
Gil Cedillo: It's winter in America.
Mark Ridley-Thomas: This revolution will not be televised. . .
Here is the link to the May 4, 2021 session in English. Or. . .Spanish.
[No word if the MRT Trial will be televised. I doubt it.
Mind your Ps and Qs:
On Wednesday, I took the time to address a trio of Kevin De Leon motions, including the slather up from our international neighbors from Onni Capital, LLC. A total of $6,000,000 in two drafts for the Pershing Square Special Fund and affordable housing within CD14.
Cha-ching. It's a Canadian firm, where children are told to 'mind their Ps and Qs' Gesundheit!
But the hot ticket on Wednesday was an idea from Paul Krekorian to stick a US passport agency in the city clerk’s office. A teachable moment, indeed.
Ambitious, from the city clerk’s office, who was known among insiders as the Department of Typhus and Rats, now moving up to host the Department of State!
We’re talking about the 3rd-floor offices of the City Clerk that are located right opposite the new Mayor, Karen Bass’ suite of stately offices.
Eunisses Hernandez of CD1 and Hugo Martinez of CD13, it’s important to know that for many years the City Clerk went out of their way to prevent Angelenos from charging their telephones.
So, not clear how handing off federal citizenship and related issues associated with Passports and…upholding the federal law and rights is a good fit.
How about an FBI office? Maybe an in-house FBI office housed in the city clerk’s office would do the trick.
Honestly, the presumption of regularity has been challenged in the Clerk's office. Several times over the years, in cases that I am personally familiar with … in one word: irregularity.
The public expects a City Clerk’s office and other government offices to be as they appear, no bullshit, no deception, no misleading. In a word: Regular.
For instance, the Clerk should accept sign-ups and various petitions at City Hall, that is after all the people’s house. Instead, she follows the tradition of leading any challenger running for city office to a hard-to-find Piper Tech. Why?
Another rupture to the presumption of regularity in the Clerk’s office had to do with the posting of trespassing warnings, that cleverly and improperly, omitted the constitutional protection language. Whoops.
Worse, when it was brought their attention that the warning should be bilingual, we had to threaten a lawsuit to get them to translate the flyer into Spanish.
Gentle readers, this Trespassing flyer landed with the clerk but arose initially in the tippy top of the majestic obelisk.
If you missed the Collar Flap Incident, featuring, Sergio Perez… who is now over at Controller, there it is.
Once the city decided to double down on the “don’t tell us to post public warnings in Spanish Mr. Preven approach” the City Attorney jumped in.
Feuer had been experimenting with a “no more public” in the City Attorney’s offices flyer, which I assume did not last long.
The genius who invented that doozy whopper of an un-American flyer was part man, part public servant in charge of screwing the public, David Michaelson.
Previously, Feuer’s sidekick and Fauble’s fearless leader, Michaelson is currently hanging his hat opposite the City Clerk’s 3rd-floor suites in the Office of Mayor Karen Bass.
How Mr. Michaelson can pass muster for such an important job is hard to understand. Presumably, he was chosen precisely because he knows where the rats are, and where the bodies are buried, and what not to bother the new Mayor about (hint: anything).
But bringing a guy in, who kept city hall on the rails during these precarious times, is a questionable strategy, especially now that the rails came off at city hall.
Michaelson was very likely the brains behind the plan to make it illegal to repair or store a bike on city streets and sidewalks.
Fauble: Why don't you go to your general Mr. Preven?
Equity is back!
I see they put Matthew Johnson, formerly of the Police Commission, on the Airport Commission. I thought he had already served on that one and it turns out, he did around 2014 - tk. Smart guy, a good choice, he'll know where the bodies are buried and how to speak using hand signals and code with David Michaelson.
He was also the man heading up partnerships with the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles' crisis efforts. It was established in 2014 by Eric Garcetti and senior adviser Rick Jacobs and launched two efforts centered on COVID-19 relief. In May 2020, a Hollywood reporter article noted that Matt "personally found "tremendous" support and donations from Bob Iger, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, Jay-Z, Pink, and more." Va va voom!
Hey, why not put a Department of State Passport office near the airport? City Hall is flying the plane as they build it.
Discussion is to be applauded… soon we should agendize a new approach to public participation, focused on equity.
In an equitable city, everyone would appear like Big Jack, shown below. Not medium. Not Little Jack.
Big, big, bigger than big!
(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)