13
Thu, Jun

Rightsizing The Acknowledgment

ERIC PREVEN'S NOTEBOOK

ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - After Janice Hahn read the indigenous people recognition  I wondered if there was a way to politely and respectfully right size The Acknowledgment. 

I wonder if the eponymous Budget Queen Holly J. Mitchell would support amending the land acknowledgment to say quadruple the length of the traditional Pledge of Allegiance? 

Supervisor Hahn, always goes out of her way to thank Supervisor Solis, “it was your motion that is now requiring us to give the land acknowledgement at each and every one of the County Board of Supervisors' meetings, “So thank you for that.”

The acknowledgment is very good and has made a mark but you don’t need Jim VandeHei the smart brevity guy to recognize it’s simply too long.   

I propose the county respectfully shorten the acknowledgment to something more consumable. In the 5x the length of the Pledge of Allegiance category to mirror the five supervisorial districts.  

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” That’s it, old School, like Sheila Kuehl.  

Versus, the Solis acknowledgment, which is deeply moving, and really excellent, but long. 

“…and we will begin today's board meeting with the county's land acknowledgement.

the County of Los angeles recognizes that we occupy land, originally and still inhabited and cared for, by the Tongva, the Tataviam, Serrano, Kizh, and Chumash peoples. We honor and pay respect to their elders and descendants-- past, present, and emerging-- as they continue their stewardship of these lands and waters.  

We acknowledge that settler colonization resulted in land seizure, disease, subjugation, slavery, relocation, broken promises, genocide, and multigenerational trauma. This acknowledgment demonstrates our responsibility and commitment to truth, healing, and reconciliation, and to elevating the stories, culture, and community of the original inhabitants of Los Angeles County.  

We are grateful to have the opportunity to live and work on these ancestral lands. We are dedicated to growing and sustaining relationships with native peoples and local tribal governments, including, in no particular order: the Fernandeno Tataviam band of Mission Indians; the Gabrieleno Tongva Indians of California tribal council; the Gabrieleno/Tongva San Gabriel band of Mission Indians; the Gabrieleno band of Mission Indians-Kizh nation; the San Manuel band of Mission Indians; the San Fernando band of mission Indians.  

In the land where Five women supervisors run the show, three women are jockeying for second place in the race to replace Nury Martinez's CD6 City Council seat. 

 Left to right:  Imelda Padilla, Marisa Alcaraz, Rose Grigoryan

 The Supervisors were happy to trot out Dean Logan and Jeffrey Prang to have an acapella cooing session over the long overdue and still emerging free online campaign statement program from the Registrar-Recorder County Clerk. 

This year 50 of the 58 county candidates filled one out.  They’re mostly judges. 

Mr. Prang, who sends out Assessor howdy-do emails during election time that makes no mention of the fact that he’s on the ballot, reminding you of how helpful he is, wants to go further to level the playing field. 

We will watch closely to see if the price of a candidate statement in the pamphlet for countywide races in both English and Spanish remains under $100,000. Rufkm. No.

Supervisor Hahn said she was happy Prang agreed to join in. She said admiringly, he was everywhere, all the time, “Jeff is information… is knowledge… is power.”  Jeff is sneaky.

Excerpt from DECLARATION OF ERIC PREVEN…

  1. Now, if Scott Marcus, the City Attorney, had alleged that Mr. Camacho sought masturbatory relief from the images that LAPD inadvertently released or sought to distribute the images with naughty exclamations corresponding to specific undercover officers, then it might warrant some legal action or request to participate in Onlyfan revenue derived with or without consent.  
  1. The only thing at issue is, should the flash drive be returned?   

Answer: Yes. 

  1. Should Mr. Camacho or KnockLA, be punished or sanctioned for acting as independent* journalists? 

Answer: No, the City Attorney should drop the lawsuit.  

  1. “This action sets a dangerous precedent for journalists in the city of Los Angeles.” 

How so?

  1. Should Scott  Marcus, the City Attorney for the defendant City, be interrogated by the public?

LA Superior: 

Judge Nieto, bless her heart, retired from the bench the following day after the exparte hearing remembered below.  

Smart Speaker: This filing is ex parte for the following reason: There is a budget hearing underway currently, that ordinarily takes up to three weeks. The new strategy of the City is to compress the hearings down to one week and to say it is one item. The public can speak on the item, once. 

This is not in compliance with the Special meeting rule that the appellate court ruled on. 

So, that is what I am asking for. I am asking you, the Court, to make an order that the City is in contempt of court. You missed it, got it wrong, the first time, and the appellate court had to make it clear, your honor. "You, the court," your honor. We are in a bad area. A very bad area. 

Judge Nieto: Mr. Marcus? 

Scott Marcus: Good morning, your honor. The city did file an opposition last evening. I'll summarize briefly. First, this case has been dismissed. It is over. 

Judge Nieto: Yes. 

Scott Marcus: Which is why the city is specially appearing at this particular proceeding. Because this court doesn't have jurisdiction over this matter anymore. If Mr. Preven wants to file a new suit, he is certainly welcome to do so. 

Procedurally, the ex parte should be denied because he did not file a memorandum of points and authorities or cite any law in support of the relief that he is requesting. Nor does he cite any order, that he is alleging the city has violated, therefore justifying the contempt proceeding. Even if he could initiate contempt as opposed to this court. 

Substantively, he is wrong on the facts and the law. The special meeting scheduled by the budget and finance committee has a single agenda item. As a special meeting, the Brown Act requires public comment on the one agenda item. Because this is a very large agenda item, the meeting itself takes place over several days. Therefore, rather than only having one public comment opportunity -- the committee actually scheduled two. One at the very beginning of the ... meeting. And one at the end of the meeting. So, there are actually two public comment opportunities on the single agenda item for the special meeting, which more than satisfies the Brown Act. 

Judge Nieto: Okay, well--
Smart Speaker: May I respond?
Judge Nieto: You may and then I am going to talk. 

Smart Speaker: OK, if it were a regular meeting, what Mr. Marcus said about continuing it day to day to day ... and he cites a case called Chaffee -- I would agree. I would agree that the committee exception would be allowed, you take comment once... and they're offering twice--nowhere in the Brown Act does it say 'twice'... 

This is an attempt to cover up the fact that every time they notice a special meeting -- and your honor you read the case, so you must know I am right on this, obviously. Because I went to the appellate court on this... Every time they schedule a Special meeting, and they convene, put a notice out about that there is an item -- even only one -- which is flatly absurd. But let's stipulate for a moment that it is one item... They have to take public comment. How do we know? 

In fact, that is what they did for the previous four years. 

Judge Nieto: I don't want to get into the merits.
Smart Speaker: Well, that is what we're talking about. 

I do not like coming to court. I came here because this was the fastest way to get the court that "missed it" twice to rectify. I want to emphasize that your honor, because it wasn't you, so it's not personal. 

Judge Nieto: I don't take things personally. 

Smart Speaker: Well, we all do. But the Superior court--this very court, twice, took the position that "Mr. Preven is an idiot, get him out of here." So, we took it all the way to the appellate court and the appellate court made a finding that the city -- ON THIS VERY RULE -- had been engaged in a pattern of Brown Act violations. 

Judge Nieto: Mr. Preven. 

Smart Speaker: You want a memorandum of points and authority-- let me finish...The point and authority is 54954.3. That is the Brown Act section. The appeals court was very specific, did you read it? That is the point and authority, and I did cite it. And you have that. It's in this file. 

The people benefit from hearing from other members of the public ... 

Judge Nieto: Of course, that is what the Brown Act is. 

Smart Speaker: The people benefit from hearing other people talk about what the city is doing. By denying comment but offering sixty seconds to address the whole thing, including the LAPD scandal, including the funding problems for the homeless... including what Judge Carter has been talking about, which is that there is a lack of accountability -- at the Federal Court level. It is critical that public comment be heard and honored.  And Mr. Marcus, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. 

Twentynine Palms:

It’s a cute little city in San Bernardino County, California that serves as one of the entry points to Joshua Tree National Park.  It’s lovely.

The number 29 popped into my head suddenly on Tuesday during the lively discussion between the county supervisors about finally providing healthcare benefits for Prop A employees working on county contracts. 

This means thousands of security, janitorial, and food service workers who saved our asses during the pandemic. 

Hahn took the lead, “some can't afford health insurance.  

Not anymore, 100% employer-paid benefits for employees who work 30 hours or more. 

A smart speaker wondered if employers would ride the millennial part-time worker wave and keep workers below 30 hours… hence the Twentynine Palms reference.  

Sir, you’re disrupting the meeting.  

Solis trotted out the old chestnut, that by agreeing to this funding, we will save money because these workers will not deteriorate so badly that they wind up in the ER.  Compelling. 

Then, Holly J. Mitchell, who has rolled out reams of equity courtesy of the American Rescue Plan, raised a RED FLAG. 

"I just want to be clear... "as the budget queen. 

Her main point seemed to be, “let's do it, but let's not do it, unless we can do it, forever.”  

Smart Speaker:  Can we?  

Mitchell said, “We don't want to do anything, too risky, but this, 100% YES…” 

Smart Speaker:  So it’s not too risky? 

Mitchell said, “Budgets are value statements” … and then she rattled off some important upcoming healthy budget items that need to be prioritized… 

-care court 

-care first investment 

-probation camp fiasco

-retrofit 33 bldgs 

-IHSS raises up to 20 bucks an hour 

-County of Los Angeles Cola increases

-lawsuits looming… “we can't even guesstimate”

-dozen board motions without a funding source  

People say, "Just write a check... and we do write checks, but it's not clear where the money is coming from.  We have to be clear.”   

She said she wanted to keep herself awake at night worrying...  not everybody else.  

Fesia Davenport, the county CEO said Supervisor Mitchell's list was accurate but not complete. 

She noted that, If the courts remove the statute of limitations on claims against sex crimes, if they lift the statute, we'll be on the hook for a lot.  And of course, the consent decrees.  

Right. (Gulp) 

Holly Mitchell, wanted to know, "What percent of the providers are providing insurance for their employees now?   

The CEO said,” We don't know,” the June 2022 report was incomplete.   

The DHS point-in-time analysis of security, janitors, food service workers etc,  show ranges from $6.3 to $10 million for 1500 employees. (That’s approximately $4200... per worker).  

Kathryn Barger seemed peeved but agreed with Supervisor Mitchell's sudden fiscal hot flash,  "we need to be cognizant ... and sustainable,” she said.  

Supervisor Mitchell said when we go to New York or Wall Street..." they want to see our credit rating, we want to get the great interest rates" 

Supervisor Hahn, read the room, "Our greatest asset is the people... and the work they do!" APPLAUSE. 

Recruiting Heros and Sheros: 

What can we do to goose up recruitment?   

A member of the public suggested that we bring potential applicants to Washington, D.C. on the April 24th magical mystery tour to the nation's capital to testify about the need for more resources.   

Boondoggles can marinate prospective employees something like a tenderizer, making them easier to convince that going into a dangerous homeless encampment is …empowerment.   

Supervisor Hahn's reply was a noticeable departure from her prior attitude about loving Washington, with a surprising "Why Washington? Washington is no fun."  

That's a diss.  

How about sabbaticals to attract some of these care workers?  she suggested. 

“Are we recruiting at community colleges?”   

Hello? Of course we are.  

We need to get people to opt into this important and meaningful career... working as part of an interdisciplinary team. 

Smart Speaker:  What is an interdisciplinary team? 

Lindsay Horvath has a vision of like-minded Angelenos, empowered and willing to walk into the most dangerous, blighted, infected sections of society with amenity kits and a sense of community.    

She wants to develop “a culture around fieldwork in the space…"  but the recruitment challenges have been hard to overcome.  

“It’s not traditional field-based work…and it can happen at odd hours.” 

The upshot is we have thousands of positions allotted, but no takers.  

Do you think the pay at around $38,000 or $50,000 or more annually is sufficient?  

Answer: no. 

These are not necessarily fun jobs, and these days, people won't even take fun jobs.  

Solis, alluded to a group that she said needs to stop stealing our workforce.  

Smart Speaker: Is she referring to the thousands of Disney, Facebook, Google...and Netflix workers who were recently shown the door?

We have to do whatever it takes to be competitive.   She said, an RFP at Metro for mobile response teams, resulted in no response from potential providers.  

Holly J. Mitchell, the budget queen, said that might be business as usual...having been to CSAC, and NACO, counties everywhere are having a tough time, "There's a psychiatrist crisis.”  

Smart Speaker:  These are hard jobs to fill no matter what. People prefer to stay home and roast fresh vegetables and make healthy salads.  

Hear me out, this is my proposal to attract workers:   Introducing, the two-day work week!!!  

APPLAUSE. 

I believe Dave Gillote of LACoFD and the brave firefighters and paramedics and lifeguards could work with something like that… 2 = double, 3 = triple, 4 = quadruple, 5 = quintuple, 6 = sextuple, 7 = septuple, 8 = octuple!  

How about triple OT after two hours worked, quadruple OT for Costco hang time, and quintuple while seeking psychological counseling.     

Back Yo Shit Up: 

A new report from the California Association of Realtors found that only 17% of L.A. County households earn enough to afford a home.  

A new poll from NORC at the University of Chicago polled 1,019 adults this month by web and phone (margin of error: ±4%).  

Tolerance for others, deemed very important by 80% of Americans as recently as four years ago, has fallen to 58%.” 

Asked to describe the state of the nation's economy, 1% chose "excellent."  

56% said a four-year college degree is "not worth the cost because people often graduate without specific job skills and with a large amount of debt."  

33% said they have very little or no confidence in public schools.  

Note the major shifts in attitudes from a Journal/NBC poll 25 years ago, in 1998:   

Patriotism is very important: Dropped from 70% to 38%. 

Religion is very important: Dropped from 62% to 39%. 

Having children is very important: Dropped from 59% to 30%. 

Community involvement is very important: Dropped from 47% to 27%.  

Money is very important: Rose from 31% to 43%.  

NORC has an underlying belief in the value of collaboration and collegiality because the best solutions to the most daunting (and exciting) challenges are found when researchers, data scientists, technologists, and policymakers bring the best of themselves to the table and kiss up to the Supervisors, obviously.    

(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)