Fri, Mar

Los Angeles Moves from Corruptionism to Insanity


THE VIEW FROM HERE - Just because Los Angeles City Council operates above the law in open violation of Penal Code, § 86 does not means its members are mentally ill, just corrupt. 

While the goal of the City Council is to stuff as much loot into the pockets of developers while considerable wealth flows to the councilmembers and judges, one would think that even they would recognize that there are certain laws which they cannot ignore.  Of course, the laws of men like the state of California are totally irrelevant as Judge Richard Fruin ruled in December 2016 in deciding that the city council’s actions are de facto non-justiciable so that it can disregard the Penal Code, The Brown Act, and its own city council rules.  In fact, the person closest to Judge Fruin’s philosophy is Donald Trump who claims that he may unilaterally ignore the national security structure by having any document which he purloins automatically becoming declassified.   

Try as they might, the LA City Council and the Los Angeles judiciary cannot repeal the laws of topography, mathematics, and finance, not to mention human nature.  Someone has explained reality to New York East End Capital, which spent $250 million to purchase 15 acres next to The Arts District in DTLA to construct 16 Sound Stages.  August 16, 2022, Deadline, East End Capital Plans 16 Soundstages In Downtown LA’s Arts District, by Armando Tinoco. The sound stages will have 321,520 square feet plus 292,310 square feet of creative office, 106,570 square feet of production support space, and 1,327 parking spaces.   

Corruptionism Gone Mad 

As Angelenos have seen, after Judge Fruin’s December 2016 to allow the city council free reign to destroy as many rent controlled units (RSO) as developers pleased in order to construct market rate projects, tens of thousands of poor were thrown on to the streets.  Homeless encampments lined not just Skid Row, but became nearly ubiquitous in Los Angeles with freeway underpasses becoming the prime locations. April 6, 2020, the All Aspect Report.   In Los Angeles, Illegal Homeless Encampments and City Homeless Shelters Risk Becoming Coronavirus Hot Zones, by Christopher LeGras. 

The lesson which the city council, the developers, and most judges have not learned is that power tends to corrupt and corruption destroys. Developers, councilmembers or judges don’t give a damn about the thousands of homeless people who suffered and died on the streets.  It’s hard for them to see reality when looking through the prism of their growing Cayman Island bank accounts.  The homeless crisis was and is merely the canary in the coal mine.  To mix metaphors, sane people do not kill the goose which lays the golden eggs? 

Where Will the Executives and Workers Live? 

Has anyone from East End ever been to Los Angeles?  If so, were they blindfolded the entire time?  The entire entertainment business has moved west and north into the Valley.  There is no place remotely near DTLA for executives or workers to live.  The migration out of DTLA began prior to 1920 when the advent of the personal automobile allowed people to escape westward.  Although Hollywood was the home of the industry in its infancy, early on, studios moved to Culver City with MGM and Warner Bros located in the Valley. 

The City Has Destroyed Itself by it Absurd Densification Mania 

Densification always increases land prices and higher housing costs push homeowners farther from the core areas. It is amazing that it took the Covid virus for people to catch on that they can opt out of centralization.  In reality, family millennials across the nation had caught long a decade before. 

Despite the Big Lie that Millennials were eschewing the American Dream to raise a family in a detached home with a yard, gardens, room for a family dog, millennials were departing congested urban areas like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.  The Wall Street induced 2008 Crash financially devastated so many that Millennials had to postpone the American Dream; they had not abandoned it.  By 2010, it was clear to those who paid attention, that the densification was based on fraud.  March 1, 2012, CityWatch, Hollywood Becomes Fraudywood, by Richard Lee Abrams.   Two years later in January 2014, Judge Allan Goodman confirmed that city’s planning was intentionally based on fatally flawed data and wishful thinking to the extent it corrupted the law.  As Save Hywd and HELP pointed out, the demographic trends were not for increased population, but a decreasing population for Hollywood.  Judge Goodman was soon gone, but killing the messenger did not stop Hollywood and then Los Angeles from losing population. 

The prime group to opt out of LA’s corruption and densification were Family Millennials, the posed prized age group for any viable city.  As the economy recovered and they reached the age to start families, Millennials followed the traditional pattern of moving to places where they could own their own home.  Densification alone has not caused LA homes absurdly high home prices; outright corruption is the prime culprit but with a FBI which could not find the Pacific Ocean while standing on the Santa Monica pier, do not expect the corruption to stop.  Nor, is the insanity of LA home prices new news.  January 16, 2017 LA Weekly, the Worst Cities for Home Buyers, by Dennis Romero (The median home prices of $590,000 in 2017 has become $800,000 in June 2022). 

Please, Do Not Mention Mass Transit 

The fraud of rapid mass transit is becoming evident across the nation, but Angelenos have rightfully always hated subways and fixed trial. June 28, 2018, Newgeography,  Mass Transit Ridership Losses by Wendell Cox. People so shun mass transit that making it free will not solve the problem.  August 2022, Newgeography, Transit's Existential Crisis, by Randal OToole.  If East End thinks that executives or the creative staff will take subways or fixed rail to DTLA, they are worse than ignorant fools; they have gone insane.  If they think people will drive in from Hidden Hills or Bell Canyon, they need stronger doses of Haldol. 

Virtual Presence, Telecommuting, and the Exurbs 

The time when the 1% could build it and force others to commute to it is over.  As the Family Millennials left Los Angeles, employers followed them.  It is not only Virtual Presence and telecommuting that has doomed DTLA, but mass transit is slow, dirty and horrendously dangerous, but then all of Los Angeles has become too expensive and too dangerous. A Millennial Family who chooses Los Angeles is also deciding to never own a home and to have zero equity when they reach retirement age.  Meanwhile, the exurbs are doing better at attracting Millennials than crowded core areas like DTLA. 


(Richard Lee Abrams has been an attorney, a Realtor and community relations consultant as well as a CityWatch contributor.  You may email him at [email protected].   The opinions expressed by Mr. Abrams are solely his and not necessarily those of CityWatch.)