Tue, Apr

Karen Bass Is “Sitting on a Powder Keg and Giving off Sparks”


THE VIEW FROM HERE - No longer is Karen Bass one of 435. Now, as mayor of Los Angeles, she is one of one. When the city blows sky high, she’ll be the sitting on top of it all.  She has done some important things: (1) she successfully reappointed Chief Moore, (2) she’s made an aggressive start on the Homeless Crisis, and more importantly, (3) she wary of giving developers billions of dollars to construct new housing projects, and (4) she leans towards adaptive re-use. 

Her impeccable logic on adaptive re-use rather than additional high density construction merits longer mention . One cannot clean out the freeway underpasses of homeless encampments and place the homeless in suspended animation until the developers build more complexes. Mayor Bass has to confront deceptive memes, such as every project which destroys an RSO unit must have the same number of RSO units when the project is completed.  Sounds good, but it’s a total fraud which will increase homelessness. Promising replacement housing means: let’s do exactly what has failed for last 20 years, i.e., throw poor people onto the streets and in return promise an apartment five years hence.  This is what Hugo the Ego promotes using weasel words: “a provision requiring no net loss of affordable housing units for new developments.” https://bit.ly/422fuHE Hugo’s webpage)  Notice how he focuses on units and not people. What happens to the human beings who are thrown on to the streets awaiting for years for the billionaire developer to finish his project? BTW, RSO units start at market rate and only after that are the rent increases regulated.  The only guarantee in Hugo’s meme is destroying poor people’s homes. How does Mayor Bass maneuver in a political climate which is increasingly poisoned by anti-intellectual wokeism? 

Mayor Bass faces disingenuous charlatans who are busily undermining her attack on the homeless crisis.  Developer - trade unions shills like Hugo the Ego and poverty primps certainly have financial stakes in Mayor Bass’s failure.   May 1, 2023, CityWatch, LAHSA’s Service Contracts: What Do We Get for the Money?, by Tim Campbell What better way to do it than tear down more RSO units claiming, “trust us. We’ll rebuild them.” 

One advantage of adaptive reuse is that the poor are not made homeless in order to rehab the vacant facilities.  Also, rehabbing a motel does not take as long or cost as much as constructing a 5 story condo project. Also, such projects are appropriate for smaller local contractors so that all the money to rehab stays here in Los Angeles rather than flying off to Davos. 

People Are Lighting Matches under the Powder Keg 

During her race to be mayor, Karen Bass made a mistake which may be her undoing unless she takes ameliorative action.  She jumped on the bandwagon of the lying, defamatory meme that three councilmembers were anti-Black racists.  Since voters seldom, if ever, reward virtue, one may empathize that Mayor Bass had to choose the time and circumstances of battle.  An election campaign may not be the prudent time to make her stand against the mob mentality. After she was elected, however, Karen Bass tried the myopic strategy that if she ignores something, then it will go away.  LA’s Big Lie #2 about the councilmembers was not an aberration.  Publishing the illegal tape along with the false screed about the councilmembers fit into a larger political game plan by wokers against moderate liberals.  (Unless she was otherwise being blackmailed, Nury Martinez’s resignation was unwarranted.  In fact, she had a duty to fight against the defamation, but she has cast her die so that part is history.) 

Rule by Thuggery 

Under Mayor Bass, Los Angeles is moving to rule of thuggery.  Had Mayor Bass demanded the LAPD to make a full investigation of the illegal tape and its release during the city’s elections, its false claim of racism would have been officially debunked. More importantly, the identity of the person/s behind the leaking would be known to everyone. 

Let’s Remember Consequences of Big Lie Alleging Councilmember Racism 

The city council was forced to shun down in face of Jan 6th style attack on city hall. The insurrection at the Capitol in Washington D.C. was by the Alt Right and the mini-attack on city council in Los Angeles was by the Wokers.  Both extremes believe that the holiness of their cause justifies violence. Fortunately, the LAPD was prepared and fought back the thugs.  Nonetheless, the city council was disrupted for months afterwards.  Since Mayor Bass apparently has shielded these thugs from any consequences, the acceptability of political violence is growing. 

At a Christmas party in CD 14, Jason Reedy stalked, assaulted and battered councilmember Kevin de Leon.  This criminal behavior occurred due to the false narrative promoted by allies of Mayor Bass.  Had Mayor Bass forcibly spoken out against the political dirty trick in a timely manner, Jason Reedy and other members of Black Lives Matter (BLM) would not have invaded a children’s Christmas party.  Worse yet, someone at the top of Los Angeles hierarchy seems to be stopping the LAPD from arresting Jason Reedy. He parades before city council spreading the lie that he was attacked. More recently, thugs shut down a meeting of CD 14 businessmen with their councilmember because the thugs want Kevin de Leon to resign.  

Mayor Bass Faces a Legal Nightmare 

City Attorney Hydee Feldstein-Soto had the duty to protect the city from councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez’s demands that it ignore all proper procedure and illegally make major changes in the Hollywood Community Plan Update (HCP2).  Perhaps it was political cowardice or her lack of government background, City Attorney Feldstein-Soto never should have allowed the Hugo Soto-Martinez’ amendment to agenda item (53) on Wednesday, May 3, 2023.  The amendment allows Hugo’s functionaries to rewrite the HCP2 after it has been adopted. Mayor Karen Bass has the option of not approving Hugo The Ego’s amendment. 

Mayor Bass Has Duty and Power to Stop the Subversion of the Rule of Law 

Per City Code, § Sec. 22.634, “The mayor’s approval is required for master plans, development plans, and amendments thereto.” Because there were separate city council votes on the amendments and on the Plan itself, Mayor Bass can withhold approval for The Ego’s amendment and approve the rest. Mayor Bass’ kowtowing to those who are igniting the powder keg will surely blow up her administration.

(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].)