It is the particular folly of Los Angeles to allow itself to be ruled by people who do not live here.
Carol Sobel was counsel in Jones vs. Los Angeles which ushered in the Era of City Wide Street Camping. Her co-counsel was Ben Wizner of San Francisco, subsequently more famous as Edward Snowden’s lawyer.
The consequential local policy decision of this century was undertaken without a vote of the City Council or public referendum.
Surrendering a winnable case is as much an action as an appeal. Los Angeles folded in Jones not because it had a bad hand to play, but a strong one. With victory comes the responsibility to act, and who wants that? Better a log rollers paradise of service provider patronage and self-serving explanations for why people camp on the street and it’s never incentives.
Rocky Delgadillo, Carmen Trutanich, Mike Feuer, and their deputies need to explain themselves.
Since the Jones agreement, Duchess Carol has enriched herself mightily by way of nuisance lawsuits against the city: for confiscating the “possessions” of homeless people, for detaining activists disrupting city-sponsored walking tours of Skid Row, for police sweeps and drug searches.
The cases don’t go to trial. Carol files a claim and the City Attorney cuts her a settlement check. She has pocketed millions in the past decade while establishing a de facto veto over action undertaken by the city to clean up encampments.
All while living on the swanky side 0f Santa Monica, off Montana, in Larry David-ville.
We must do as she dictates or “open the keys to the reserve fund”, to quote Councilman Mike Bonin.
My question for the people in City Hall underwriting the Duchesses peerage is: where do you live? Are you residents of the City of Los Angeles? Or do you like so many others who profit from our present chaos, slip away at the end of the day to a tidier jurisdiction? Who in this arrangement is representing my interests?
Mike Bonin doesn’t live in the Valley, but the schoolchildren are told to paint murals of him here. His visage presides over the hole in the chain link fence next to the Pacoima Wash, welcoming the crackheads to their shanties.
Mr. UpintheValley is feeling a bit woke this week.