Home > Uncategorized > Skid Row Resident Verbally Attacked at Last Night’s DLANC Planning Meeting

Skid Row Resident Verbally Attacked at Last Night’s DLANC Planning Meeting

 

 

August 22, 2012

To all,

 

Apparently the dust hasn’t settled on one of Downtown L.A.’s current “hot topics” because emotions are running high and the finger-pointing has begun.

 

That said, during last night’s Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Planning committee meeting (which is open to the public), Skid Row resident General Jeff was verbally attacked by Russell Brown during “Board member comment” on the agenda. Russell Brown, in a wild rant, falsely implied that General Jeff spoke of money exchanging hands between Skid Row Housing Trust, powerful Downtown business group Central City Association and CCA members that also sit on DLANC’s Board, then suggested that this somehow tainted the Board’s vote of non-support.

 

A visibly upset General Jeff responded with an emotional recap of what exactly was said during last week’s “legal and valid” DLANC Board vote where Skid Row Housing Trust was denied a letter of support for a liquor license/alcohol permit for their “New Genesis Hotel”, a soon-to-open, low-income housing building at 5th and Main Street which will have ground floor retail, thus the desire to serve alcohol.

 

Even after the DLANC Planning committee meeting resumed, Brown tried again to “paint false pictures” of Jeff wrongfully influencing the DLANC Board vote in a hastened effort to strum up support for himself and SRHT. That’s when an ethics issue presented itself because Brown kept repeatedly referring to SRHT Executive Director Mike Alvidrez simply as “Mike”, which then implies the possibility of their association being more than applicant/committee member, which therefore brings into question the possibility of “collusion”. Brown’s dialogue then addressed the process of “what needed to be done in order for SRHT to win their appeal”, which confirmed a legitimate question of a possible ethics violation by Brown.

 

Brown, the former DLANC President and former Executive Director of the HCBID, is currently the Chair of the DLANC Transportation committee and is also on the Pershing Square Advisory Board, has been accused of ethics violations in the past which led to an “official grievance hearing” for his alleged behind-the-scenes “networking”. Jeff, Skid Row’s resident representative on the DLANC is also the VP of Outreach and Communications for the neighborhood council and an outspoken community activist for the Skid Row residents who have had past complaints in the way Skid Row Housing Trust has operated their dozens of buildings in and around Skid Row. Apparently, Brown tried to use this past history to belittle Jeff’s position and undermine his efforts to improve the Skid Row community.

 

General Jeff is now exploring the possibilities of filing a formal grievance against Brown but questions whether Brown is subjected to ethics compliance since he is in fact not on the DLANC Board, but is just a public participant. Both the City Attorney’s office and the Empowerment L.A. office (formerly known as Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) will be contacted.

 

After the meeting, one co-committee member felt it necessary to console an emotionally hurt General Jeff and stated “What Russ did was out-of-line, in my opinion” as ALL of the other members of the DLANC Planning committee rapidly left in a group following Brown, not even offering a token “goodbye” to Jeff which is not only respectful, but has become a customary action after all DLANC Planning committee meetings for members to greet one another upon departure, further suggesting that the possibility of collusion may expand even deeper within DLANC Planning committee’s ranks. Said committee also includes DLANC President Patti Berman, Downtown attorney Shiraz Tangri (who is also a part of Downtown L.A.’s Streetcar, Inc.), long-time Downtown broker Brady Westwater, Downtown architect Simon Ha and others.

 

Is this the type of behavior that the Skid Row community will have to continue to be subjected to in it’s efforts to be respected by the rest of Downtown Los Angeles?

 

Stay tuned……

 

General Jeff
Skid Row community activist-
ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS

Resident Director- Central City East/ Skid Row
Board of Directors
Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council
VP, Outreach and Communications

 

Co-Chair- Skid Row Community Advisory Board for the
Department of Mental Health

 

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