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SKID ROW RESIDENT SELECTED TO JOIN STATE-led ADVISORY COMMITTEE

May 22, 2013

To Skid Row,

by Michael Blaze skid row fims

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES– Earlier this month, the California Department of Public Health, which is a department within the State of California’s Health and Human Services Agency in Sacramento, “officially invited” Skid Row resident and community activist, General Jeff, to become a member of it’s Office of Health Equity Advisory Committee.

by Michael Blaze Skid Row FIlms

The goal of the OHE-AC is to improve the health status of all populations and places, with a priority on eliminating health and mental health disparities and inequities. Both the California Department of Public Health and the Office of Health Equity reviewed over 100 applications and believed that General Jeff’s application, credentials and experience would be of great value and contribute to the expertise of the OHE-AC.

by Michael Blaze Skid Row Films Recovery

Dr. Ron Chapman, Director and State Health Officer of the California Department of Public Health, personally extended the invitation directly to General Jeff. Jeff proudly responded by saying, “This is yet another positive step forward for our Skid Row community’s residents. Our grass-roots “positive movement” has continued to grow over the last six years and now being able to sit at the table and speak directly with the decision-making folks in Sacramento and also at the State Capitol is a huge step-up for us. To be recognized and chosen for my past and recent efforts to address the many health-related issues regarding mental illness, and more, in Skid Row is truly an honor.”

Homeless (5)

With his application already selected, the only remaining step for General Jeff is the formality of filing out the actual membership application.

The confirmation letter from Dr. Chapman stated, “We look forward to working with you in advancing health equity for vulnerable communities throughout California”.

By Michael Blaze Skid Row Films

This may mean Skid Row will have to share General Jeff with Sacramento….stay tuned!

Quiet Reflections

Quiet Reflections

SKID ROW UNIT-COLLEGE DIVISION

 

skid row colledge devision

These are members of SKID ROW UNIT-COLLEGE DIVISION. To my right is NATE & to my left (next to the young lady) is JASON. Both are the two young men arrested at USC.

Travon Harper’s Photo

DIRECT MESSAGE SENT TO DEPUTY CITY ATTORNEY JANE USHER ON BEHALF OF SKID ROW RESIDENT’S

skid row street life by Michael Blaze

May 12, 2013
Ms. Usher,
On behalf of the Skid Row community’s residents, we “Thank You” as Deputy City Attorney for representing your office and meeting with the “Skid Row Public Space Task Force” last Friday to discuss the Lavan Injunction as it pertains to private property on Skid Row’s sidewalks.
Of the 21 people we “hand-picked” to attend this most important meeting, we had a strong showing of 16 members of the Skid Row community with a widely-diverse demographic, which included Blacks, Whites, sidewalk tent sleepers, Skid Row loft owners, males, females, senior citizen’s and more!! We believe we hit the desired mark that your office requested prior to the meeting.street living morning by Michael Blaze Skid Row Streets
Throughout the entire duration of the nearly 2 1/2 hour meeting, The Skid Row community collectively shared our thoughts and opinions in a highly intelligent and articulate manner, which in and of itself is worthy of noting simply because of Skid Row’s long stereotypical history as being a place that is only lived in by drunks, addicts and homeless persons that collectively are too inebriated to formulate their thoughts. We believe that this stereotype is what led to the Skid Row non-profits being allowed, supported and encouraged to act and speak on behalf of the residents in Skid Row. The philosophy of more authority being given to the Skid Row non-profits, which includes the missions, SRO landlords and social service providers, also automatically includes the justification of the reasoning why any and all funding is channelled directly to said Skid Row non-profits on our behalf, instead of to the “unqualified” residents directly. (To be clear, the previous observation does not mean the Skid Row resident’s are not qualified as in “not capable”, but not qualified as in “wrongfully defined”.Skid Row space by Michael Blaze
Our meeting with you Friday is further proof that the Skid Row resident’s are now in a position to not only speak for ourselves, but also DO for ourselves, as substantiated with our resident-led “positive movement” which began in 2007 and can be proven through many historic events and/or documents established through numerous social media outlets and also mainstream media outlets, as well.
Highlights of our historic meeting with you included, Manuel “OG” Compito’s powerful question “So basically you’re saying that when it’s settled, the Lavan Injunction will be an agreement with 9 people (Lavan, et al.) that will automatically affect the rest of our community without us having a say-so in our own community’s affairs?” He then followed with the quick observation “So that means those 9 people are holding our community hostage?” (implying that 9 people that he does not know, even with him being a Skid Row community leader, will have the utmost power to possibly decide to agree to a “policy” that will affect him and the rest of our community’s residents without any proof that they are competent and/or qualified to do so and/or fully aware of any and all possible parameters associated with a landmark decision such as this). Also, a Skid Row tent sleeper known as “General T.C.” noted that even as he was attending this most important meeting he was taking a SERIOUS risk of losing everything he owns by “abandoning his property” which is directly related to the subject at hand even though he is handling business in meeting with you and has declared that his property is indeed NOT abandoned. General T.C. also suggested as a solution that the City of Los Angeles could provide an official sign for the homeless to put on their property that includes language to the point of “this is not abandoned property”.
DISCLAIMER: Even though Attorney Carol Sobel has done a wonderful and competent job representing the Skid Row community resident’s in various legal issues in the past, I personally have NEVER spoken directly with her, nor have many members of this task force ever even met her. To be clear, she has not been given the “green light” by us to include our collective position in these Lavan Injunction settlement talks. Therefore (as “OG” implies above), it is not possible for her to represent all of us through her efforts to represent 9 of us. This indicates the need for separate negotiations between the City of Los Angeles and the Skid Row community’s residents as it relates to the issues involved in the Lavan Injunction and more. Please keep in mind that how these 9 plantiff’s choose to settle may be entirely different from how the rest of the Skid Row residents decide on the same issues which therefore indicates the possibility for a conjoining lawsuit and possibly more settlement discussions also related to the same issues in said Lavan Injunction, which would ultimately cost taxpayer’s that much more in the City of Los Angeles’ already volatile financial environment/budget crisis.
 SKid Row Street Life by Michael Blaze
Obviously, there were many more highlights during our meeting, including thought-provoking declarations and also solutions, which should be reflected in your many pages of notes, of which we hope will be shared with us as a form of “follow-up”.
Lowlights include your opening statement (which we realized was a unanimous “task force” consensus upon our “in-house” follow-up meeting), of which included the “highly-insulting” comparison of “possibly abandoned homeless property” to the “backpacks” used in the recent terrorist bombing in Boston during the Boston Marathon. Skid Row’s General T.C. quickly replied “those were terrorist, we’re homeless- that’s two extremely different things!”. For the City of Los Angeles to compare homeless Americans struggling to survive in Skid Row, the homeless capitol of America, (and who’s residents also include homeless veterans that proudly fought for this country’s freedom) with terrorists whose leader wasn’t even born in America, shows the disconnect between this City’s leaders and it’s residents and also suggests the City’s desperate position to justify it’s knowingly inhumane actions that will devastate thousands of homeless lives if said injunction is indeed ruled in their favor.
So where does that leave us Skid Row resident’s? Once again, we are ultimately left to fend for ourselves, seeing that the Skid Row non-profits have forsaken us and are simply “poverty pimping” for the money instead of helping to heal our community- they are part of the problem! Why aren’t they speaking for us now???? Also, the City of Los Angeles is either uninformed, unrealistic with it’s overall ideologies, “bought and paid for”, oblivious to the fact that Human Beings are suffering beyond a state of normality in this City, or even worse, knowingly creating and implementing policies which will cause substantial harm to the weak, the meek and the poor while catering to the rich and well-to-do folks that contribute mightily to campaign contributions, thus giving them power and influence without having any remorse for it’s collective harmful actions under the guise of “protecting the status quo”. Not to mention the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) which are literally the “hired guns” of the City who execute the plans of this City’s decision-makers with ultimate force, if necessary, while being paid handsomely (with benefits and pensions) to overlook their inhumane acts. All of these entities, along with a few more, are the main reason’s why Skid Row is in the total dismay it currently is in. And because NONE of the above “decision-maker’s” actually reside in Skid Row, there is NO true and/or direct connection to “the resident’s” thoughts and/or ideologies for solutions to homelessness and because of this, the City of Los Angeles has (and will continue to) spent above and well beyond the necessary amounts of funding necessary to properly “fix Skid Row” while falling deeper into debt without any signs of resolve. This is unacceptable, yet our collective voice is silenced while we watch our community crumble at the hands of so-called “do-gooders”.
 skid row by Michael Blaze
It is my understanding that as a public servant, ALL members of the public should be represented EQUALLY. How can the City of Los Angeles’ many homeless populations be represented equally when they haven’t even be invited to speak at ANY negotiations tables until now? (On ANY topic, not just the Lavan Injunction) And again, with the Skid Row non-profits no longer representing and/or speaking for the Skid Row residents (in fact, many of them have now joined the business sector and their lobbyist groups), who will speak for us moving forward? There are NO protections in place to secure that our collective voice will be included in any and all decisions related to Skid Row, where we live. And with protection policies currently in place such as the Affordable Housing land-use covenants, we will continue to reside in Skid Row in continuous 55-year increments.
street people by Michael blaze
How, then, can any settlement related to the Lavan Injunction be automatically applied to affect ALL resident’s in the Skid Row community?
Again, we appreciate your time (Happy Mother’s Day) and look forward to further discussions, but not without the expectation of the inclusion of solutions which include the Skid Row resident’s collective voice attached, connected with and implemented into.
Regardless of anyone’s position and/or which side of the table they choose to sit on, it is important to note that we (including you!) are ALL proud citizen’s of America as well as proud citizen’s of the City of Los Angeles!!!!!!
operation facelift last by Michael Blaze Trayvon Martin
Regards,
General Jeff
Skid Row community activist-
ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS (2007-present)
(3-Term) Resident Director- Central City East/ Skid Row
Board of Directors
Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (2008-Present)
Former VP, Outreach and Communications (2011-2012)
Co-Chair- Skid Row Community Advisory Board for the
Department of Mental Health (2012-2013)
Welcome to Skid Row from General Jeff

“Skid Row Public Space Task Force” meeting with LA City Attorney’s Office

 

 

General Jeff by Michael Blaze @ City Hall

“Skid Row Public Space Task Force” meeting with LA City Attorney’s Office facilitation by General Jeff on behalf of the community plus many community representatives including OG Man was in attendance.by Michael Blaze @ City Hall

The conversation was on the fact that the people of skidrow have the same rights as any other citizen plus the strategic approach the officers use when it comes to stealing a homeless persons property by saying they thought it was trash; courts have ruled in favor to the skid row citizen that is homeless people have rights too

by michael blaze la city attorney's office by Micheal Blazethey are not criminals and in this day and age anyone could find themselves homeless and are only one pay check away from forced homelessness.by michael blaze at city hallOne of main cries  was that these people are not terrorist because the line the officers are using now is how do we know there is not a bomb in the belonging as if someone in skid row has ever been blown up or even had a bomb scar

Blaze-Out

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LAPD’s ‘DEMEANING’ ACTS ON NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCILMAN

LAPD’s ‘DEMEANING’ ACTS ON NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCILMAN:…..There have been many questions raised by numerous concerned supporters regarding the recent arrest of Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Board of Directors member General Jeff, which constitutes the need to divulge more information. General Jeff @ City Hall

Due to pending litigation, specifics related to the case cannot be shared at this time, but we intend on doing so in the very near future.

What can be shared at this time is the DEMEANING acts performed by many LAPD officers that were involved in the unfounded arrest which charged General Jeff for “narcotics look out”, a misdemeanor that implies that Jeff is somehow involved in Skid Row’s heavy drug trade. (we will also speak to that later in this same post)

First, let me be clear in stating that just because someone is a city-elected official, they are not forever granted “saint-status” and therefore are not immune to the capability of criminal activity….That goes for everyone in and around City Hall also!

That said, those that know me (some of you have known me for decades) know my pedigree and are FULLY secure with what you know about my character, even while LAPD is attempting to assassinate it.

Now, while I cannot speak to the aggressive “bully tactics” by LAPD regarding this specific case, such as the many officers that pointed (what I believe) where taser guns (and hopefully not REAL guns) at my head (due to said pending legal litigation), I can however speak to how I was treated during my time in custody.

1. Extremely tight handcuffs (nuff said)

2. I was taken to a private back room, strip-searched butt-naked by an undercover LAPD officer (not in official uniform), made to bend over, told to spread my cheeks and cough (as if I were hiding drugs in my azz!!) all while another guard stood by the door with a taser gun in his hand (as if I would try something stupid while I’m butt-naked…wow)

3. During my release, when I re-gained my property, the touch screen on my cell phone was cracked in two places but it wasn’t cracked at all prior to LAPD taking it…No word of any kind let alone an apology from LAPD about them braking my phone…again, wow!!!

4. While in custody, I spoke with another Skid Row community member who was arrested immediately after I was at the same place because a crowd gathered and voiced their displeasures of LAPD’s unjust arrest of General Jeff. He was singled-out as an instigator. But he shared with me how stunning it was for him to hear LAPD officers ranting about the paperwork General Jeff contained in his backpack. The community member said to me “You must have some serious stuff in that paperwork because they kept on talking about it, for a while”…….Once I got my backpack out of the separate “excess property’ hold, the contents within my backpack were so scattered that it was obvious that LAPD officers took their time to dissect almost every single piece of paper, including several documents regarding legal correspondence regarding action against other LAPD officers and also un-released information regarding our specific plans to improve the Skid Row community for the better…oh-no, hope they don’t jinx our moves!!!!! genreal jeff at city hall gathering

5. Other details will be released at a later date!!

ANYWAY, to address the LAPD’s efforts to discredit me by somehow labeling me to be connected to Skid Row’s drug trade in some way, I say this;

As someone that comes from the entertainment industry (West Coast Hip-Hop Pioneer and also member of Screen Actors Guild, now known as SAG-AFTRA), has traveled halfway round the world and has several Gold and Platinum plaques for album sales and accomplishments for writing, producing and more for legendary recording acts such as Snoop Dogg (now Snoop Lion), Ice Cube, DJ Quik, LL Cool J, Public Enemy and many others, with offers to work on current projects (turned almost all of them down to stay committed to the Skid Row community’s “positive movement”)…..but did choose to do some voiceover work for an upcoming mega-popular video game (to be announced at a later date closer to game’s release, as agreed to with video game’s production company) and even still as a current paid up SAG member that can go on auditions and also act in background roles until something big develops, WHY WOULD I LOWER MYSELF TO BECOME A TWO-BIT HUSTLER AND DRUG DEALER IN THE STREETS OF SKID ROW?????????

It’s so very easy to connect all the big-time talent that I know and put together a “million-dollar project”…..It wouldn’t make sense to throw all of that away for a “five-dollar crack sale” that would forever label me and also ruin the very reputation that has gotten me so much respect from a wide variety folks from around the world!!!!!!!…Not to mention what it would do to the many folks in the Skid Row community that look to me for leadership, guidance and as a beacon of strength, especially when they are weak.

And please keep in mind that I first came to Skid Row in 2006…..There was no “real” money then and there is no “real” money in the Skid Row drug trade now……How STUPID does one have to be to truly think I’m using my Neighborhood Council status and community activism as a front to be a “small-time street crook”??????…….That’s totally ABSURD!!!!!!

PLUS, with ALL of the accomplishments my organization (ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS) has achieved in a relatively short time here in Skid Row, when would there be any time to be a criminal?????…AND not get caught for doing some BIG criminal act????

LAPD over the years has used their “bully tactics” to issue numerous infraction-level citations to me, such as littering and “standing in the street blocking traffic”…..in order to scare me away and run me off?????

As a strong and outspoken community activist and Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Councilman who is “leading by example”, I simply cannot afford to do ANYTHING stupid (Plus, my fellow community members wouldn’t let me do it even if I wanted to!!….which it is a good feeling to have that kind of respect from my constituents)

So if LAPD is gonna try to label me in a derogatory manner, it would make sense if it were something that could truly be deemed “at least somewhat believable”.

It’s truly hard to work with LAPD regarding our commitment to improving Skid Row when there is an obvious lack of trust from them where they’re not willing to work with others, especially if those others are not in the law enforcement family…….BUT, because we are committed to improving the Skid Row community, we shall also continue to try to work with LAPD, to a certain extent (It’s hard to work with and trust a network of folks that seemingly don’t like you, for whatever reason)…….That said, the “bully tactics” will NOT be tolerated!!!!!!

I close with this, if I were to one day decide to run for LA City Council and eventually win, would I be comfortable and feel safe with the LAPD as my bodyguards?????…Would the City of Los Angeles feel comfortable with me bringing in my own security firm????…….If LAPD seemingly doesn’t like me and continues to use their “bully tactics” on me now, how could they suddenly switch and provide me the best of their protection abilities if I did indeed advance in my political career???……Hmmm

FOR THE RECORD:…I, General Jeff, am NOT a drug dealer nor a criminal…..But because I am Black, it appears that “society” likes these negative labels on me……It’s a cheap and lazy way to discredit someone, in my opinion!!!!!!

It’s simply NOT valid!!!!!!

OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING in SKID ROW

General Jeff /DTLA/ DLANC(The following information was gathered from multiple eyewitnesses)…..Yesterday, May 1st in Skid Row at apprx. 8am, there was an officer-involved shooting that left a 58-year-old man dead. He was inside the Green Apple Market on 5th street and Wall street when another man attempted to rob him at gun point. In self-defense, the victim pulled his own gun and a shootout occurred (it was erroneously reported in some news media outlets that the victim attempted to rob the store). It was reported by eyewitnesses that the victim was shot in the face and staggered out of the store. Once outside, undercover LAPD officers that were passing by spotted a man with a gun and immediately reacted. As the victim proceeded a short distance from the store, the undercover officers exited their cars and began shooting. The victim collapsed on the sidewalk in a hail of bullets and died a short while later….(Due to the potential of an ongoing investigation, no more information can be shared at this time)….This information was publicly posted in order to clear the reputation of the deceased, who was well-respected in the Skid Row community and also leaves behind a wife)…..Please contact local law enforcement officials if you have any additional information to offer….Thank you…..R.I.P. by Michael BlazeRIP Kenny

QUESTION!

…Is this how the LAPD feels about General Jeff who is an outspoken community leader in Skid Row and also on the Board of Directors for the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council where he represents the Skid Row residents?????
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