October 25, 2013

To Skid Row, 

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES- In what has been a confusing couple of weeks, it was “officially” declared by the City of Los Angeles that Skid Row Housing Trust “failed” to obtain a letter of support regarding an alcohol permit for their New Genesis Hotel on Main street, near 5th street.DSC_0076

At the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC) Board of Director’s monthly meeting, held on October 8, 2013, a confusing vote left all in attendance under the impression that SRHT had the necessary votes. But the confusion began prior to the vote.

With 28 Board members on the DLANC Board of Directors, a DLANC Board member who represents the Skid Row residents discovered an often overlooked “common law bias” issue which led to most of the Board members having to recuse themselves from this specific vote. In addition to that, there were also several DLANC Board members whose voting eligibility was in question due to either being extremely tardy in taking the required ethics training or simply not taking the exam at all.

With a “qualified voting quorum” of 14 Board members needed in order for the meeting to become official, there were exactly 14 Board members that were eligible. The vote for the alcohol permit was 6-for, 2-against, 4-abstain and 2-ineligble (chose not vote based on eligibility concerns).

The tabulation of the votes is were the confusion happened. There were many in attendance who assumed that the 6 “for” votes only needed to beat the 2 “against” votes and it was publicly announced that the motion carried (meaning the letter of support was approved). That notion remained “in the air” until the next day when said Skid Row resident representative on the DLANC Board reviewed the recently revised and approved DLANC By-Laws (August, 2013), which clearly states that “a simple majority, INCLUDING ABSTENTIONS” must be acquired in order for a motion to pass.

That means that 6 “for” votes are EQUALLED by 2 “against” votes PLUS 4 “abstention” votes which thereby means that a “simple majority” was not reached.

The confusion continued briefly because of two different voting scenarios. Of the 14 eligible Board members, a simple majority would be 8 “for” votes (one more than 7, which is half of the 14). But, if only the “voting 12” were counted, the simple majority would have to be 7 “for votes”.

Today, it was “officially” confirmed by the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE)/ EmpowerLA who sent correspondence to all of DLANC’s Board of Directors members confirming first that they counseled with the City Attorney’s office who joined in agreeing that said vote “DID NOT” pass.

Please be reminded that this was ONLY for a letter of support from the DLANC and that there is more to the actual process which will ultimately decide whether Skid Row Housing Trust will receive an alcohol permit, or not.

Stay tuned….. IMG_0287

General Jeff
Skid Row community activist-

State of California- Office of Health Equity-
Advisory Committee Member

(3-Term) Resident Director- Central City East/ Skid Row
Board of Directors
Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council
Former VP, Outreach and Communications- DLANC

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

Chair- “Skid Row Public Space Task Force”

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