Occupy LA

Since Hollywood is right next door, we should probably expect Los Angeles to be run by insincere people. Nevertheless, a self-styled Democrat evicting people from their park so he can lay new sod needs to be called out, especially when the response from his office is so obviously inappropriate.

Here’s what I wrote to the Mayor of the city of Angels, Antonio Villaraigosa, after watching the eviction of citizens from the plaza around city hall during the early hours of the last day of November, in the year of Our Lord, 2011.

Mr. Mayor:

While I only witnessed a portion of the police action in your city early
this morning, it is unacceptable and insubordinate for public officials to
exclude citizens from public property. If sanitary facilities are
inadequate, then it is up to public servants to provide them. Nowhere is
it written than humans must be housed to be secure in their person.
Giving notice that they are about to be attacked, as your Commander Smith
bragged, does not absolve you of the obligation to honor the requirements
of the Constitution. Not only are the prohibitions in the amendments
absolute, but the fact that not all human rights are enumerated does not
relieve public servants of the obligations of their offices. It is not up
to hirelings to pick and choose which services to provide, nor whom to

On the other hand, citizens may well have been derelict in failing to fire
insubordinate employees. That will no doubt be corrected in the coming
months. Justice Anthony Kennedy is quite correct in pointing out that when
the executive fails, it’s up to the citizens to enforce the law. And when
our agents of law enforcement are focused on compliance, rather than
justice, they need to be removed. I would hope that holding individual
officer liable is not an idle threat and will be followed up in the
courts. The failure to resist does not imply consent to being abused. The
citizens of your city were ill-used this morning. For shame, Mr. Mayor.
Perhaps now you are beginning to understand why “the road to hell is paved
with good intentions.” Nobody challenges your intentions, but rousting
citizens out of an encampment in a public space was bad.

As you can see, I tried to pack a lot into a relatively short message in recognition of the likelihood that a lengthy diatribe would definitely be ignored. But, everybody’s got a public relations operation nowadays with canned responses. So, here’s what came back within 5 SECONDS.

Thank You for your thoughts Re: eviction of citizens from public space

Nice capture of the subject line.

Thank you for taking the time to contact Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa.

Nice to know that time is important to the Mayor, along with name recognition.

Your thoughts and concerns are greatly appreciated and although you
may not receive a return message, your comments will be shared with
the Mayor and appropriate staff member(s) or city department, and
considered in all related matters.

If this is not a return message, one wonders what it is and what it means to achieve. If comments addressed to the Mayor will be “shared,” does that mean some program decides what he gets to read?

• If further action is required, we suggest contacting 311 “One Call
to City Hall” or the appropriate city department directly to resolve
your issue.

“Further action”? Does a reasonable person expect action from a public official whose office computer is programmed to send out a response denying it’s a response?

• If this is a Scheduling Request please contact (213) 922-9747 for
instructions on how to request the Mayor’s participation at your

Really? The Mayor’s participation can be ordered up like Ronald McDonald, the clown? That puts a whole new light on his appearance in the middle of the street just before dawn to impress on the press that the whole citizen removal had been accomplished like clock-work by the police and he was incredibly “proud.”

• If you would like to request a Certificate of Recognition from the
Mayor’s Office please fax or mail your request to Julie Amaya at (213)
978-0653 (please note that you will need to request your certificate
at least 20 business days in advance of your event, at this time
certificates can not be back dated for your event.)

200 N. Spring St., Room 303
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Nice touch. Certificates of Recognition cannot be back dated, unlike those mortgage documents that got back dated and certified by the thousands to defraud all those citizens on whose behalf OWS is lodging complaints and protesting the lack of action. Apparently, doing so in person doesn’t work either in a city where a computer’s response is not a response and every event has to be certified to be recognized.

Please contact Constituent Services at 213-978-0721 if you have any
further questions or comments. Thank you again for your thoughts and

Very truly yours
Constituent Services Department,
Office of the Mayor

Nice touch not claiming to be sincere, but there’s no truth either.

Why is it that our public servants keep trying to redefine whom they work for? Whether it’s “consumers” or “customers” or “constituents” or “clients” they claim to “serve and protect,” the official lingo not only signals disrespect for the citizenry, but would have us believe their insubordination is the new normal? Is it because the security of the nation trumps all human and individual rights? No longer need we be concerned about Ben Franklin’s conundrum. Trading liberty for security has been neatly resolved by simply eliminating the choice. For, as conservative ideologues argue and a majority of our public servants seem to find it convenient to believe, in consenting to the Constitution and the rule of an impersonal law, the deprivation of human and civil rights is not abusive, as long as the right process is followed.


That obedience is inherently abusive of human equality doesn’t bother people who like and find comfort in being subordinate–to the law, but not to people who expect them to actually do right by them. Obedience to the law, it seems, is the last refuge of the incompetent. Apparently the non-responsive Mayor of LA is one of them.



Photo 1 by Harold Abramowitz via his Flickr photostream used with Creative Commons 2.0 License. Photo 2 by DB's travels via Flickr photostream used with Creative Commons 2.0 License.

Monica Smith

Monica Smith writes Hannah's Blog. Born in Germany, she came to the United States as a child, living first in California, then after an interval in Chile, in New York. Married to a retired professor at the University of Florida, where she lived for 17 years, she moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1993 and now divides her time between Georgia and New Hampshire. (New Hampshire, she says, is always interesting during a presidential election.) She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Ms. Smith says she "learned long ago that I am not a good team player when I got hired at the Library of Congress, fresh out of college with a degree in political science and proficiency in four foreign languages, to 'edit' library cards and informed my supervisor that if she was going to insist I punch the clock exactly on time, my productivity was going to fall from being the highest to being the same as everyone else's. The supervisor opted to assign me to another building where there was no time-clock. After I had the first of our three children, I decided a paycheck wasn't worth the hassle."