“Secrecy Rules in L.A.’s $24 Million Gang Program”

 http://www.laweekly.com/content/printVersion/416546

 Greetings my friends and supporters,

This is typical of the brash despicable behavior being exhibited by those in power in the City of Los Angeles.  Instead of transparency and accountability they refuse to identify 50 individuals who they have given power over 24 million dollars of your tax money!

Given the failures and criminal activity of those involved in prior and current gang prevention programs, we can not allow this breach of the public trust. There is no excuse and no defense for this unethical behavior.

As a Candidate for Mayor, I have begun to explore all avenues, including legal in order to prevent this abuse of the public trust.

I will keep you advised of all progress.

Respectfully,

David Hernandez

Candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles

PO Box 9158,

North Hollywood, CA 91609

https://lasmayor.wordpress.com

Secrecy Rules in L.A.’s $24 Million Gang Program

Carr and Villaraigosa use 50 anonymous people to decide who gets the money

By Daniel Heimpel

Published: December 18, 2008

LOS ANGELES CITY GOVERNMENT, long unable to keep kids from joining gangs, is in the early stages of a program spearheaded by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa that he says will make a dent in gang-related violence and murder. A few days ago, though, inside a crowded room at Los Angeles City Hall, it became clear that City Council members who have touted the mayor’s plan are in the dark, and the entire extremely unusual process for spending $24 million in taxpayer funds annually is emerging as one of the most secretive in modern city history.

Seated at a long conference table with maps showing the 12 city “zones” that the Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) task force plans to focus on, task force director the Rev. Jeff Carr explains that the new, $24 million program will differ from the L.A. Bridges program, into which City Hall poured millions of dollars before admitting that it was not closely tracking the children and could not prove that children were prevented from joining gangs.

The dismantled L.A. Bridges, designed by a squabbling City Council during the 1990s, badly failed. As L.A. Weekly reported in a December 14, 2006, article, “Broken Bridges,” City Hall ineptly funneled taxpayer money into the hands of a now-imprisoned gunrunner who claimed to have gone straight and peddled himself as a gang “expert.”

Carr, a “social-justice” advocate and evangelical minister whose past efforts to deal with gangbangers have been mixed, promises major differences this time. He is limiting the youths reached through prevention programs to 100 children per zone. They will be chosen through a 53-question assessment tool Carr says was formulated by experts to single out kids actually at risk of joining a gang — not simply perceived to be. Outreach agencies hired by the city must meet with their young clients three times a week, and with the significant adult in each child’s life once a month.

Despite these structural changes, GRYD is already showing similarities to L.A. Bridges: Eight of 12 nonprofits selected are former recipients of Bridges money.

Moreover, Carr and Villaraigosa insist on

keeping anonymous the names of the roughly

50 people appointed by Villaraigosa to hand-

select those 12 nonprofits, and even the names

of the six Villaraigosa insiders who chose the

secret group of 50 are secret.

The secrecy is not only bizarre — Carr could name no other city doing it — but may itself create serious image problems if publicly funded GRYD runs into trouble. Carr says Deputy City Attorney Richard Bobb, who died recently, advised that anonymity be used so as “not to compromise the process.”

Carr concedes that not even the City Council knows the names of the 50 anonymous private citizens now telling the mayor where to award $24 million in antigang funds. “That is the one place where we are not being completely transparent,” Carr says. “Fair enough.”

Carr insists that nonprofit groups that apply for GRYD’s $500,000 “prevention grants” and $250,000 “intervention grants” faced a process so stringent that it eliminated “backroom deals.”

The process is based upon awarding “points” to nonprofits identified by the anonymous private citizens who are assembled, roughly, into five-or-six-person teams in each of the 12 citywide “zones.”

For example, in Watts, the final contenders were the L.A. Conservation Corps and the Watts Labor Community Action Committee. Those two groups’ grant applications were reviewed by the five anonymous committee members, who in turn had been recruited by Villaraigosa’s anonymous task-force recruiters. According to Carr, sufficient knowledge of the gang problem earns applicants 10 points. Organizational capability, which includes adequate staffing and a history of financial stability, earns 20 points. An operational plan, including prevention services and a way to evaluate effectiveness, is worth 50 points. A well-presented budget earns 20 points.

In Watts, L.A. Conservation Corps earned 84.25 points compared with Watts Labor Community Action Committee’s 82.75 points. In a second round, worth 50 points, both groups were inspected and interviewed by two members from Villaraigosa’s secret selection committee and one member of his anonymous six-person oversight committee. Carr says L.A. Conservation Corps won 33.5 points to the other group’s 32.83, so L.A. Conservation Corps got the city contract.

Social worker Reginald Quinn and consultant Bill Burgess, both connected with the Asian American Drug Abuse Program, praised the mayor’s secretive selection process. After all, the Asian American Drug Abuse Program had just secured $500,000 in gang-prevention money and is putting in for another $250,000. Says Burgess: “This is the mayor’s baby.”

 

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Time to Rock and Roll-engage and kick in!

Much has been reported about the current Mayor’s record and the millions of dollars he has raised for his 2009 campaign. It is also being reported that there is no real competition based on the funds he has raised and the fact that a Billionaire Developer is not going to run for the seat.

 

The Mayor’s campaign staff has stated the money raised by the Mayor will be used to promote his record.

 

Well, here is my record. I do not have millions in the bank, but have millions of reasons to run, all of which includes you!

 

All of my efforts have only been possible due to your support, confidence, leg work and funding. I know who the real hero’s are and so do you.

 

Here is my record; look it over and if you believe we would continue to be a good team, then I ask that you take action now. Here is a list of things you can do.

 

1. Forward this e-mail on to your e-mail groups.

 

 2. Host a meeting/coffee for me to come and meet your family, friends and businesses associates.

 

3. Make a contribution (max $1000.00 per person) and send it to Committee to Elect David Hernandez for Mayor PO Box 9158, North Hollywood, CA 91609. ID# 1312393

Contributions are not tax deductible but vital.

 

I have agreed to participate in the City’s “matching funds” program. They city will match the funds I raise once I reach the qualification amount of $150,000. Once the amount is reached the City will issue the first check in that amount. The maximum amount they will match is $667,000.

 

In Your corner,

 

David Hernandez, Candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles

Web site under construction: www.dave4la.com

https://lasmayor.wordpress.com

 

 

David’s Record

David Hernandez for Mayor

Los Angeles, California

March 3, 2009

 

Transparency ● Accountability ● Empowerment

 

 

David Hernandez has been a Civic Community Leader for over 20 years.  For 25 years he worked as an insurance adjuster which trained him in investigating and analyzing issues, strengths that have helped him in reaching out to the community and solving problems.

 

David and his wife, Debi, reside in Valley Village, California and have been together for twenty years.

 

David served in the United States Navy for four years and is a Combat Vietnam Veteran.

 

Working with his Neighborhood Council, David was successful in having the City of Los Angeles officially adopt March 30th as

 “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day”. He is currently engaged in forming coalition groups in preparation for the 2009 event in Los Angeles.

 

David has been engaged in the struggle with other veterans to restore the West Los Angeles VA facility to its intended use through the removal of all existing non Veteran related businesses from the property. He is an advocate for re-establishing and funding the faculties to provide shelter, training and treatment to all veterans.

 

David is the Executive Director of the San Fernando Chamber of Commerce where he actively assists business, both small and large, in addressing the many challenges that threaten their success.

 

David has been engaged in a two-year legal challenge against the 2006 version of Measure R, the Los Angeles City Council Term Limit extension and Ethics Reform Ballot Measure which extended the terms of city council members beyond the two terms voted on previously to three terms totaling 12 years. He was successful in bringing the issue all the way to the State Appellate Court level.

 

David led the countywide four-year battle to retain the Original Los Angeles County Seal. This effort was instrumental in helping pass legislation in the US House of Representatives regarding the protection of religious expression.

 

David attended Los Angeles Valley College and realizing the importance of community colleges serves as President of the Foundation Board of Los Angeles Mission College in Sylmar, California. In 2008 the Foundation awarded students $33,000 in local scholarships.

 

David has served on the board of the Youth Service Network for four years. The organization has three group homes for abused boys ages 10 to 18. He has been instrumental in sustaining the ability of the organization to provide an environment where boys are able to live, learn and thrive.

 

David is Chairman of the Board of Justiceville Homeless/USA, the non-profit which for fourteen years successfully operated Dome Village in Los Angeles, California. The organization has provided housing, training and hope for hundreds of Los Angeles homeless men and women as well as developing the Homies and the Popz cricket team working to provide structure and guidance to young men.

 

David became public access producer at Adelphia Cable in Van Nuys, California. His show Re-Claim LA covered many local issues such as land use, animal rights, homelessness and education.  He is now leading the effort to preserve access to public broadcasting for producers throughout Los Angeles.

 

As a candidate for Mayor in the San Fernando Valley’s independence movement, David saw the need for local control and empowerment.  To accomplish this he took a proactive role in the formation and governing of many Neighborhood Councils. He has served on the boards of the North Hollywood-Northeast, Sun Valley, and Glassell Park Councils and he took and active role in supporting the Van Nuys Neighborhood Council.

 

As an advocate for the environment, David has taken an active role in preserving and improving the rural equestrian communities in the Northeast Valley.

 

As an advocate for “those with no voice,” David has been an outspoken advocate of No Kill Animal Shelters.  He has attended numerous meetings and rallies where he promoted the No Kill system as demonstrated and proven to be viable by Mr. Nathan J. Winograd.  David has shown a light on the dark and little known process of using euthanized animals from local animal shelters in rendering and the production of rendered protein.  Such practices put our shelters at risk for financial liabilities.  

 

Working with the Los Angeles Alliance for Elephants, David took part in the successful effort to have Ruby the LA Zoo elephant moved to the Paws’ Elephant Sanctuary. He continues to advocate for the transfer of Billy from his confinement at the Zoo to the Paws Sanctuary.

 

David established the first Los Angeles Animal Humanitarian Awards recognizing the efforts of those who advocate for “those with no voice.”  

 

David is a strong advocate for real transportation solutions. He was an outspoken opponent of the failed “Bus Only Lanes” along Wilshire Boulevard in West Los Angeles. He learned first hand from small business owners the challenges this ill thought out experiment placed on them causing them to loose business when customers could not park in front of their shops and businesses.

 

David has been a long time opponent of the “Subway to the Sea” that is promoted by so many special interests groups. He has been a strong advocate for a Maglev/Monorail System that would allow real transportation solutions.  He has been in communication with maglev companies with a proven record of success in providing urban maglev systems.

 

David is opposed to other transportation schemes such as the toll lanes purposed for the 110 Freeway and stands in opposition to the Diamond Lane/Car Pool Lanes that have proven to be lacking in real solutions while at the same time draining resources from other proven projects.

 

David has been an outspoken opponent of the current Los Angeles city policies which allow low income communities to be used to qualify for Federal HUD Grants for street lights and sidewalks and then spending the funds elsewhere in the city.

That is my record….

 

YES!

After careful consideration, receiving the support from my wife and community leaders, I have made the decision to run for Mayor of Los Angeles.

With the Prop R Legal Challenge winding down and the campaign for my friend Ted Hayes less than 30 days from being complete, I will now focus on the task at hand.

Fundraising  will begin the week of October 20th. I look forward to addressing many issues facing the residents of Los Angeles.

The Challenges are great but so are the community leaders who have for many years dedicated their time, money and passion to improving our City.

As an active member in the Neighborhood Council System from Sun Valley to Glassell Park, I am fully aware of the challenges which are faced throughout the City.

If you would like to be a part of this effort, contact me at drhassoc@earthlink.net.

 Thank You,

 David Hernandez

Candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles