Zillionaires Against Humanity: Sabotaging the Skid Row Neighborhood Council

EXHIBITION

Skid Row History Museum and Archive
250 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Open: Thu., Fri., Sat., 2-5pm

March 9 through June 30, 2018
OPENING: March 9, 6-8pm

March 24: Zillionaires against Humanity – Community Voice and Public Safety
Adrian Riskin, Professor of mathematics and author of civic engagement MichaelKohlhaas.org in conversation with community resident General Jeff, Chair of the Skid Row Neighborhood Council – Formation Committee.

About the Exhibit

You don’t have to be Hillary Clinton to ask “What Happened?” You don’t have to be Russian to subvert an election. When there’s money to be made. This exhibition, Zillionaires Against Humanity: Sabotaging the Skid Row Neighborhood Council, examines through cartoons, photos, videos, documents and ephemera, the outsized investment and great lengths gone to by downtown powerbrokers, to subvert the sub-division election that would have given the Skid Row Neighborhood its own neighborhood council.

* November 25, 2015- Los Angeles City Council adopted a “subdivision Ordinance” for neighborhood councils.
*Skid Row, tired of having minority representation and seeing its interests neglected by the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC) organized and submitted a sub-division application.
*April 6, 2017, the Skid Row subdivision election was held, the first sub-division election in the city.
The sub-division was defeated by 60 votes.
*May 3rd, 2017- The vote was appealed and the Election Challenge Review Panel ruled that due to last minute changes in procedures and questionable election practices by the anti-subdivision forces, that Skid Row should either be awarded its own neighborhood council outright or a new vote should be taken.
*May 19, 2017-The City’s Department of Neighborhood Empowerment ignored the appeals panel’s recommendations and certified the original election results.

Subsequently, through California Public Records Act requests, new material has come to light that reveals how the election was subverted and the Skid Row Neighborhood Council defeated.

The elements of the exhibition: illustrations and narrative from Adrian Riskin’s California Public Records Act inquiry into what really happened from his blog, michaelkohlhaas.org; documents of the entire process provided by the Skid Row Neighborhood Council (SRNC) Formation Committee; and, videos of different stages of the civic process by Linus Shento and photos and ephemera from the SRNC campaign.

Contributors and their Contributions:
Adrian Riskin:
“The subject of this exhibit is the coordinated effort by the Downtown power elite beginning in 2017 to prevent the establishment of a neighborhood council in Skid Row.  Riskin’s contribution to the exhibition consists of twenty-one illustrations created for the blog michaelkohlhaas.org.  These portraits mockingly depict various players in the overlapping conspiracies formed to prevent the formation of the SRNC.” Adrian Riskin was born and raised in Los Angeles. He blogs obsessively at michaelkohlhaas.org about business improvement districts and the hallucinatory intricacies of municipal political power.

“The Skid Row Neighborhood Council Subdivision Election Timeline”
is a living, breathing document that is still active and compiled by Charles Porter, Hayk Makhmuryan, John Malpede, Adrian Riskin, Katherine McNenny and SRNC-Formation Committee Chair General Jeff. This show at the Skid Row History Museum is the first time it is being shown publicly, albeit in abbreviated fashion.

Linus Shentu covered the process of the sub-division process, attending meetings, covering events and filming promotional testimonials by Skid Row resident supporters.  Linus Shentu’s work reflects his passion for social justice regarding issues pertaining to class, race, poverty and the disenfranchised. He has a B.A. in History from the California State University of Los Angeles and a B.F.A. from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena where he studied graphic design and photography.

Community Conversation

March 24 @ 3pm: CONVERSATION – Zillionaires against Humanity – Community voice and Public Safety
Adrian Riskin, Professor of mathematics and author of civic engagement MichaelKohlhaas.org in conversation with community resident General Jeff, Chair of the Skid Row Neighborhood Council – Formation Committee.

The event is the third in a series of public conversation events integral to building LA Poverty Department’s “Public Safety for Real” project.  The project articulates a vision, in which “Public Safety” is generated by cultivating a sense of mutual responsibility among community members for creating the well being of their community.  This evening’s event is made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Project Funders

Los Angeles Poverty Department.