In 2020 I learned that the office of the Los Angeles Chief Legislative Analyst prepares briefing notes in advance of Council Committee meetings and distributes them to all the members. Of course I immediately requested copies of all of them. After more than three months of nonresponsiveness CLA executive officer Karen Kalfayan told me that (A) my request was burdensome as there were too many records involved but that that didn’t matter because (B) all the records were exempt on the (fairly bogus) deliberative process theory.
My god, though, imagine what’s in these briefing notes! You know our corrupt and foolish CMs don’t do any research before those committee meetings. Half the time they don’t even seem to know what’s going on. Somebody has to talk some sense to them so they can drop a few marginally salient comments from time to time during the meeting, and maybe these notes are where the sense-talking happens. Or maybe they’re just a bunch of boring blather, but either way, clearly we need to see them.
Continue reading Los Angeles Sunshine Coalition Files An Absolute Banger Of A Suit Against The City Of Los Angeles Over Their Bogus Deliberative Process Exemption Claim With Respect To Briefing Notes Prepped By The Chief Legislative Analyst And Distributed To Council Committee Members In Advance Of Meetings
The California Public Records Act at section 6253 tells us that “[p]ublic records are open to inspection at all times during the office hours of the state or local agency.” In order to understand laws it’s important to read the definitions. At section 6252 the CPRA tells us that
“Local agency” includes a county; city, whether general law or chartered; city and county; school district; municipal corporation; district; political subdivision; or any board, commission or agency thereof.
So the City of Los Angeles is clearly a local agency by this definition. Arguably its various commissions, boards, or subdivisions are also local agencies by this definition. And that’s the position that CoLA itself takes. That, e.g. City Council is a local agency, but Council Committees are distinct local agencies, as are, e.g. LADWP, LAPD, etc. Why, you might well ask, does this matter at all? Well, it matters due to section 6253(c), which states that:
Each agency, upon a request for a copy of records, shall, within 10 days from receipt of the request, determine whether the request, in whole or in part, seeks copies of disclosable public records in the possession of the agency and shall promptly notify the person making the request of the determination and the reasons therefor.
Continue reading The City of Los Angeles Should Be A Single Agency With Respect To The California Public Records Act Because Right Now The City Denies That They Are Which Obviates A Key Clause Of The Law