This PAC came into being in part because the Council Majority (led by Alex Fisch and supported by Daniel Lee and Yasmine-Imani McMorrin) were conspiring to suppress public comment about land use and housing in Culver City. We learned this through public records requests.
Our focus in this PAC is to help the public understand what is in the public records. What have our public servants, both elected officials and employees, been discussing in emails, texts, and documents. To our dismay, we keep finding bad news.
At the most recent Council meeting on August 8, 2022, Councilmember Fisch re-read his prepared statement from June 23, 2021. If you recall, that meeting in June 2021 was when a huge turnout of R-1 homeowners attended. They spoke for hours about preserving the R-1 single family zones. It was clearly the majority voice. Alex Fisch read something that night he had written prior to hearing hours of testimony. It was a statement disconnected from what he and everyone present heard. Instead of responding live to his constituents, his prepared statement doubled down on his intent to upzone R-1 and remove homeowner protections. Reading it again a year later, Fisch only highlighted how he isn’t listening and will stop at nothing with their plan.
But their plan is actually even more troublesome.
They also wanted to use software during public meetings that would actually suppress free speech. By handing the direction of the ship over to the now-infamous Professor Christopher Elmendorf of UC Davis, and his associates at other UC campuses working on the Prytaneum Project, the plan was to use this software to elevate some voices and suppress others.
Take a look at this gem of an email from now-resigned (as of October 2021, for undisclosed reasons) Planning Manager, Ashley Hefner Hoang, who one week after the June 23, 2021 meeting had the gall to discuss the testimony from the public in such an unprofessional and troubling manner:
As a salaried public employee, Ms. Hoang’s allegiance is to the public. And yet, she wrote, “I think it’s even more of a reason to go through the exercise proposed considering the tenor of how the recent meetings went.” This is a conspiracy to suppress public comments. You can see who is on the email: Professor Kevin Esterling from UC Riverside, Professor Nall from UC Santa Barbara, Professor Christopher Elmendorf from UC Davis, Professor Ryan Kennedy from University of Houston, the Raimi and Associates consulting team (who has been paid $2.5 million by Culver City to help update the General Plan and Housing Element), and Lauren Marsiglia (who has also resigned) in the Culver City Planning Department.
This team of people was working on the Prytaneum Project, the software that would, in the name of equity, eliminate free speech. Ms. Hoang’s comments show that she had a personal position on the matter of R-1 and single family homes that clouded her ability to serve the public in a fair manner. Further, it shows that she had already been compromised. Look at this from March 2021 — you can read the emails about how Ms. Hoang was being handled by Fisch, Elmendorf, and Monkkonnen — Ashley “gets it”.