On June 16, 2021 I wrote to the City Council regarding the proposed Resolution against Racism on the Council’s calendar originally on June 14th and continued to June 17th. I cared enough about anti-racism that I wrote a proposed revision of the Resolution which I felt was more balanced and accurate and also honored the spirit of Culver City’s diversity. I am a tier 3 progressive as I care more about doing something that actually achieves genuine social and racial progress rather than ego gratification.
In my letter I recommended that the Council should read two books. The first was The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkinson which details the 70 year silent migration of Blacks from the Jim Crow South to the northern and western states and how they met housing discrimination when they arrived. There is no doubt there was systemic social injustice for which the effects continue to exist today. The other book was Dark Money by Jane Mayer which details how a few allied plutocrats have essentially hijacked American democracy, using their money not just to compete with their political adversaries, but to drown them out. Politics on the right is now not about policy, but pursuing the Dark Money agenda, and they have been very successful. Dark Money politics was built on the bones of the John Birch Society.
Before that letter I honestly don’t think I knew about the YIMBY movement (YES IN MY BACK YARD), which is a Dark Money organization using the Koch Brothers business model. I have since learned that YIMBY has been motivating Mayor Fisch and the staff’s move to eliminate R-1 zoning in Culver City. They have infiltrated our City’s Council, staff and politics.
Since Vice Mayor Lee recently said he was not a YIMBY I wrote him and Councilperson McMorrin on October 10th, asking them u to stop acting in lockstep with Mayor Fisch who is, and has been colluding with the YIMBYS since before January 21, 2021.
I wrote to them that as the authors of the anti-racism proclamation, they should be aware that to vote for the YIMBY platform is the promotion of a racist agenda. The YIMBYS have densified San Francisco, made it more expensive and depopulated the City’s traditional black population and communities, first by making San Francisco too expensive and then doing the same thing in Oakland. But please don’t take my word on it. Take the word of a fellow academic, person of color and UC Professor, Jemma Decristo. Professor Decristo’s critique of the YIMBY movement is penetrating and accurate. She states that YIMBYS ran so many Blacks out of San Francisco the once robust African American population is now less than 5%. The YIMBY movement gentrified traditional black areas such as the Fillmore, and replaced low cost housing with luxury housing. She says that YIMBY should stand for YES To WHITE SUPREMACY in MY BACK YARD. She states that YIMBY’s fundamental practice is to privatize public resources and to deregulate public protections. This is happening here in Culver City and throughout the State through SB 9 and 10. She states that YIMBY was a faux “movement” consisting of wealthy white tech workers in collusion with the real estate industry and calls it “an absolute white supremacist project.”
YIMBYS work through invasion, gentrification and infiltration and the record shows that Alex Fisch has been their servant since before January 21, 2021. The question is whether each of you are, or you can think independently of your desire to maintain your control and power through your simple majority. To not do so is a betrayal to the middle class and people of color. The YIMBY’S central belief trickle down logic is to treat real property as a business opportunity and take it out of local control. That is the purpose of eliminating R-1 zoning to create business opportunities for the 1% and damn the consequences to the middle class or people of color. As Professor Decristo says, there is no moment when all of sudden expensive apartments all of sudden become cheap. Your proclamation came in concurrently with the YIMBY invasion, and Professor Decristo has said that over the year’s people’s identities are used to Trojan horse projects that actually targets the people they claim to be advocating for. Was that your role? Were you even aware you were being used? Was that the purpose of the Anti-Racism proclamation? Do you realize the harm you are creating to the African American community? I suggest you review this video to obtain such an understanding. https://vimeo.com/568350740 Professor Decristo says what is almost funny about the YIMBYS IS they are “openly racist and [have a] anti-black focus to their politics.” She also states they probably had two very visible and kind of tenuous black tokens in their movement “but on the whole it’s an “incredibly white movement.” Are you the stalking horses for such a movement? I pray not. I pray that you can think independently of Alex Fisch and care more about racial and social justice than preserving your three person majority.
This is why I hope you will VOTE NO on the Prytaneum proposal, which is simply an untried, experimental YIMBY artificial intelligence project designed to filter out the public so that YIMBYS control the narrative. It is a total betrayal to Culver City and the middle class and people of color. Your character, integrity and devotion to social and racial progress is on the line.
Ronald E. Ostrin