Alcalde visita tienda que promueve creatividad de productos de Los Ángeles

October 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Los Ángeles—Como parte de la campaña “LA Original”, que promueve los productos diseñados y fabricados en Los Ángeles, el alcalde de la ciudad, Eric Garcetti, visitó martes la tienda creada para impulsar la producción local.

Garcetti destacó la campaña, la cual ofrece una plataforma “para exponer la diversidad de los mercados” y resalta que “LA es la capital creativa del mundo, donde nuevas ideas nacen y se crean cada día”.

“La creatividad en Los Ángeles no tiene comparación con ningún otro lugar”, expresó Garcetti al dar inicio este lunes a la campaña durante la “Semana de la manufactura” de la ciudad.

“LA Original muestra ese legado, ofrece apoyo a una nueva generación de empresarios y llama la atención sobre los extraordinarios creadores que alimentan el espíritu creativo de la ciudad”, dijo Garcetti, quien hoy visitó la “tienda pop-up”.

Durante su recorrido el alcalde invitó “a todos los angelinos” a apreciar la calidad de los productos y artículos que participan en la iniciativa.

La tienda de LA Original está ubicada en el remodelado centro comercial Westfield Century City en el noroeste de LA, inaugurado hoy por Garcetti, y estará funcionando hasta el 31 de diciembre próximo.

Allí se exponen los productos de más de 20 empresas y distribuidores que han diseñado y elaborado artículos específicos para la línea LA Original o han hecho una fusión de algunos existentes con la nueva marca.

“Me siento orgullosa del maravilloso entrecruce de culturas de Los Ángeles y entiendo la importancia de apoyar la economía local angelina”, señaló hoy Ana Guajardo, dueña de Cha Cha Covers, empresa participante en la campaña, que produce sus artículos en el sector hispano de Boyle Heights.

Todas las ganancias de este programa piloto están destinadas a “Made by DWC”, una iniciativa social creada por el Centro de Mujeres del Centro de LA (DWC) dedicado a ayudar a las mujeres sin hogar en el sector de Skid Row, recordó Garcetti.

L.A. Olympics 2028: It’s Official

September 14, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Los Angeles was officially named Wednesday as host of the 2028 Summer Olympics by a unanimous vote of the International Olympic Committee in Lima, Peru.

Following the IOC’s vote, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed the host city contract, sealing the deal that L.A. will host its third Olympics, after stints in 1932 and 1984.

The successful bid comes an unprecedented 11 years before the actual Olympics are to take place. Paris, which was awarded the 2024 Games, will also be hosting for the third time, and the two cities were initially in competition just for 2024.

“This is a momentous day for the people of Los Angeles and the United States. For the first time in a generation, we are bringing the Games back to the City of Angels,” Garcetti said. “L.A. loves the Olympics because the Games have lifted up our city twice before. But to us, the Games have always represented an even brighter future and the chance to harness the power of sport and the Olympic Movement again to inspire the next generation — for the next 11 years and beyond.”

After the IOC announced over the summer its desire to award both the ’24 and ‘28 Games simultaneously, Garcetti and other leaders reached a tentative agreement in July to host in ‘28, pending the official approval of the IOC in Lima, making today’s vote just a formality. IOC President Thomas Bach was already scheduled to light the Olympic caldron at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday.

Host cities are typically named seven years in advance, and L.A. was able to garner numerous financial concessions out of the IOC by agreeing to wait the extra four years.

Under the terms of the 2028 host city contract, the IOC promised to immediately advance $180 million to the Los Angeles organizing committee due to the longer planning period and to fund youth sports in the years leading up to the Games.

The IOC also agreed to waive $50 million in fees and contribute up to $2 billion of its broadcast and sponsorship revenues to the Games, more than the $1.7 billion pledged to Paris for 2024. The IOC also agreed to funnel any of its profits from the Games back to the city.

“This 11-year agreement with the IOC is the ultimate validation of LA 2028’s new games for a new era, and Los Angeles’ vision for the future,” LA 2028 Chairman Casey Wasserman said.

The city entered the contest for ‘24 along with Paris, Hamburg, Rome and Budapest. But one by one cities dropped out, leaving only Paris and L.A.

Over the summer, the IOC announced its desire to award both the ‘24 and ‘28 Games at the same time, if L.A. and Paris agreed. The decision was influenced by the soaring cost of hosting the Olympics and the fact that fewer cities have seemed willing to assume the financial risk.

Tokyo’s 2020 plan has already doubled to $12.6 billion, Rio de Janeiro is still struggling to pay off the debt from its $13 billion hosting duties in 2016, and the 2014 Games in Sochi ballooned from a budget of $12 billion to around $50 billion.

With both Los Angeles and Paris submitting bids widely seen as fiscally responsible, the IOC decided to lock them both in to hosting duties. After initial reports indicated that Paris was the favorite to host in ‘24, L.A. leaders indicated they were willing to host in ‘28.

LA 2028, the renamed committee leading the city’s bid, had proposed a balanced budget of $5.3 billion for ‘24 by utilizing existing venues and not building any new permanent structures just for the Games. Although an independent analysis of a budget for 2028 will not likely be completed for months, it is not expected to vary drastically in cost or approach and the L.A. City Council approved the switch to ‘28 in August despite not having a complete picture of the financial aspects of the decision.

Another unknown at the time of the vote was whether the California Legislature would approve $250 million to help cover any potential cost overruns. State lawmakers had made the pledge for 2024, but after the switch to ‘28 a new bill needed to be drafted. AB 132, which promises $270 million, is currently making its way through the Legislature.

Under the ‘24 plan, the city would have covered the first $250 million in cost overruns, the state the next $250 million and the city anything after that. The $5.3 billion balanced budget for ‘24 included no money to be spent from the city’s general fund as organizers believe they can cover all costs from corporate sponsorships, ticket sales, broadcast rights and the IOC’s contribution.

The Coliseum and the new NFL stadium in Inglewood are set to share duties for the opening and closing ceremonies, part of a “something old and something new” approach, as the Coliseum was the site of the ceremonies both in 1932 and 1984. Other venues in the city and nearby like Staples Center and the Rose Bowl are also planed as sites for events, and the dorms at UCLA are set to be the site of the Olympic Village.

Trump Rescinds DACA: 800,000 Recipients at Risk

September 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Southland Democratic leaders and immigrant advocates lashed out harshly today at the Trump Administration decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has protected an estimated 800,000 people – including more than 242,000 in California – who were brought to the country as children from deportation.

Activists immediately planned to take to the streets to protest the move, which was announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on behalf of President Donald Trump.

Trump Terminates DACA: Protesters begin to gather at L.A. City Hall for march to federal building. (EGP photo by Fred Zermeno)

Trump Terminates DACA: Protesters begin to gather at L.A. City Hall for march to federal building. (EGP photo by Fred Zermeno)

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Los Angeles, called the president’s decision to rescind the program “outrageous.” This is a “heartbreaking day for the US and the bright young DACA recipients who know no home but America,” she said on Twitter.

Under the action by the Trump Administration, Congress will be given six months to attempt to pass legislation addressing DACA before the program is phased out.

Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, D-El Monte, also on Twitter, urged all her “Republican colleagues to join us & take action to #ProtectDreamers! #DefendDACA!”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “President Trump’s action on DACA is cruel — it threatens to tear families apart, put our economy at risk, and will do nothing to unify America or make us more secure.”

“Today’s decision is a giant setback for America, because all our children should feel safe and accepted in a country that belongs to them,” Garcetti said. “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has allowed close to 800,000 ambitious, patriotic young people to start careers, stay in school, and
give back to our communities without fear of being torn from the people they love.”

The mayor also urged congress to act quickly on legislation: “… They belong here. And we’ll fight for them to stay.”

In defending the decision, Trump said President Barack Obama over-stepped his authority in creating the DACA program.

“In June of 2012, President Obama bypassed Congress to give work permits, Social Security numbers and federal benefits to approximately 800,000 illegal immigrants currently between the ages of 15 and 36,” Trump said. “The typical recipients of this executive amnesty, known as DACA, are in their 20s. Legislation offering these same benefits had been introduced in Congress on numerous occasions and rejected each time.”

Trump added: “Only by the reliable enforcement of immigration law can we produce safe communities, a robust middle class and economic fairness for all Americans.”

He noted that officials from 10 states are suing over the program, and his legal advisers have determined that it is “unlawful and unconstitutional and cannot be successfully defended in court.”

Those arguments did little to appease Democratic lawmakers.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, said DACA recipients “make our nation strong and represent the best of America” and rescinding the program “undermines our nation’s values and is a cruel betrayal” of DREAMers. Rep.Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, criticized the “cruel and arbitrary attack” on them.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, urged Congress to move forward with legislation known as the DREAM Act that would provide a path to citizenship for DREAMers — the term used for DACA recipients.

“Failure to protect young people who have come out of the shadows would constitute an abject moral failure,” Feinstein said.

Officials with the Service Employees International Union decried what it called a “shameful attack” against DACA beneficiaries.

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles said members were ready to gather at the offices of Republican legislators, including Rep. Steven Knight in Santa Clarita and Rep. Mimi Walters in Irvine, as well as Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s office in Bakersfield.

Additionally, scores of workers and community members planned a midday march through downtown L.A. from the steps of City Hall to the federal building on the 200 block of east Temple Street.

Introduced by Obama in 2012, DACA allows people who were brought into the United States illegally as children to work and study in the country without fear of being deported. DACA has been available to immigrants without criminal records who were brought to the country when they were younger than 16 years old. Work permits issued under DACA must be renewed every two years.

Trump has taken a hard stance against illegal immigration, but until recently had not given a strong indication of whether he would keep DACA in place.

Asked over the weekend whether DACA recipients should be worried, Trump responded, “We love the DREAMers. We love everybody. … We think the DREAMers are terrific.”

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, is one of many elected officials of both parties who have criticized the president’s plans.

“Trump’s cowardly decision to end DACA goes against the very forces that have made America an exceptional country,” Lieu said. “Deporting hundreds of thousands of Asians and Latinos — nearly half of whom were brought to the U.S. before the age of 7 — is not only cruel, it will hurt our economy.”

EGP staff writers contributed to this report.

Eastside Youth Demand Inclusion in City Budget

May 25, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Feeling they don’t have a seat at the table during budget season, over 200 local students rallied outside Los Angeles City Hall Tuesday and invited the mayor and council members to sit down at the dining table they’d set up and “break bread” over a discussion on city youth services.

“You say youth are the future yet you don’t invest in our youth,” said 14-year-old Martin Raza as he stood across City Hall.

The students are members of the Invest in Youth Coalition which is campaigning to get city officials to invest in a youth development task force aimed at getting funds for community-based safe places and youth programs such as tutoring, mentoring, workforce development, college support and other services.

Although 800,000 young Angelenos live in the city, the Youth Coalition points out there is no specific department that addresses their needs.

Jackie Vargas, right, discusses the importance of involving youth in the city;s budget process with representatives from the mayor’s office Tuesday at a table set up outside L.A. City Hall. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Jackie Vargas, right, discusses the importance of involving youth in the city’s budget process with representatives from the mayor’s office Tuesday at a table set up outside L.A. City Hall. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

“We want a better future for ourselves and that starts with the budget,” Ariana Chavez, 17, told EGP. “We want a voice in our city.”

A number of students, sitting with representatives from Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office and several council members, argued that the timing of budget sessions during school hours makes it hard for them to participate in the discussions.

The group estimates a $10 million budget allocation for youth development would allow for the creation of 50 programs citywide, something they want to see,.

Arlyn Nuñez, 18, of East Los Angeles, told EGP that Tuesday’s City Hall “dining table” discussion is the first step toward making sure city youth receive much-needed services.

“We’re in a low-income area, we don’t have many services available to us,” Nuñez said, explaining that tutoring and other after-school programs would benefit the region.

“Instead, money is being spent in incarcerating our youth.”

According to the coalition, 10,000 youth – ages 19 and under – are arrested annually: most are minorities.

The group points to the cities of San Francisco and New York, each of which has a youth development department, as examples of what can be done.

“Being a part of an after-school program helps students stay away from the streets and prevents them from getting locked up,” said Lincoln High School student Leslie Sanchez.

Garcetti’s representative pointed out there has been investments in youth through HIRE LA’s Youth Initiative and LA College Promise. Through HIRE LA, Garcetti hopes to see at least 20,000 youth employed by 2020. Under LA College Promise, LAUSD students will be guaranteed admission and a year of free tuition at a Los Angeles Community College campus.

Councilman Jose Huizar has asked city staff for a report on how the city spends its funds and how it can better prioritize youth services. “It’s a monumental task, but one Councilmember Huizar really wants to see done right,” stated Huizar spokesman Rick Coca in an email, adding that CD14 staff have had a series of meeting with youth advocates, one as recently as Monday.

Coca said his boss stands with advocates “in recognizing that the City’s youth stand to benefit the most from a thorough, well-researched comprehensive report on where our resources are going in funding youth services.

“ … So we convened a session with the CAO and the CLA and representatives from the Boyle Heights For Youth and LA For Youth campaigns to begin to figure out the scope and what we want the criteria to be since “youth programs and services” can cover so much ground.”

Eastside students rally outside L.A. City Hall Tuesday, urging elected officials to invest in youth services. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Eastside students rally outside L.A. City Hall Tuesday, urging elected officials to invest in youth services. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

A [dedicated] youth development department is imperative if Los Angeles hopes to address the issues young people face, said Lou Calanche, executive director of Legacy LA, a community based non-profit that runs youth programs at Hazard Park and the Ramona Gardens Housing development in Boyle Heights.

Last year, in response to multiple officer-involved shootings in Boyle Heights, members of 23 nonprofit groups called on city officials to fund a department focused on youth development services.

“Boyle Heights is about 50 percent under the age of 25, if youth voices aren’t front and center in times like today, then the city is saying that youth of color aren’t a priority,” said Joel Garcia, director of Self-Help Graphics, a community arts center in East Los Angeles.

Several students acknowledged that organizations like Legacy LA and Self-Help Graphics were instrumental in keeping them out of trouble and on the path to college.

Araceli Rodriguez, a senior at Garfield High School will attend Sacramento State University in the fall. She told EGP it is especially important for the city to invest in youth at a time when the Trump administration is threatening budget cuts for education and other public programs.

“We need our leaders to send a message and put their money where their mouth is, that starts here in our city.”

Judge Blocks Trump’s Action on ‘Sanctuary Cities’

April 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Mayor Eric Garcetti and leaders in the Los Angeles immigrant community hailed a federal judge’s ruling Tuesday blocking President Donald Trump’s executive order that threatened to cut funding to so-called “sanctuary cities.”

The ruling by U.S. District Judge William Orrick came in response to lawsuits which were filed by San Francisco and Santa Clara County challenging the constitutionality of the order signed by the president. The city of Los Angeles had filed briefs in support of both suits.

“Today’s ruling by Judge Orrick is good news and reminds us that people’s rights transcend political stunts,” Garcetti said. “The Constitution protects cities’ right to create humane, sensible policies that keep our neighborhoods safe and our communities together. It is time for the federal government to stop attacking cities and scapegoating immigrants, and begin focusing on the hard work of comprehensive immigration reform.”

Garcetti said he “will keep working to defend the rights of all our residents — including immigrants — and fighting to protect our own federal tax dollars, which Angelenos want to invest in keeping their families safe and our city strong.”

The White House criticized the ruling, saying “Once again, a single district judge — this time in San Francisco — has ignored federal immigration law to set a new immigration policy for the entire country.”

“This case is yet one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge,” the statement from the Office of the Press Secretary said. “Today’s ruling undermines faith in our legal system and raises serious questions about circuit shopping.

“But we are confident we will ultimately prevail in the Supreme Court, just as we will prevail in our lawful efforts to impose immigration restrictions necessary to keep terrorists out of the United States.”

The White House pledged to “pursue all legal remedies to the sanctuary city threat that imperils our citizens, and continue our efforts to ramp up enforcement to remove the criminal and gang element from our country.”

Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar, who is on the Ad Hoc Committee on Immigrant Affairs and a vocal critic of Trump’s immigration policies, said such battles are going to continue.

“We can’t say at this time that one side won or the other side won, because I think the Trump administration is going to continue to find ways to demonize immigrants, whether it is through his executive orders or his Twitter account or his public speaking,” Huizar said.

The executive order likely could have been applied to Los Angeles because the LAPD only notifies immigration agents it has someone in custody potentially subject to deportation if there is a federal warrant for the person’s arrest.

Garcetti reiterated that stance during his State of the City speech last week, saying the city’s police department would not act “as a federal immigration force.”

The two lawsuits were assigned to the San Francisco-based Orrick, who ruled that Trump has no authority to attach new conditions to federal spending.

“Today’s decision by a federal judge is one more reminder President Trump and members of his cabinet have much to learn about individual and state rights,” said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.

“The ruling underscores the president’s actions are not only unpopular but also unconstitutional,” she said.

Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said the ruling “vindicates constitutional limits on executive authority. The order demonstrates that the Trump Administration’s nearly 100-day campaign of bullying must end.”

The executive order reads: “Sanctuary jurisdictions across the United States willfully violate federal law in an attempt to shield aliens from removal from the United States.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March reinforced the order, saying local jurisdictions seeking U.S. Department of Justice grants must first demonstrate they are not sanctuary cities.

Chad Readler, acting assistant attorney general, said the lawsuits were interpreting the executive order too broadly and it would only apply to the U.S. Department of Justice grants, but Orrick ruled the order could be applied to all federal funding.

Orrick’s ruling is another in a series of executive orders on immigration by Trump that have been blocked by the federal courts, including two seeking to prevent visitors from some countries with a Muslim majority from entering the U.S.

Apertura de Parque Histórico Estatal de Los Ángeles

April 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

El gobernador Jerry Brown junto con funcionarios de Los Ángeles y líderes comunitarios se unieron a miles de personas, el 22 de abril, para celebrar la inauguración del Parque Histórico Estatal de Los Ángeles.

El parque, ubicado en el 1245 N. Spring St., esta compuesto por 34 acres y rodeado por las comunidades de Lincoln Heights, Elysian Park, Chinatown, Solano Canyon y Chavez Ravine. El área había sido designada para el desarrollo industrial, pero fue cambiado al proyecto del parque a través de un proceso de más de 65 reuniones públicas desde los años 90’s. Eventualmente el Departamento de Parques Estatales de California compró el terreno.

“Hemos completado un largo proceso público de renovación de nuestros parques estatales públicos”, dijo John Laird, Secretario Estatal de Recursos Naturales.

“Parte de la renovación tuvo como objetivo el proveer acceso equitativo a los parques en las ciudades del estado. Esta apertura coincide con ese objetivo, y los resultados de dos décadas de esfuerzos por esta comunidad abogando por este parque. Felicito a todos los que han hecho este día posible”.

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El Parque Historico Estatal de Los Ángeles incluye llanos verdes disponibles para eventos deportivos, comunitarios y culturales, con una vista al centro de Los Angeles. Foto: Cortesía de Los Angeles State Historic Park.

“Demasiados de nuestros niños crecen sin acceso a parques, sin un lugar en dónde jugar, tener fiestas de cumpleaños o un picnic”, dijo Kevin de León, Senador Estatal Pro-Tem.

“Este parque lo tiene todo – caminos, carriles para bicicletas, la naturaleza, historia, el paisaje urbano de Los Ángeles – y todo está a pasos de Chinatown. Este punto es intrínseco al nacimiento de Los Ángeles y es tanto un museo de la historia Angelina como es un espacio verde”.

El parque incluye un sendero de una milla de largo, un espacio flexible de llano para eventos deportivos, comunitarios, culturales y para conciertos. Al igual, hay un área de juego infantil y áreas de hábitat construidas con nuevos árboles y paisajes. Las horas de servicio serán de las 7a.m. hasta el atardecer, los siete días de la semana.

Garcetti Logra Fácil Reelección Como Alcalde de Los Ángeles

March 9, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

El alcalde de Los Ángeles, Eric Garcetti, obtuvo este martes una fácil victoria al recibir el 81% de los votos, informaron las autoridades electorales locales el 8 de marzo , con datos que recogen el 100% de los precintos.

Garcetti obtuvo más de 200,000 votos, contra algo más de 20,000 de su inmediato seguidor, Mitchell Jack Schwartz, y evitó así participar en la elección general del próximo 16 de mayo.

El hispano David Hernández figuró tercero con cerca de 8,500 votos en una elección que se caracterizó por la baja participación, de los más de dos millones de electores registrados.

Cedillo IMG_9685 1

Bomberos del LAFD celebraron la victoria de Gil Cedillo el martes, 7 de marzo. (Foto: Cortesía )

La Medida H, que aumenta el impuesto a las ventas en medio centavo para recoger fondos para combatir la creciente población de desamparados, fue aprobada con el 67.4% de los votos.

Una propuesta contra la que Garcetti y los sindicatos se habían pronunciado, las Medida S, que buscaba una moratoria de dos años para los proyectos de construcción que requieran una enmienda al Plan General, fue rechazada por el 61% de los sufragios, con cerca de 172,000 votos.

El concejal Gil Cedillo logró su reelección, con el 51% de la votación, al igual que los concejales Bob Blumenfield, Paul Koretz, Curren Price, Mike Bonin, Mitch O’Farrell y Joe Buscaino.

La candidata Mónica Rodríguez obtuvo el 27.7% de los votos (cerca de 4,000) y deberá enfrentarse a Karo Torossian que logró 16.3% en la elección general de mayo.

Tanto el fiscal de la ciudad, Mike Feuer, como el contralor, Ron Galperin, no tenían rivales y repetirán en el cargo.

Few Voters Decide Big Issues

March 9, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Turnout was expected to be low for Tuesday’s Los Angeles County elections. And it was.

Unofficial figures released early Wednesday put the turnout figure at 11.29 percent.

Election experts noted that the turnout tends to be low when there is no presidential race on the ballot, even when there are local offices up for grab and tax raising measures on the ballot.

The election included a countywide quarter-cent sales tax measure to combat homelessness, a successful re-election run by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, local council races and measures to control development and the production and sale of marijuana in the City of Angeles.

Of the 593,233 ballots tallied as of early Wednesday, 239,853 — or roughly 40 percent — were vote-by-mail, while the rest were cast at the polls, according to the county Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office.

It was unclear how many late, provisional and questioned ballots still need to be counted, and how they would affect the final turnout figure, but this is how it looked on Wednesday:

County Measure H

The quarter-cent Los Angeles County sales tax to fund anti-homelessness programs appeared to emerge victorious by a thin margin.

With all precincts reporting, Measure H had 67.44 percent of the vote, just ahead of the two-thirds majority it needed to pass. The measure was short of the threshold much of Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, but it steadily gained ground as vote-counting continued, and it passed the two-thirds mark only when the final precincts reported.

The Board of Supervisors declared homelessness a countywide emergency and chose the sales tax hike over a number of other funding alternatives, including a millionaire’s tax, a parcel tax and a special tax on marijuana.

There are roughly 47,000 homeless people countywide, according to a point-in-time count in January 2016. That total reflects a 19 percent increase since 2013, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

City of L.A. Mayor, City Council

The city’s mayor and six members of the Los Angeles City Council were celebrating re-election victories Wednesday, while Councilman Gil Cedillo appeared to have won as well, but by a tenuous margin over activist/businessman Joe Bray-Ali.

With all precincts reporting from Tuesday’s election, Cedillo finished with 50.98 percent of the vote, appearing to win re-election outright.

Cedillo had a 1,952-vote lead over Bray-Ali, a bike activist and former bike shop owner.

Of the three challengers looking to unseat Cedillo in the 1st Council District, which includes the Westlake area, Chinatown, Highland Park and Lincoln Heights, Bray-Ali presented the biggest challenge to the political veteran first elected to the seat in 2013 and who also served 14 years in the Assembly and state Senate.

It was unclear Wednesday whether the final count might land him under the 50 percent threshold to avoid a May 16 runoff.

Meanwhile, Mayor Garcetti was preparing for another term Wednesday, after easily outpacing a field of 10 challengers and avoiding a May runoff to keep his job.

The mayor proclaimed victory relatively early Tuesday night – when early returns had already given him about 80 percent of the vote – greeting supporters at a campaign party in downtown Los Angeles, touting his achievements over the past four years and vowing that more is to come.

“While other people are talking about doing big things, Los Angeles, we are doing big things right now,” he said. “My friends, big things don’t happen by accident. They require leadership. The job of the mayor is to get things done, and that’s what I’m going to keep on doing for each and every one of you here in this city. We’re breaking records at our port and our airport.”

“We’re breaking records for tourism and filming. We’ve housed more homeless veterans than any city in America. We’ve paved more roads than ever before. We’ve confronted climate change head on, by cleaning our air, conserving our water and expanding our green spaces. We enacted the largest tax cut in our city’s history and we’ve seen more small businesses start in the last four years than we’ve seen in decades.”

“… So we are doing big things, but we have a lot more left to do.”

Measure S

Despite a defeat at the ballot box, backers of a hotly debated initiative aimed at limiting development in the city of Los Angeles in part by blocking General Plan amendments for two years said Wednesday they were happy that their campaign has prompted change at City Hall.

“We not only exposed corruption but we began a process of reform,” said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which largely bankrolled the campaign in support of Measure S. “We built a citywide movement and we planted the seeds of change. Los Angeles will be a better place to live as a result of the Yes on S campaign.”

Measure S was handily defeated by voters in Tuesday’s election. The initiative was the most expensive – and in many ways the most bitter – campaign in the Los Angeles city election.

The measure would have halted all General Plan amendments, or special permission to developers known as “spot zoning,” for two years while the city updates its General Plan and community plans that guide neighborhood development.

The measure’s backers argued that City Hall is plagued by a “pay-to-play” climate in which wealthy developers who contribute money to elected officials’ campaigns get spot zoning requests granted while the proliferation of high-rise towers and other expensive developments have caused increases in the cost of housing.

Opponents, however, argued the measure goes too far, saying a halt to all General Plan amendments would undercut the city’s efforts to build affordable housing and housing for the homeless while severely hurting the local economy. Officials also argued that updating the General Plan and community plans within two years is not possible.

Measure M

Los Angeles voters have overwhelmingly approved a measure that gives the city tools to regulate the recreational and medical marijuana industry.

The city-sponsored Measure M easily bested a competing ballot issue, the initiative Measure N, which was crafted and pushed onto the ballot by a marijuana trade group that later opted to throw its support behind the City Council’s measure.

The measures were placed on the ballot in reaction to California voters in November agreeing to legalize recreational marijuana starting in 2018.

Measure M will allow the city to repeal a current ban on medical marijuana dispensaries under the previously approved Proposition D and replace it with a new set of rules for different types of marijuana businesses.

It will give the city tools to enforce its regulations, such as authorizing fines, criminal penalties or loss of power and water service for businesses operating without a license or ignoring city rules.

The measure also allows for gross-receipt taxes to be imposed on marijuana businesses, including the sale of general-use and medical cannabis, delivery services and manufacturing.

“Los Angeles is leading the country and world in responsible and inclusive approaches to legalization,” City Council President Herb Wesson said. “The passing of Proposition M is a great victory for common sense, law enforcement and all Angelenos. We gave communities a voice in the process, and their voices will continue to be heard. This measure is what responsible marijuana laws should look like, and we couldn’t be prouder of our city.”

Measure N called for giving permitting priority to 135 businesses that have been allowed to operate under the Proposition D ban, and also includes taxation and permitting provisions.

But since the city-backed measure also wound up containing a provision to prioritize the Proposition D-immune medical marijuana dispensaries, the group behind Measure N, the UCBA Trade Association, opted to back Measure M.

Part 2: EGP Ballot Recommendations for March 7 Primary Election

March 2, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

City of Los Angeles

 Mayor of the City of Los Angeles – Eric Garcetti

In the race for mayor, Eastern Group Publications (EGP) endorses the reelection of Eric Garcetti. Garcetti has proven that it’s possible to be a mayor for all Angelenos by his constant attention to the needs of all the city’s neighborhoods, while still giving special attention to the homeless, the poor and immigrants.

As mayor, Garcetti has continued to press for action to reduce pollution and to make the need to conserve water a shared responsibility.

Garcetti has been a strong voice for continuing the building of a world-class transit system and a world-class airport, making progress in each of those areas by gaining the support of both Angelenos and neighbors in other cities.

His endorsement of a livable wage for low-income workers has won our admiration, as has his support for protecting undocumented immigrants in the city. Most of all, we appreciate the fact that in Los Angeles, one of the most diverse cities in the world, our mayor can move around this city with the ease and comfort and demeanor only officials that are well liked and trusted are able to do.

Vote Eric Garcetti for Mayor of Los Angeles.

 

City Council District 1 – Gil Cedillo

Our endorsement goes to the incumbent, Gil Cedillo. For the most part, we have been pleased by changes in the First District, including cleaner streets in areas once heavily littered, and the faster cleanup of trash and items illegally dumped. No small task, given that the district is one of the city’s most densely populated.

While there are still many upgrades and improvements needed across the district – and all across the city, for that matter – Cedillo has made progress on improving the district’s infrastructure, including installing new streets signs and street lights along neighborhood thoroughfares.

Yes, we understand that bicycle activists are unhappy with Cedillo’s decision not to support a bike lane along North Figueroa Street, but as this newspaper reported at the time, there were many in the community who agreed with him, and many have told us they still do.

Gentrification will continue to be a hot button issue across the district and the city.

And while we agree that the building of more affordable residential units is needed, we disagree that the loss of affordable and rent control units can be blamed solely on Cedillo or any single city council member. There are limits – under current city regulations and ordinances – to the control the city has over what an owner can do with his or her property, and on who is allowed to buy property in the city.

In our view, Cedillo and his staff need to do a better job or articulating what they have done when it comes to development, why he has approved certain developments, and how he intends to protect neighborhoods from over development. But that’s not to say that we believe the councilman has neglected the communities in those areas, rather to emphasize that a little more face-to-face discussion and consultation could go a long way to reduce distress and dissention.

We give our endorsement to Gil Cedillo for Council District 1.

 

Previous EGP Ballot Recommendations:

City of Los Angeles

Measure S is Not the Solution – Vote No

Measure S – The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative – asks Los Angeles voters to approve a two-year moratorium on developments that don’t conform to the city’s current, but outdated General Plan, but the intended and unintended consequences will do more harm than good and deserves a no vote.

 Yes on Measure M, No on Measure N

Measure M is a sensible step to ensuring the city can responsibly regulate enforcement and taxation on the commercial production, cultivation and sale of marijuana, now that California voters have approved its legalization.

Vote No on Measure N – which is no longer even supported by the cannabis industry.

 

Los Angeles County

 We Need to Invest in Services for the Homeless – Vote Yes on Measure H

Measure H will authorize the County to hike the sales tax a quarter-cent to pay for much needed services for the homeless population in Los Angeles County. Funding includes services for mental health, substance abuse treatment, health care, education, job training, housing subsidies, outreach and other supportive services for homeless adults, families. Vote Yes.

 

Medida S es Criticada Por Líderes Angelinos

March 2, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

El controlador de la Ciudad de Los Ángeles, Ron Galperin, se unió a la lista de líderes locales opuestos a la Medida S, el 24 de febrero, y criticó la financiación de la campaña por la Fundación de Salud del SIDA (AIDS Healthcare Foundation en inglés).

“La campaña a favor de la Medida S no ha sido transparente con la gente de Los Ángeles. Ha engañado a los votantes ocultándoles cómo dañaría a la vivienda asequible. Ha engañado a los Angelinos diciéndoles que requiere que los funcionarios “desempeñen su trabajo” mientras elimina los fondos necesarios para poder prestar los servicios básicos de la ciudad y no aborda la crisis de vivienda”, dijo Galperin en una conferencia de prensa en el Centro LGBT en Hollywood.

“Ha engañado a sus propios endosantes resultando en cancelaciones de apoyo, ha declarado falsos endosos y usado nombres de oficiales erróneamente. Además ha mal guiado a la comunidad LGBT, colocando el nombre de la organización del VIH/SIDA para llamar la atención y puesto los fondos al servicio de una causa que en el mejor de los casos es irrelevante y directamente perjudicial a la gente que sirve”.

La Fundación de Salud del SIDA, sin fines de lucro establecida hace 30 años, trata a cientos de miles de pacientes al año y rinde servicios filantrópicos alrededor del mundo. Desde la semana pasada, el grupo ha invertido más de $4.6 millones en la campaña, casi el 99 por ciento de las contribuciones en apoyo a la Medida S.

El director general de la Fundación de Salud del SIDA, Michael Weinstein, defendió la inversión política de la fundación en enero, diciéndole a City News Service que el desarrollo en Los Ángeles está aumentando los costos de vivienda y dejando a muchos de sus pacientes sin hogar.

“Adoptamos una visión expansiva de la salud. Creemos que los determinantes sociales de la salud son igualmente importantes a las condiciones medicas de las que los pacientes sufren”, dijo Weinstein.

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La campaña a favor de la Medida S también ha sido criticada por imitar la apariencia de un avisos de desalojo en materielas de campaña enviados por correo.

La Medida S se encontrará en la balota del 7 de marzo y si es aprobada detendría todas las enmiendas del Plan General o los permisos especiales dados a desarrolladores para las zonificaciones de áreas. Esto sucedería por dos años mientras que la ciudad actualice su Plan General y los planes comunitarios de desarrollo de los vecindarios.

Los partidarios de la Medida S argumentan que el procedimiento actual de aprobación de solicitudes de zonificación de áreas da la impresión de que el concejo de la ciudad puede ser comprado. Ellos alegan que los funcionarios electos rutinariamente reciben donaciones de campaña de parte de los desarrolladores creando una relación acogedora.

Los oponentes de la Medida S incluyen al Gobernador Jerry Brown, al Alcalde Eric Garcetti y al concejal de la ciudad José Huizar. Ellos dicen que la medida limitaría la capacidad de construir viviendas asequibles y dañaría la economía local.

“Los partidarios de la Medida S quieren cerrar el desarrollo y están dispuestos a recortar los empleos y aumentar los alquileres para hacerlo”, dijo Huizar en una conferencia de prensa con algunos líderes latinos en Boyle Heights el jueves.

Algunos líderes de la comunidad LGBT se unieron a Galperin para criticar la Medida S.

“El Centro LBGT está construyendo cientos de unidades de vivienda asequible para los jóvenes indigentes y los pobres de la tercera edad”, dijo Lorri Jean, director general del Centro LGBT de Los Ángeles.

“Si la Medida S hubiese existido en el pasado, nos habría detenido y hubiera dejado a un sinnúmero de niños sin hogar en las calles. Esto no es la solución correcta para Los Ángeles”.    Aproximadamente una media docena de seguidores de la Medida S se presentaron en la reunión del Ayuntamiento de Los Ángeles el 24 de febrero y comentaron.

“La organización multimillonaria que nos apoya es el bueno en este caso. Sus desarrolladores millonarios y organizaciones son los malos, para que quedemos claros”, dijo Jill Stewart, gerente de la campaña a favor de la Medida S.

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