California Elections, Commentary, Zocalo Public Square »

When it comes to elections, LA is in a state of emergency

Posted January 28, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]
Los Angeles voter Amanda Sutton casts a ballot in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Photo by Avishay Artsy

Like a man who bangs his head against the wall to cure a headache, Los Angeles will hold more municipal elections this March. The certain result: another low-turnout embarrassment that draws the usual lamentations about how our democracy is in peril.
Enough crying. If California’s civic leaders are so sure that Los Angeles elections are democratic disasters, then why don’t they declare an official state …

California Elections, Commentary, Issues, News, Politics, Race for Mayor, The Mixer, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Pulling lever or pulling teeth?

Posted October 31, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

Exercising is tough. Voting is (relatively) easy. So why don’t Americans work that out?
Judging by meager turnout, Americans aren’t the most engaged people when it comes to voting… especially in off-year elections.
For last year’s mayoral election in Los Angeles, only about 23 percent of voters turned out at the polls.
Americans over 18-years old and registered to vote, and who haven’t had that right taken away, have …

California Elections, Commentary, Zocalo Public Square »

How to get everyone to vote

Posted October 31, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]

I did not receive the warmest welcome from my colleagues four years ago, at my very first meeting of the Falun Election Commission. In fact, most members of the authority in Falun, the Swedish city of 57,000 where I live, were surprised I had called a meeting at all.
“What is this all about?” a colleague asked me. “The next elections are in four years …

California Elections, News, Zocalo Public Square »

People died so I could vote

Posted October 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
African American children gather around a sign encouraging people to register to vote.
Date: 1960s  Collection: International Ladies Garment Workers Union Photographs (1885-1985) 

Photo credit: "a href=""> The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives in the ILR School at Cornell University

It’s Hard Not to Go to the Polls When a Generation of African-Americans Risked—and Sometimes Lost—Their Lives to Get You There
When we were growing up in South Los Angeles, my siblings and I often heard my dad’s impromptu sermons about matters of importance: the value of education, the perils of purchasing on credit, the virtue of hard work, and the dire necessity of voting.
“People …

California Elections »

Listen to the LA County Supervisors Debate

Posted May 13, 2014 by and | 3 Comments | ]

On Tuesday’s Which Way, LA? Warren sat down with four of the eight candidates to fill Zev Yaroslavky’s seat on the LA County Board of Supervisors.
With 2 million residents, the 3rd supervisorial district runs from the San Fernando Valley to Santa Monica and from Westlake Village to Hollywood.  The Supervisors manage a $26 billion budget—spending more than all but a few states.  There are …

Commentary, Zocalo Public Square »

Donuts for votes, and other ways to get people to go to the polls

Posted December 3, 2013 by | 2 Comments | ]
Donut shop via Flickr by navets/ CreativeCommons

Until a change in the city charter 20 years ago, voters in some parts of Los Angeles were able to take stubs from their ballot, present them to local independent donut shops and receive a free dozen donuts, paid for by local Democrats.
Is it time to bring back donuts for votes? Certainly, the city is full of ideas in the wake of this year’s …

Politics, Today's News »

Today’s News: DWP staff is getting unlimited sick days; Lawsuit raises heat on Calderons; Activision freedom

Posted July 26, 2013 by | 12 Comments | ]

DWP generosity. When most people use up their allotment of sick days, they either go to work or don’t get paid. But that’s not so at the L.A. Department of Water and Power.
The L.A. Times reports that a 32-year-old DWP policy allows workers at the public utility to take off unlimited sick days beyond the agency’s 10-day cap, and still get paid.
Since 2010, DWP …

Commentary, Interviews, News, Politics »

Anaheim’s unlikeliest radical: the mayor

Posted June 17, 2013 by | 2 Comments | ]

Last week, the Anaheim City Council rejected a motion that would’ve placed the issue of district voting on the ballot next year.
The issue is currently in the news because the ACLU is trying to force the matter via the courts.
The activists who say Anaheim’s current at-large electoral system is discriminatory toward Latino voters have an unlikely ally: Mayor Tom Tait. He’s a Republican who …

California Elections, Interviews, Issues, News, Politics, Race for Mayor »

How Republicans and women helped sway the LA mayor’s race

Posted May 22, 2013 by | 2 Comments | ]
Wendy Greuel, speaking at her campaign headquarters in Van Nuys, on May 22, 2013. Photo by Avishay Artsy

City Councilman Eric Garcetti is the next mayor of Los Angeles, beating City Controller Wendy Greuel by 54 percent to 46 percent.
That’s pretty much exactly how the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University called it last night at 8 pm, just as polls closed. Among their findings – Garcetti won 63 percent of the Latino vote, and 54 percent …

California Elections, News, Race for Mayor »

Voter Guide: May 21st elections

Posted May 17, 2013 by | 117 Comments | ]

Did you know that L.A. has more than 2 million eligible voters, but that 1.6 million of them are expected to skip the election on Tuesday? This means that you, dear voter, have a lot of responsibility.
When to Vote:
Polls are open from 7AM – 8PM on Tuesday, May 21st.
Where to Vote:
Find your polling place and a sample ballot here.
Wendy Greuel vs. Eric Garcetti:
Angelenos will finally …

California Elections, Interviews, Politics, Race for Mayor »

Why Los Angeles residents don’t vote

Posted May 16, 2013 by | 3 Comments | ]
Los Angeles voter Amanda Sutton casts a ballot in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles. Photo by Avishay Artsy

Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday to vote for the next mayor of Los Angeles and several other key offices. But will there be a flood of ballots, or merely a trickle?
Used to be, a lot more votes were cast in L.A. during big city elections. Here we are on the cusp of selecting a new mayor for the second most populous …

Commentary, News, Politics »

Orange County Line: Is it time, Anaheim?

Posted April 1, 2013 by | 1 Comment | ]

Last summer, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Anaheim charging that the city’s at-large council elections excluded Latinos from electing their own and asked the courts to create voting by district.
The Democratic Party of Orange County just endorsed an eight-district proposal, while the Republican-dominated city council has largely mocked the idea.
KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis talks to Gustavo Arellano, editor of the OC Weekly, on efforts …

Interviews, News, Politics, Race for Mayor »

Friday Mixer: It’s now all about Garcetti and Greuel

Posted March 8, 2013 by | 0 Comments | ]

It’s the end of the week, and it’s time for the Friday mixer. From eight candidates to two: the primary election is over, and the field of candidates for mayor of Los Angeles has narrowed considerably.
Plus, an embarrassingly low voter turnout for the primary election, union endorsements, outgoing mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s future, and a look ahead to the next 11 weeks. All among the …

California Elections, Education, Issues, Politics, Today's News »

Today’s News: Riordan drops pension measure, San Bernardino cuts deep; LAUSD loses ‘Race to Top’

Posted November 27, 2012 by | 0 Comments | ]

Retiring type. Former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan says his team simply didn’t have the time it needed to collect the nearly 300,000 signatures required to qualify a pension reform measure for the May ballot. Riordan has abandoned the effort. His measure would have scaled back benefits for current city workers and required new hires to accept a 410(k)-style retirement plan instead of a guaranteed …

Arts & Culture, California Elections, Education, Issues, Politics, Today's News »

Today’s News: Prop. 30 fight brewing; IDs for undocumented immigrants; ‘Twilight’ camp

Posted November 8, 2012 by | 0 Comments | ]

Lost days. The passage of Proposition 30 is undeniably good news for LAUSD, but it’s already sparked a dispute about how the additional funding should be used. Deasy says the district could salvage some of the five days of instruction lost this year because of earlier budget cuts. But members of the teachers union want all of those days restored, in addition to five …

California Elections, economy, Education, Issues, Politics, Today's News »

Today’s News: Big Win for Brown, Prop. 30; Dems eye supermajority; Lacey takes D.A.’s race; Death penalty stands

Posted November 7, 2012 by | 0 Comments | ]

Super close. California Assembly Speaker John Perez says Democrats have won two-thirds of the seats in that that house of the Legislature, and he expects his party will get the same majority in the state Senate. If so, Democrats would achieve a coveted supermajority, meaning they could pass tax increases without relying on Republican votes. Sacramento Bee
Prop. 30 win. California public school students and …

Environment, Issues, Politics, Today's News »

Today’s News: FPPC calls $11 million donation political ‘money laundering’

Posted November 5, 2012 by | 1 Comment | ]

Donors revealed, mystery continues. California’s political watchdog agency says an $11 million campaign donation from an Arizona non-profit is the biggest case of campaign money laundering ever in California. The money apparently passed through two other groups before it was funneled to a California committee fighting Prop. 30 and backing Prop. 32. Sacramento Bee
Too close to call. On the eve of the election, more …

California Elections, Issues, Politics »

California Propositions: Prop 40 – Deciding the fate of new state Senate districts

Posted November 2, 2012 by | 3 Comments | ]

If Proposition 39 is complex, then Proposition 40 – a measure that’s been abandoned by the people who put it on the ballot – is downright confounding.
Prop. 40 is a referendum on new state Senate districts drawn up last year by a citizen’s commission. A “Yes” vote upholds the new districts. A “No” vote rejects them and places control of the redistricting process in …

California Elections, economy »

California Propositions: Prop 39 – Hiking taxes on multistate businesses

Posted November 2, 2012 by | 5 Comments | ]
Photo by by photohome_uk via Flickr

Most of us have no qualms about weighing in on school funding, the death penalty or any number of other issues, but when it comes to deciding what formula the state should use for calculating corporate taxes, well, a lot of folks are hopelessly at sea. There’s no getting around it. Proposition 39 is one of those measures that makes people furl their brows …

California Elections, Food, Issues »

California Propositions: Prop 37 – Labeling genetically engineered food

Posted November 1, 2012 by | 11 Comments | ]

How hot an issue are genetically-modified foods and the debate over Prop 37? We went to a local supermarket and talked with some shoppers to find out:
“It just seems like it’s a no-brainer,” said one shopper. “We need to know what’s in our food and make decisions based on the evidence that we just don’t know enough about GMO’s to expose ourselves and our …

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