Southern California breaking news and trends

Parking down the deficit: Ticket fines could increase under proposed Villaraigosa budget

Mercer 3868

Corey Moore/KPCC

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has proposed a number of parking ticket increases that he believes will help pay down the city's $238-million deficit.

Several times the region's inflation rate, the new fee schedule would see penalty amounts that are 70-90% more expensive than the year he was elected, and fines would bring in $40 million more a year than his first year in office, says the L.A. Times

According to the mayor's proposal, a number of tickets would see an additional $10 tacked on, and a street-sweeping ticket would increase to $78. That's nearly twice the amount charged elsewhere in Los Angeles County, says the Times, and more than the cost of the ticket in any neighboring city.

Those against the proposed increases say penalties would affect those who can least affort it, like low-income renters and working class families in neighborhoods with too few parking spaces.


Villaraigosa tweets praise to the best neighbor ever, Mayor Cory Booker

Newark Mayor Rescue

Mel Evans/AP

Newark Mayor Cory Booker, center at microphones, stands in front of a boarded-up 433 Hawthorne Avenue, next to his home, left, in Newark, N.J., Friday, April 13, 2012 as he talks about rescuing a neighbor Thursday from fire at the home. Booker said Friday he feared for his life as he helped rescue a neighbor from a fire before firefighters arrived. He described how he returned home Thursday night and saw his neighbor's home engulfed in flames. The woman Booker helped save is in stable condition. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, NJ suffered second-degree burns and smoke inhalation on Thursday after literally rushing into a burning building to rescue his next-door neighbor, notes MSNBC.

As #corybookerstories and related tags are burning up the charts as trending topics on Twitter, Villaraigosa tweets in with recovery wishes for his Mayor mate from another state.




Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa backs gay marriage plank for Dems (video)

warsaw waving a rainbow flag

Wojtek Radwanski/AFP/Getty Images

The chairman of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, said during a Politico function on Wednesday that he supports the gay marriage legalization plank in his party’s platform.

“I think it’s basic to who we are,” Villaraigosa said of the issue he has long supported. “I believe in family values and I believe that we all ought to be able to have a family and marry if you want to. I don’t think the government should be in that business of denying people the fundamental right to marry.”

Villaraigosa also criticized the GOP for wading into social issues.  

"The Republicans have gotten so far out of the mainstream," according to the mayor. "I mean, at a time when all of us should be focused on the economy, they’re focused on contraception and mammograms."  


LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to chair the Democratic National Convention

LA Mayor, And Americans Promoting Study Abroad Announce Major Beijing Concert To Benefit Study Abroad

Jerod Harris/Getty Images for BGR

File: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and announce partnership with Americans Promoting Study Abroad and Major Beijing Concert to benefit Study Abroad at Mendez Learning Center on November 21, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been chosen to chair this summer's Democratic National Convention, the L.A. Times reports. The position means he'll be a public spokesman for the convention, among other duties.

A formal announcement is scheduled Wednesday in Washington. Villaraigosa will join President Barack Obama that night for a fundraiser in L.A.

The Democratic Party plans to release a Web publicity video with Villaraigosa Wednesday, the L.A. Times reports, raising his national profile as a major Latino politician.

Villaraigosa endorsed Hillary Clinton in her 2008 presidential bid against Obama, serving as one of her national campaign chairmen. Once she dropped out, Villaraigosa switched his support to Obama.

The Democratic convention will take place in Charlotte, N.C., beginning Sept. 3. Obama is expected to be nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate.