Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Live from Philippe's: What's your issue this election season?

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Update 12:15 pm: Lunch rush

The lunch crowd is here in force, shuffling the sawdust around Philippe's floor and upping the chatter quotient. We're wrapping up for the day, but check our That's My Issue section for updates on our next stop. We've been looking at a few cafes and meeting spots around South Los Angeles who'd be willing to host us next time. Any suggestions? 

Update 12:00 pm: Gay Marriage

Michael Lewis, a former supporter of President Barack Obama, says he'll be sitting this election out. Lewis says he feels the President's decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act caused him to reconsider his vote.

"My position is in alignment with the Bible," he says. "The Bible says that God wants a marriage between a man and a woman, so I withdrew my vote."

Lewis says he has a number of gay and lesbian friends, but says his beliefs have nothing to do with his feelings about individuals. "Nobody should judge anybody," Lewis says.

Also weighing on Lewis' decision is the way that the debate over unemployment has been framed. 

"What people don't understand is that technology is replacing our jobs just as we speak," he says. "And a lot of what's causing people not to get jobs is really ego. People have come off of making $150,000, $160,000 each year. Now that job is no longer there. It's been replaced by a computer or another source of tech advances. have to accept that that job is forever gone. it's not there. Put the pride aside and take what you can get."

Michael Lewis on why he's not voting for either presidential candidate at Philippe the Original by kimbui

Update 11:30 am: While I don't like paying taxes...

Prop 30 has been a major focus of this year's election. Governor Jerry Brown has staked a good deal of political capital on the measure, which promises to help stave off deep cuts to California's ailing school system.

Sophie Ong Lafferty, a program coordinator at USC's journalism school, tells us she feels strongly about the issue. 

"If we can spread the pain a little bit, I think we can all get Califonia out of its deficit," she says. But how much financialy pain is she — or are you — personally willing to absorb?

That's My Issue: If we can spread the pain by KPCC

Update 11:05 am: Live blogging live radio

It's been a hectic morning here at Philippe's, and now that the lunch rush is beginning to stream through, we're getting our second wind.
Due to a few technical problems earlier, Frank has been nonstop interviewing and editing his audio on deadline (rather than going entirely live) as originally planned. Live blogging meets live radio. Here's what it looks like: 

Step 1 : Interview 

Step 2: Edit

Step 3: Live radio

Step 4: Repeat!

Update 11:00 am: It feels awful 

Hector Ponce, 42, of West Covina tells us he's ineligible to vote this, or any, year. 

"Unfortunately when I was young I got a felony," he says. "So therefore basically it shut me from voting for life."

Ponce says he now tells his kids to be careful about commiting errors that might affect them later in life.

"it feels awful inside," he says. "That's why I tell my kids be good and don't do little errors that will cause you a lifetime" of problems.

That's My Issue: It feels awful by KPCC

Update 10:45 am: Alternative energy sources

Philippe's-goer Chris Petrillo tells us the environment and U.S. dependence on oil are the issues he's most concerned abut. 

"In the future there's not going to be oil for people to drive their cars around and I think we need to concentrate on alternative energy sources," he says.

A cyclist himself, Petrillo points to bike-riding and mass transit as potential ways to curb our reliance on oil.  

chris petrillo's election issue: climate change at Philippe the Original by kimbui


Update 10:30 am: Where do you find the time?

Child psychiatrist Paul Kurkjian says he's concerned about how difficult it is to understand the issues in the election, given the sophistication of the campaigns, and the fact that each can trot out their own bonafide experts.

"Even as a physician. I was confused about how to vote for the genetically modified food proposition," he says. Kurkjian told Frank of a car trip to San Francisco, where he and his wife read alound the pros and cons for each proposition and the statements from each candidate. It took them 5 hours. 

"Where do most people, who are working two jobs. Where do they find the time?"

That's My Issue: Where do they find the time? by KPCC

Update 10:00 am: Voting isn't everything

So far down here at Philippe's, we've heard from folks concerned about cuts in education, issues affecting the environment, as well as thoughts on the future of the democratic party. Steven Dornbusch, who just got off the night shift, is concerned about the future of American politics, but not particularly about elections. 

"Voting is not everything," he says. "Lots of politics have nothing to do with elections." He says he'd like to see more partisanship and a more invigorated political process. 

"Political enemies aren't personal enemies," he says. "It's about what kind of world you want." What do you think?

That's My Issue: Voting isn't everything by KPCC

Previously: KPCC will be live from Phiippe: The Original (better known as Philippe's) in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday to hear what issues are important to you this election season. 

We’ll be there from 6am until noon. Come chat and we’ll share your stories through a series of live broadcast segments that day and on our online "That's My Issue” project.

So come on down, grab a coffee and a sandwich, and say hi to us. You can also record or write us online

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With contributions from Kim Bui and Eric Zassenhaus

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