Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: the future of public education, race in CD 9, a profile of Kevin James

lausd school bus

Photo by superterrific/dana byerly via Flickr Creative Commons

In a debate hosted by the United Way, the leading candidates for mayor all appeared to support the superintendent and criticize the teachers' union.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

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Today is Thursday, Feb. 28, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


In a debate hosted by the United Way, the leading mayoral candidates all appeared to back LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy and criticize the work of United Teachers Los Angeles, reports the Daily News.

The LA Weekly looks at the racial politics of the city's Ninth District. "While Los Angeles' demographics are changing, and neighborhoods are becoming more Latino, the old African American guard still wants to maintain three seats on the City Council," according to the paper.

Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti, both liberals, want to eliminate the city's business tax, reports the Los Angeles Times. "The duo's insistence on ending the tax on businesses' gross receipts puts them at odds with not only Democratic Party orthodoxy nationally but also with several figures viewed as leading watchdogs on municipal finance — former deputy mayor and investment banker Austin Beutner, Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and Miguel Santana, the city's top budget official," according to the paper.

The deputy mayor for the Office of Economic and Business Policy has resigned, reports the Downtown News. Matt Karatz's last day will be Friday.

KPCC profiles mayoral candidate Kevin James.

Is Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa dating Mexican actress Kate Del Castillo? Maybe, according to the Huffington Post, though the actress told the website the two are just practicing Spanish together.


8:30 a.m. Planning Commission, Van Nuys City Hall, Council Chamber

  • New school building in Encino area
  • Demolition of buildings on Pico Boulevard


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