Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: Kevin James defends City Hall, LAUSD prepares for special election, does LA need a homeless czar?

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

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Today is Monday, Aug. 11, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:


In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, City Hall plays softball, Sacramento comes to L.A., and Councilman Tom LaBonge celebrates Hollywood.

The president of the Board of Public Works, Kevin James, was once a political outsider but now he finds himself defending City Hall, reports the Los Angeles Times. "Kevin has joined the system. It's distressing to see someone who knows better buying into the idea that we have to protect the system from reform," said Ron Kaye, former editor of the Daily News.

NBC 4 talked to George McKenna and Alex Johnson, two candidates running in tomorrow's special election for the LAUSD Board of Education. The second part of the interview is available here.

L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar wants the city to create a homeless czar to coordinate the work of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, L.A. County and other groups on Skid Row, reports CBS 2. The move comes as the city embarks on Operation Healthy Streets, a $3.7 million effort to clean up Skid Row.

A U.S. District judge dismissed the city of Los Angeles' lawsuit against JP Morgan for discriminatory lending practices, reports the Daily News. The lawsuit claimed that JP Morgan's practices "led to a wave of foreclosures that hurt the city’s property tax revenues and increased the need for city services," per the newspaper.

Tweets of the Day go to Senate District 26 candidates Sandra Fluke, Ben Allen and a familiar looking supporter.

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