Politics, government and public life for Southern California

VIDEO: Taking dinner table conversation about politics on tour with 'Bring It To The Table'

Kitty Felde/KPCC

Filmmaker Julie Winokur is asking people across the country to "Bring It To The Table" and talk politics.

It was a conversation with her 17-year-old son that started filmmaker Julie Winokur on her cross-country tour. “He called me the most intolerant person he had ever met.” 

Winokur shrugged off the accusation, saying he just hadn’t lived long enough to know enough intolerant people. He told her, “if you don’t agree with people politically, you don’t even listen to what they have to say. You just dismiss it without even hearing.” That stopped her in her tracks.

Winokur makes videos for Talking Eyes Media, a San Francisco company now located in New Jersey.  Its clients include the James Irvine Foundation. She decided she needed to practice listening to people. So she packed up a folding table, a cameraman and a camera and hit the road.

Bring It To The Table - The Trailer from Talking Eyes Media on Vimeo.


Xavier Becerra, bumped from Tuesday, takes the stage at DNC

Kitty Felde/KPCC

L.A. Congressman Xavier Becerra's DNC speech was bumped from Tuesday to Thursday night.

L.A. Congressman Xavier Becerra finally got his moment in the spotlight Thursday night, standing center stage at the Democratic National Convention. His task: talk about the American Dream.

Becerra is the right-hand man to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. He's asked to carry water for the party on Capitol Hill — briefing reporters, repeating the company line, being the nice guy when Pelosi is the tough cop. This was supposed to be his reward.

The Democratic Party rewarded Becerra by bumping him from Tuesday's schedule. They did move him to the night President Obama would speak. But then they stuck Becerra between Caroline Kennedy, the crown princess of Camelot, and the highly energetic former Governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm. And his speech was shown on neither CNN nor MSNBC.


DNC Chair Villaraigosa overrules majority on religious platform changes

Democratic National Convention: Day 1

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Delegates turn on Villaraigosa during Jerusalem and God platform vote. The L.A. mayor and DNC chair called a clear majority when there wasn't one.

The most controversial event of tonight's Democratic National Convention was just about the first event of the evening.

There was a special vote to amend the party platform, inserting a statement saying Democrats recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel and reaffirming Democrats' belief in God as central to our American story.

There was no debate... but there was dissent from the floor.

The man at the podium, DNC Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa, called for a motion, a second, and then a vote, saying it needed two-thirds to pass. 

All in favor?  There were ayes.  All opposed?  The "nays" were even louder.

"In the opinion of the—"  And then Villaraigosa stopped. Using his school teacher voice, he said, "Let me do that again."

Villaraigosa called for a second vote.  Same result.  A party functionary came out and told him, "You've got to let them do what they're going to do." 


Meet a pair of California DNC delegate brothers who want a more progressive party

Kitty Felde/KPCC

Dante, left, and David Atkins are brothers and progressive Democrats from Southern California who are delegates at the Democratic National Convention

They look alike, they talk alike, and though they're not twins, they are united in a mission: move the Democratic Party farther to the left.

Delegates David Atkins of Ventura and Dante Atkins of Los Angeles say they’ve always had political inclinations. David said they were “always excited to get our sample ballots from the time we were 12 years old. And we would go and mark them up. It was hilarious.”

The pair started writing their opinions online about a decade ago, then got involved with Howard Dean's presidential campaign. Since then, the duo has been working within the party itself, trying to embody what Dean described as the “Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.” David expresses frustration at what he calls “old school” local party structure that rarely champions progressive values.


Once the media darling at Democratic conventions, Jerry Brown not coming this year

Governor Jerry Brown

Andres Aguila/KPCC

It was 1976 — 36 years ago — when Jerry Brown first ran for president. He ran again in 1980, but it was his 1992 run that I remember.

He ain't coming.

California's colorful governor is sitting out this Democratic National Convention. Too many bills to review since the state legislature finally adjourned and sent hundreds of items for him to consider signing into law. It's just not going to be the same political convention without him.

It was 1976 — 36 years ago — when Jerry Brown first ran for president. He ran again in 1980, but it was his 1992 run that I remember. 

It was my first political convention, the DNC in NYC. I was freelancing for AP and NPR and it was my first experience with the national press corps — those pushy, annoying, know-it-all reporters based in Washington, DC.  They loved Jerry Brown and followed him all over the city. And Brown loved the attention. He was fun to cover in those days when he did the unexpected.