Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Up to 209 layoffs, salary freeze possible for City of LA (updated)

Democratic National Convention: Day 1

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Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is calling on the Los Angeles City Council to make budget cuts, including 209 layoffs starting Jan. 1, 2013.

When the Los Angeles City Council approved its budget for fiscal year 2012-13, members kicked the can down the road of layoffs. Now, nearly halfway through the year, those 209 layoffs are back. 

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa called for the layoffs in a letter sent in anticipation of the financial status report from the city administrative officer. The layoffs are expected on Jan. 1, 2013. 

“This is a difficult yet necessary decision,” Villaraigosa said.

Of those 209 positions that are listed on the city’s books, 186 are filled by employees, according to City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana, who is also recommending that 50 jobs be cut from the City Attorney’s Office. That would end furloughs for the department. 

Even with those layoffs, the city’s budget deficit for 2013-14 would be $216 million. Without the layoffs, the shortfall would increase to $232 million. Just four months into this fiscal year, the city has a $16.6 million deficit.

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Mayor Villaraigosa heads to Iowa for Democratic dinner

Larry Mantle interviews Antonio Villaraigosa at RNC

Gina Delvac/KPCC

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, seen here with KPCC's Larry Mantle, is off to Iowa as the keynote speaker at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is headed to Iowa Friday to serve as the keynote speaker at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, an event Democratic politicians typically use as a launching pad for national ambitions.

The mayor is expected to use the opportunity to criticize Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. According to his prepared remarks, Villaraigosa will tell the audience:  

“Gov. Romney would treat our ambitious and talented immigrants very differently. Instead of supporting their energy and enthusiasm, instead of benefitting from their contributions to our county, he would make circumstances for them so miserable, so oppressive, so intolerable that they would leave behind the lives they have built, their children born here and go back to their countries of origin. They would quote-unquote self-deport. Gov. Romney, that is not who we are.”

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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." 

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Villaraigosa photobombs the DNC: Mayor says he'll fly back to LA ASAP if needed, but also hobnobs (photos)

Democratic National Convention: Day 1

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Mayor Villaraigosa speaks during day one of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on Sept. 4, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

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First Lady Michelle Obama is embraced by Los Angeles mayor and Democratic Convention chair Antonio Villaraigosa after delivering a speech at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sept. 4, 2012 on the first day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC).

Democratic National Convention: Day 1

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Cory Booker cheers as Mayor Villaraigosa speaks on day one of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on Sept. 4, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Los Angeles Mayor and Democratic Convention Chair Antonio Villaraigosa kisses Chair of the Democratic National Committee Debbie Wasserman Schultz shortly after she gaveled in the convention at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sept. 4, 2012 on the first day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC).

Democratic Convention

Lynne Sladky/AP

Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, left, is led to the podium by Los Angeles Mayor and Democratic Convention Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012.

Democratic National Convention: Day 1

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Mayor Villaraigosa approaches Cory Booker open armed for a hug during day one of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on Sept. 4, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Newark Mayor Cory Booker (R) is welcomed by Los Angeles Mayor and Democratic Convention Chair Antonio Villaraigosa (C) at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sept. 4, 2012 on the first day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC).

Democratic National Convention: Day 1

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Mayor Villaraigosa speaks during day one of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on Sept. 4, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Democratic National Convention: Day 1

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

DNC Chair Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (C) gives an interview during day one of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on Sept. 4, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Los Angeles Mayor and Democratic Convention Chair Antonio Villaraigosa makes a point following the gaveling open at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sept. 4, 2012 on the first day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC).

Democratic National Convention: Day 1

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DNC Chair Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa speaks during day one of the Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena on Sept. 4, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

US-VOTE-2012-DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION

Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Los Angeles Mayor and Democratic Convention Chair Antonio Villaraigosa reacts as he exits the stage at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Sept. 4, 2012 on the first day of the Democratic National Convention (DNC).


Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is in Charlotte all week, chairing the Democratic National Convention. But what happens if a wildfire takes a turn for the worse or some other local crisis erupts?

Villaraigosa said that if something serious happens that requires not just his attention "from afar," he'll "take the first plane out and be back." The mayor said he's on the phone every other hour, checking in with city hall and tending to L.A. government business.

He said the DNC and the Obama campaign know that if he needs to leave town to tackle a crisis in L.A., he'll do it.

Villaraigosa has been on the road quite a bit. He's made frequent trips to Washington, lobbying Congress for transportation loans. More recently, the Obama campaign has sent him to swing states such as Nevada to rally voters for the November election.

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DNC moves Obama speech inside due to rain — which could leave some out in the cold

2008 Democratic National Convention: Day 4

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) reacts to the crowd on day four of the 2008 Democratic National Convention (DNC) at Invesco Field at Mile High Aug. 28, 2008 in Denver, Colorado.

Despite earlier statements by officials, the Democratic National Convention is moving President Barack Obama's Thursday night speech from an outdoor football stadium inside to the much smaller basketball arena, putting Obama in a potentially less dramatic setting — and possibly leaving many expecting to see the president's speech out in the cold.

Los Angeles Mayor and convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa was asked earlier this week about how the weather might affect Obama's speech, which was to be delivered before more than 70,000 people in the city's football stadium. "The show must go on," Villaraigosa said.

Wednesday morning, as rain fell again, the DNC gave in. It's rained every day since I arrived on Saturday. Tuesday, delegates who mistimed their departure from their hotel arrived at the Time Warner Arena drenched from a series of downpours.

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