Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Los Angeles' mural moratorium could be overturned

Boyle Heights

Eric Zassenhaus/KPCC

This work in Boyle Heights by East Los Streetscapers (David Botello, Wayne Healy, George Yepes) helped establish L.A.'s reputation as a capital of mural art.

A decade-long moratorium on public murals could be overturned Wednesday when the Los Angeles City Council votes on an ordinance regulating public art.

Los Angeles was once known as one of the world's mural capitals, with public displays of art stretching from East L.A. to the freeways to Venice. But that changed 10 years ago when city officials tried to regulate commercial billboards. According to Councilman Jose Huizar, art got tangled up with advertisements.

"The idea was that the city first wanted to better get a handle on what all the sign litigation was about, [to] resolve that before we move back into murals," Huizar said. "So there was a sort of moratorium on murals and now that we've gotten a better handle on the litigation, we're moving forward to allow murals to flourish once again."

The Los Angeles City Council is on the cusp of approving an ordinance that would allow artists to once again paint murals in the city. The artworks would be allowed as long as permits are sought and issued, the murals meet size and space restrictions, and are non-commercial in nature. Vintage art murals would be grandfathered in.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: President Obama heads back to LA, Mayor Garcetti declares state of emergency, DWP considers settlement

 President Barack Obama on college affordability

Getty Images

According to The Hollywood Reporter, President Obama will be back in Los Angeles next month to meet with big time Democratic donors.

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.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Tuesday, Aug. 27, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

President Obama will be back in Los Angeles on Sept. 9, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The president will hold an "'off the cuff' roundtable discussion with a small group of deep-pocketed Democratic donors," per the magazine.

According to Variety, Mayor Eric Garcetti has declared a state of emergency as television and film production leaves Los Angeles. "Garcetti has pledged to leverage his new position to be an ardent lobbyist for rescuing Hollywood production despite all the hurdles. He and his constituents must now convince Sacramento that the threat is real," per the piece.

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Whittier City Council to weigh plan for district elections

Patricia Lopez

Sharon McNary/KPCC

The Whittier City Council recently heard public testimony about changing at-large elections to a district election format.

The Whittier City Council will consider two plans Tuesday night for changing how council members are elected. The possible action is in response to Latino residents who sued Whittier alleging its at-large elections dilute their voting power.

Either plan would shift city elections away from its at-large system, in which all voters cast ballots in all council races, to a system in which candidates who reside in a council district are elected by  district residents.

Attorney Miguel Garcia, one of the plaintiffs, said Monday: "It's a hopeful sign that the City Council is moving forward toward a resolution."

He said he would be satisfied with either of the two options the council is proposing, because both would result in residents electing candidates from their own part of the city.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: EPA studies freeway pollution, another lawsuit against Millennium Hollywood, City Hall considers murals (updated)

Should the Metro Build a freeway tunnel to alleviate traffic?

Flickr/formulaone

Starting next year, the EPA will study pollution near Southern California freeways.

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.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Monday, Aug. 26, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

State Sen. Ron Calderon, who is under a federal investigation, hired former Bell Gardens City Councilman Mario Beltran as his spokesman and that's drawing questions. Beltran was hired after he was sentenced to probation for misusing campaign money, according to the Los Angeles Times. (Update: Beltran was banned from holding public office for four years. That ban lifted earlier this year.)

Gov. Jerry Brown is considering a law that would allow non-citizen legal permanent residents to serve on juries, reports KPCC.

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Immigration: Governor Brown considers allowing 3.4M non-citizens to serve on juries

Phil Spector Trial Continues

Pool/Getty Images

AB1401 would allow legal permanent residents to serve on juries. "Its only fair," said Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), one of the bill’s authors. (Photo by Fred Prouser-Pool/Getty Images)

This is one part in a new KPCC series looking at the rights, responsibilities, traditions and privileges that come along with being a citizen. Let us know what you think.

California could become the first state to allow non-citizens to serve on criminal and civil juries, under legislation now on the governor’s desk.

“The jury system is based on our peers judging us,” said Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), one of the bill’s authors. “It's only fair, because so many people living in California are legal permanent residents.”

Under AB1401, non-citizen legal permanent residents would be allowed to serve on juries. Federal law allows such residents – sometimes called “Green Card Holders” – to stay in the country as long as they like. Some are in the process of applying for citizenship. Others choose to remain citizens of other countries.

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