Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: analyzing Board of Supervisors' seats, a new fire station in the Valley, West Hollywood to ban exotic animals

Supervisor Gloria Molina

Andres Aguila/KPCC

Supervisor Gloria Molina is the only Latino on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. LAObserved looks at the politics of creating a second Latino district.

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 Friday, Sept. 13, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

LAObserved columnist Bill Boyarsky explains why termed-out L.A. County supervisors may oppose the creation of a new, Latino-dominated district. It comes down to "the long standing relationships the supervisors have with small city politicians, chambers of commerce and other business organizations, religious groups and others. These organizations comprise crucial support networks," he writes.

Did the city of Los Angeles try to pull a fast one residents in Sherman Oaks by secretly OKing a new fire station? The LA Weekly thinks so. "The Bureau of Engineering, LAFD and (former Councilman Tony) Cardenas (now in Congress) in 2009 began to plan a vast, 18,533-square-foot, $37.1 million fire station at Oxnard Street and Vesper Avenue. Residents got word just eight weeks ago, when it was all but a done deal," according to the paper.

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Farmers tell Democrats how climate change affects crops

Henry Waxman

Kitty Felde/KPCC

LA Democrat Henry Waxman, right, says his task force is looking at climate change "in the context of what it means every day in the lives of different Americans as they face severe weather changes."

American farmers are experiencing climate change in their fields. That was the message delivered to a group of Democrat lawmakers Thursday in Washington. Consequently, drought in the Midwest is affecting California's dairy farmers — and parents looking for a reasonably priced gallon of milk.

Democrats frustrated with the lack of Congressional action on global warming are trying a new tactic: focusing on how climate change is affecting Americans in various ways. The bicameral Task Force on Climate Change has in the past examined the growing threat of wildfires, and also profiled clean energy companies and their effect on the U.S. economy.

Now, the group of Senate and House Democrats is hearing from representatives of America’s agricultural industry. The task force chairman  is L.A. Congressman Henry Waxman, who — as the top Democrat on the Energy and Commerce Committee — was the architect of the climate change bill passed by the then-Democratic led House three years ago. Waxman said the task force is exploring the issue "in the context of what it means every day in the lives of different Americans as they face severe weather changes, whether it’s drought or flooding."

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Update: Dozens arrested outside US Capitol as protesters demand immigration reform

Immigration activist arrested at US Capitol

Kitty Felde/KPCC

Dozens were arrested outside the U.S. Capitol Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, as protesters pushed for a Congressional vote on immigration reform.

More than a hundred activists from around the country gathered outside the U.S. Capitol Thursday morning, chanting slogans and staging a sit-in to push for immigration reform.

Women wearing red T-shirts sat down in the middle of busy Independence Avenue, just as lawmakers were trying to make their way from their House offices to the House chamber for the final votes of the week. Capitol Police peacefully arrested more than a hundred women, including a number of undocumented immigrants.

Emily Gelbaum, originally from Newport Beach, is with Fair Immigration Reform Movement. She says with Congress returning to work this week after the August recess, "we need to make sure immigration reform is at the top of their list."

Congressman Paul Cook of Big Bear says for members of Congress — and for most of their constituents — recently there's been just one topic. "The last two weeks," he says, "everything has been Syria, Syria, Syria. That's what we've all been focused on." The freshman Republican says immigration has, frankly, fallen off the radar screen.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Mayor Garcetti speaks to labor, airport panel rejects appeal, Roz Wyman honored

Eric Garcetti DWP City Hall

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke to the AFL-CIO Convention this week, a sign that he is rebuilding his ties to labor, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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 Thursday, Sept. 12, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke at the national AFL-CIO Convention, a sign that he is rebuilding his ties with labor, according to the Los Angeles Times. "By being here today, he obviously is signaling that he wants to work with labor, and he intends to work with labor, and that's a good place to be," said Maria Elena Durazo.

An airport panel rejected a challenge from Culver City, Ontario and San Bernardino County over a plan to move one of LAX's runways 260 feet, reports the Daily Breeze. "Had the commission voted the other way, it could have stalled — at least temporarily — the controversial runway project approved in April by the Los Angeles City Council," according to the newspaper.

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As prison plan moves ahead, opponents keep up the protests

Prison Protest

Frank Stoltze

Inmate rights activists rallied in downtown LA against Governor Brown's plan to send prisoners out of state to comply with a federal court order. "This is a moral failure, not just a policy failure," said Rev. Leonard B. Jackson of Justice Not Jails.

A group of Los Angeles area inmate rights activists gathered outside the Reagan State Office Building in downtown Los Angeles Wednesday to rally against Governor Brown’s prison plan, even as the state legislature moved towards approval.

“We will continue to raise strong concerns around any budget raid that will go towards funding prisons at the expense of rebuilding other services and programs, including early child care and education,” said Martin Castro, president and CEO of the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation and chair of the L.A. Child Care Alliance.

Under a compromise between Brown and State Senate Democrats, California will start sending more than 6,000 prison inmates to private facilities out of state at the end of the year unless a federal court lifts an order to reduce overcrowding. If judges agree to postpone or ease their order, Brown will spend more money on rehabilitation programs that could reduce recidivism rates. 

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