Politics, government and public life for Southern California

SoCal groups organize against US intervention in Syria

Silver Lake Syria Protest

Grant Slater/KPCC

Sam Patrick of Glendale protests the possibility of war in Syria alongside the Landau family, Peter and his daughter Ada.

Silver Lake Syria Protest

Grant Slater/KPCC

Protesters gather at an intersection in Silver Lake to demonstrate against military action in Syria.

Silver Lake Syria Protest

Grant Slater/KPCC

Protestors are reflected in a passing car in Silver Lake Monday evening.

Silver Lake Syria Protest

Grant Slater/KPCC

Lloyd Hamrol of Silver Lake holds a sign at the intersection of Glendale and Silver Lake boulevards.

Silver Lake Syria Protest

Grant Slater/KPCC

Robert Sandoval of Los Feliz makes an anti-war sign at the intersection of Glendale and Silver Lake boulevards.

As the Obama Administration considers a proposal that Syria turn over its chemical weapons cache to international overseers, and the President prepares to make his case for U.S. military intervention in Syria during a nationwide address scheduled for Tuesday night, anti-war activists across Southern California on Monday urged him to stand down.

“It runs a great risk of reaping the whirlwind of war, and having American boots on the ground,” said Rev. Ed Bacon of All Saints Church in Pasadena. “We have to exhaust every diplomatic option.”

Bacon said he accepts that the Syrian regime appears to have committed an atrocity in launching a chemical attack that killed more than 1,400 people, but said a military response would be “misguided,” and warned it could lead to a wider conflict in the region.


Energy Committee approves four new DWP commissioners

solar panel installation - North Hollywood apartment complex - feed-in tariff program

Steven Kiesling

An LA City Council committee approved four new commissioners to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners Monday. Here, workers install solar panels as part of the utility's program that lets businesses sell solar power from large-scale rooftop arrays to the DWP.

Four new appointees to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners were approved Monday by the L.A. City Council's Energy and Environment Committee, with a vote by the full council expected later this week. 

Despite the recent, tense contract negotiations between the city and the DWP's union, the confirmation hearing was light on policy and personnel issues. Mayor Eric Garcetti's appointees— Jill Banks Barad, Mel Levine, William Funderburk and Michael Fleming — were unanimously confirmed by the committee. Current DWP Commissioner Christina Noonan will remain on the board. 

"My questions have been answered," said committee member Felipe Fuentes at the beginning of the hearing, noting he met with the appointees privately last week. 

During his comments, committee member José Huizar said the recent mayor's race drew attention to the DWP because of the union's strong financial support of Wendy Greuel. For his part, committee member  Tom LaBonge noted the focus on the utility is similar to what the Los Angeles Police Department and Metro experienced in past years. As for policy, the Fourth District councilman pointed out Recreation and Parks is struggling financially now that it has to pay DWP for water and electricity. 


Mayor Eric Garcetti reports for jury duty at criminal courthouse (Updated)

Mayor Eric Garcetti was excused from jury duty Monday afternoon. Back to mayorin'!

UPDATE: Mayor Eric Garcetti was cleared from jury duty late Monday afternoon, according to a spokesman for his office. We're not sure the reason behind Garcetti's dismissal but we hope he told the court: "You guys know my Dad used to work here, right?" 

ORIGINAL POST: If Mayor Eric Garcetti weren't such a responsible citizen, maybe he could actually get some mayorin' done.  

He recently completed two weeks of Naval Reserves duty. And on Monday, he reported to downtown's criminal courthouse for jury duty.  

The mayor was waiting to see if he would be assigned to a case, a spokesman said shortly before 11 a.m. Sounds like Garcetti could use some help coming up with an excuse to get out of the jury pool. Here are a few ideas:

  • Have to get back to City Hall and make sure Council President Herb Wesson isn't giving away the store.
  • Need to mow the Silver Lake Reservoir  Meadow. 
  • Gotta read through the DWP's work rules. 
  • Made an appointment to measure drapes at Getty House.
  • I'm Mayor Eric Garcetti!


Businesses join activists calling on Congress to work on immigration overhaul

Rep. Gary Miller (R-Rancho Cucamonga)

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Rep. Gary Miller (R-Rancho Cucamonga), whose district is heavily Latino, is being targeted by immigration reform advocates.

As Congress returned to Washington Monday following the August recess, immigration reform advocates continued to press their case on various home fronts. 

Events themed "Get Back to Work on Immigration Reform" were held in San Jose, Sacramento, San Diego, Bakersfield, Modesto, Fresno, Palmdale, Sonoma, Colton and Placentia Monday. The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor joined with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce at L.A. City Hall with a similar message on the economic benefits of an immigration law overhaul.

In Colton, a coalition of labor, faith-based groups and small business owners gathered at La Carreta Mexican Style Products to ask Rep. Gary Miller (R-Rancho Cucamonga) to support legislation that would enable undocumented immigrants to attain permanent residency and eventual citizenship. The coalition includes Mi Familia Vota, SEIU United Long Term Care Workers, Organizing for Action, Latino Voter Registration Project and the Inland-based immigrant assistance organization Libreria del Pueblo.


Maven's Morning Coffee: Term limits at the Board of Supervisors, LA gets urban farms, recall efforts in San Bernardino

President Bill Clinton Pays Tribute To Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa At CelebrateLA!

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina is one of two members who will be termed out next year. The Los Angeles Times look at what term limits could mean for the powerful board.

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, Sept. 9, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:


In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, City Hall prepares for the 2015 election, former police chief Bill Bratton creates a social network, and Controller Ron Galperin draws some national attention.

The Los Angeles Times looks at the powerful L.A. County Board of Supervisors and the impact term limits could have on the "five kings." "The turnover, starting with elections in June, will change the makeup of a panel whose decisions can affect millions of the poor and needy dependent on a wide range of county social services, as well as taxpayers, businesses and organized labor, which hopes to increase its clout through the coming political campaigns," per The Times.