Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Mayor Garcetti dips into education policy with LAUSD's Student Recovery Day

Eric Garcetti

Alice Walton/KPCC

Mayor Eric Garcetti visited Fremont High School as part of LAUSD's Student Recovery Day.

Hundreds of volunteers with the Los Angeles Unified School District spread out across Los Angeles Friday to find high school dropouts and convince them to return to the classroom. 

The annual event was also an occasion for Mayor Eric Garcetti to make some of his first official remarks on public education. 

"Dropouts aren't just the business of students or their parents," Garcetti said. "Dropouts are everybody's business and they're certainly my business as mayor of the city." 

Public education was a major priority for the city's previous mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa. When he was unable to gain control of LAUSD, Villaraigosa worked to get key allies appointed to the Board of Education. He also created the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, which allowed him to oversee some of the lowest-performing schools in the district. So far, Garcetti has been much quieter on the education front, though he did recently name Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana as his education deputy

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Local members of Congress seek public input on Syria

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra usually takes questions from reporters; tonight he wants to hear from constituents on Syria

An overwhelming majority of California lawmakers are undecided about whether the U.S. should take military action in Syria. One of those who has weighed in on the "leaning yes" side is Democratic Congressman Xavier Becerra of Los Angeles. Friday evening he'll open the phone lines to hear what his constituents think.

RELATED: LA liberals unhappy with Boxer's committee vote on Syria

Becerra has said it would be "morally irresponsible not to do something" to respond to the Assad regime's alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians in Syria. But he says, any action should be targeted, limited and last less than 60 days. Becerra told MSNBC, "Sometimes the public doesn't agree with us, but hey, that's our responsibility. That's why we get elected."

Becerra will seek input from his constituents in a telephone town hall tonight (Sept. 6) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. (Call-in: 1-877-229-8493; passcode: 14636; press *3 to ask a question or make a comment.) 

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Maven's Morning Coffee: IBEW considers DWP contract, Obama cancels California trip, will Santa Monica Airport become a park?

Molly Peterson/KPCC

The union representing Department of Water and Power employees is considering its new contract with the city. LADWP general manager Ron Nichols is seen here.

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

Headlines

The Daily News looks at whether members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers will reject a proposed contract with the Department of Water and Power. "We’re risking our lives. Everyone else is sitting in an office," one DWP lineman told the newspaper.

President Obama's trip to California was canceled so he can remain focused on the conflict in Syria, reports KPCC.

Rep. Janice Hahn's opposition to a military strike against Syria is getting her a lot of media attention, according to the LA Weekly. "Among local members of Congress, Hahn has easily been the most visible on this issue ... Alan Lowenthal has agonized publicly about his position. Others, like Adam Schiff, Xavier Becerra and Brad Sherman, have said they would support a strike under certain conditions," per the Weekly.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: USC's Coliseum deal done, a chat with LA County's coroner, LA's NFL future uncertain

salute to the olympic games

Andres Aguila/KPCC

The California Science Board gave final approval to a deal that will allow USC to control the publicly-owned Coliseum.

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

Headlines

The California Science Board gave final approval to a deal that will give USC control of the publicly-owned Coliseum, reports the Los Angeles Times. "Finalizing the arrangement took more than a year longer than the Coliseum's governing commission had hoped, largely because its secretive handling of the lease deliberations alienated key backers of the Science Center and two other museums that share Exposition Park with the stadium," per The Times.

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Neighborhood Councils: Where government and community meet

Neighborhood Councils

Alice Walton/KPCC

Members of the North Hollywood West Neighborhood Council promoted their group at a welcome back night at James Madison Middle School.

KPCC has embarked on a series called Project Citizen, which looks at the rights, responsibilities, traditions and privileges that come with being a citizen. In this story, KPCC's Alice Walton looks at how L.A. citizens get involved in their communities through neighborhood councils.

When the city of Los Angeles reformed its charter in the late 1990s, no issue received more attention than the creation of a grassroots system of Neighborhood Councils. Now, more than a decade later, the councils have produced their first citywide elected official. 

Attorney Ron Galperin spent years on the Bel Air-Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council. That led to him being appointed to a couple of city commissions — experience that helped get him elected this year as city controller. 

"I view myself as having a special responsibility because of that," Galperin said. 

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