Politics, government and public life for Southern California

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.

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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.


LA liberals unhappy with Sen. Boxer's committee vote on Syria

Barbara Boxer

Associated Press

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) conferred with Robert Menendez (D-NJ) during this week's meeting of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.

Members of the U.S. Senate got another day of closed-door security briefings on Syria Friday in advance of a floor vote that could come next week.

Earlier this week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10 to 7 to support a resolution authorizing U.S. military action against the government of Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons. One of those "yes" votes has some Southern California Democrats up in arms. 

RELATED: Where does your member of Congress stand on Syria?

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) was already back in California for the Jewish holidays when the Foreign Relations Committee cast its vote on military action in Syria, but she cast her "yes" vote by proxy.

In her home state, L.A. Democrats were swift to react. Cara Robin, president of the West L.A. Democratic Club, said she was "surprised and, I have to say, appalled." 


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


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.)