Politics, government and public life for Southern California

City Hall celebrates LGBT Heritage Month

Galperin O'Farrell Bonin

Galperin, O'Farrell, Bonin campaigns

On July 1, Los Angeles will have three openly gay elected officials, (L-R) Controller-elect Ron Galperin and councilmen-elect Mitch O'Farrell and Mike Bonin.

When the city's new elected officials are sworn in on July 1, Los Angeles will reach a milestone by having three who are openly gay. 

That point was driven home Friday with the Los Angeles City Council's celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Heritage Month. L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, the first openly gay man elected to the city council, led the celebration. He was joined by Councilmen-elect Mike Bonin and Mitch O'Farrell and Controller-elect Ron Galperin. (Rosendahl's final day in office is June 30.)

Bonin, currently Rosendahl's chief of staff, will succeed his boss in the District 11 Westside seat. O'Farrell, a former aide to Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti, was elected to his forme boss' District 13 seat, which stretches from Echo Park to Hollywood. And Galperin is believed to be the first openly gay person elected to citywide office in L.A.

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Voters doubt Congress can pass immigration bill

Kitty Felde

Activists rallied earlier this Spring outside the US Capitol for immigration reform.

Congress returns to work on Monday and immigration is one of the top issues members will tackle. But according to a recent poll, Americans don't think lawmakers can get the job done.

Congress hasn't been getting high marks from the American public for years. Now, a new poll from Quinnipiac University shows American voters — by a three-to-one margin — say Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill won't be able to work together to pass immigration reform.

Christina Jimenez of the activist group United We Dream says Congress needs to remember the November election, when Latino voters overwhelmingly supported Democrats, making immigration reform a political mandate: "If they don't take action, there's going to be political consequences."

Democrats, Latinos, and black voters are the most optimistic about the chances of a reform package passing. 

The Quinnipiac poll shows a slight majority of voters — 54 percent — support a path to citizenship as part of any new law. That's a drop since the Boston Marathon bombings ,when 59 percent backed citizenship. Nearly one in three poll respondents said undocumented immigrants should be deported.

House negotiators are expected to introduce their version of a comprehensive immigration package next week; the full Senate is likely to vote on their version early in June.

More than 1,400 people were surveyed between May 22 and May 29. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.6 percent.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: labor's history with the mayor's race, Mike Feuer's lawsuit, a goodbye party for Villaraigosa

Nurses Rally Against Understaffing Crisis

Tim Boyle/Getty Images

According to the LA Weekly, major unions, like the county Federation of Labor, have a history of losing the mayor's race.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings 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, May 31, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

A piece in the LA Weekly notes that not only did labor lose this mayoral election but it has a history of doing so. "(Wendy) Greuel's defeat is the latest chapter in a tale of futility stretching back to the 1940s," according to the piece.

A lawsuit that accused City Attorney-elect Mike Feuer of violating the city's ethics laws was tossed out of court, according to the Los Angeles Times. "This complaint is merely a politically motivated complaint meant to chill the political speech of a rival," the judge wrote in his ruling.

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Congress considers immigration bills for individuals

Henry Waxman

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

LA Democrat Henry Waxman is sponsoring an immigration bill for the adopted son of a constituent.

Next week, Congress returns to work and a group of House members is expected to present its version of a comprehensive immigration bill — intended to address the status of an estimated 11-million undocumented people in the U.S. But there are other immigration bills on the table in the House — some that benefit just one individual. 

Before the House Committee on Immigration and Border Security began a recent hearing on farm labor and other related subjects, member Zoe Lofgren of San Jose called her colleagues' attention to a different sort of measure under consideration: private immigration bills. She told lawmakers all four of the bills should be familiar to the subcommittee: "In fact, all four passed the House in the 112th Congress as well, but the Senate has failed to take any of them up."

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City Hall looks at Convention Center improvements regardless of stadium deal

AEG

AEG's Farmers Field proposal, seen here in a rendering, would include a new wing for the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Los Angeles was promised a revamped Convention Center from a private developer if pro football returns to the city. But without any word from the NFL, city leaders are looking at Plan B. 

The City of Los Angeles has a deal with Anschutz Entertainment Group for a new convention hall, but it’s contingent on the developer bringing a pro football team back to L.A. and building the Farmers Field stadium. To do so, part of the existing convention center would have to be demolished and AEG has proposed building a new wing.  

But not only is there no team in sight, but AEG is also facing a deadline with the city – October, 2014. Rather than wait 18 months to come up with an alternative plan, city leaders are looking at what they can do now to improve the Convention Center.

A panel of experts from the Urban Land Institute presented its findings for what would make a successful convention space at a Thursday meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on Downtown Stadium and Convention Center Renovation. A marquee entrance, more hotel rooms and a giant ballroom as well as better public transportation would all make for an improved convention space, they said. 

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