Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Long Beach language plan includes Spanish and Khmer, but not Tagalog or Vietnamese

Prach Ly Cambodia Town

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Prach Ly stands in front of a restaurant in Long Beach's Cambodia Town

Long Beach's plan to better assist the 21 percent of its residents who don't speak English well has drawn criticism that it doesn't do enough to help the city's population of Filipino and Vietnamese residents.

The current proposal calls for language assistance in Spanish and in Khmer, the language spoken by the city's Cambodian population. But the plan's lack of services for Filipino speakers of Tagalog, or those who speak Vietnamese, will be the focus of a rally before Tuesday's council meeting to review the plan.

The city rolled out a draft plan in July, outlining services for the 13 percent of residents that speak mostly Spanish. A 1973 state law requires cities to provide assistance to non-English speakers if they number 5 percent or more of the population.

After some protest, officials included the Cambodian language Khmer, spoken by another 2 percent of residents.


Maven's Morning Coffee: LAPD's impound policy rejected, councilman denies harassment complaint, Moreno Valley politician arrested

los angeles police department lapd seal

A judge has ruled that LAPD's relaxed policy on vehicle impounds conflicts with state law.

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 Tuesday, Aug. 13, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:


The Los Angeles Police Department's relaxed vehicle impound policy was struck down by a judge Monday, reports KPCC. The policy that allowed unlicensed drivers to avoid a 30-day impound was found to conflict with state law.

Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar is denying sexual harassment allegations made by his former deputy chief of staff. Francine Godoy filed her complaint with the state's Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Council President Herb Wesson has authorized the Personnel Department to form an independent committee to look into the accusations. Los Angeles Times, KPCC.


Former staffer files sexual harassment complaint against Councilman Jose Huizar

City Council Los Angeles

Mae Ryan/KPCC

A former staffer to Councilman Jose Huizar has accused the Los Angeles politician of discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

The former deputy chief of staff to Councilman Jose Huizar has accused the Los Angeles politician of harassment, discrimination and retaliation in a complaint filed with State Department of Fair Housing and Employment.

The complaint was filed by Francine Godoy, who worked for the councilman from 2006 until earlier this year. She is now with the Bureau of Sanitation, according to the department's personnel division. 

An attorney for Godoy, Michael Eisenberg, told KPCC, "We are not speaking about the allegations at this point in time."

In her June 7 complaint, Godoy stated, "I was subjected to sexual harassment (quid pro quo and hostile work environment) and retaliated against when I refused advances." 

She further  states that she was asked "impermissible non-job-related questions," demoted, denied employment and promotion, forced to quit, terminated, and denied the ability to run for office. 


State takes away cities' power to ticket at broken parking meters

Mercer 3868

Corey Moore/KPCC

A state bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown Monday will prevent local municipalities from ticketing at broken parking meters.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Monday that will prevent local municipalities from ticketing drivers who park at broken meters. The new law will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014.

The Los Angeles City Council recently reversed its own policy allowing ticketing at broken meters, making  plans to revisit the issue in six months.  There are concerns that that acts of vandalism and intentional jamming of parking meters might increase if broken meters aren't ticketed.  The passage of AB 61 means the city cannot return to penalizing drivers at inoperable meters, even after assessing rates of vandalism.  

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who authored the state bill, and Councilman Mike Bonin, who pushed the policy at the city level, each took credit for the new rules  -- though under the previous policy, the L.A. Department of Transportation issued just one ticket at a broken meter this year. 


Report: LA City Council should approve proposed DWP contract (updated)

David McNew/Getty Images

An independent report sent to the Los Angeles City Council encourages the city to approve a proposed contract with the DWP union. Above, the Department of Water and Power's San Fernando Valley Generating Station.

A new report from the city's chief legislative analyst urges the Los Angeles City Council to approve a proposed contract with the union representing employees with the Department of Water and Power. 

The CLA's report found the deal could save $7.9 billion over a 30-year period. 

The contract "accomplishes the negotiating goals established several years ago with all labor negotiations, will provide the greatest protection to DWP ratepayers, creates certainty over the next several years in DWP revenue requirements and rate impacts on customers" and provides a template for future labor negotiations, according to chief legislative analyst, Gerry Miller.

On Friday, members of both the Budget and Finance committee and the Energy and Environment committee are expected to hold a joint public hearing on the contract.  Council President Herb Wesson has said a deal needs to be in place by Sept. 1 to avoid cost-of-living adjustments that are scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1.