Politics, government and public life for Southern California

UPDATE: Anaheim approves new hybrid model for city council; rejects district elections

Anaheim Leaders

Bear Guerra/KPCC

Anaheim resident, Rabiya Shakil (center), 20, stands with other community members during a July 31, 2012 press conference calling for city leaders to address a lack of Latino and minority representation in City Hall.

UPDATE 9:41 P.M.: After a contentious four-hour meeting, the Anaheim City Council decided by a 3-2 vote to put a “hybrid” election model on the ballot next June. But in another 3-2 vote, it rejected a recommendation from a citizens advisory council – appointed by the city council – to let voters decide on district elections.

The district model was proposed after a lawsuit was filed by the ACLU arguing the city’s at-large voting system violates the California Voting Rights Act. Anaheim’s city council is all-white, while the city is more than 50 percent Latino.

Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait strongly disagreed with the council’s decision, arguing that the hybrid model won’t change the council’s makeup.

“I happen to believe districts are closer to people,” said Tait.

Under the hybrid model, the city council would still be elected by the whole city, but they have to live in the district they represent.

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Mayor Garcetti names first senior appointments of administration — including a former rival

Garcetti Los Angeles Mayor Election

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Eric Garcetti and former mayoral candidate Jan Perry greet the crowd at The Palladium on election night. On Tuesday, the new mayor named her as interim director of the Economic Development Department.

Mayor Eric Garcetti named the first members of his senior team Tuesday, and the roster includes a former mayoral rival. 

Former councilwoman and mayoral candidate Jan Perry will serve as Interim General Manager of the new Economic Development Department. A mayoral spokesman says that once Perry gets the agency up and running, she'll hand it off to a permanent director. 

"I'm excited that Jan Perry and I will be working closely together on getting people back to work and helping businesses open and grown," Garcetti said in a statement. "Jan's work in revitalizing downtown and South Park exemplify the kind of leadership and expertise we need to turn this department into a true economic engine for our city."

Perry ran for mayor after being termed out of the City Council, where she represented South Los Angeles for 12 years. 

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State will move inmates from prisons plagued with Valley Fever

The Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga is one of the facilities where inmates have been susceptible to Valley Fever.

California officials say they will transfer thousands of inmates out of Pleasant Valley and Avenal State Prisons to comply with a court order aimed at reducing illnesses and deaths from the fungal infection known as Valley Fever.

Eighteen inmates at the Central Valley prisons have died from the disease since 2012. Hundreds more have suffered from the disease’s flu-like symptoms.  Inmates contract the airborne disease from fungal spores found in the region's soil.

A federal court earlier this year ordered the state to move inmates known to be susceptible to Valley Fever within 90 days. That includes medically high-risk inmates and all African-American and Filipino inmates. The order followed a report last year in which medical experts concluded that efforts to control the spread of the disease by treating the soil on prison grounds had failed.

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Re-elected LA council president Herb Wesson starts term with promises, jokes (updated)

City Councilman Herb J. Wesson Jr.

Andres Aguila/KPCC

Councilman Herb Wesson was reelected council president Tuesday with a 13-0 vote. Councilman Bernard Parks was noticeably absent from the vote.

With a unanimous vote, Los Angeles City Councilman Herb Wesson was re-elected council president Tuesday.

In a city government where the mayor does not have a lot of absolute power, the power that Wesson will continue to wield rivals that of Mayor Eric Garcetti. Councilman Mitch Englander from the San Fernando Valley was elected president pro tempore and Councilman Tom LaBonge was reappointed to the number three leadership post.

“You know, there have been some articles that have described me as a dictator, a mini-Amin,” Wesson told his colleagues. “I’m not that guy, but I do want to be efficient. I don’t tell you how to vote – we build coalitions here.”

“I’m proud when we have a 15-0 vote and it’s not because I said, ‘Vote that way.’”

Absent from Tuesday's vote was Councilman Bernard Parks. Wesson and Parks clashed during the redistricting process as Parks lost valuable parts of his Eighth District. After Parks declined to vote for Wesson in 2011, the new council president stripped Parks of his coveted Budget and Finance committee chairmanship.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: settlement for Antelope Valley victims, new LAUSD president, uncertain future for pot shops

KPCC Police Crime stock photo

Christopher Okula/KPCC

Antelope Valley residents who were harassed by Sheriff's Deputies will receive a $12.5 million settlement.

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Today is Tuesday, July 2, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:

Headlines

Antelope Valley residents who were the victims of harassment will receive $12.5 million from Los Angeles County, Lancaster and Palmdale, reports the Los Angeles Times. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, "Antelope Valley authorities conducted a systematic effort to discriminate against African Americans who received low-income subsidized housing and that sheriff's deputies engaged in widespread unlawful searches of homes, improper detentions and unreasonable force."

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