Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (R) speaks with Deputy LAPD Chief Charlie Beck as they enjoy coffee and chat together at Getty House; the Mayors official residence November 3, 2009 in Los Angeles. The twp later would head outside to a press conference where the Mayor will announce his choice of Beck to head the LAPD.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (L) congratulates Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Charles Beck after he was announced as the mayor's selection to be the new Chief of Police at a news conference at the Getty House, the official residence of the mayor, on November 3, 2009 in Los Angeles.
The drop in crime in Los Angeles since Antonio Villaraigosa became mayor in 2005 has been astounding:
- Total violent crime plummeted 40.2 percent.
- Gang crime fell 37.5 percent.
- Total property crime dropped 23.6 percent.
Figuring out why requires going back to the day after Villaraigosa was elected. The new mayor-elect gathered with a group of mostly African-American supporters in the Crenshaw District.
“Earlier this morning, I met with [LAPD] Chief Bill Bratton to discuss our mutual support for one another,” he told the crowd.
The irony was thick. Villaraigosa defeated incumbent Mayor Jim Hahn in part because of Hahn’s decision to dismiss Bratton’s African-American predecessor, Bernard Parks, a beloved figure in the black community. Hahn lost his once bedrock support among African-Americans.
San Gabriel's city clerk has delayed filing official results of the March 5 election and swearing in new City Council members for at least a week while officials investigate complaints of misconduct in the election.
Normally, results in the election of three council members, treasurer, city clerk plus a ballot measure would have been certified two weeks after the election and the newly-elected members would have been sworn in.
The Los Angeles District Attorney Public Integrity Unit is reviewing an e-mail complaint it received about San Gabriel's election, spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said Monday. She declined to say more about the complaint.
San Gabriel Assistant City Manager Marcella Marlowe also declined to be specific about the reason for the delayed certification of the election results, saying in an e-mail that due to high public interest in the election, the "post-election process has taken longer than usual to complete."
Congressman Juan Vargas, (D-Chula Vista)
Pope Francis, who celebrated his first mass Tuesday morning in Rome, is the first Jesuit to head the Catholic Church. A congressman from San Diego might have found his way to Rome too, but instead is now serving in the nation’s capitol.
Democratic freshman Congressman Juan Vargas spent five years as a Jesuit. Had he continued with the religious order, perhaps that could have been him waving to the crowd in St. Peter’s Square.
"Well, that would have been a cool job!” Vargas said.
The congressman said the Jesuits taught him that you have to make changes for social justice. He worked with Central American refugees and became a lawyer working on political asylum cases.
Juan Vargas is not the only former Jesuit in California politics these days: Governor Jerry Brown is also a former novitiate from the order.
David McNew/Getty Images
Mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel, who has been endorsed by every major City Hall unions, tells the Los Angeles Times she wants to revisit changes the city council made to pension benefits for new employees.
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 Tuesday, March 19, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:
Mayor candidate Wendy Greuel wants to reopen talks with City Hall unions to bargain a new pension tier approved last year by the Los Angeles City Council, reports the Los Angeles Times. Greuel says she supports the higher retirement age and the elimination of health care benefits for spouses, but believes the city council should have bargained in good faith before approving the changes. The pension proposal would apply to civilian workers hired after July 1.
L.A. City Councilman Paul Krekorian said Eric Garcetti's work on the city budget and innovative ways of delivering city services led to his endorsement.
Krekorian — whose Second Council District is in the East valley — endorsed Garcetti over Wendy Greuel. That's called payback: When Krekorian first ran for CD2, Greuel backed another candidate – Chris Essel. (Greuel represented CD 2 from 2002 to 2009.)
“Right now, more than ever, we need a mayor who will have the courage to deal honestly with the budget challenges we face," said Krekorian, who chairs the Budget and Finance Committee. "We need somebody who's going to think innovatively about new ways to deliver government services."
“As mayor, Eric's going to make sure the San Fernando Valley and all of Los Angeles are the best they can be.”
The Valley is considered a strong base for Greuel. A Los Angeles Times breakdown of the March 5 vote shows the Valley leaned toward Greuel and Republican Kevin James. An exit poll from Loyola Marymount University estimated that 34 percent of Valley voters supported Greuel.