Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: City Hall loses women leaders, city council races gets contentious, a look at Prop C

Roz Wyman was the second woman ever elected to the Los Angeles City Council. She says the possibility of an all-male city council is "amazing."
LA Public Library/Herald-Examiner Collection

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.

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Today is Wednesday, May 15, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


Los Angeles is on the cusp of electing its first female mayor and yet, the rest of city government could be all male on July 1, reports KPCC. The station looks at why more women don't run for office, as well as the challenges they face once they get elected. "I mean, think of this, that we would have in 2013 no woman on the city council. That’s really amazing," said former Councilwoman Roz Wyman.

Los Angeles Times writer Steve Lopez had dinner with Eric Garcetti. "No one would be shocked if, in response to a question about aerospace, Garcetti revealed that he's a former astronaut who planted an organic garden on the moon," Lopez writes.


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Women lose political footing at LA City Hall

Roz Wyman was the second woman ever elected to the Los Angeles City Council. She's seen here in 1972 with Ted Kennedy.
LA Public Library/Herald-Examiner Collection

With Wendy Greuel on this year’s mayoral ticket, it may seem like Los Angeles is moving forward on gender equality. But in reality, the city has gone backwards in how women are represented in municipal government.

On July 1, L.A. city government could be run entirely by men. 

Fewer than half of all city commissioners are women. The general managers of the police, fire, Water and Power, Sanitation, Transportation and Planning departments are all men. After the runoff election, the city attorney and controller will be men. And when the new City Council is seated this summer, it will have no more than two women — and possibly none at all.

"I mean, think of this, that we would have in 2013 no woman on the city council. That’s really amazing," said Roz Wyman, who 60 years ago became the second woman ever elected to the L.A. City Council. The first was Estelle Lawton Lindsey in 1915.


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LA City Attorney race: Lacey endorses Feuer over Trutanich

LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey, seen here in a file photo, has endorsed former State Assemblyman Mike Feuer for LA city attorney over incumbent Carmen Trutanich.
Mae Ryan/KPCC

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey Tuesday endorsed former State Assemblyman Mike Feuer in his bid to unseat City Attorney Carmen Trutanich.

“It is important to me that I have a thoughtful and informed individual with the highest standards of integrity as a criminal justice partner,” Lacey said in a statement.

Lacey, who defeated Trutanich in the district attorney’s contest last year, said she was unhappy with a Trutanich campaign mailer. The mailer blames Feuer for the recent sexual assault of a Northridge girl, allegedly by a man released under California’s prison realignment plan. The former state assemblyman voted for realignment.

“Realignment is the biggest challenge facing public safety in 30 years,” Lacey said. “Misrepresenting the facts surrounding the violent sexual assault of a child for political purposes is intellectually dishonest and counterproductive to finding solutions to the challenges brought on by realignment.”


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Brown's proposed budget boosts K-12 education, but goes easy on spending

California Governor Jerry Brown speaks from a podium underneath the space shuttle Endeavour during the grand opening ceremony for the California Science center's Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion, on October 30, 2012, in Los Angeles, California.
Bill Ingalls/NASA/Getty Images

Riding a wave of state tax revenue, Gov. Jerry Brown released a budget proposal Tuesday that looks much different from the ones Californians have become accustomed to in recent years: It has a surplus.

Brown is proposing a $96.4 billion spending plan for the coming fiscal year that starts July 1, funneling more money to K-12 schools but otherwise taking a cautionary approach to spending.

He wants to spend extra money on schools in economically disadvantaged communities, giving California a new narrative from the multibillion dollar deficits that led to teacher layoffs, IOUs for state workers and deep spending cuts for nearly all government programs just a few years ago.

At the same time, the Democratic governor is maintaining his pledge to keep spending under control by resisting demands from within his own party to spend more freely and fully restore the safety net programs cut during the recession.


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House GOP hardliners vow to fight Senate immigration bill

Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert (at podium) and some of his House GOP colleagues want to secure the border first before considering any other elements of immigration reform.

The Senate Judiciary Committee began a second day of debate Tuesday over amendments to the 844-page immigration bill. Republican lawmakers on the House side are already lining up to shoot down whatever immigration bill the Senate sends their way.

The House has not yet introduced a comprehensive immigration bill.

But a half dozen GOP members say they're ready to reject the measure currently under consideration in the Senate. Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert and his colleagues want to secure the border and go after those who've overstayed their visas. What they don't want is a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S.

Speaking at a press conference outside the Capitol, Gohmert said when we "ignore the rule of law, we actually become like countries that many immigrants are fleeing because the rule of law, if it's not observed, then you have chaos."


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