Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA City Council: Cedillo, Gardea face runoff in District 1 over serious issues

Jose Gardea

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Jose Gardea, chief of staff to City Councilman Ed Reyes, is running to succeed his boss. He's on a freshly-paved street in the Pico-Union area.

Gil Cedillo with yard sign

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Former state Sen. Gil Cedillo posts a campaign sign in the yard of a First District resident in the Pico-Union area Jan. 31, 2013.

This week's final count for the L.A. city election confirmed there will be a runoff in the first Council District, which stretches diagonally from Northeast L.A. to the Pico-Union neighborhood.

The May 21 runoff matches longtime Sacramento lawmaker Gil Cedillo against Jose Gardea, chief of staff to the outgoing council member, Ed Reyes, who is termed out of office. The district includes areas that are being gentrified, such as Highland Park, and others that have serious, longstanding problems.
Eddie White manages apartments in the Westlake District near MacArthur Park. As  president of the local neighborhood council, he hears residents' complaints. In recent years, as Westlake grew safer, getting graffiti and alleyway debris removed had been the big problems. But it seems gangs and intimidation tactics are making a comeback.


LA City Hall plots out Convention Center's future without NFL team

Convention Center

Anschutz Entertainment Group

For city leaders, part of the appeal of bringing the NFL back to Los Angeles was the promise of new convention space. With the Farmers Field deal in limbo, city leaders are now planning for a future without an NFL stadium.

The City of Los Angeles is still holding out hope of getting a professional football team into the proposed Farmers Field stadium, but with no prospects on the horizon, city leaders are turning their attention to other uses for the downtown space.

The Los Angeles City Council approved an agreement with the Anschutz Entertainment Group last fall that would allow the Convention Center’s West Hall to be knocked down to make way for a football stadium. A new space, tentatively called Pico Hall, would be built contiguous to the existing South Hall. The agreement, however, will expire in October 2014.

NFL owners declined to move a team to Los Angeles for the 2013 season. Earlier this month, AEG owner Philip Anschutz announced that the company, which had been on the market, is no longer for sale. The departure of AEG CEO Tim Leiweke, who had pushed through the deal with the city, was announced at the same time. Anschutz has said he will continue to push for an NFL team here.


LAFD ambulances could be stationed at Dodger games

LA city ambulances could be stationed at Dodger Stadium during regular season home games under a plan making its way through City Hall.

City ambulances could be stationed at Dodger Stadium during regular season home games under a plan considered Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Council.

The Dodgers and the Los Angeles Fire Department are working on an arrangement to have two advanced life support and one basic ambulance at all 82 home games. An off-duty EMS captain would also be on scene.

The fire department has typically only staffed opening day, which this season is April 1 against the San Francisco Giants. It was two years ago that a Giants fan suffered permanent brain damage after being beaten by two Dodgers fans in the parking lot on opening day.

The fire department responds, on average, to fewer than one emergency per game. Last year, there were 72 calls to Dodger Stadium, according to LAFD. The goal of the arrangement is to cut down on response times, which have sometimes been delayed as the ambulance made its way from a firehouse at Sunset Boulevard and Alvarado St. up to Chavez Ravine.


Maven's Morning Coffee: Herb Wesson prays for NFL team, Garcetti knocked for jobs numbers, final votes in for March 5 primary


City Council President Herb Wesson says he's on bended knee, praying that the NFL makes a move to Los Angeles. Despite promises from AEG, the NFL declined to move a team to the city this year.

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, March 27, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson is on "bended knees, praying" that the Farmers Field stadium gets built, reports the Los Angeles Times. "I believe Los Angeles is the place for a team. We can’t bully our way into it. When you look at the Farmers Field project, it’s the only project in town that’s pretty much shovel-ready," he says.

Wendy Greuel says her opponent, Eric Garcetti, is fudging the numbers when it comes to what he's done for job creation, according to the Los Angeles Times. During Garcetti's time as city council president, which coincided with the recession, the city's unemployment rate went from 5.9 percent to 13.3 percent.


Final count for recent Los Angeles elections is complete

City Clerk elections counting room

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Los Angeles City Clerk employees ready computers and counting machines for a final tally March 26, 2013 in the municipal election held March 5.

Election workers tasked with prepping some 90,000 uncounted mail-in and provisional ballots cast in the March 5 Los Angeles City election posted final results shortly before midnight Tuesday.

In the First District, former state legislator Gil Cedillo fell short of a majority and is forced into a runoff against Jose Gardea, who got 43 percent. Gardea is chief of staff to outgoing Councilman Ed Reyes, who represents the northeastern part of Los Angeles.

Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield avoids a runoff with his 52 percent of the vote to represent the Third District in the San Fernando Valley. Businesswoman Joyce Pearson got nearly 20 percent election night, and said she wouldn't concede to Blumenfield until all  ballots were counted.

In the northeast San Fernando Valley's Seventh District race Assemblyman Felipe Fuentes also held on to his 51 percent of the vote to win the seat without a runoff. Nicole Chase, development and marketing director at the Boys & Girls Club of the San Fernando Valley, was the runner-up in the  final results.