Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: Eric Garcetti's military service, women back Wendy Greuel, Republican files papers to run for governor

Nowruz celebrations 2013

Shahrouz Khalifian/ KPCC

The Los Angeles Times explores Eric Garcetti's military service.

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 Friday, April 5, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


The Los Angeles Times looks at Eric Garcetti's service in the Navy Reserve. "For me there was a decision, would I ... regret it for the rest of my life if I didn't serve, especially in the time after 9/11 and especially given my own family's experience?" Garcetti tells The Times.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi endorsed Wendy Greuel for mayor during a roundtable discussion with other female politicians, reports KPCC. "You want to talk about increasing the number of women in government, in politics? Lower the role of money, increase the level of civility, and you will have more women and you will make more progress, have a better result," Pelosi says.


Nancy Pelosi backs Wendy Greuel for mayor

Wendy Greuel

Alice Walton/KPCC

Leading female politicians came out Thursday to support the Wendy Greuel mayoral campaign. From left to right, Rep. Janice Hahn, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Wendy Greuel, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Judy Chu and former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Roz Wyman.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi endorsed mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel Thursday. The support came during a roundtable discussion with other leading female politicians at the Feminist Majority Foundation. 

If she’s elected on May 21st, Greuel would become the first female mayor of Los Angeles. That point was driven home during the afternoon event. On one side of Greuel sat U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn. On the other side were U.S. Rep.  Judy Chu, former L.A. City Councilwoman Roz Wyman and Pelosi.

It was on a flight to the West Coast from Washington, D.C. that Boxer talked to her Congressional colleague about stepping into the mayor's race.

"Nancy Pelosi could not escape from me in the airplane because she said to me, 'I’m really thinking about it,' and I basically said, 'What’s there to think about?'" Boxer said.


Emily's List backs candidate in South LA council race

Ana Cubas

Emily's List endorsed Ana Cubas Thursday for the Los Angeles City Council's Ninth District.

Emily's List, an organization dedicated to electing Democratic, pro-choice women, is growing its presence in Los Angeles' May 21 election by endorsing a candidate in the race for the L.A. City Council's Ninth District. 

Emily's List endorsed Ana Cubas, former chief of staff to Councilman Jose Huizar. 

"California has a rich history of women’s leadership, and Emily's List is proud to continue being a part of that tradition by endorsing Ana Cubas," said Denise Feriozzi, political director for the group. "She is a champion for education reform who is committed to fighting for the families of District 9, and we are thrilled to support her candidacy."

Cubas is running against State Sen. Curren Price to replace Councilwoman Jan Perry, who is being termed out after 12 years in office. Perry is the only woman on the 15-member council. The makeup of the council that takes office on July 1 will have no more than two women. (The special election to fill the council's Sixth District seat, also on May 21, could ultimately go to a woman.)   


Maven's Morning Coffee: Jerry Brown to China, voting systems in LA County, arsenic emissions in Vernon

California Governor Jerry Brown Unveils State Pension Reform Program

Max Whittaker/Getty Images

Gov. Jerry Brown will travel to China next week to open a trade office and promote environmental regulations.

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 Thursday, April 4, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


Gov. Jerry Brown is headed to China next week to promote environmental protections and open a trade office, according to the Los Angeles Times. "We're going to facilitate billions of dollars of investments ... Not overnight, but over time," the governor says.

NPR looks at why Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will not be succeeded by a major Latino politician. "From the beginning what I've said is in this the most diverse city ... we need the bridge builders, the coalition builders," Villaraigosa says.


LA County developing a voting system for the digital age (Photos)

Dean Logan, Registrar-Recorder, Los Angeles County

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Dean Logan, who heads the Registrar-Recorder's office of Los Angeles County, is leading a crowdsourced effort to reinvent the way votes are cast and counted in the nation's largest voting jurisdiction

Katsy Chappell

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Katsy Chappell is a longtime poll worker who knows what voters don't like: long lines, changing voting locations.

Ballot box, Los Angeles County

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Mechanized ballot boxes like this are used at polling places in Los Angeles County to scan ballots for errors like voting for too many candidates in a race, however they are not used to count election results.

Audio voting machine, Los Angeles County

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Audio voting machines like this help voters who have poor vision, or who have difficulty reading a ballot or operating the ballot marking systems. It speaks the ballot, choices are entered using the yellow buttons, and the printer puts out a marked ballot slip.

Vote processing center

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Efrain Escobedo, a project manager working on the overhaul of Los Angeles County's voting system, shows stacks of voter sign-in logs to visiting election experts during a tour of the Registrar of Voters back offices.

Voting booth

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Typical voting booth and the Ink-a-Vote ballot marking machine used throughout Los Angeles County.

Ballot counting machine

Sharon McNary/KPCC

One of 36 high-speed IBM card readers used to read ballots during Los Angeles County elections.

Vote counting machine display

Sharon McNary/KPCC

The screen linked to a ballot counting machine at the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder's office shows vote totals.

Los Angeles County is re-inventing the nation's largest electoral system, which serves nearly 4 million registered voters. The goal is a more flexible, user-friendly system that county officials hope will increase turnout.

To design the system from scratch, county officials started in 2010 by surveying voters and stakeholder groups. They added observations from poll workers. The county registrar of voters also co-sponsored a design challenge on a crowdsourcing website that drew responses from all over.

Cansu Akarsu, a designer from Turkey, suggested a computer tablet that helps poll workers interact with disabled people to select the right voting method. A person could use the system to select polling place accommodations days in advance.

Tina Lee, a U.S.-based designer, suggests a tablet app that lets the voter decide the pace of the ballot display or the order in which contests would appear.