Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Eric Garcetti backed by African-American women's political group

Eric Garcetti Election Campaign

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Eric Garcetti was endorsed Tuesday by the Los Angeles African American Women Political Action Committee.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013

Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti was endorsed by the L.A. African-American Women Political Action Committee Tuesday, just a week after he picked up support from another African-American political group.

The Thirteenth District councilman is facing L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel in the May 21 runoff. Last week he was endorsed by the New Frontier Democratic Club, which is predominantly made up of African-American women.

“Eric is a leader who will create jobs and solve problems in every L.A. community,” said Jacquelynn Hawthorne, chair of the African-American Women PAC. “We’ve seen what he’s done to revitalize neighborhoods like Hollywood and Echo Park, and we want to see that back to basics approach taken citywide when he is mayor.”

The March 5 primary saw 56 percent of African-American voters support Councilwoman Jan Perry, according to an exit poll from the Center for the Study of Los Angeles. The councilwoman has not yet decided whether to endorse in the runoff. Greuel received 24 percent of the African-American vote, while Garcetti got 14.5 percent in the primary. 


Maven's Morning Coffee: Congress disagrees over LAX runway, Villaraigosa makes final push for privatization plans, what happened to sale of AEG?

03 -LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Reps. Maxine Waters and Henry Waxman disagree over whether to move LAX's northern runway.

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 Tuesday, March 26, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


Reps. Maxine Waters and Henry Waxman are at odds over a proposal to move LAX's northern runway, reports the Los Angeles Times. "Waters depicted Waxman as someone who had joined 'an unholy alliance' composed of organized labor and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, which view the runway plan as critical to job creation and keeping the airport competitive," according to the newspaper.

Forbes looks at why Philip Anschutz pulled the plug on the sale of AEG. "Anschutz got wind that (Tim) Leiweke was trying to influence the choice of a buyer for AEG. Anschutz became infuriated and fired him and ended the sale," according to the piece.


Will a million online signatures push Congress to take up student loan debt relief?

Mercer 7821

LA Public Library/Hollywood Citizen News/Valley Times Collection

Fifty years ago, if you had an issue you wanted to fight for, you set up a card table and asked people for signatures on a petition, like the Chatsworth Junior Women's Club did to save oak trees in 1964. Today, the petitions are online - but are they more convincing?


It showed up in my Facebook account this morning: a link from a playwright friend that reads "Win This Campaign, Support the Student Loan Fairness Act (H.R. 1330).

That's the bill introduced late last week by Democratic Congresswoman Karen Bass from Los Angeles. It's the first House measure this session to address the trillion dollar debt carried by students around the country.

The bill promises to "increase purchasing power, strengthen economic recovery, and restore fairness" in financing higher education in the United States. It does that through student loan forgiveness and caps on interest rates on federal student loans, among other methods.

Signon.org signs on to the campaign

The Bass bill has support from the progressive website Signon.org. It's funded by by Moveon.org, and it features citizen petitions on everything—from "Tell Harry Reid Put the Assault Weapons Ban in Gun-Control Bill" (only 634 signatures) to "President Obama: Don't Appoint Villaraigosa" to a cabinet position because of his "disappointing" record (2,589 signatures).


President Clinton endorses Greuel for LA mayor

Former President Bill Clinton Gives Closing Remarks At The Int'l AIDS Conference

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Clinton endorsed Wendy Greuel for Los Angeles mayor Monday.

Former President Bill Clinton endorsed Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel for mayor Monday. The backing comes at a crucial time for Greuel, who shook up her campaign team over the weekend amid concerns over messaging.

"Wendy is a smart, dedicated, and creative problem-solver.  She knows how to make government work for ordinary people,” President Clinton said in a statement.  Greuel worked for Clinton’s Department of Housing and Urban Development in the 1990’s, and was an early backer of Hillary Clinton in her 2008 bid for president. The Clintons place a high value on loyalty.

"President Clinton has been a role model for me of what strong leadership can mean in terms of creating jobs and building coalitions,” Greuel said. “This endorsement demonstrates the momentum we are determined to build through May 21."


San Gabriel residency challenge delays installation of new City Council members

Chin-Ho Liao

Courtesy Chin Ho Liao campaign

Councilman-elect Chin Ho Liao placed second in the unofficial vote totals from San Gabriel's March 5 election to fill three council seats.

The San Gabriel City Council will review a resident's complaint that a councilman-elect Chin Ho Liao does not live in the city and should not be sworn in to office Tuesday evening.

Liao placed second in the unofficial vote totals from San Gabriel's March 5 election to fill three council seats. The retired nuclear engineer has long lived in unincorporated territory just outside the city.

Before the election, Liao told the Pasadena Star News he moved to an apartment within city borders six months earlier. Fred Paine, the San Gabriel resident who filed the challenge, said Liao made a similar move into a city apartment in 2011 when he ran for the council, returning to his house outside the city after he lost. The city received the challenge March 19.

The City Council had been scheduled to certify the election results and swear in new members Jason Pu, Liao and incumbent Kevin Sawkins that evening, but cancelled those actions pending review of a complaint made to city officials and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Public Integrity Unit.