Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Who gets credit for crime drop during Villaraigosa's tenure? (photos)

William Bratton Announces Charlie Beck As His Replacement As LAPD Chief

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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.

Antonio Villaraigosa Gala

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Antonio Villaraigosa (L) speaks with chief of police William Bratton during his black tie Inaugural Gala held at the Dorothy chandler Pavilion June 30, 2005 in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Police Move In To Evict Occupy LA Encampment

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Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck talks to members of the media in front of City Hall in downtown in the early hours of November 30, 2011 in Los Angeles.

William Bratton Resigns As Chief Of LAPD

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Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (L) and Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department Bill Bratton (R) hold a press conference for Bratton to announce that he will resign from the department to head of a private security firm on August 5, 2009 in Los Angeles.

Mayor Villaraigosa And Police Chief Charlie Beck Discuss 2009 Crime Stats

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Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (L) and police chief Charlie Beck (R) announce the 2009 crime statistics for Los Angeles on January 6, 2010 in Los Angeles.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa Announces Charlie Beck as New LAPD Chief

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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.

Nick Ut/AP

William Bratton served as Los Angeles Police Department Chief during Antonio Villaraigosa's first term in office.

LAPD Takes Over Security At Dodgers Games After Attack On Giants Fan

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Charlie Beck succeeded William Bratton as Los Angeles Police Department Chief and has served throughout Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's second term.

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 withholds election results as D.A. reviews misconduct complaint

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."


Jesuits in the Vatican and on Capitol Hill

Congressman Juan Vargas, Chula Vista

Courtesy KPBS

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.


Maven's Morning Coffee: Wendy Greuel talks pensions, Villaraigosa's legacy on education, a $35 million claim against city following a shooting death

Mayoral Election Held In Los Angeles

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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.

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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.


Councilman Paul Krekorian endorses Eric Garcetti for mayor

City Councilman Paul Krekorian

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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.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti picked up the support of San Fernando Valley Councilman Paul Krekorian on Monday.

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.