Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: city attorney candidates debate, mayoral candidates profiled, Los Angeles Times makes endorsements, NFL looks to Chavez Ravine

City Attorney Candidates

Rebecca Hill/KPCC

Candidates for Los Angeles City attorney, (from left) Carmen Trutanich, Mike Feuer and Greg Smith, debated Monday on Which Way, LA? Here they are seen at a recent debate hosted by KPCC's AirTalk.

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

Headlines

Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti is profiled by KPCC with the headline, "He's smart enough, but is he tough enough?" Over at the Los Angeles Times, the newspaper runs with, "Does Eric Garcetti keep his word? Accounts vary." "If Garcetti succeeds in his bid to become L.A.'s next mayor, he will face new pressure to take decisive action on hotly contested issues. A number of colleagues and constituents say he has not always been a steadfast ally and decision maker," reports The Times.

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Race for LA mayor: Candidates try to turn around low voter turnout

Forum Mayor Debate

Grant Slater/KPCC

Emanuel Pleitez is hoping to bring voters to the polls on March 5 through door-to-door canvassing. One of his rivals, Eric Garcetti, is reaching out to young voters to increase participation.

Los Angeles municipal elections are known for low voter turnout, but this year’s mayoral candidates are hoping that a small increase in participation will lead them to victory.

The city’s last competitive mayor’s race — between Antonio Villaraigosa and Jim Hahn in 2005 — saw 34 percent voter turnout in the general election. Four years prior to that, turnout was at 38 percent, and the 1993 race between Richard Riordan and Mike Woo drew 45 percent of voters to the polls.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Eric Garcetti and LAUSD, the views of Kevin James, and the cost of finding Christopher Dorner

Mayor Race - Eric Garcetti

Grant Slater/KPCC

The Los Angeles Times looks at how Eric Garcetti would approach the Los Angeles Unified School District as mayor.

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 Monday, Feb. 25, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, just 10 percent of absentee voters have sent in their ballots, a CD 13 candidate looks for support outside the district, and California's Republicans prepare to meet in Sacramento.

Los Angeles Times writer Jim Newton questions how Eric Garcetti would approach the public school system as mayor. "It's hard to regard Garcetti's wariness on these subjects (of Monica Garcia and parent trigger) as unrelated to his endorsement by UTLA, which has too often elevated job protection for teachers over the best interests of children," he writes.

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California lawmakers weigh in on temporary worker visas

US Representative Dana Rohrabacher

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher says guest worker visas wouldn't be necessary if certain low-skilled jobs paid enough to attract Americans.

Congress returns to work this week to talk about sequestration, gun control, and immigration. While lawmakers were in their home districts, one of the nation’s largest labor unions, the AFL-CIO, found agreement with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on one area of immigration reform: guest workers.

But the California delegation has opinions of its own on the topic of foreign workers.

Temporary visas for agricultural workers have traditionally enjoyed bi-partisan support on Capitol Hill – particularly from California lawmakers who represent the nation’s salad bowl.

Urban Democrats such as Henry Waxman of Los Angeles support short-term visas. Waxman says agribusiness has a need to hire people when the crops need to be harvested, "and there are people who want to come even though they intend to go back to their homes in another country."

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Eric Garcetti's quest for Los Angeles mayor: He's smart enough, but is he tough enough? (Photos)

Eric Garcetti Feature

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Eric Garcetti walks through the Chinese New Years celebration on February 16th, 2013. Garcetti has played a key role in revitalizing his district in Hollywood.

Mayor Race - Eric Garcetti

Grant Slater/KPCC

Mayoral Candidate Eric Garcetti prepares to take the stage at a forum at the Autry National Center in Griffith Park sponsored by the Los Feliz Improvement Association.

Mayor Race - Eric Garcetti

Grant Slater/KPCC

The two leading rivals for the LA mayor's race, City Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilman Eric Garcetti, take part in a candidate forum at Leo Baeck Temple in the Sepulveda Pass.

Mayor Race - Eric Garcetti

Grant Slater/KPCC

Mayoral Candidate Eric Garcetti speaks at a fundraiser for Latino suporters on his birthday at Monty near Downtown Los Angeles.

Eric Garcetti Feature

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Eric Garcetti and his friend Bea Hsu wave to crowds at the Chinese New Year's celebration on February 16th, 2013.

Eric Garcetti Feature

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Eric Garcetti watches a dragon go past at the Chinese New Years celebration in Chinatown on February 16th, 2013.

Mayor Race - Eric Garcetti

Grant Slater/KPCC

Councilman Eric Garcetti speaks at a candidate forum at John Burroughs Middle School in Mid-Wilshire.

Eric Garcetti Feature

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Eric Garcetti laughs with Gabriel Porras, left, and Marcel Porras, who works with Garcetti at City Hall.

Mayor Race - Eric Garcetti

Grant Slater/KPCC

Councilmen Eric Garcetti and Bill Rosendahl share a few words before a forum at John Burroughs Middle School in Mid-Wilshire.

Mayor Race - Eric Garcetti

Grant Slater/KPCC

Mayoral Candidate Eric Garcetti speaks at a forum at the Autry National Center in Griffith Park sponsored by the Los Feliz Improvement Association.

Mayor Race - Eric Garcetti

Grant Slater/KPCC

Councilman Eric Garcetti talks with voters outside Mount Gilead Baptist Church in South Los Angeles.

Eric Garcetti Feature

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Eric Garcetti finishes his speech at the March as One Education Rally in Los Angeles. Garcetti is currently a third-term council member serving the 13th Council District.

Eric Garcetti Feature

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Eric Garcetti watches cheerleaders perform at the opening of his new campaign office in Eagle Rock on February 16th, 2013.

Mayor Race - Eric Garcetti

Grant Slater/KPCC

Mayoral Candidate Eric Garcetti greets supporters outside a fundraiser on his birthday at Monty near Downtown Los Angeles.

Eric Garcetti Feature

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Eric Garcetti and his aide leave the new Eagle Rock campaign office to go to another scheduled event. Garcetti says he hasn't had a day off in the past few months.

Eric Garcetti Feature

Mae Ryan/KPCC

Irene Wong Pec, Eric Garcetti and Bea Hsu wave to the crowds at the Chinese New Year celebration in Chinatown.


In Los Angeles, political candidates sometimes try to build their street credibility by talking about witnessing gang violence firsthand . Eric Garcetti tells of coming under fire in 1993 – at an airport in northern Cambodia.

“As the plane was about to land, Khmer Rouge rebels came out of the jungle and shelled the airport,” Garcetti recalls. “Luckily, it didn’t hit the terminal, but it did hit some soldiers and killed one of them close by.”

RELATED:  KPCC's coverage of the 2013 LA mayoral race

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