Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Thousands of students to rally for tuition roll back at public universities and colleges

A crowd of up to 5,000 students plans to rally at the State Capitol Monday to demand more funding for higher education.  

Student groups from the University of California, California State University and community colleges want tuition rolled back to pre-recession levels.  
When California’s economy tanked in 2007, state revenues plummeted and lawmakers cut funding for higher education. University administrators responded by hiking the cost of tuition.

"Tuition has risen over the last decade by over 300 percent," says Darius Kemp, an organizer with the University of California Student Association. He says higher tuition costs make college too expensive for many California families.

"If we were looking at this from the price of bread, the price of milk, the price of gas, no one would sit around and say gas prices going up in a decade by 300 percent in a good thing," he says. 

Kemp says students threw their support behind Proposition 30, the governor’s sales and income tax hike to boost funding for education. He says now that the revenue’s rolling in, those students want the state to share the wealth and keep its promise to make a college education in California affordable.


Crowded field competes in Tuesday's election for Los Angeles' 13th council district seat

Hollywood Sign

Grant Slater/KPCC

The Hollywood sign provides an iconic symbol for L.A.'s 13th City Council District.

In her mailbox and on her doorstep, Echo Park resident Lucia Chappelle has been inundated.

“It's crazy,” the freelance writer says, standing outside a market. “I’ve got three or four people knocking on my door every day.”

Such is life when you live in a city council district where 12 candidates are on the ballot.

Chappelle, 60, says she votes in every city election, but still hasn’t decided who will get her support this time.  “It’s just really difficult to engage,” she said.


Candidates in last minute rush for votes in 28 cities in Los Angeles County

Janet Chin, Rosemead City Council candidate

Sharon McNary/KPCC

Rosemead City Council candidate Janet Chin outside her campaign office, March 2, 2013

In medium and small cities across the Los Angeles region, dozens of candidates for mayor, city council, and school board are up for re-election.

Without the war-chests -- or media coverage--big city candidates get, these aspiring public servants are spending the last hours before their elections looking for votes one on one.

Janet Chin, a school board member running for Rosemead City Council, spent much of the weekend before the vote walking precincts. She also put on a big "get out the vote" party in her campaign storefront's parking lot.


City Attorney Trutanich cuts down on appearances after mother's death; campaign continues

Mercer 5516

City of Los Angeles

Carmen Trutanich

Esther Trutanich, the mother of City Attorney Carmen Trutanich died Saturday of pneumonia in a San Pedro hospital. Her son is running for re-election on Tuesday's primary ballot.

Campaign spokesman John Schwada said Trutanich will not be campaigning in the few days remaining in the primary election, however he might attend a few low-key campaign events.

"In respect to the campaign the city attorney will be dealing with family matters in the next few days and will suspend his personal involvement in the campaign," Schwada said. "That is not to say that the campaign has stopped."


City Attorney Carmen Trutanich suspends reelection campaign after death of his mother

City Attorney Candidates

Rebecca Hill/KPCC

City Attorney Candidate Carmen Trutanich.

Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich — who is running for reelection —issued a statement Saturday saying that he is suspending his campaign indefinitely following the death of his mother, Esther, Saturday afternoon in San Pedro.

Trutanich spokesman John Schwada issued the following statement:

Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen "Nuch" Trutanich's mother, Esther, died this afternoon (Saturday, March 2, 2013) at San Pedro Hospital from complications involving pneumonia. Mrs. Trutanich had been ill for some time and had twice before been stricken with pneumonia.

City Atty. Trutanich, who is now running for reelection, said he would have no comment on his mother's passing except to say that he felt truly blessed to have been raised by such a wonderful woman. Esther is pre-deceased by her husband, Andrew. The couple had seven children, 15 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

The Trutanich's were married in San Pedro and raised all their children in the same house where Mrs. Trutanich lived up until a week before her death. Mrs. Trutanich spent her life as a homemaker. Her husband worked for Starkist Tuna for more than 40 years.

City Atty. Trutanich has indefinitely suspended his campaign activities to deal with family matters. Service arrangements are pending.