Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Wendy Greuel gets preliminary endorsement from LA County Federation of Labor

The political committee of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor voted Tuesday to endorse Wendy Greuel for mayor. The endorsement must be ratified by delegates.
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Another major labor endorsement could be headed Wendy Greuel’s way.

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor’s political committee met Tuesday morning and voted to endorse Greuel over Eric Garcetti in the mayor’s race. The backing still needs approval from the Fed’s executive board and delegates.

“Wendy was pleased to participate in today’s first step of the L.A. County Federation of Labor endorsement process,” said Dave Jacobson, a spokesman for the Greuel campaign.

“It is truly unprecedented for a candidate to have such broad and far-reaching support from groups that represent working people as well as business groups like the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce, VICA, among others.”

Just one day after the March 5 primary, SEIU Local 721 endorsed Greuel’s campaign. The unions representing police officers, firefighters, and Department of Water and Power utility workers also back her. Labor spent $2.1 million to support Greuel in the primary.


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Villaraigosa, LA city councilmen in Washington for conferences

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was in Washington, DC Tuesday to meet with lawmakers about sequestration and transportation issues.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is a man on the move, spending Tuesday in Washington, D.C. and Wednesday in New York.

The mayor is in Washington for the Access DC trip hosted by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. More than 250 local business leaders are on their annual lobbying trip, telling Congress how sequestration will affect L.A.

The Access LA group told Congress that sequestration means fewer low income housing vouchers and delays getting through customs at LAX.

But the Mayor has also been meeting with Congressional leaders to talk about the federal loan program he promoted called "America Fast Forward." Congress put a billion dollars a year in loans in the two-year transporation bill.

The mayor says there's likely to be more demand than money. Now, he’s lobbying for the other half of the program: federal bonds. He says members "aren't dismissing out of hand" the proposal for bonds the way they did three years ago when he first proposed the loans. "That’s a good thing," the mayor said. He hasn’t gotten any yesses, yet. But he describes Congressional leaders as “open.”


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Democrats reject proposal to address a realignment issue

CA Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-SF), chair of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, says he is reluctant to make any major changes to realignment while California is under a court order to reduce the prison population.
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Democrats on the Assembly Public Safety Committee blocked a bill Tuesday that would have punished paroled sex offenders who fail to register with law enforcement by sending them back to state prison.

Assemblyman Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) said Assembly Bill 2 was necessary to fix a problem created when lawmakers passed realignment. The 2011 overhaul of California's criminal justice system diverts parole violators, who were formerly sent to state prison for up to a year, to the counties.

“Current law puts those who do not register as a sex offenders in city or county jails,” Morrell told the committee. “Overcrowding due to our Governor’s realignment bill often puts these offenders back on the streets within days.”

Morrell said a recent Stockton case demonstrates the need for a legislative fix to realignment. In February, sheriffs there released a parolee one day after he pled guilty to failing to register as a sex offender.  Within days the man was arrested on charges of robbery, rape and the murder of his grandmother.


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Maven's Morning Coffee: storm water fee gets a hearing, neighborhood councils asked to pay for elections, appointment to Board of Public Works

A fee to pay for storm water clean-up may be permanently sidelined, according to the Daily News.
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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, March 12, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


A storm water clean-up fee may be permanently sidelined by Los Angeles County supervisors today, reports the Daily News. "The supervisors' nuanced motion is indicative of the rocky seven-year history of the proposal, which aims to tackle one of the most entrenched pollution problems by creating a new revenue stream," according to the newspaper.

The city of Los Angeles wants neighborhood councils to help pay for their 2014 elections, according to the Daily News. CAO Miguel Santana says the financial help is needed due to the failure of Measure A. But, the chairman of the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates called that a form of punishment.


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Villaraigosa taps former Assemblyman for Board of Public Works

Former Assemblyman Warren Furutani was appointed to the Board of Public Works Monday. If approved, he would fill a vacancy left by Andrea Alarcon.
Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday named former Assemblyman Warren Furutani to a coveted position on the Board of Public Works.

The position is subject to approval by the Los Angeles City Council. Furutani would fill a vacancy left by Andrea Alarcon, who left the board in January after she was charged with drunk driving and investigated for child endangerment.

"Warren has been dedicated to public service for over 40 years," Villaraigosa said in a statement. "His skills as a problem solver and consensus builder will be great assets to the Board of Public Works and the city of Los Angeles."

Furutani left the state Assembly in 2012. He previously served as member of the L.A. Unified Board of Education and Los Angeles Community College District. He ran for the Los Angeles City Council in 2012, but lost to Joe Buscaino.


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