Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Laura Chick endorses Ron Galperin for controller

Ron Galperin

Kenna Love

Former city controller Laura Chick threw her support behind Ron Galperin's campaign Thursday.

The fiery former city controller Laura Chick endorsed Ron Galperin Thursday in his race to become Los Angeles’ next fiscal watchdog.

Galperin is chair of the city's Commission on Revenue Efficiency and president of the city's Quality and Productivity Commission. He is running against Councilman Dennis Zine and former real estate executive Cary Brazeman for the controller's office. (Incumbent Controller Wendy Greuel is running for mayor.)

Chick said in her endorsement: “Too often Los Angeles' leaders have relied on poll tested sound-bite solutions rather than rolling up their sleeves and making the tough decisions to implement long-term solutions to improve the City's operations. Ron Galperin has the courage, energy and drive to take the City Controller's Office to that next level."

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Street art: Gorillas in the midst of L.A. City Council District 11 campaign

Gorillas Venice

Gonzo Rock

Isabelle Alford-Lago's mural on a Venice street depicting gorillas on the march was altered recently at the homeowner's request to add a campaign message for L.A. City Council candidate Odysseus Bostick.

Two years ago, artist Isabelle Alford-Lago accepted a homeowner's invitation to paint a graffiti-prone wall on 20th Avenue, one of Venice's small walking streets. Alford-Lago, known for her gorilla depictions around Venice, painted four primates on the wall, marching purposefully along.

The mural was recently altered to add a campaign message in a cartoon speech balloon: "We're voting 4 Odysseus Bostick City Council."

Homeowner Gonzo Rock, who commissioned the original artwork, had another artist do the alteration, with Alford-Lago's approval. Rock's a fan of Bostick, who is running in Council District 11.

"He's a guy with a really big heart and even bigger mind," Rock said.

Bostick is one of ten candidates in the 11th District race for City Council, hoping to succeed incumbent Bill Rosendahl. Rosendahl, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, stepped out of the race last year to focus on his health.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: religion in mayor's race, public transit to airports, a billboard for the city attorney

Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association mayoral debate.

Rebecca Hill/KPCC

Wendy Greuel talked to the Jewish Journal about her thoughts on converting to Judaism.

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 Thursday, Jan. 24, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

Writer Bill Boyarsky writes in the Jewish Journal about Wendy Greuel's relationship with Judaism. Her husband is Jewish, as is their son. "“It certainly is a part of my perspective of something I would like to do," she says on the issue of conversion.

KPCC previews a meeting on the Metro light rail line that could connect the Crenshaw area with LAX. "The planned Crenshaw light rail line would connect Inglewood, Hawthorne and El Segundo with the newly built Expo Line and the region’s busiest airport," per the station.

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LA mayoral race 2013: Jan Perry draws on LA City Council experience in mayoral run

Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry

Grant Slater/KPCC

Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry in her City Hall office.

Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry

Grant Slater/KPCC

Councilwoman Jan Perry jokes with students from KSWG, the student-run radio station at South Regional High School #12.

Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry

Grant Slater/KPCC

Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry poses for a photo with Antoine King of Crenshaw after a candidate forum.

Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry

Grant Slater/KPCC

Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry look on as the honor guard works presents the flags at the ribbon cutting ceremony for South Regional High School #12. Her Ninth district has long been viewed as a seat of black political power.

Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry

Grant Slater/KPCC

Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry speaks with Greig Smith, a Republican and former councilman from the San Fernando Valley. Smith has endorsed Perry in the mayor's race.

Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry

Grant Slater/KPCC

Councilwoman Jan Perry looks on at a ribbon cutting ceremony at South Regional High School #12 with campaign aide Helen Sanchez.

Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry

Grant Slater/KPCC

Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry looks over notes for her speech to students at the school's ribbon cutting. The councilwoman used downtown projects to spur economic development in the poorer parts of South Los Angeles.

Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry

Grant Slater/KPCC

Councilwoman Jan Perry speaks to students at the ribbon cutting for South Regional High School #12 in South Los Angeles. The school is the first to open in the area in 90 years.

Grant Slater/KPCC

A pamphlet for Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry sits on the lap of an audience member at Mount Gilead Baptist Church in South Los Angles.

Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry

Grant Slater/KPCC

Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry and campaign aide Helen Sanchez ride the elevator down from the top floor of the Wells Fargo building in Downtown Los Angeles where the candidate spoke at meeting of the African American Chamber of Commerce.

Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry

Grant Slater/KPCC

Mayoral Candidate Jan Perry prepares to cut the ribbon at South Regional High School #12. Perry has often taken neglected or underutilized sites and turning them into community assets like this school.


Jan Perry's favorite spot in the city is at the corner of Slauson and Compton avenues. It’s the unlikely site of  a seven-acre, man-made wetlands park filled with flora and fauna, including a children’s garden and hiking trails. That’s quite a transformation from its original use as a storage yard for the Department of Water and Power. 

That’s been the storyline of Perry’s 12 years on the Los Angeles City Council: taking neglected or underutilized sites and turning them into community assets. For most of her tenure, Perry’s Ninth District covered downtown and much of South Los Angeles. She’s pro-business and pro-development. Her tenure has overseen the revitalization of downtown, including construction of the L.A. Live complex.

“The thing that L.A. Live embodies is the catalytic, large investment to show to smaller investors [and] small developers [that] downtown is a good place to be," said Perry during an interview in her City Hall office. "We’ve put our stake here and you should follow and that’s why it was important. It’s a foundation upon which to build."

The councilwoman used downtown projects to spur economic development in the poorer parts of South Los Angeles. New construction projects often included affordable housing units. Developers were told to hire construction workers who lived in the district. Opportunities like those will now be few and far between, since the city’s recent redistricting process severed South L.A. from most of downtown.

"The difference that boundaries make is where the dollars can be invested," Perry said. "So now South L.A., the southern part of the former Ninth District, has no middle-income community to leverage for investment in the lower income portion of the district."

Redistricting displayed Perry’s strengths and weaknesses in a way that few other political events had. In the fall of 2011, Perry publicly accused her colleagues of making backroom deals to name a new city council president and skew the redistricting process. Her frankness ended up hurting her. When the new council district lines were approved, Perry — who lives downtown — was drawn out of her own district.

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Let him eat cake: Happy Birthday, Mayor Villaraigosa

Los Angeles City Hall gadfly John Walsh with his cake for the mayor.

City Hall gadfly John Walsh wanted to recognize the mayor's birthday.


Antonio Villaraigosa isn't always a popular figure around Los Angeles City Hall.  But John Walsh nonetheless came Wednesday bearing cake for the mayor. 

Walsh, one of the best-known government gadflies in L.A., had stopped by Hollywood’s Red Ribbon restaurant and grabbed a mocha-flavored cake. The icing read: “Mayor Villaraigosa, Happy 60th Birthday."

“He tries to hide his birthday because he wants people to think he’s younger,” said the always-suspicious Walsh, a 69-year-old retired public school teacher.

Walsh added: “Of course, we invited Charlie Sheen” — a reference to the mayor’s recent photo taken in Baja Mexico with the bad boy actor. Walsh himself is something of a bad boy at City Council and other meetings where he often loudly shouts loudly his criticisms.  Here’s a choice clip from an MTA board meeting.

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