Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Senator Dianne Feinstein urges US mayors to support renewed gun control

Mercer 19940

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Senator Dianne Feinstein is poised to introduce a bill that would renew the federal ban on assault weapons.

Next week, California’s senior U.S. Senator, Democrat Dianne Feinstein, will introduce a bill that would renew the federal ban on assault weapons. Feinstein was the author of the 1994 law that Congress allowed to expire after a decade.

Today, she called on U.S. mayors for support, saying it’s more difficult now than at any time in her four decades of public service to pass what she called “reasonable gun regulation.”

Feinstein, who became mayor of San Francisco after Mayor George Moscone was gunned down in 1978, spoke at the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Feinstein warned that gun organizations will do "whatever they can do" to prevent regulation of firearms in this country, calling that "really too bad."

She said she’d give each mayor a list of the 150 guns she proposes to ban. Feinstein said the bill will include money for voluntary gun buy-back programs – and she assured the mayors that no one would confiscate guns in private hands.


California mayors lobbying federal officials for relief from regulations

Mercer 14003

Kitty Felde

Redondo Beach Mayor Mike Gin will be in Washington, DC with other California mayors, lobbying for reduced federal regulation.

Nearly four-dozen mayors from across California will be in Washington this weekend for the winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. They'll be meeting with federal officials to push for more federal dollars or less federal regulation.

Redondo Beach Mayor Mike Gin said cities are hampered by federal requirements that end up costing them money.

For him, the fight is over treatment of water from its 1960’s icon, the Seaside Lagoon. He says the city takes  seawater to create a saltwater, heated, sandy bottom pool. He said they have to chlorinate the water when they pump it into the lagoon. They dechlorinate it before discharging it back into the bay.

The discharge has to meet federal and local sandards. Gin said Redondo Beach sometimes gets fined "and those violations can be very costly." 


Board of Public Works President Andrea Alarcon resigns following child endangerment investigations

Andrea Alarcon

Courtesy NBC Los Angeles

Andrea Alarcon announced her resignation Friday, less than two months after her daughter was found unattended at City Hall after a late night reception.

The president of the Los Angeles Board of Public Works announced her resignation Friday, less than two months after her daughter was found unattended at City Hall after a late night reception.

Andrea Alarcon has been on leave since November when her daughter, 11, was found in City Hall alone shortly before midnight.

Alarcon came under fire after she was accused of going out drinking one night last fall while leaving her 11-year-old daughter unattended at City Hall.

The incident came as Alarcon faced drunk driving and child endangerment charges in San Bernardino County.

“After much deliberate thought, I have decided to resign from my position as the president of the Board of Public Works and have submitted my letter of resignation to the mayor. I understand and have prayed deeply on the gravity of my actions. I have profound regret for the missteps of my past,” Alarcon said in a statement.


LA City Council confirms general manager to oversee neighborhood councils

Los Angeles City Hall

Alice Walton/KPCC

Grayce Liu will lead the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment as it looks to redefine stakeholders and encourage greater participation.

The woman who has overseen the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment for the last six months was unanimously confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council Friday as DONE's new general manager.

Grayce Liu was named the interim general manager last August after BongHwan Kim left the position for a job in San Diego. The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment is responsible for overseeing the city’s 95 neighborhood councils.

“I’m looking forward to working with the neighborhood councils and continuing to find opportunities for neighborhood councils to work within the city council system and the city family system as well,” Liu said.

The confirmation comes as the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners is working to clarify when a resident can be involved with a local board. The city charter opens membership to anyone who “lives, works, owns property in the neighborhood and also those who declare a stake in the neighborhood.” This created problems last year when medical marijuana clinic owners encouraged their customers to vote in the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council, where dispensary owners are locked in a fight with neighborhood leaders over the proliferation of pot shops. 


Maven's Morning Coffee: Jan Perry profiled, candidates for city attorney debate, city releases a bike plan

Jan Perry, Candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles

Jan Perry

Mayoral candidate Jan Perry is profiled in the Los Angeles Times. The focus? Her frankness.

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 Friday, Jan. 18, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


The Los Angeles Times profiles Jan Perry and her "frankness." "I like to cut to the chase in my words and my deeds," she tells the newspaper.

Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti's opponents say they will not sign a pledge to forgo the use of outside funds in the campaign, according to the Daily News. Garcetti says he wants to lessen the influence of SuperPACs and independent expenditures.

Candidates for city attorney debated in Hollywood Thursday, reports KPCC. Incumbent Carmen Trutanich knocked Assemblyman Mike Feuer for his record in Sacramento. "When Mr. Feuer was in Sacramento, his budget solution was to release prisoners to balance the budget, to cut school funding to balance the budget," he told the crowd.