Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Filing dates set for LA City Council special election

Exterior view of Los Angeles City Hall

California Historical Society/USC Digital Archives

Anyone planning to run for the L.A. City Council's special election next May must reside in the Sixth District beginning Jan. 5, 2013.

Los Angeles has  established the filing dates for candidates interested in running for the Sixth District City Council seat. The incumbent councilman was elected to Congress and will vacate the position.

Potential candidates for the Los Angeles City Council’s Sixth District must reside in the district beginning Jan. 5, 2013, the City Clerk’s Office announced Monday. 

The special election for the CD 6 seat will be held on May 21. The filing and nominating petition periods both start on Feb. 4  and candidates must live in the district at least 30 days before filing campaign papers. Candidates must also be registered to vote in the San Fernando Valley’s Sixth District by the time they are elected to office.

The incumbent councilman, Tony Cardenas, was elected to Congress in the Nov. 6 election. He will be sworn into office on Jan. 3.


Maven's Morning Coffee: Trash in Central Valley, Public Works president on leave, possible parcel tax for LA County

Christopher Joyce/NPR

The Los Angeles Times analysis Southern California's garbage, which is trucked up to the Central Valley.

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.

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Today is Monday, Nov. 26, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


The president of the Board of Public Works is seeking treatment after police found her young daughter unattended at City Hall around midnight a few weeks back. Andrea Alarcon is on paid leave from her post while the District Attorney investigates allegations of child endangerment, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Residents in the Central Valley are sick and tired of getting Southern California's garbage, reports the Los Angeles Times. "A Times analysis of state recycling data shows that more than 60% of all non-agricultural compost in the state winds up in the region, which is home to just 14% of the population," according to the newspaper.


Freshman lawmakers enter the lottery for offices

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Andreas Adelmann/Flickr

Nice view - but it takes Congressional seniority to get it. That's what newly-elected members of California's delegation in the nation's capital are finding out as they enter the lottery for office space.

This is the week California’s 14 Congressional freshmen enter the lottery for office space.

Doug LaMalfa, a newly-elected Republican from Redding, is keeping his expectations low. He says that at the end of the day, "unless you’re one of the really big shots," they’re all about the same.

Most House offices are small, crammed with computers and cubicles, painted the same regulation choice of colors. Don Young of Alaska has a giant bearskin rug on the wall of his reception area. Linda Sanchez of Lakewood has painted her office bright orange. A few are located on the fifth floor of the Longworth House Office Building. Many elevators in Longworth stop at the fourth floor.

But LaMalfa says it all boils down to the view. "Are you going to look at the back of an air conditioner on a roof or you gonna look out towards the Capitol Building." He says he knows it takes a few years of seniority to work up to a view of that domed landmark.

In the meantime, he says, "maybe we’ll just have to have good art inside the office."

He says his wife is picking his lottery number for luck.


Congressional freshmen wary of DC press corps

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TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images

US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is a seasoned veteran when it comes to dealing with the Washington DC press corps. But newly-elected members of California's Congressional delegation are learning how best to handle Capitol Hill reporters.

California’s Congressional freshmen are quickly learning the ropes at the Capitol. The new kids are treading softly with one DC beast: the press corps.

Republican Congressman-elect Doug LaMalfa of Redding says he’s already heard the stories about reporters on Capitol Hill. He hears they "follow you around and play 'gotcha' with their little cameras and taking something that you’re doing and spinning that out of perspective."

Newly-elected LA Democrat Tony Cardenas saw the DC press corps in action the day House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi introduced the new freshmen. When Pelosi opened up the press conference to reporters for questions, "all they wanted to ask it seemed was about General Petraeus and that issue." Cardenas says he thought reporters would ask about "what’s next for the country, the economy, policy etc." The fact that they didn't, he says "honestly, was a bit disappointing."

LaMalfa and Cardenas are state legislature veterans who've dealt with the press corps in Sacramento.  Cardenas has also fenced with reporters who covered him at L.A. City Hall.  Their one saving grace: the DC press corps largely ignores freshmen after they’re sworn in … unless they do something stupid.


Most of California's Congressional freshmen are Sacramento veterans

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via cd6.lacity.org

Former L.A. City Councilman Tony Cardenas is one of a bumper crop of new Congressional delegates from California.

California’s Congressional delegation has a bumper crop of 14 new freshmen.  But most have lots of legislative experience.

Nearly 2/3 of California’s freshman Congressional class have served in the state legislature. All three Republicans -- Paul Cook, Doug LaMalfa, and David Valadeo -- were Assemblymen, with LaMalfa also serving two years in the state Senate.

Six Congressional Democrats -- Julia Brownley, Alan Lowenthal, Jared Huffman, Juan Vargas, Tony Cardenas, and Gloria Negrete McLeod -- are also veterans of the California statehouse.

Brownley is thankful for that Sacramento training. She says that with everything freshmen have to think about, "it’s really great to have had the experience and to know a little bit know about what I need to know and when I need to know it."

Term limits have prompted many California lawmakers to consider life after Sacramento. A combination of citizen-drawn districts and the new “top-two” law made it easier for state legislators to challenge Congressional incumbents.