Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA City Council OKs fewer pension benefits for new city employees

Coalition of LA City Unions

Alice Walton/KPCC

Attorney Victor Gordo leads a group of city workers during public comment at Friday's meeting of the L.A. City Council.

Los Angeles city workers hired after the start of the next fiscal year will have to work more years to receive fewer pension benefits, under a plan unanimously approved Friday by the Los Angeles City Council. 

The vote finalized a plan first approved a month ago. Councilmen Eric Garcetti and Richard Alarcon had asked city and labor representatives to get together to reach a compromise in the last 30 days, but the talks did not result in any changes.

Problems started with the city’s lawyers determine the new pension tier is not subject to collective bargaining. Labor leaders strongly disagreed.

“I’m here to tell you that we will vigorously pursue our administrative and legal remedies,” said Victor Gordo, an attorney for the Coalition of L.A. City Unions. “You have violated your obligation to meet and confer on the one end, and on the other end you’ve attacked the integrity of our collective bargaining agreement."


Hearing Tuesday on $11 million Arizona donation for CA propositions

California’s elections watchdog went to Sacramento Superior court Thursday to ask a judge for help.

The Fair Political Practices Committee (FPPC) wants to find out the names of people who made an $11-million campaign donation to defeat Proposition 30 and pass Prop 32. 

“What is at stake is Democracy." said FPPC Chairwomann Ann Ravel "it’s whether or not people from out of state or even in state who are giving an enormous amount of money to influence campaigns in California should be identified.”

The Fair Political Practices Committee wants the names of the donors disclosed before the November 6 general election. 

Attorneys for Americans for Responsible Leadership said the California agencys' overstepped its authority. 

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Barry Loncke set a hearing on the matter for Tuesday, October 30. The judge asked both sides to file arguments with the court Monday, October 29.


Maven's Morning Coffee: tax breaks in LA, management talks at the zoo, Jose Huizar in minor crash

Exterior view of Los Angeles City Hall

California Historical Society/USC Digital Archives

Marketplace takes a look at how tax breaks grew business in the city of Los Angeles.

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, Oct. 26, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


Marketplace looks at what happened in Los Angeles when the city started giving tax breaks to new businesses.

The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association may be back in talks to take over management of the zoo, according to the Daily News. Without a change in management, it is unclear how the city can afford to keep the zoo in operation. Meanwhile, a Los Angeles Times editorial urges the city to find a way to work with GLAZA on a public-private partnership.


That's My Issue: Reproductive rights

David McNew/Getty Images

Pro-choice supporters rally to mark the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, outside the Federal Building January 22, 2008 in the Los Angeles area community of Westwood, California.

This post is part of KPCC & WNYC's "That's My Issue" series, and represents the views of its author, not of either station. 

The reproductive rights issue is a big deal for me as a woman.

I definitely see that it’s important to have those rights and to fight for them and to keep them as they are and I feel like it’s a big threat to have Roe v. Wade overturned. 

That's My Issue: Reproductive Rights (Tona Carmelo) by KPCC

Let us know how a particular experience has affected your political opinions. Record it online, or drop us a note. Your piece could appear on WNYC and KPCC's websites, as well as on our air. 


Sorting out the latest medical marijuana news

Medical Marijuana

Bear Guerra/KPCC

Marijuana plants for sale at Studio City's Perennial Holistic Wellness Center. It remains open, but federal agents have raided nine other dispensaries in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Federal agents bust a bunch of L.A. and Orange County pot shops.

A San Diego judge says its OK to purchase pot.

Medical marijuana news can leave you in a haze. Let’s sort out the latest:

First, federal prosecutors Thursday said agents arrested a dozen people associated with a chain of nine marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles and Orange Counties on drug trafficking charges.

“Most of the stores previously were the subject of search warrants executed in 2010 and 2011,” read a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office. “Most of the nine stores are now closed, but several are believed to still be in operation.”

Prosecutors allege one dispensary - Safe Harbor Collective in Dana Point - made $2.5 million in 2009. Shop owner John Melvin Walker allegedly told his bookkeeper “to destroy all records pertaining to income.” He also allegedly possessed an AK-47, and nearly $400,000 in cash. Walker’s attorney did not return a phone call for comment.