Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Boxers or briefs? First-time voters in LA care about tougher issues than underwear


Ashley Bailey/KPCC

Kristy Plaza, 18, of Duarte says she supports President Obama because he supports the DREAM act and she likes the way he presents himself.


Ashley Bailey/KPCC

Tom Stivers, 19, of Pebble Beach says he's voting for Mitt Romney because he wants the economy to improve so he can get a job when he's out of medical school.


Ashley Bailey/KPCC

Momo Matsuda, 19, is a lesbian, grew up in Berkeley and goes to school at Occidental College in LA. She says she supports President Obama because he has her in mind when he's making policies.

One in four people eligible to vote in the Nov. 6 election is younger than 30. Kristy Plaza is one of them. The 18-year old says she's waited two years to vote for the first time. She can’t stop smiling.

“I am voting. I better be in a coma to NOT vote!" she insists. 

Plaza grew up in Duarte. She used to run voter registration campaigns on her high school campus even before she could vote. She got hooked after seeing a presentation at the L.A. Convention Center by the nonprofit Rock the Vote.

“It was all about being empowered to vote and I never really heard that before," Plaza says. " I mean, I grew up with my parents saying, ‘Oh, we don’t need to vote. It’s not that important,' or 'It doesn’t make a difference anyways.' "

Heather Smith of Rock the Vote says young people’s votes do make a difference. She told KPCC’s Take Two that “millennials” could be the deciding factor in this election.


Rep. Laura Richardson's Congressional account is tapped out (CORRECTION)

Kitty Felde/KPCC

Rep. Laura Richardson


The original version of this story erroneously reported that U.S. Rep. Laura Richardson lost her home to foreclosure earlier this year. In 2007, a home the Congresswoman owned in Sacramento was foreclosed upon, but she was able to stop the process and retain ownership.

On Thursday, the Congresswoman disputed a report that the taxpayer-funded account to run her offices in Washington and Long Beach has been depleted. Rep. Richardson would not answer questions, but her office supplied this statement:

The 37th Congressional District, represented by Congresswoman Richardson has adequate funding to carry out the official duties of her office through the end of the 112th Congress.  The internal email referenced a single line item budgeted for mass mailings and not the MRA budget as a whole. 


That's My Issue: College affordability

TMI John Joanino, College Affordability

Amy Lieu/KPCC

John Joanino, a UCLA student, talks about college affordability.

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

To me, the issue that’s important in this upcoming election is college affordability and college accessibility.

I come from a low-income background, and I have a single mother. And it’s because of public education that I’m able to be here, and to continue pursuing my dreams in education. 

I think it’s important that we really take a look at the state disinvestment from higher education and how we can look for solutions.

This election is really, really personal because I have cousins who don’t know what they’re going to do after high school. They don’t know what they want to be in the future, because they don’t know if they going to be able to afford going to college.


Use KPCC's Southern California voter guide to help you choose on Election Day

KPCC's MyBallot voter guide


Election Day is coming up fast — it's Tuesday! — so we're reminding you that we have launched our "MyBallot" voter guide, which includes coverage of every race, proposition and measure that will be on a ballot in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties.

Enter your address, and the site delivers a rundown of each race (from President to community college board), proposition and measure applicable to you, as well as links to KPCC and other outlets' news coverage and candidates' answers to some of your questions.

(Rest assured, no information you enter will be collected or disseminated by KPCC or any third-party organization.)

You'll also be able to save your choices on your mobile device or print them out so you can bring them to the polls. If you're accessing the voter guide from your phone, the site is mobile optimized, so you can take it with you to the polls if you like.


Maven's Morning Coffee: LA's sales tax, an Assembly race lawsuit, a ruling on digital billboards

City Councilman Herb J. Wesson Jr.

Andres Aguila/KPCC

L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson is pushing a plan to increase the city of LA's sales tax by a half penny.

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 Wednesday, Oct. 31, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


The Los Angeles City Council will consider a batch of tax measures later today for the March 2013 ballot. Councilman Herb Wesson is pushing a proposal to increase the city's sales tax by a half-cent. The Los Angeles Times has a rundown of what will be heard this morning.

The wife of Republican Matthew Lin, a candidate for the state Assembly, sued her husband's political opponent, Ed Chau, after he published her Social Security number in a mailer, reports KPCC. "We've never really seen this in any other campaigns before, so this was completely unexpected," Lin's campaign manager told the station.