Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: Villaraigosa on immigration, fast track for Farmers Field, Chinatown Walmart heads to court

Democratic National Convention: Day 1

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa used his platform at the Democratic National Convention to knock Gov. Mitt Romney's stance on immigration.

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 Friday, Sept. 7, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa used the spotlight at the Democratic National Convention to knock Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on his immigration stance, reports the Los Angeles Times. "Instead of supporting their dream, Gov. Romney wants to make life so miserable, so oppressive, so intolerable for them that they would leave behind the life they've built, leave their children behind and 'self-deport'," the mayor told the crowd in Charlotte.


Send us your questions for the candidates in KPCC's Voter Guide

Pennsylvania Voters Take Part In The State's GOP Primary

Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

In the coming weeks, KPCC will launch an online Voter Guide to help you stay informed about each of the candidates and initiatives in the upcoming November election, and we want you to let us know what questions you really want answered.

What's most important to you?

  • Schools?
  • Jobs?
  • The deficit?
  • Taxes?

We'll be reaching out to local, county, state and federal candidates with your questions about their policies and aims for office, as well as questions from KPCC's reporters and editors.

We're looking for the issues that you care about, particularly in areas with lots of local races and initiatives (Pasadena, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pomona, as well as Riverside, Orange and San Bernardino Counties).

What are the questions you want to know about from your local candidates? 

Do you have a question about a specific ballot measure? 


Xavier Becerra, bumped from Tuesday, takes the stage at DNC

Kitty Felde/KPCC

L.A. Congressman Xavier Becerra's DNC speech was bumped from Tuesday to Thursday night.

L.A. Congressman Xavier Becerra finally got his moment in the spotlight Thursday night, standing center stage at the Democratic National Convention. His task: talk about the American Dream.

Becerra is the right-hand man to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. He's asked to carry water for the party on Capitol Hill — briefing reporters, repeating the company line, being the nice guy when Pelosi is the tough cop. This was supposed to be his reward.

The Democratic Party rewarded Becerra by bumping him from Tuesday's schedule. They did move him to the night President Obama would speak. But then they stuck Becerra between Caroline Kennedy, the crown princess of Camelot, and the highly energetic former Governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm. And his speech was shown on neither CNN nor MSNBC.


San Francisco mayor touts success with unions

Kitty Felde/KPCC

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee spent the California delegation's Thursday breakfast boasting that he’s worked well with his city’s unions.

The California delegation at the Democratic convention is staying at a non-union hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina.

But at Thursday's delegation breakfast, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee saluted the serving staff, saying that the hotel would be better if they were unionized. The mayor boasts he’s worked well with his city’s unions.

To be fair, when Lee began his run as interim mayor last year, he says he didn't have anything to lose.

"I said, 'Give me the hardest thing that we have to do,'" he says. That, apparently, was pension reform. Lee says unions agreed to have city workers pay more into their pensions, with a break for workers paid less than $50,000 a year.

The way to deal, he says, is to sit down and talk honestly — and to fight against the desire to solve it all "in one fell swoop."


California has lousy convention seats, but delegate finds the best of the worst

Keith Umemoto is attending his sixth Democratic convention

Thursday night, Barack Obama makes his case to the nation at the Democratic National Convention why he should be re-elected. Everyone in the arena wants a good look at the president. 

Keith Umemoto, originally from Los Angeles, is a convention veteran. His father took him to conventions as a child. This is his sixth convention as a delegate.

He says that experience helps him snag the good seats. 

Rule 1: Get there early.

As soon as the doors open to delegates, Umemoto is inside the arena. Today that was 1 p.m. ET.

Rule 2: Scope it out.

Umemoto says he surveys the landscape and picks his spot.

Rule 3: Make the best of a bad deal.

Umemoto says California's seats "are not as prime as Illinois or Delaware." That's because there's no Californian on the ticket and we're a reliable "blue" state.