Politics, government and public life for Southern California

DNC Chair Villaraigosa overrules majority on religious platform changes

Democratic National Convention: Day 1

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Delegates turn on Villaraigosa during Jerusalem and God platform vote. The L.A. mayor and DNC chair called a clear majority when there wasn't one.

The most controversial event of tonight's Democratic National Convention was just about the first event of the evening.

There was a special vote to amend the party platform, inserting a statement saying Democrats recognize Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel and reaffirming Democrats' belief in God as central to our American story.

There was no debate... but there was dissent from the floor.

The man at the podium, DNC Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa, called for a motion, a second, and then a vote, saying it needed two-thirds to pass. 

All in favor?  There were ayes.  All opposed?  The "nays" were even louder.

"In the opinion of the—"  And then Villaraigosa stopped. Using his school teacher voice, he said, "Let me do that again."

Villaraigosa called for a second vote.  Same result.  A party functionary came out and told him, "You've got to let them do what they're going to do." 


All is quiet at City Hall with LA's pols in San Diego, Charlotte

Los Angeles City Hall

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It's quiet at Los Angeles City Hall with city council members, along with the mayor and controller, at the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina and at a municipal conference in San Diego.

Labor Day has come and gone, summer is over, and folks are back at work throughout Los Angeles. Well, except at City Hall where the Los Angeles City Council is once again in recess.

The official reason for the recess is the League of California Cities conference in San Diego. Councilmen Bernard Parks, Mitch Englander and Joe Buscaino will be there for the three-day event.

Meanwhile, Councilman Tony Cardenas, who is running virtually unopposed for Congress in the east San Fernando Valley, is in Charlotte for the Democratic National Convention. The Sixth District rep will then travel to San Diego for the conference, according to his office.

Mayoral candidate and Councilman Eric Garcetti is also in Charlotte. Garcetti is a member of the Democratic National Committee’s Executive Board. While at the convention, the councilman hosted an event for “rising stars” of the Democratic Party and spoke at a panel hosted by the DNC Hispanic Caucus. (Also in Charlotte this week are Controller Wendy Greuel — who is one of Garcetti's mayoral rivals — and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is chairing the convention.)


Latino politicians get the spotlight at DNC Convention

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California State Senator Alex Padilla is also president of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro was Tuesday night’s keynote speaker at the Democratic National Convention. L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gets a speaking spot right before Bill Clinton Wednesday night. And L.A. Congressman Xavier Becerra will address the crowd Thursday night. Democrats are bragging about a strong farm team of Latino candidates waiting in the wings.

State Senator Alex Padilla says the nation’s growing Latino population is changing voter demographics in both local and congressional races. And not just in the historically Latino-centric states of California, New York, Texas, and Illinois.

"Now the Latino vote is critical in New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia of all places, even here in North Carolina," says Padilla, noting that the Tar Heel state now has a Latino population of 13 percent.


DNC quick pics: PBS hat cam, Samantha Bee and Michelle Obama from above

Dave Coelho/KPCC

First Lady Michelle Obama addresses the crowd at the Democratic National Convention.

We'll be posting behind-the-scenes images from the Democratic National Convention. If you have some you'd like to share, post them to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #DNCQuickPic and we'll put up the best of them here!        


Close up of the PBS news hat, equipped with Rode microphone and GoPro. (Jasmin Tuffaha/KPCC)


Samantha Bee of The Daily Show busies herself with an interview on convention grounds. (Jasmin Tuffaha/KPCC)


Hotel difficulties for CA delegates inspire poetry

It's been a rough week for the Blake Hotel and the California delegation.

The hotel's been undergoing remodeling for months. They didn't quite work out all the bugs before opening their doors to the convention's largest delegation. A chunk of plaster fell off the building on Friday. The city reportedly condemned a few rooms for not being up to code. Guests got stuck in an elevator. One floor had no hot water, another no cold water. One guest said there was water dripping from his ceiling. 

Californians haven't been shy about complaining. Loudly. The state party set up a special e-mail address for delegates to give feedback on their lodgings. Glad it's not me reading those complaints!

The staff has bent over backwards to try putting collective fingers in the many leaking dikes. Several I've talked to are working many, many overtime hours.