First Lady Michelle Obama honored a Southern California mentoring program Friday at the White House, giving a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award to WriteGirl. The organization matches at-risk teens with women writers.
Sixteen-year-old Jackie Uy is a WriteGirl. She's a junior at L.A.’s LACES High School and wants to be an international correspondent, like Christiane Amanpour. Working with her WriteGirl mentor, newspaper veteran Katherine Geyer, Uy has learned how to interview people, how to write a news story, and one other thing: confidence. Uy says you’ve got to have thick skin as a writer, "because you’ll get a lot of hate messages." Uy’s already had a taste of reader feedback as news editor of her school newspaper, LACES Untied.
The First Lady praised a dozen after-school programs from around the country — and even one that works with street kids in Nairobi, Kenya. But she touted the singular success of WriteGirl over the past decade, pointing out that "every single one of the program’s graduating seniors has gone on to college." Mrs. Obama offered encouragement to the adults running the various after-school programs, saying, "all of you are using the power of the arts to change young people’s lives."
Dababneh and Shelley campaigns
Democrat Matt Dababneh beat Republican Susan Shelley in a special runoff election to fill a vacancy created when Bob Blumenfield went to the L.A. City Council.
Democrat Matt Dababneh has won the special election to represent the 45th Assembly District in the northwest San Fernando Valley, enabling the Democratic party to reclaim a two-thirds supermajority in the California State Assembly.
Tuesday's initial count left him with a slim lead of 173 votes as Republican Susan Shelley made a strong showing in the Democratic-dominant district. Following the final count of provisional and absentee ballots, Dababneh's lead increased to 329 votes. The district has about a quarter-million registered voters, and turnout for the election was about 12 percent.
Dababneh is a staffer for Congressman Brad Sherman. He was running for a vacancy created when Bob Blumenfield left to take a seat on the Los Angeles City Council.
California Democratic Party Vice Chair Eric C. Bauman said: "This victory restores our supermajority in the Assembly. We look forward to working with Assembly Member-Elect Dababneh to move the San Fernando Valley forward."
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Gov. Jerry Brown raised $2 million Thursday at a Bel-Air fundraiser.
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Today is Friday, Nov. 22, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:
Gov. Jerry Brown raised $2 million at a Bel-Air fundraiser Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Times. "I am aware that in November of next year there will be an election, and I will make some decisions regarding that," Brown has said about his possible 2014 reelection.
Did Sen. Dianne Feinstein hint at retirement? Yes, no -- maybe, according to KPCC.
A new city website that shows where parking restrictions are relaxed each day is drawing mixed reviews, reports the Daily News. "I don’t care about the look. I just want to get the information to folks," said Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Candidates are lining up to run for the Board of Supervisors' Third District seat when Zev Yaroslavsky retires next year.
An L.A. city councilman from the San Fernando Valley is the latest politician to make known his intentions about a run for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors — and his announcement is...count him out!
Councilman Paul Krekorian released a statement Thursday saying, despite support from his constituents, he will not run for Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's Third District seat next year.
"I am deeply humbled that so many neighborhood and civic leaders, business and labor representatives, environmental activists and others have encouraged me to run to succeed Zev Yaroslavsky," Krekorian said, "but at this time I have decided that I will not run for the supervisor's seat."
Yaroslavsky will be termed out of office next year, which means the race for his seat is wide open. Former state legislator Sheila Kuehl has officially filed papers to fundraise for the seat. She's also been busy picking up endorsements, including from former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Rep. Karen Bass and members of the Los Angeles City Council.
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Fracking opponents have been publicly vocal about their stance. California recently released new regulations that require oil companies to request permission to extract oil through fracking.
A group of 27 former campaign and administration advisors to Gov. Jerry Brown released a letter Thursday asking him to ban the unconventional oil extraction method known as fracking until more is known about its effects on global warming, air and water pollution.
Their concern is over the 1,750-square mile Monterey shale formation that holds oil in rocks underneath Central and Southern California. It's estimated to hold two-thirds of the recoverable shale oil in the continental U.S., more than 15 billion barrels worth. But this kind of oil is difficult to extract because it's locked in those pockets of rock.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, gets at the oil by injecting water and sometimes chemicals to break open the rocks and get the oil flowing up into wells.
The top signer was Brown's former economic advisor Michael Kieschnick, CEO of Credo, a wireless phone company that funds progressive non-profits. Wendy Wendlandt, who staffed Brown's 1992 presidential campaign, and advisors from his earlier runs for president and U.S. Senate also signed the letter.