Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: Redevelopment in Watts, new city commissioners, Chinatown Walmart prepares for opening

L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino called the redevelopment of Jordan Downs
L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino called the redevelopment of Jordan Downs "life-changing," reports the Los Angeles Times.
Mae Ryan/KPCC

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, votes and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

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Today is Thursday, Aug. 15, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:


The Los Angeles City Council approved plans to replace the Jordan Downs housing project in Watts, according to the Los Angeles Times. The billion-dollar transformation is contingent on $30 million in federal grants.

Bruce Katz spoke to Los Angeles Magazine and had some advice for Mayor Eric Garcetti. "You have unbelievable assets in Los Angeles, and that has been masked by the dominance of Hollywood and the reality of the location where you are situated. But that gives you an opportunity to have a contrarian brand and to begin to send a signal to the world: here’s the Los Angeles you don’t know," he says.

Mayor Eric Garcetti named four new members to the Board of Police Commissioners. He also quietly appointed Emanuel Pleitez  to the board that oversees police and fire pensions, per LAObserved.

The Chinatown Walmart is slated to open later this month, reports KPCC. The project's opponents are expected to picket the opening.

Actresses Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner were in Sacramento this week to speak in support of SB 606, which require the consent of a legal guardian before minors can be photographed or videotaped, according to the Los Angeles Times. The bill is designed to protect the children of celebrities from paparazzi. "Newspaper publishers are among those opposing the bill, raising concerns that it would infringe on journalists’ ability to do their jobs," according to The Times.



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