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

Energy Committee approves four new DWP commissioners

An LA City Council committee approved four new commissioners to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners Monday. Here, workers install solar panels as part of the utility's program that lets businesses sell solar power from large-scale rooftop arrays to the DWP.
File photo by Steven Kiesling

Four new appointees to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners were approved Monday by the L.A. City Council's Energy and Environment Committee, with a vote by the full council expected later this week. 

Despite the recent, tense contract negotiations between the city and the DWP's union, the confirmation hearing was light on policy and personnel issues. Mayor Eric Garcetti's appointees— Jill Banks Barad, Mel Levine, William Funderburk and Michael Fleming — were unanimously confirmed by the committee. Current DWP Commissioner Christina Noonan will remain on the board. 

"My questions have been answered," said committee member Felipe Fuentes at the beginning of the hearing, noting he met with the appointees privately last week. 

During his comments, committee member José Huizar said the recent mayor's race drew attention to the DWP because of the union's strong financial support of Wendy Greuel. For his part, committee member  Tom LaBonge noted the focus on the utility is similar to what the Los Angeles Police Department and Metro experienced in past years. As for policy, the Fourth District councilman pointed out Recreation and Parks is struggling financially now that it has to pay DWP for water and electricity. 


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Mayor Eric Garcetti reports for jury duty at criminal courthouse (Updated)

Mayor Eric Garcetti was excused from jury duty Monday afternoon. Back to mayorin'!

UPDATE: Mayor Eric Garcetti was cleared from jury duty late Monday afternoon, according to a spokesman for his office. We're not sure the reason behind Garcetti's dismissal but we hope he told the court: "You guys know my Dad used to work here, right?" 

ORIGINAL POST: If Mayor Eric Garcetti weren't such a responsible citizen, maybe he could actually get some mayorin' done.  

He recently completed two weeks of Naval Reserves duty. And on Monday, he reported to downtown's criminal courthouse for jury duty.  

The mayor was waiting to see if he would be assigned to a case, a spokesman said shortly before 11 a.m. Sounds like Garcetti could use some help coming up with an excuse to get out of the jury pool. Here are a few ideas:

  • Have to get back to City Hall and make sure Council President Herb Wesson isn't giving away the store.
  • Need to mow the Silver Lake Reservoir  Meadow. 
  • Gotta read through the DWP's work rules. 
  • Made an appointment to measure drapes at Getty House.
  • I'm Mayor Eric Garcetti!


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Businesses join activists calling on Congress to work on immigration overhaul

Rep. Gary Miller (R-Rancho Cucamonga), whose district is heavily Latino, is being targeted by immigration reform advocates.
Sharon McNary/KPCC

As Congress returned to Washington Monday following the August recess, immigration reform advocates continued to press their case on various home fronts. 

Events themed "Get Back to Work on Immigration Reform" were held in San Jose, Sacramento, San Diego, Bakersfield, Modesto, Fresno, Palmdale, Sonoma, Colton and Placentia Monday. The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor joined with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce at L.A. City Hall with a similar message on the economic benefits of an immigration law overhaul.

In Colton, a coalition of labor, faith-based groups and small business owners gathered at La Carreta Mexican Style Products to ask Rep. Gary Miller (R-Rancho Cucamonga) to support legislation that would enable undocumented immigrants to attain permanent residency and eventual citizenship. The coalition includes Mi Familia Vota, SEIU United Long Term Care Workers, Organizing for Action, Latino Voter Registration Project and the Inland-based immigrant assistance organization Libreria del Pueblo.


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Maven's Morning Coffee: Term limits at the Board of Supervisors, LA gets urban farms, recall efforts in San Bernardino

L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina is one of two members who will be termed out next year. The Los Angeles Times look at what term limits could mean for the powerful board.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

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.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Monday, Sept. 9, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:


In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, City Hall prepares for the 2015 election, former police chief Bill Bratton creates a social network, and Controller Ron Galperin draws some national attention.

The Los Angeles Times looks at the powerful L.A. County Board of Supervisors and the impact term limits could have on the "five kings." "The turnover, starting with elections in June, will change the makeup of a panel whose decisions can affect millions of the poor and needy dependent on a wide range of county social services, as well as taxpayers, businesses and organized labor, which hopes to increase its clout through the coming political campaigns," per The Times.


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LA liberals unhappy with Sen. Boxer's committee vote on Syria

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) conferred with Robert Menendez (D-NJ) during this week's meeting of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.
Associated Press

Members of the U.S. Senate got another day of closed-door security briefings on Syria Friday in advance of a floor vote that could come next week.

Earlier this week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 10 to 7 to support a resolution authorizing U.S. military action against the government of Syria for its alleged use of chemical weapons. One of those "yes" votes has some Southern California Democrats up in arms. 

RELATED: Where does your member of Congress stand on Syria?

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) was already back in California for the Jewish holidays when the Foreign Relations Committee cast its vote on military action in Syria, but she cast her "yes" vote by proxy.

In her home state, L.A. Democrats were swift to react. Cara Robin, president of the West L.A. Democratic Club, said she was "surprised and, I have to say, appalled." 


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