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

Steve Soboroff: find creative ways to fund LA's parks

Kids play basketball on a court at the Martin Luther King park at Western Avenue and 39th Street in south Los Angeles.
Newly Paul/KPCC

As Los Angeles prepares its next budget, Steve Soboroff, the former head of the city's Recreation and Parks Commission, says L.A. needs to start getting creative about finding money to revive the depleted parks budget.

Standing outside City Hall recently, Soboroff described how he’d just met with the city administrative officer to discuss the issue. Soboroff is lobbying for different funding approaches, such as building solar canopies over parking lots to provide power, and taking on commercial partners.

“Why not go to Nike, and say ‘hey, here’s our 40 parks that need the basketball courts redone, and if you want to put your 'swoosh' in the middle, god speed,’” the entrepreneur said. “To me that’s commercialization with taste.”

Soboroff also pointed out that private foundations can be a source of funds. 


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Labor leader Dolores Huerta backs Curren Price in South LA

United Farm Workers Co-Founder Dolores Huerta endorsed state Sen. Curren Price for the Los Angeles City Council Monday.
Ashley Bailey/KPCC

Labor leader Dolores Huerta endorsed Curren Price for the Los Angeles City Council Monday, calling the state senator the only candidate who can bring South L.A. together.

Price is running against Ana Cubas for the Ninth District seat as incumbent Councilwoman Jan Perry is termed out of office.

“From fighting to pass the Dream Act, to creating job training opportunities and safer neighborhoods, Curren has a proven record of fighting and delivering results for every community," Huerta said in a statement. "He is the type of leader that will empower and unite the people of South Los Angeles to build a better future for this community."

She joins Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, council President Herb Wesson and the county Federation of Labor in backing Price. Huerta worked with Cesar Chavez to form the United Farm Workers in 1962. His image appears on a mailer for the other CD 9 candidate – Cubas.


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Maven's Morning Coffee: plans for the Controller's Office, Watts Towers get a makeover, longtime spokeswoman leaves DA's Office

Engineers are working to address the structural problems of the Watts Towers, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Michael Oh/FlickrCC

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.

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

Today is Monday, April 1, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:


In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, Councilman Bernard Parks has a long memory, City Hall looks to increase voter turnout, and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa previews his State of the City address.

Candidates for city controller, Dennis Zine and Ron Galperin, each appeared on ABC 7 to talk about their visions for the Controller's Office. Zine, Galperin.

KPCC looks at how the image of Cesar Chavez is being used in the mayor's race. "While the symbol of the United Farm Workers — a black eagle — and its motto, 'Sí se puede (Yes, it can be done),' are copyrighted, Chavez’s image is not," according to the station.


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California may provide interpreters for patients on Medi-Cal (PDF)

Program assistant Mayra Dittman (L) helps Juanita Gilbert get up to walk at the Lifelong Medical Marin Adult Day Health Care Center on February 10, 2011 in Novato, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

When federal health care reform kicks in next year, more than 1 million, low-income Californians could gain coverage through the state’s Medi-Cal program. A good percentage of them may speak limited English.

That's why Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-LA) has introduced AB 1263 to create a new program that provides interpretation services to Medi-Cal patients.  

The proposed program, called Communi-Cal, would reimburse patients for the cost. That money would come from the federal government.
Pérez thinks providing patients who speak limited English with professional interpreters will help their doctors properly diagnose and treat them. He also wants the State Personnel Board to certify and regulate medical interpreters.
The Assembly Health Committee takes up the Speaker's bill on Tuesday.


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LA candidates meet for forum on public transit and the environment

The future of Los Angeles -- and what elected officials plan to do about the environment and transportation -- will be the focus of a Monday forum at the California Endowment.
Grant Slater/KPCC

Public transportation and the environment will be among the policy issues discussed by candidates for Los Angeles city attorney, controller and city council at a forum on Monday.

The day-long event at the California Endowment will be hosted by the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, Climate Resolve and the League of Conservation Voters.

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and his opponent Assemblyman Mike Feuer will be the first panel of the day. In the afternoon, the candidates for city controller, Dennis Zine and Ron Galperin, will meet. In between, candidates and representatives for council districts one, six, nine and thirteen will participate.

Streetsblog LA will live stream the event. The forum is also free and open to the public, though a RSVP is required. Registration is available here


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