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California Democratic Party Check-in, EE Parcel Tax, LA's Unsold Mega-Mansions




File: School buses.
File: School buses.
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We check in on the California Democrats now that Rusty Hicks has won the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee. Plus, what to know about Tuesday's EE parcel tax vote to support school funding. And, why does L.A. have so many unsold mega-mansions?

EE Parcel Tax

Last January, Los Angeles Unified School District leaders ended a historic teachers strike by promising to, among other things, decrease class sizes and hire more support staffers — promises that came with a price tag. At the time, district leaders said that price tag would overwhelm LAUSD’s already-stretched budget as soon as 2021. But L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti urged the district to take a “leap of faith” —agree to the union’s demands in the short-term, and hope that a new, stable source of funding would materialize. On Tuesday, June 4, voters in LAUSD will decide whether to create a new funding stream. If approved, Measure EE would enact a parcel tax that would generate enough money to, theoretically, allow LAUSD to sustain smaller class sizes and staffing increases over the long term.

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Renter's Political Power

Renters got a rare win in Sacramento, last week. A bill that would partly cap rent hikes cleared a legislative hurdle. It isn't very often that tenants get far in the political process. They make up 40 percent of the state's population, but — unlike homeowners —they just don't have a lot of pull with politicians.

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L.A.'s Unsold Mega-Mansions

Imagine living in a house with a hidden marijuana grow room or a space devoted entirely to candy. Those are some of the built-in features at L.A.'s multi-million-dollar mega-mansions, many of which were built on spec and are largely unsold. Now imagine going to a party at one of those houses, hosted by a real estate staging company that's pulled out all the stops -- hanging real Andy Warhol paintings on the walls, or bringing in a live camel to greet guests. They're modern-day castles that boast all the amenities a billionaire could imagine. There's only one small problem: buyers aren't biting. 

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