Mayor Villaraigosa says LA has a message for governments nationwide: "collective bargaining works." On Friday, we'll find out if 19,000 city workers will approve a pension and healthcare deal agreed to by six union leaders. Will that make it a "watershed moment," as Villaraigosa claims? Will other city unions go along? Also, radiation monitors were off-line last week in California, and a surprise contest for leadership of the LA teachers' union. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, the latest US Census reveals a lot about America's population and how it's changing.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Trace amounts of radiation from Japan's damaged nuclear-power reactors have turned up in rainwater from New England to Florida. They are comparable to findings in Washington State, Nevada and California. But the Environmental Protection Agency says monitors in San Diego, San Bernardino and Los Angeles were off-line last week for repairs and maintenance.
This Friday, some 19,000 Los Angeles workers will vote to accept or reject what Mayor Villaraigosa calls "a watershed moment" in city history. A coalition of six union leaders agreed last week to increase their members' contributions to pension funds and to establish retiree healthcare contributions for the first time. The Mayor said that would save the jobs of 600 workers and spare the entire workforce from furloughs.
A.J. Duffy is termed out as president of the United Teachers of Los Angeles, whose members work at LA Unified District schools. The union establishment's candidate to replace him is Vice President Julie Washington, but she's been forced into a runoff by Warren Fletcher, who has now been endorsed by a group of frustrated union members calling itself NewTLA, a play on the acronym UTLA. Howard Blume covers education for the LA Times.
The official Census of the United States happens every ten years. Results from the 2010 Census are now coming in, and they reveal a great deal about America's population and how it's changing. Will the growth of so-called "minorities" produce a "white identity crisis" or will future generations construct a “post-racial" America? How will demographics affect politics?
More From Which Way, L.A.?
Which Way, LA? The Question that Won't Go Away 23 years ago, the fires of the Rodney King riots were burning and the sirens wailing when KCRW first asked, WWLA? We've been through fires, floods, earthquakes and massive social, cultural and economic change. While this is the last program titled WWLA? the question still needs to be asked. We talk with a group of important and thoughtful people about what LA has become and about the challenges to be faced in the future…as we continue.
Then and Now: Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? Urban planners got some bad news today. Ridership on public transit in Southern California is on the decline, despite the billions being spent in recent years to build light rail and subway lines. Why aren't more drivers leaving their cars at home, as traffic gets more congested than ever? Meantime, there's a shortage of money to repair aging roads, bridges and other parts of the infrastructure. We look at the impact on the state's economy.
Does California Have a Double Standard for the Public's Protection? Porter Ranch and Vernon are mirror images of each other. In one, schools have been closed and thousands of residents are being moved away by the polluter—just months after a natural gas leak was discovered. In the other, residents complained for years about health risks to school children from exposure to lead and arsenic from a battery recycling plant— until the federal government finally stepped in.
Is 'Warfare' a Thing of the Past at the LAPD? Video of police misconduct wasn’t as common 25 years ago as it is today. The spectacle of LAPD officers beating Rodney King was a wake-up call, but didn’t persuade a jury in Simi Valley. When the cops received not-guilty verdicts, the city exploded. We hear from veteran officers who say they’ve changed. What about their tactics? Have they gained the trust of marginalized communities and people of color?
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