FROM Fernando Guerra
Prop 58: Bilingual education in schools One in five California students speaks another language at home. How to educate these children was the subject of Prop 227 passed in 1998. It ended transitional bilingual education in the state, requiring schools to provide a year of intensive English before mainstreaming the non-English speakers. Some say students benefited greatly from the change. But others think it's time to repeal it. Prop 58 would repeal some key provisions of Prop 227 and offer schools the option of also providing bilingual instruction. We hear compelling arguments from both sides of the issue.
Can taxing marijuana help solve LA’s homelessness crisis? Los Angeles County supervisors are hoping that a state ballot measure to legalize marijuana will pass in November so that they can tax it. The idea is part of their plan to fight homelessness – tax recreational pot to pay for homeless services. Previous ideas like a millionaire’s tax and a sales tax have fizzled. The measure to tax legal weed, which was approved by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday , comes two weeks after the LA City Council agreed to put a $1.2 billion initiative on November’s city ballot. The idea is that a three-pronged city-county-state strategy will help solve LA’s homeless crisis. Will it work?
South L.A. to SOLA? What’s in a name? A lot, if you ask people south of the 10 Freeway. First the area was called South Central. Then, because of the stigma of violence associated with “South Central,” the name changed to South L.A. More recently, city officials proposed changing it yet again to SOLA. And that’s not the only L.A. neighborhood that’s been re-branded in recent years. What does it mean to change an area’s name, and what effects does it have? This segment first aired on 4/21/15.
City Government and the Sharing Economy Last month, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Airport Commission approved plans for Uber, Lyft and other ride-sharing companies to pick up passengers at LAX. But members of the City Council put up a stop sign, demanding debate and discussion. Yesterday, a council committee heard five hours of heated testimony, as a transformative new technology met politics as usual.
Housing Opportunity in L.A. Like many big metro areas, Los Angeles has a history of white neighborhoods working hard to keep other colors out. That history continues to influence where Angelenos live, and their economic and educational opportunities.
Voteria What’s it going to take to get Angelenos out to the polls? How about some cold hard cash... like $25,000? If you happen to live in the Los Angeles Unified School Board’s 5th district, you’ll be entered in what’s being called a Voteria: anyone who votes—legally—in that district’s election will automatically be entered to win $25,000. It’s the initiative of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, which is trying to find ways to get people out to the polls. Photo: Kristie Wells
A History of L.A. Neighborhood Name Changes South L.A. is only one of the city’s neighborhoods that has been branded or re-branded. Just last month, the city council approved a community petition to name the neighborhood in West LA around Sawtelle Boulevard, “Sawtelle Japantown.” What drives neighborhood re-naming campaigns, and what impacts do they have on the ground, if any?
Asian-Americans and the Ballot Box in Los Angeles Chinatown, Little Tokyo and Koreatown are just three of the Asian-American neighborhoods with long histories in Los Angeles and immigration continues. But, despite their numbers, their cultural and economic importance, Asian-Americans have been all but invisible in local electoral politics.
The Political Temperature's Rising in the City of LA Affordable housing, parking, illegal billboards and organized labor will be some of the issues and interests in conflict during this year's primary campaign for District 14 of the LA City Council. Many political careers have begun there— now at least one will come to an end. Termed-out County Supervisor Gloria Molina is one of the challengers to incumbent José Huizar .
Mayor Villaraigosa Exploring Senate Bid Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom says he won't run for the US Senate when Barbara Boxer retires next year. Neither will current LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. But former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is back on Facebook for the first time in a year and a half saying he's giving it "serious consideration." Fernando Guerra is a Political Science professor and Director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University.
Latinos Have the Numbers, What about Political Power? This month, demographers say, Latinos became California's largest ethnic minority — with 39% of the population compared to 38.8% of whites. But they don't have voting power that's proportional to their numbers or proportional representation on local elective bodies. Anaheim, Whittier and Santa Clarita are among the cities facing lawsuits to fix that under the California Voting Rights Act.
Sheriff Lee Baca Resigns… Why Now? Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca will step down at the end of the month. He made the announcement at a news conference this morning. Baca was running for a fifth four-year term and facing some stiff opposition, not to mention a lot of negative press. Earlier today on KCRW, LA Times reporter Robert Faturechi ran down the scandals that have plagued Baca's tenure, not least of which is the recent federal indictment of 18 sheriff's deputies .
Al Jazeera, the FBI and a Political Dynasty in California A 124-page FBI affidavit describes the details of an elaborate sting operation, with agents setting up a fake Hollywood film company and paying State Senator Ron Calderon for legislative favors in Sacramento. The document is still officially sealed, but it was uncovered by investigative reporters for Al Jazeera America.
Republicans Roll Out Campaign to Court Latino Voter The Republican National Party is spending 10 million dollars to reach out to Latinos, and the blue state of California presents an especially tough challenge. Pete Wilson was re-elected Governor by trashing illegal immigration in 1994 and that’s political history that has not been forgotten.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?