FROM Tom Hogen-Esch
Handicapping LA's Off-Cycle Election Since California's progressive reform movement 100 years ago, LA City elections have been held in odd-numbered years, like this one. The idea was to separate them from the partisanship of state and federal politics. Tomorrow, LA voters have a chance to change that, not just for the City but for the LA Unified School District's governing board as well. Term limits are ending the City Council careers of Tom LaBonge and Bernard Parks, and there are lively contests to replace them. Two other sitting incumbents face challenges. Results of the two Charter Amendments could impact the terms of their replacements.
With the Election over, What's Next at Los Angeles City Hall? Despite big money from the unions thought to dominate the politics of Los Angeles, or perhaps because of it, LA City Councilman Eric Garcetti will be the next Mayor of Los Angeles. Garcetti’s unofficial margin was 54 percent to 46 percent for Controller Wendy Greuel — with a turnout estimated at less than 20 percent.
What's in a Name? Van Nuys Neighborhood Wants to Opt Out For the past 20 years, neighborhoods in the San Fernando Valley have been changing their names. West Hills split from Canoga Park; Valley Village left North Hollywood. Lake Balboa and Valley Glen said goodbye to Van Nuys. Now another community wants to leave Van Nuys and become part of Sherman Oaks. It’s an area of 1800 homes, bounded by Sepulveda and Hazeltine on the east and west and by Burbank and Oxnard on the north and south.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?