Getting Progressive Voices in Congress: By Hook or By Crook

david segal

Dick Price: LA’s progressive political community is rallying behind David Segal, a rising young star looking to capture the Congressional seat Patrick Kennedy is leaving in Rhode Island.

Baby Steps in Plastic Bags

plastic waste

Dick Price: But what if all hundred people at my workplace followed suit? That’s 50,000 plastic bags per year that wouldn’t be fouling the environment. Or the 800 members of my church? Another 400,000 bags not killing wildlife. All 10 million LA County residents? Five billion bags. All Californians? That’s 19 billion bags—and now e’re waist deep in the Big Plastic.

Pointing Our Oily Finger

commute

Dick Price: The reason we’ve got oil rigs drilling a mile deep into the ocean and fouling Alaska’s wilderness is because you and I insist on filling up our car’s gas tank anytime we want, right to the top, at a fraction of the cost others around the world pay, almost as an inalienable right. It’s why we’ve got soldiers dying in Afghanistan and Iraq these many years down the road, too, you know.

Fighting the Orange Tide

beth-krom-1

Dick Price: Not so long ago, you would most likely call a Democrat running for office in many parts of Orange County quixotic if not just flat foolish. Beth Krom, a lifelong Democrat who has won five consecutive local elections in Irvine—the crustiest of upper crust Orange County—begs to differ.

First Solve Prison Crisis, Then Fix California’s Budget

Gary Gilmore

Dick Price: To get a handle on the damage California’s current approach to incarceration is having on its citizens, consider this: In a recent 23-year period, California erected 23 prisons—one a year, each costing roughly $100 million dollars annually to operate, with both Democratic and Republican governors occupying the statehouse—at the same time that it added just one campus to its vaunted university system, UC Merced.

Help Provide Missing Haiti Coverage

Haiti-Georgianne

Dick Price: Next week, Georgianne Nienaber departs on a 12-day investigative research trip to Haiti where she will look to fill in gaps in the mainstream media’s news coverage while also providing emergency medical assistance to rural Haitians. As she works with Haitian human rights organizations to develop story ideas, she also invites LA Progressive readers to contribute their thoughts on where else she might look.

Can Math and Science Help Solve Crime?

Andrea Bertozzi, Martin Short, and Jeffrey Brantingham

Stuart Wolpert: “Criminal offenders are essentially hunter-gatherers; they forage for opportunities to commit crimes,” said Brantingham, a UCLA associate professor of anthropology. “The behaviors that a hunter-gatherer uses to choose a wildebeest versus a gazelle are the same calculations a criminal uses to choose a Honda versus a Lexus.” Predicting crime and devising better crime-prevention strategies requires “a mechanistic explanation. . .” says Brantingham.

A Little Perspective, Yes?

Barack

Dick Price: To get elected, we understood that Obama had to take a pragmatic approach. But underneath the pragmatism, we were attracted to the compassionate world view, the deep ability to grasp complex issues, and the eloquence to voice our best hopes and dreams for the future that we saw, and see, in the man—traits that had been so woefully absent in George W. Bush fear-mongering, hate-mongering, war-mongering reign.

Tiger’s Rag

Tiger

Dick Pric: Different strokes for different folks, right? If Tiger and dozens of other celebrities can do what they’re doing and hurt no one, why should we care?

Laughing So Hard

Phillip Seymour Hoffman as "The Count"

So, right, it’s a wonderful movie, and as much as the LA Progressive does such things, we give it four stars, a kiss and a hug and a pat on the behind, and recommend that you see it. But I think we were touched with something more that night.

JPL Employee Privacy Fight Comes to a Head

Bob Nelson

For the past two years, a small band of senior scientists and engineers at Pasadena, California’s Jet Propulsion Lab have pursued a lawsuit against their employers at Caltech and NASA to protect themselves—and by extension, all federal employees—against the unreasonable invasions of their privacy under a presidential order signed by former President George W. Bush.

Dick & Sharon’s Excellent Town Hall Adventure

caam_3

For this corner of the world, with people who worked hard to elect Barack Obama, whose lives have already been profoundly changed by his election—just look at their faces—and who desperately want him to succeed, Obama needs to deliver on his promises to fix America’s broken healthcare system

“Just Old Men Talking” at the Playhouse Theatre

Just-Old-Men-Talking-Flyer

“Just Old Men Talking,” Written by Grady L. Mackey III, Directed by Sharon L. Graine/. September 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13. Playhouse Theatre Players, 600 Moulton Avenue, Los Angeles. Reservations at 323.227.5410

Long and Winding Road to Universal Healthcare

State Senator (Ret.) Sheila Kuehl

Even as Obama takes his case for comprehensive health care reform to the country, only a cockeyed optimist could believe Congress will soon produce anything remotely resembling the universal healthcare.

Kabul In Encino

burn-victim

Sitting in that auditorium thick with nostalgia for another age, you’ve got to wonder where’s the passion beyond this room? Where’s today’s outrage? Where are the young people inflamed with the outrages of their elders?

Plugging Pasadena’s School-to-Prison Pipeline

Learning Works! chasers Kendrik Watson and Carlos Cruz.

As Governor Arnold Swartzenegger and the Democratic-controlled state legislature strip education funding wholesale to meet California’s budget collapse, Pasadena’s public school district offers a microcosm of the woes besetting school districts that are already in crisis across the state. Recent months have seen a drumbeat of distressing reports of alarmingly high dropout rates in Pasadena’s [...]

Keep on Keeping on with Universal Healthcare

kuehl_1

Tempering the universal healthcare movement’s idealism with calls for pragmatic approaches, retired State Senator Sheila Kuehl preached persistence at last Saturday’s “Single Payer Solution” conference. “Our job is to convince California person by person, church by synagogue, worker by workplace by employer, that single payer is the right answer,” she told the packed sanctuary at [...]

Women of the Plains, Downtown

sb2

Because we publish the LA Progressive, folks send us announcements of all kinds of events, ones supporting every imaginable progressive cause taking place throughout Greater Los Angeles. It’s more than any three couples could attend even if they were half again as crazy as us to jump in the car and go someplace. While we [...]

Can You Imagine?

obama-press-conference

Can you imagine the pickle we’d be in if George Bush still occupied the White House? Or if we had a McCain-Palin administration making the problems facing America today that much worse? That thought kept crossing my mind as I listened to Barack Obama’s press conference on my drive home from work this evening. America’s [...]

From Oxy to Encino: Making Friends and Creating Waves

slave-to-media

If you’ve glanced at the LA Progressive recently, you know that our weekend last week was consumed with the media workshop at Occidental College, which this magazine sponsored and which Sharon and I helped organize. We learned a bit, met some interesting folks, and had a blast. Called “Local Media for Social Change,” the day-long [...]

Obama Delivers Purpose-Driven Slap to Gays and Lesbians

Rick Warren and Barack Obama

by Dick Price – In choosing a prominent anti-gay evangelical preacher from Orange County to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, President-Elect Barack Obama has gone out of his way to insult the gay-lesbian community, which is still licking its wounds from the passage of Prop Hate, the California constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages.

I Couldn’t Wait To Vote For Barack Obama

I didn’t really mean to do it. I usually have more self-control. Something just came over me. I couldn’t restrain myself. Please forgive me. I voted Friday.

Taking a Stand on Prop 8: Opposing It Is Just Plain Right

by Dick Price – If you’ve spent two minutes on our LA Progressive, you know where we stand on Proposition 8, the wrongheaded and wronghearted initiative that would take away the recently won right to marry for gays in California, just like their straight brothers and sisters – just like me and Sharon.

Turning Red Districts Blue: Will Linda Jones’s Stealth Campaign Surprise the Antelope Valley?

The remorseless Santa Anas that whistle across the Antelope Valley teach residents of Palmdale, Riverside, Victorville, and surrounding communities all there is to know about high desert winds. But this November, those same folks might get to know a different kind of wind—one that could blow a Democrat into statewide office to represent their district [...]

Turning a Red District Blue: Is the Third Time a Charm for Ferial Masry?

by Dick Price – When classes end at Reseda’s Grover Cleveland High School, American History teacher Ferial Masry drives across town to a restaurant, changes her clothes in the ladies room, and begins walking the streets of the western San Fernando Valley, a traditional Republican stronghold she hopes to represent in the California Assembly as [...]

Getting Our Feet Wet With Fundraising

In our ongoing immersion into all things political, we held the first fundraiser in our home last Saturday. We’re not exactly social butterflies, so the idea of having dozens of folks over for Stella, Brie, and polite conversation is more than a bit daunting.

Talking Heads

I am, or at least I was for much of my life, an inveterate newspaper reader. Once I left my childhood home in Minneapolis and moved to New York City at 17, later to Washington D.C., and then out here in Los Angeles beginning in the late 70s, my day couldn’t start without a half [...]

Xavier Becerra Turning the Ship

“If I asked for a show of hands on impeachment, I know what I’d get,” Congressman Xavier Becerra told the jubilant crowd of 100 or more packed into the new local Democratic Party headquarters in Highland Park this past Wednesday night. “You’re a bunch of liberals—progressives. There would be 150 hands in the air saying, [...]

Asking the Question Unvarnished

At a recent strategy meeting among fellow progressive activists, Sharon and I were surprised to learn that our politically savvy friends felt that California as a whole and even our bluer-than-blue Los Angeles neighborhood was very much in play in November. Click here to see survey bar charts.

Elect the Barack Obama-Jim Webb Ticket

Jim Webb and Wife

Now that Barack Obama has emerged as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee, our attention turns quickly to which running mate would most help secure victory in November and who would stand that proverbial heartbeat away from the presidency. Earlier this week, Linda Milazzo proposed on these pages the provocative and engaging choice of Caroline Kennedy. [...]

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