Villaraigosa and Herbalife: Made for Each Other?

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Michael Sigman: Taking a job at a multi-level marketing firm would be a tacky signpost of any first-tier politician’s professional trajectory. It’s especially unsightly when that politician is Antonio Villaraigosa

Villaraigosa: The Myth of The Progressive Mayor

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Robert Skeels: While Villaraigosa disappointed supporters and failed to deliver any progressive policies whatsoever, he was hardly a failure to those he really serves. Indeed, for developers, real estate tycoons, billionaires, and school privatization profiteers, Villaraigosa’s eight year reign was a smashing success.

Urban Farming — An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Urban Food Deserts

Urban farming is taking root because it makes sense. It conserves dwindling water supplies, makes little plots of land productive, reduces food bills, provides healthy produce free of salmonella and chemicals and gets people off the couch and in motion.

Budget Shocker: L.A. Shows $119 Million Surplus

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Gary Cohn: The reasons for Los Angeles’ comparatively good financial condition include a legal groundwork laid years ago that required specific funding safeguards, recent give-backs from public sector unions and an improving economy.

School Daze: The Attack on Public Education Continues

chicago school closings

Vivian Rothstein: In the name of quality education, the business model reformers are working to contract out many of our public schools to private for-profit and non-profit charter schools which are largely excluded from the public decision-making processes.

Villaraigosa Fracks Up?

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Lauren Windsor: The city derives 40% of its energy from two out-of-state power plants in Arizona and Utah. During his speech, Mayor Villaraigosa said that energy would be replaced with wind, solar, and natural gas. Is that so?

LA Mayor “Suave”

antonio villaraigosa

Victoria Defrancesco Soto: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has broken a cardinal rule three times in the last week. TMZ, the celebrity gossip site has actually bestowed the title of Mayor Suave upon Villaraigosa.

No on Measure J: Time to Stop Ballot Initiative Exploitation

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Anthony Asadullah Samad: NO ON Measure J. Tell your friends, family, even people you don’t like. Vote Obama, Jackie Lacey and NO on Measure J.

L.A. Police Leave Chalking Protesters Alone

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Dan Bluebel: A month after the ArtWalk uprising, Occupy Los Angeles pulled off another act of civil disobedience to protest the arrests of several occupiers and non-occupiers for chalking sidewalks. This time around it was peaceful.

Chalk Walk Protesters Rebuff Villaraigosa

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Cheryl Aichele: Apparently, the City believes their chalking event is legal because they had a permit. However, the box the chalk comes in seems to encourage what the Mayor calls criminal behavior.

Bike Share King: LA’s Antonio 4,000 … Chicago’s Rahm 3,000

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Stephen Box: Los Angeles is in an enviable position where it can select from the best yet it acted rashly and without public participation from the advocates who have been involved all along.

Los Angeles Fire Chief Talks Budget Cuts and Response Time

New York Firefighters Rescue in Worst Storm

How is the Fire Department affected by budget cuts? Chief Brian Cummings of the Los Angeles Fire Department talks to the community about budget cuts and response time.

What Good Is Black History Month?

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Sharon Kyle: I have this gnawing sense that with the exception of official national holidays, the only time our nation honors people with a special day or month is when they are members of an exploited group.

No One In Los Angeles Ever Takes the Blame

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Stephen Box: General Managers, also appointed by the Mayor, find themselves caught between a term-limit restricted Mayor and a Civil Service hard place. Critics claim that they often serve as simple cannon fodder and Mayoral expeditors.

Prisoner Reintegration: Helping Those Trying to Help Themselves

Nyabingi Kuti

Ron Kaye: The conversation that started in Pasadena is long overdue. The failure of locking people for long sentences in overcrowded conditions without effective rehabilitation and support programs was clear a long time ago.

LAUSD’s John Deasy Disses Parent Group

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Leonard Isenberg: What LAUSD has done is to front an alternative group called Parents as Equal Partners that it believes it can control, while arbitrarily and without legal authority disbanding DAC without even minimal guarantees of due process of law.

LA’s Scandalous Housing Authority: For Better or For Worse

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Stephen Box: The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) is the latest department to fall victim to the oversight and accountability scrum that starts when the media shines a spotlight and concludes when the public gets bored.

Occupy LA: A Salt Lick for Bullies

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Stephen Box: The bullies embedded within the LAPD found freedom to exercise their demons, to act on the rage they felt when they were denied the opportunity to unleash their skills on a violent enemy.

Los Angeles Shows an Alternative Approach to Occupy

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Tom Hayden: Compared with the brutal police crackdowns against the Occupy movement in New York City, Oakland and even the pacific Davis campus of theUniversity of California, the Los Angeles eviction last night was almost entirely peaceful. The question is why.

Who Will Be the Un-Bloomberg? What Mayors Should Say About Wall Street

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Tom Hayden: In light of the police actions in New York, Berkeley, Oakland, Denver, Portland and beyond—and as massive national demonstrations are about to take place—it’s not too late for the mayors to use their political stature to speak out about the crises befalling their cities.

Charlie Beck’s Anniversary: A Walk in the Park

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Stephen Box: Beck occupies a unique position in the world of Occupy protests and is one of the only Police Chiefs in the country to establish a relationship with protesters that is based on respect and dignity.

Occupy LA: Writing on the Wall

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Stephen Box: Occupy LA is slowly discovering that City Hall’s welcome mat has disappeared, that the Mayor’s gift of ponchos during the first rainstorm was more of a bon voyage gift than a welcome.

Occupy LA’s Greatest Opportunity: The Polls

occupy la

Stephen Box: Occupy LA’s greatest opportunity to impact the policies and actions that are responsible for eviscerating the middle class, for destroying our economy, for unleashing predatory greed and for selling political access to the highest bidder is to mobilize voters at the polls on election day.

Anti-Teacher Union “Reformers” Hoisted on Own Petard

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Randy Shaw: After years of teachers union bashing and corporate-led school “reform” efforts, anti-public school forces are now on the defensive. And the main reason is that the statistical measurements do not support their arguments, and even show a pattern of falsification.

Mayors to Obama: Bring War Dollars Home

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Peter Dreier: At its annual conference in Baltimore, the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution calling for an end to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, saying that the money could be put to better use at home.

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Conference of Mayors May Vote Monday Vs. Wars

Mayor Antonio Villaraigossa

Sherwood Ross: The Conference, which speaks for 1,200 mayors, expresses the pain felt by city officials as urgent domestic needs have been long scuttled so that America’s imperial presidents can wage wars in the Middle East to control the region’s oil.

LA’s Reluctance to “Bet on Black”

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

Anthony Samad: Then it hit: this city will always be reluctant to make a significant infrastructure investment in the black community. “Betting on black” is not this city’s strong suit. Trickin’ the community on votes that build for the future is.

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Senator Loni Hancock Visits Gang Intervention Projects in LA

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Tom Hayden: In a promising development for gang intervention programs, a leading California senator visited several community-based projects in Los Angeles aimed at reducing gang violence through rehabilitation, training and job opportunities.

Marcy Winograd and the Open Primary

Nyabingi Kuti: The growing LA progressive movement began lobbying Marcy Winograd to jump in. Winograd, a teacher at Crenshaw High, has twice caused Harman concern with her strong challenges to the seat.

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