City News

November 2 | LA Times

The nation’s largest port complex approved a plan Thursday to slash air pollution by encouraging the phase-out of diesel trucks in favor of natural gas and, ultimately, zero-emissions trucks and cargo-handling equipment over the next two decades. The Clean Air Action Plan, unanimously adopted at a joint meeting of Los Angeles and Long Beach harbor commissioners, provides a framework for transforming the massive hub for freight-moving trucks, trains and ships to cleaner technologies through 2035. But it leaves many details undetermined, including who will pay for up to $14 billion in cleaner trucks and equipment and which industries will benefit.

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November 1 | Fresno Bee

That sigh you hear is Antonio Villaraigosa’s relief that Eric Garcetti won’t be running for governor next year. Garcetti, the current mayor of Los Angeles, would have been a strong contender vis-à-vis Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, the frontrunner in all polls. But the most immediate beneficiary of Garcetti’s weekend announcement of non-candidacy is Villaraigosa, his predecessor in the mayor’s office, who has been running second in the polls.

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November 1 | CBS LA

A Los Angeles City Council committee Wednesday approved a plan to employ homeless people to clean litter and trash from streets, sidewalks and alleys. According to the City Council motion that would create the pilot program, the city receives an average of 200 requests per day through its 311 mobile app and website regarding dumping, debris and other trash-related nuisances, and trash is also consistently one of the three top reported issues to 311.

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October 26 | LA Times

Two congressional Democrats submitted bills Thursday that aim to improve working conditions for port truck drivers, who for years have accused trucking firms of wage theft. The bills likely face a tough slog in the Republican-controlled Congress. But their authors say they are needed to help drivers, including those at the nation’s largest port complex in Los Angeles and Long Beach. The workers allege they are improperly classified as independent contractors and have to lease their rigs under unfair lease terms. The terms, they say, are so onerous that for some pay periods they make nothing and actually end up owing the trucking company money.

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October 24 | NBC LA

The Los Angeles City Council today took action to provide protections for tenants facing relocation due to condominium conversion projects. On a 12-0 vote, the panel approved Ellis Act amendments to the city's Rent Stabilization Ordinance. The state's Ellis Act allows landlords to exit the rental market, but has guidelines on how it can be done and can require landlords to provide relocation assistance to tenants who must move out.

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October 23 | Curbed LA

Leaders of tenant advocacy groups and Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, on Monday filed a proposed ballot initiative to drastically expand California’s rent control laws. The measure would repeal the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act, which limits the ability of city and county governments to enact stronger rent control laws. “The Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act needs to be repealed. It’s an obstacle in the way of protecting tenants,” says Walt Senterfitt, with the LA Tenants Union, which supports the initiative. It was filed by ACCE Action and Eviction Defense Network, along with AHF.

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October 22 | Sacramento Bee

The two leading Democrats for California governor on Sunday split over how to achieve universal health care, with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom defending his support for a government-run, single-payer system and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa dismissing as “pie in the sky” plans that don’t include viable financing methods.

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October 20 | LA Times

The war on drugs has taken a disproportionate toll on people who are poor, black or Latino, community activists have long lamented. Now that marijuana is on the brink of legalization in California, Los Angeles leaders want to make sure that disadvantaged people can cash in. L.A. has been crafting regulations to permit a wide range of marijuana businesses as the state prepares to legalize the sale of recreational pot. Under a proposal drafted by outside consultants and released this week, the city would provide extra help to some people seeking to run cannabis businesses, in an attempt to address the uneven effects of the drug war.

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October 20 | LA Daily News

Nearly half of Los Angeles’ streets have speed limits based on outdated speed surveys, which has prevented Los Angeles police officers from using radar and laser devices to enforce rules against speeding. But that may change soon, city officials say. Speed limits have expired on about 47 percent, or 596 miles, of streets, rendering those limits unenforceable in most cases, according to LAPD and Los Angeles Department of Transportation officials. “If a city like Los Angeles has unenforceable speed limits, that’s a recipe for disaster,” said LAPD Officer Troy Williams of the Valley Traffic Division.

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"What good is having the right to sit at a lunch counter if you can't afford to buy a hamburger?"

— Martin Luther King Jr.

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