Gig companies are threatening to eliminate thousands of jobs if their ballot measure doesn’t pass.
Young environmental activists from Extinction Rebellion rally for clean water in downtown Los Angeles.
The Newsom administration has established a pattern of approving permits during busy news cycles.
Estrada Courts sits within the Exide contamination zone, but the state has yet to test the homes there for lead.
An activist state senator and a City Hall boss are fighting for a supervisor’s chair. It’s a clash of styles and beliefs.
Fresno, the working class capital of California’s San Joaquin Valley, remains a hardscrabble town with a history of radical activism.
Protests over the killing of George Floyd have hastened teachers union calls to remove police from Los Angeles’ public school campuses.
Co-published by The Guardian
Even before the pandemic, ICE consistently failed to provide adequate medical care to detainees on its flights — with dire outcomes.
Trump and Biden exchanged words over climate change on Tuesday night. How many of them were accurate?
A bill to reform the Department of Toxic Substances Control has been a long time coming, but will Governor Newsom sign it?
El Segundo city manager Doug Willmore didn’t know who he was messing with.
In January, 2012 the L.A. Times reported that El Segundo, home to a huge Chevron refinery, was considering raising the oil giant’s taxes to help meet the demands of a growing town. Refineries around the state pay far higher taxes to their local governments than Chevron does – which is why Willmore figured the proposal made sense.
Chevron’s El Segundo tax bill is $5 million, far less than other cities receive from their refineries. Torrance got $9.8 million from Exxon Mobil and Carson got $10.2 million from BP. Chevron paid $15.4 million to Richmond for its Northern California facility.
Chevron, of course, wants to hold on to its growing profits and is fighting hard against any tax increase. When the proposal first came forward Chevron reacted with disbelief that the proposal would be made public before they knew about it.
It’s about 6 p.m. and I’m speed-walking to the Seventh and Figueroa Red Line stop to make sure I catch the train after work. At 6:10, the train promptly arrives at the platform and I’m home in 12 minutes. Fortunately, I never have to think twice about hopping on that train or worry about whether the train will shut down or collapse. I also have a convenient alternative to sitting in traffic, and while riding the train I feel secure knowing that our subway system was safely built by skilled hands thanks to government investment in our transit system.
But with the state of the economy and all the talk about the decline of our infrastructure in the United States, I wonder if I have taken what public transportation we have for granted. Then I say to myself, “I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.” (Pun may or may not be intended.)
Here in Los Angeles,
Recently I was invited to speak at a conference marking the 50th anniversary of the Port Huron Statement. Never heard of it?
In 1962, at a United Auto Workers conference center in Port Huron, Michigan, about 60 student activists collectively hammered out what they named an “Agenda for a Generation” with the strong belief that this document could help create the world they hoped for. “We regard men as infinitely precious and possessed of unfulfilled capacities for reason, freedom, and love,” it optimistically declared.
Most were in their 20s, several veterans of civil rights sit-ins or campaigns to end the nuclear arms race. Participatory Democracy was the overall framework – a political vision in which people have power over the decisions that affect their lives. In all-night sessions they argued about wording and emphasis and produced a document that addressed the major challenges of unrepresentative politics,
“James, would you mind driving me to Wal-Mart?”
My mother-in-law asked me this question on a day when my wife was at work and I was desperately trying to get some writing accomplished. I knew it was going to be a tough week to entertain, long before Gerry arrived — a clash of union meetings, picketing and writing classes at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica.
I was typing at the computer in our small, one-bedroom apartment when she posed the question to me. I tried not to overreact, but I’m sure my eyebrows constricted tighter than I had intended.
“Wal-Mart?” I replied. “You want me to drive you to . . . Wal-Mart?”
She nodded. “I’d like to go the garden center and pick up some things.”
I didn’t want to drive to Wal-Mart, but when it came down to it I decided I would rather be on the wrong side of my union than on the wrong side of my mother-in-law. » Read more about: My Mother-in-Law’s Wal-Mart Moment »
The emergence of Los Angeles as one of the world’s great cities, despite its location in a resource-stressed desert basin, has always been the surprise outcome of an unnatural act. L.A.’s stunning growth has been fed by a vast network of electric transmission wires that have, for 100 years, drawn in power from around the West to fuel the always-enlarging economic engines of the city.
This form of urban nourishment has been orchestrated by the city-owned Department of Water and Power (LADWP), which has historically provided L.A. with extremely reliable power at an unusually low price. But now, like utilities around the nation, the DWP is facing serious challenges.
First, the DWP will have to provide more and more power to the city. The population of Los Angeles is going to keep expanding, and with technological innovations like electric vehicles, the need for power will only increase.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision declining to hear an appeal of the L.A. Grocery Worker Retention Ordinance sparked protests from the California Grocers Association. The CGA claimed that the ordinance, which protects the jobs of grocery employees following an ownership change, will do more harm than good in communities suffering from lack of access to healthy food options. Dave Heylen, speaking to the L.A. Business Journal on behalf of the CGA, had this to say: “Our industry and community health groups have long been working to bring more stores into these underserved areas.”
For decades, as grocery stores fled South and East Los Angeles, community groups demanded answers from the industry, only to hear the same refrain over and over again. “It’s too difficult to operate in poor neighborhoods.” “Costs are too high.” The Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency,
(Note: Brian Beutler’s post first appeared on Talking Points Memo. Frying Pan News presents it here as a snapshot of the Congressional fight over the future of America’s social safety net and does not intend it to be an endorsement of one political party or criticism of another.)
The GOP’s accession to reality on the payroll tax cut is being cast as a key victory for Democrats and President Obama. Republicans caved, the payroll tax will almost certainly be renewed, and the economy won’t take a tough hit just as the recovery’s beginning to accelerate.
But it also reveals a flaw — a potentially huge flaw — in the conservative movement’s generational strategy to roll back the federal safety net.
These might sound like two wildly disparate issues, but they’re actually variations on a years-long theme.
(Note: This January 27 post by David Madland and Nick Bunker appeared on the Center for American Progress’ Action Fund blog.)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, data released today on the union status of the American workforce in 2011 show no growth in union membership—a troubling sign as the nation debates how to strengthen the middle class. That’s because unions help strengthen the middle class by giving workers a voice in the economy and our democracy. Yet the fact that union membership didn’t significantly decline—even amid a weak economy and harsh political opposition—is a significant accomplishment and offers some hope for the future.
Overall, the BLS figures show that the union membership rate fell from 11.9 percent in 2010 to 11.8 percent in 2011, but the difference is so small that the rate effectively stayed the same.
We know it’s last-minute, but for those wishing to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a tip of the hat to labor, the folks at L.A. Labor 411 have a list of businesses you may be in need of February 14 that proudly fly the union label. The following are a representative sampling from some select categories.
Russell Stover Candy
United States Postal Service
Encounter Restaurant LAX
Musso & Frank Grill
Doubletree San Pedro
“Creative destruction” has been widely invoked again since Newt Gingrich began attacking Mitt Romney’s record at the private-equity firm, Bain Capital. Of course, the term is a perennial favorite with business writers. But in response to Gingrich’s attacks, Romney and his allies have insisted that Bain exemplifies “creative destruction,” the closely-linked glory and pain of unfettered capitalism.
“Creative destruction,” the concept, however, carries a more mixed message than many of Romney’s defenders may think. In fact, it points to deep problems that face conservatives whenever they argue that ordinary people should look past the ugly and brutal side of economic life. The phrase was first used by the Austrian economist, Joseph Schumpeter, in his 1942 book, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. It referred to a phenomenon Schumpeter had been writing about for decades, a process bound up with entrepreneurship and innovation.
Entrepreneurs, Schumpeter argued, were no ordinary businesspeople. Entrepreneurs were visionaries,