Chesa Boudin became district attorney to reform the criminal justice system. Is he the scapegoat for the city’s woes?
The acclaimed op-ed contributing writer to the N.Y. Times and L.A. Times examines the past, present and future of racialized housing policy.
The Labor Department is readying a rule that could allow millions more Americans to earn additional wages.
An ‘onslaught’ of school protest aims to do what California’s government has struggled to achieve: keep students safe.
While most producers dramatically increased their reporting, the state’s largest natural gas producer’s numbers haven’t budged.
Major hotel chains are considering making daily room cleaning an exception rather than the norm.
Alberto Carvalho, a proponent of school choice, oversaw a growth of magnet and charter schools in Miami.
Cervantes, a progressive policy expert, explains what has and hasn’t changed for immigrant workers under the Biden administration.
Democratic Assemblymember Ash Kalra is proposing a bill to jump-start the process, but Big Medicine will fight to kill it.
Newly discovered records of illegal hazardous waste dumping raise fresh doubts over developer transparency and regulatory oversight.
I don’t believe in empires. They don’t turn out well. They may last for a while – even a long while – but ultimately they collapse, and they don’t make most people’s lives much better in the process. Think Rome or the Ottoman Turks or the Spanish or the Brits. There are many reasons for the sad course of empires, but to me it’s about institutions.
We human beings organize themselves in one of two ways — as institutions or as associations. Institutions are usually big organizations that do big jobs where people get paid to do the work. Like governments and corporations. These institutions operate on protocols, make or sell lots of the same things, and need many customers or clients or constituents. Institutions run from the top down, which is why I think of them as triangles – the power of decision-making happens at the top, the rest of us follow the rules.
Fun fact: L.A. leads the nation in jobs—just the kind that most people don’t think of as jobs. We’re the national leader in “nonemployers:” entities relying on independent contractors rather than employees. As economist Jack Kyser explained in 2006, “a lot of people want to have a business but don’t want the headaches of actually having to employ people.” The Times cited Kyser in explaining that “businesses become nonemployers to avoid the costs of workers’ compensation, paid leave, health insurance and state taxes.”
In many cases this sort of practice is, not to put too fine a word on it, illegal. Starting in just a few weeks, though, the state has a powerful new tool to deal with these lawbreakers. SB 459 goes into effect on January 1, 2012, and it levies large fines against employers who willfully misclassify workers as independent contractors to avoid their legal and tax responsibilities.
(This feature first appeared on L.A. Progressive. Reposted with author’s permission.)
Having captured the public’s rapt attention in just two short months but now facing increasingly well-coordinated and sometimes brutal police crackdowns, the Occupy Movement faces hard questions about its lasting impact. What will Occupy 2.0 look like, many want to know, and how will it get there?
If a meeting this past weekend between representatives from a half dozen Occupy encampments in California and perhaps 200 members of the California Progressive Caucus is any guide, the Occupy Movement has already enlisted several generations of progressive activists who are eager to support, leverage, and amplify the Occupiers’ ground-breaking work.
The meeting was, indeed, a kumbaya moment, one that suggests that the movement has embedded itself deeply into the progressive political psyche.
Gathering at the California Democratic Party’s Executive Board meeting this past weekend in Burlingame,
Earlier this month, 36 House Republicans filed an amicus court brief to support corporate America’s war on workers’ rights. They are embracing a suit filed by the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Restaurant Association , and other business lobbies to block a new ruling by the National Labor Relations Board.
This ruling, by one of those out-of-control federal government agencies, could be devastating to the job-creating corporations that are the engine of the American economy. Just listen to those who should know:
“The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is causing great uncertainty among manufacturers at a time when our economy is struggling to recover,” Jay Timmons, President and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, recently warned.
“Just when we thought we had seen it all from the NLRB, it has reached a new low in its zeal to punish small business owners,”
A recent weekend became a lesson in the new global economy. For two days I emptied out much of the accumulated “stuff” from my garage – dishes, pots and pans that my kids used in their student days; excess furniture; framed posters, old clothes and much more. Some of it went to the Salvation Army, while I took broken things to a recycling center. Obviously I had too many possessions.
On a Saturday afternoon I ventured to Costco for the first time in 10 years. Hundreds of shoppers were busy filling their super-sized carts with large quantities of…..well…everything. Household supplies, bulk food, cleaning fluids, soda, clothing, electronics, furniture. But in quantities you never dreamed you needed (and probably don’t) and for amazingly low per-unit prices. Most of the manufactured goods seemed to come from China.
That Sunday night I rented Last Train Home,
In 1985, my parents began their journey from the rural mountains of Honduras to the United States of America—the land of opportunity. They endured six months of starvation, loneliness and fear of la migra in order to realize their own American dream of stability and prosperity.
My parents took their first job opportunities the moment they came their way — when they did not understand English, had only a Honduran elementary education and needed a source of income fast. My dad became a full-time auto mechanic and my mom a part-time waitress. Although both jobs paid relatively low, had no benefits and called for exhaustingly long hours, my parents continued to keep their heads high and managed to provide the basic necessities for my siblings and myself.
As a first-generation Honduran-American living in Northeast Los Angeles, I am constantly reminded of the struggles and injustices workers face daily. I see discrimination,
I have been a member of the L.A. Community Redevelopment Agency board of commissioners for nine years. That means I’m one of seven decision-makers overseeing the work of the city’s multimillion dollar economic development agency. All of my experience from those nine years can be summarized in the answer to one question: What is a “good deal?”
When is the investment of scarce taxpayer dollars in private development projects a good idea? I know that the answer for some is “never.” That is not – and has never — been my view, (which is why I have been derided by some as a “redevelopment thug.” Fundamentally, the question of the investment worthiness of private economic development projects is one about good government, and how our government should interact with the private market.
I bring this up now because public subsidies to private industry were in the news again recently.
Recycling may be all the rage these days, but here in L.A. and across the country vast amounts of recyclable goods end up in landfills every year.
Turns out we’re throwing away a lot more than bottles, cans and newspapers. Here’s why: recycling equals jobs.
The recent report More Jobs, Less Pollution: Growing the Recycling Economy in the U.S., commissioned by the national Blue Green Alliance and prepared by the Boston-based Tellus Institute, builds a compelling case for thinking twice before throwing that old carpet into the trash. According to the report, increasing the national diversion and recycling rate to 75 percent by 2030 would create over 2.3 million new jobs.
Reuse and recycling — from collection to processing and manufacturing — is much more labor intensive than landfilling and incineration. Take all of those aluminum cans you redeemed this year,
Editor’s Note: The Press-Telegram holds an annual awards ceremony, “Amazing Women of Long Beach.” This year, the newspaper chose to host the event at the worker-boycotted Hilton Long Beach. Responding to their choice to hold the event there, the Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Healthy Community chose to host a simultaneous event outside the hotel honoring “Inspiring Activist Women of Long Beach.” Some of the activist honorees were slated to receive an award from the Press-Telegram inside the hotel but declined – choosing to support the boycott instead. Daleth Caspeta – a Dream Act Activist and honoree – shares her experience with The Frying Pan.
“When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist. When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat. When they came for the trade unionists,
Reading the L.A. Business Journal recently, I was a bit taken aback to see a Page Three piece from Charles Crumpley describing a recent trade mission by local business leaders.
These are common, of course, but their destination wasn’t. Apparently long-time LAANE and labor antagonist Carol Schatz and Chamber of Commerce head Gary Toebben took a trip to Cuba. Not only that, Schatz was a key organizer of the event.
Perhaps more shockingly, this was not her first trip. Indeed, she went back in 2003, when she was the wife of Noam Chomsky.
Okay, maybe that’s a different person, though if memory serves (and as time marches on, it does less and less), Carol’s something of a “red-diaper baby. “
Still, I’ve long wondered about the sanity of many of my friends who visit Cuba looking for inspiration.