It’s the week after Thanksgiving, and we’re ready to talk about what made us feel grateful and/or hopeful about Los Angeles in 2018. But, first, there’s the matter of the unofficial anthem of Mayor Garcetti’s maybe-sort-of-not-quite-just-yet presidential campaign.
According to Rolling Stone, Garcetti’s friends locally sent out the video to rich people to gauge their interest in the mayor’s potential run. The “urban Latino beat song” bears the title “Are You Ready… Garcetti,” an unfortunate choice. It’s hard to land the question as a rhetorical hype-up when the Mayor’s readiness for the highest office has been frequently called in to question, and, of course, when most people at a national level have never heard of him. “Jock Jams” it’s not.
Turning back to gratitude, Scott says he’s thankful for the ability to cross streets while the Don’t Walk countdown timer is active – a change that took effect in January thanks to the legislature’s passage of AB390, authored by Miguel Santiago (more on him later). Alissa is feeling very positive about Metro’s new ad campaign, “The Movement,” particularly because it spotlights the mobility choices that Angelenos have today. Meanwhile, Hayes is grateful for the legalization of ADUs giving Angelenos an opportunity to quickly and cheaply expand the housing supply.
Next, we talk voter turnout. Los Angeles has struggled with low turnout for several cycles, particularly in non-presidential elections. Scott did some digging into the Registrar-Recorders records and found that this election appears to have set a new high mark for number of ballots cast in the county during a midterm election. Over 3 million Angelenos voted in November, which is all the more impressive considering the Republican party fielded a gubernatorial candidate who fell below the Kashkari Line. So is this all because of Trump? Probably!
The Camp Fire is entirely contained in Northern California. We take a minute to highlight a Bad Lede in the LA Times that is overly credulous toward the premise put forth by anti-pedestrian safety group Keep LA Moving that narrowing the main road in Paradise made it harder for residents to evacuate. We discuss the tactics of Keep LA Moving, who came up by successfully threatening LA councilmember Mike Bonin even though they’re a primarily South Bay group. Alissa discusses our own evacuations here in the early days of the Woolsey Fire and points out that the most important thing for evacuation routes is to have multiple options that are not entirely reliant on cars.
It’s not an LA POD Sheriff’s Department And-1, but we do have news on the race for Sheriff this week. We have made the official call that challenger Alex Villanueva has defeated Jim McDonnell. McDonnell, however, has offered confusing statements on the election and won’t concede until the vote is certified. Villanueva made news this week for a very Trumpian statement about continuing to honor ICE requests against the recommendation of the Civilian Oversight Committee, a change of tenor from his campaign promises. We discuss why his rhetoric is important and what it means for the future administration of the Sheriff’s Department.
You might’ve seen this one coming: the Huizars are back in the news this week. José Huizar returned to city council, but even if he seemed a bit preoccupied, don’t worry, he was there to do his job. Meanwhile, Richelle ended her bid for the seat currently held by her husband and issued a statement that pointedly did not include his privacy among her immediate concerns. We talk about what’s next for the troubled CD14 councilmember and who could run to replace him.