Feb 222017
 

New Immigration Enforcement And L.A.

Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti made the following statement on DHS Plans for Implementing the President’s Executive Orders on Immigration:

“Stoking fears of mass deportation, turning our backs on refugees and children, denying asylum-seekers the right to see a judge, and showing indifference to suffering are not policies to make us safer — they’re a cruel abandonment of everything we believe as Americans and stand for as Angelenos.

Whether they live in Van Nuys or Virginia, East L.A. or East Lansing — Americans everywhere expect their leaders in Washington to act with the justice, grace, and tolerance that give us our identity. The Administration’s release today of details on how it will implement the President’s executive orders on immigration enforcement reveal plans that run counter to fundamental American principles: Protecting our homeland means focusing on criminals who pose a threat to our safety and security — not turning local police into a deportation force or creating widespread fear by targeting hardworking immigrants who contribute so much to our economy, culture, and spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood. And that no matter who is in power, people who have already built lives in this country — or seek refuge from violent persecution, religious oppression, and other extreme hardships — should never have to live in fear of their families being torn apart, and should be able to count on all of the protections that our Constitution and judicial system provide.

Los Angeles stands firm on those ideals, and I will do everything in my power — in partnership with the City Council, our City Attorney, the LAPD, advocates for immigrants, educators, and members of Congress — to protect and defend the rights of all Angelenos whose families may be unjustly affected by these orders. We will fight for the people who call our communities home, and stay committed to leading with the humanity and openness that define us as a people.” — Mayor Eric Garcetti

Los Angeles’ Mayor’s statement is noble and courageous. At some point however the authority of the City and the State ends and is superseded by the Federal authority.

President Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration were explained during a press conference on February 21st 2017 by the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. A memorandum of the Department of Homeland Security explains which specific groups of undocumented immigrants are priorities for removal. The people who:
(a) have been convicted of any criminal offense;
(b) have been charged with any criminal offense that has not been resolved;
(c) have committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense;
(d) have engaged in fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency;
(e) have abused any program related to receipt of public benefits;
(f) are subject to a final order of removal but have not complied with their legal obligation to depart the United States;
(g) in the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.

During immigration raids, none of the above exempts the undocumented immigrants who don’t pose a threat to national security and who didn’t break any but one of American laws by entering the Country illegally. Some of them have been detained and deported already. While a panic is spreading across the nation, Sean Spicer reassured that: “everybody who is here illegally is subject to removal at any time.” The new immigration guidelines open the door for mass deportations in accordance with “expedited removal” procedures. “Expedited removal” vastly reduces court proceedings, meaning the undocumented immigrants will be either deprived of access to the justice system entirely or have access to appeal or otherwise defend themselves severely limited.

To have the new immigration regulations enforced efficiently, the President is increasing the budget of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, etc. There will be thousands more immigration officers and judges and many more detention centers to expedite deportations.

As far as we know, for now at least, DACA and the protections it provides for illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children will remain in effect as the sole exception to the wide-reaching immigration sweep.

When we think of undocumented immigrants, we usually imagine people illegally sneaking into our Country and compromising our safety. We think of these people as “them”, not “us”. As much as this image and reference is true in a small percentage of cases, in the vast majority of cases, it isn’t “them”, it’s very much “us” and about “us”. Why? Because the undocumented immigrants have legally-American and / or American-born families. The new immigration guidelines and enforcement are not just a punishment to undocumented immigrants but a huge disruption to all Americans: American families torn apart, American children not being sent to school, taken to a doctor or vaccinated, crimes not being reported, no eyewitnesses to accidents, significant changes in economy, etc. Many are terrified of a sudden separation of their family. The fear affects the “illegals”, traumatizes their legal families including children and negatively affects normal functioning of the community.

This is only the beginning, what to expect? Increase in psychological problems, crises in several industries, crime, diseases, homelessness, an urgent need for orphanages for American children separated from their parents, not to mention high anxiety in ethnic American citizen communities that anticipate being targeted based on profiling.

Significant and negative impact on local economy will lower our standard of living. High anxiety and fear of authorities will not only disrupt normal functioning of communities but diminish our safety and wellness. If you think about it, the consequences of the new immigration guidelines and enforcement will reverberate throughout the society at large and affect us nearly as much as the illegal immigrants.

Perhaps we should secure our borders first and then deal with the undocumented immigrants already here humanely, in a fashion befitting a nation of immigrants? This way future immigration problems would be prevented, current immigration problems would be solved while the rest of the nation would continue functioning without fear, increase in disease and crime or economic instability. Such a gentler and more diplomatic approach would also strengthen relationships with our neighbors and help preserve the international image of America as compassionate, fair and respectful of human rights. Just a thought.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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Jan 172017
 
Gene Cernan On The Moon

Gene Cernan On The Moon. Photo Courtesy of Egger1.com

“During 20 years as a Naval Aviator, including 13 years with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Captain Eugene A. Cernan left his mark on history with three historic missions in space as the Pilot of Gemini IX, the Lunar Module Pilot of Apollo X, and the Commander of Apollo XVII. After flying to the moon not once, but twice, he also holds the distinction of being the second American to walk in space and the last man to have left his footprints on the lunar surface.

Captain Cernan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University in 1956 and a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the United States Naval Post Graduate School in 1963. Among his numerous honors, the most significant are the Navy Distinguished Flying Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal with Star, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, the FAI International Gold Medal for Space, induction into the U.S. Space Hall of Fame, enshrinement into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, Naval Aviation’s Hall of Honor and the International Aerospace Hall of Fame. Captain Cernan was awarded NASA’s first Ambassador of Exploration Award, the Federal Aviation Administration’s prestigious Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, and the 2007 Lindbergh Spirit Award presented only every five years. In December, 2007, The National Aeronautic Association presented Captain Cernan with one of the most prestigious aviation trophies in the world, the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, in Washington, DC. Last April, Captain Cernan was honored by receiving the 2008 Rotary National Award for Space Achievement, and he recently received the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) Gold Air Medal, one of the most important international awards, in the Fall of 2008.”
(Excerpt from http://egger1.com)

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement after Cernan’s death:
“Truly, America has lost a patriot and pioneer who helped shape our country’s bold ambitions to do things that humankind had never before achieved.”

In honor of Gene Cernan’s passing L.A. Mayor, Eric Garcetti said:
“Today, we lost one of America’s greatest astronauts, Gene Cernan, the last man to set foot on the moon and one of only three people to travel to the moon twice. Gene inspired a generation of budding scientists to turn their eyes to the sky in awe and dedicate their lives to space exploration. In the wake of his passing, I’m reminded of Gene’s own words, and the message he worked to instill in our nation’s young people: ‘I walked on the moon. What can’t you do?”

Captain Eugene A. Cernan died at 82 following a fulfilled (and amazing!) life. He was the commander of the final Apollo (Apollo 17) lunar landing mission (during which he took his historic walk on the Moon) in 1972. We didn’t make any progress in traveling to – or exploring – the Moon since… (in 45 years!)

“Too many years have passed for me to still be the last man to have left his footprints on the Moon. I believe with all my heart that somewhere out there is a young boy or girl with indomitable will and courage who will lift that dubious distinction from my shoulders and take us back where we belong. Let us give that dream a chance.”
Captain Eugene A. Cernan

 

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Jan 112017
 

Lucas Museum Of Narrative Art

After a thoughtful deliberation, the one BILLION dollars Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has chosen Los Angeles as its home.

What is the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art?
The non-profit museum, which features a bold new architectural design, will be a one-of-a-kind gathering place to experience collections, films and exhibitions dedicated to the power of visual storytelling and the evolution of art and moving images. The museum will present original work by world renowned and emerging artists, cutting-edge digital technologies, and daily film screenings in state-of-the-art theaters, as well as extraordinary educational opportunities for students of all ages. The Lucas Museum will truly be a museum unlike any other. The facility will be designed by the award-winning architect Ma Yansong of MAD Architects.” Read more about the incredible new museum.

What does the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art mean to Los Angeles?

  • 1500+ New Construction Jobs
  • 350+ New Permanent Jobs
  • $1 Billion+ Invested by George Lucas & Mellody Hobson
  • $0 Cost to Taxpayers
  • that’s of course in addition to being an asset to Angelenos, Los Angeles students and visitors from around the country and the world!

L.A. Mayor, Eric Garcetti in response to the welcome news said:

“Art exists to inspire, to move, to educate, and to excite. Thanks to George Lucas and Mellody Hobson, millions of Angelenos and visitors will enjoy an extraordinary collection anchored in storytelling — an art that carries so much meaning in the history and legacy of Los Angeles.

L.A. is gaining a new jewel with the breathtaking Lucas Museum of Narrative Art — and its presence here means that a day at Exposition Park will soon bring unrivaled opportunities to be immersed in stories told on canvas and celluloid, be moved by the richness of African-American history and expression, be awed by the wonders of science and the natural world, take a journey to the world of space exploration, and sit in the stands for a world-class sporting event.

I believed in the vision for the Lucas Museum, and we went after it with everything we have — because I know that L.A. is the ideal place for making sure that it touches the widest possible audience. I am deeply grateful to Mellody and George, and to our educational, governmental, and cultural leaders for their extraordinary support in helping us bring the museum home. Now it’s time to build the vision.”

 

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Dec 302016
 

New Los Angeles Renters’ Protections

Mayor Eric Garcetti took another step toward curbing L.A.’s housing affordability crisis, signing into law the Tenant Buyout Ordinance — a key addition to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), which is designed to protect Angelenos from runaway rents and displacement from their neighborhoods.

Half of L.A. families live in an apartment covered by the RSO. The ordinance will strengthen renters’ rights by ensuring that landlords inform residents of their relocation rights in the event of a tenant buyout. Previously, tenants could be offered a lump sum to vacate units, without a formal process to educate them about additional sums for relocation assistance to which they may have been entitled.

The new ordinance requires landlords to file buyout agreements with the City, so that staff can better monitor the process. It also permits renters to withdraw from the buyout agreement within 30 days.

“Every tenant in Los Angeles should understand their rights, especially in a tight housing market, and landlords should know their responsibilities,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The RSO is the most powerful tool we have to keep families and neighborhoods together, and this ordinance will help protect vulnerable populations — like senior citizens and immigrants — from displacement. As we work to build new affordable housing, we also must make sure that residents know about protections that are already in place.”

“As Chair of the Housing Committee, I am proud to add another layer of protection for tenants with the Tenant Buyout Notification Program amendment to the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance,” said Housing Committee Chair Councilmember Gil Cedillo, who was key in ensuring the ordinance’s passage. “This program requires landlords to inform tenants of their RSO rights before executing a buyout agreement, giving them full disclosure of their rights and protections under the RSO.”

“As I’ve been dealing with a crisis in my district where more than 150 seniors are threatened with evictions, it is clear that it is more important than ever that all tenants fully understand their rights when their landlord wants to move them out of their apartments,” said Housing Committee Vice-Chair Councilmember Paul Koretz.

“The newly adopted Tenant Buyout Ordinance is an important new tool in our efforts to ensure that tenants in Rent-Stabilized (RSO) buildings are fully informed of their rights to remain in their homes and are not coerced into accepting buy-out or ‘cash for keys’ offers,” said Rushmore Cervantes, General Manager of the Housing and Community Investment Development of the City of Los Angeles. “In a time when affordable housing units are scarce, the new ordinance is designed to ensure that tenants can make informed decisions and have the opportunity to seek advice before voluntarily relinquishing their rent-stabilized unit.”

The new ordinance builds upon Mayor Garcetti’s comprehensive plan to strengthen the RSO, which includes strategies to increase awareness of renters’ rights and better enforce existing regulations. Earlier this year, Mayor Garcetti launched an RSO awareness campaign, “Home for Renters.” The campaign reaches out to L.A.’s most vulnerable neighborhoods with thousands of public transit advertisements, door-hangers, informational pamphlets, and online resources that make detailed information about the RSO accessible to both tenants and landlords. The effort was developed by the Housing and Community Investment Department of Los Angeles (HCIDLA) in partnership with Mayor Garcetti’s Innovation Team, which focuses on data-driven projects, and is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Last year, Mayor Garcetti also announced a new online property database, which helps the public easily identify properties that are subject to the RSO. The City Council and HCIDLA are also advancing a new city-wide rent registry, which will help the City proactively enforce regulations on allowable rent increases. To stem the loss of RSO units as the City expands its housing stock, the City is also implementing new State law that requires the replacement of affordable RSO units in new developments.

While the City remains on track to meet Mayor Garcetti’s goal to build 100,000 new housing units by 2021, the Mayor is advancing additional policies to ensure equitable growth in the City’s housing supply, and is doubling down on the production and preservation of affordable housing developments dedicated to low-income Angelenos.

 

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Dec 272016
 
Happy Holidays Los Angeles From L.A. Mayor

This gorgeous photo is the property of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti

L.A. Mayor, Eric Garcetti wishes Angelenos of ALL cultural backgrounds Happy Holidays:

Merry Christmas:
“Everywhere in our City of Angels — whether exchanging presents and singing carols, making tamales and sipping eggnog, going to a posada, or worshiping at Midnight Mass — we unite on Christmas by embracing all that is good in our world. The most meaningful gift we can give today, and every day, is sharing our joy and light with others. My wish is that we will always live in the spirit of kindness, compassion, generosity, and hope that this holiday brings into our hearts.”

Happy Hanukkah:
“During Hanukkah, we remember a story about the triumph of hope against all odds, and celebrate the beauty and resilience of light. And even after generations of telling our children about the miracle of the oil that lit the temple in Jerusalem for eight days, the message of Hanukkah endures like that flickering flame. May this time of year always remind us that nothing is brighter or warmer than the light we find within ourselves — and nothing is stronger than the hope we give to each other in our times of greatest need.”

Happy Kwanzaa:
“Kwanzaa is anchored in ancient traditions and timeless values that have given people of African descent the power to build great civilizations and thrive after extraordinary hardship. We take these seven days to contemplate principles of self-determination, shared responsibility, creativity, unity, purpose, and faith — and rejoice in the great power they possess in our lives. May the kinara fill homes with light, and our hearts with the joy, warmth, and peace that this holiday brings to people all over the world.”

 

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Dec 022016
 

sanbernardinologo

White House Press Secretary on the Anniversary of the San Bernardino Attack:

“One year ago today, the people of San Bernardino endured the horror of a terrorist attack whose reverberations touched all of America. The 14 innocent men and women who were taken from us that day had come together to celebrate the holidays and represented the best of our country. Their paths to the Inland Regional Center—whose mission is to serve fellow members of the community—varied. Some of the victims were just beginning careers of service, while others had devoted decades to those around them. The brutality of the attack’s perpetrators could not have been in starker contrast to the selflessness and generosity that characterized those taken from us.

In the year since this tragedy, we have mourned those we lost, just as we have continued to confront the violent ideology behind this attack as well as the terrorist groups, including ISIL, that propagate it. As the President told the nation shortly after the attack, “we will succeed in this mission because we are on the right side of history.” Today, as we remember the horror of last December 2, we also recognize our progress in that campaign and the enduring truth of the President’s words.”

December 2nd 2016, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti on the one-year anniversary of the tragedy in San Bernardino said:

“Fourteen people were senselessly murdered one year ago today in San Bernardino. They were moms and dads, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors. Shannon Johnson, a resident of Los Angeles, was among those who died in the terror attack. This is a time for people in Southern California and everywhere to mourn the victims, remember the lives lost and changed forever, honor our first responders, and reflect on the values that give Americans the strength to move forward after tragedy and loss: love, compassion, unity, and understanding.”

 

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Nov 252016
 
Mayor Garcetti During 2016 Turkey Trot

Mayor Garcetti during the annual Turkey Trot to benefit the Midnight Mission. Photo property of Mayor Garcetti

In his Thanksgiving message L.A. Mayor Garcetti urges Angelenos in the aftermath of the divisive presidential election to move on and focus our strength on the community. (Incidentally, living in a State and a City managed by wise leaders is yet another reason to be grateful….)

The Mayor’s suggestions?

  • Take part in the Welcome Home Project. Los Angeles works hard to provide affordable housing that will relieve the current housing AND homelessness crisis.
    Mayor Garcetti reminds us that homeless people are not faceless statistics; they are people very much like us who have fallen on hard times and with some support can become productive, self-sufficient and successful. Welcoming them into the neighborhood with compassion and care baskets. Read more
  • Volunteer to help at Immigrant Resource Fairs and help immigrants learn about available options and resources. Those who qualify may be helped in their quest for citizenship. Those concerned about the welfare of their children should know the city’s position on ensuring safety of all its residents. Los Angeles is – and has always been – a city of immigrants. Help them find a way to assimilate and prosper. Read more
  • Hire wisely! If you own a business that’s looking for new employees consider hiring youth or a veteran. The city has special programs to help you get started. The youth needs experience. The veterans need a way to resume life as civilians.
    Read more about Hire LA’s Youth.
    Read more about Hiring Veterans, 10,000 Strong.
  • Support gender equity at the leadership level! Los Angeles has already made strides and currently has achieved 50 / 50 gender equality on city’s boards and commissions. Let’s make sure the equality continues.
    Women are invited to participate in workshops and mentorship programs hosted by Mayor Garcetti and First Lady Amy Elaine Wakeland, the Young Women’s Assembly in March 2017. Read more
  • Fight climate change with the help of the City! Did you know that as a homeowner you can request up to seven shade tress (and everything else needed to grow them!) from the City, free? More shade trees means less AC and less global warming… Read more about Free Trees

Changing the world or influencing politics of a country is beyond the scope of an individual. Affecting positive change at the local level – right at home! – is doable. And guess what, the “world” starts in our own backyard…. Our example may become contagious.

 

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Nov 172016
 

Mayor Garcetti Congratulates L.A. Winners

On the election of Archbishop José Gomez as Vice President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, L.A. Mayor, Eric Garcetti stated:

“Los Angeles has been blessed by the spiritual guidance of Archbishop José Gomez, and it is encouraging to know that Catholics across America will benefit from his tremendous grace and wisdom. Followers of all faiths seek the Archbishop’s counsel and solace — and he has touched countless lives with his heart for those who struggle, suffer, and live on the margins. His historic Selection, as the first Latino to serve as vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, comes at a moment when his advocacy for immigrant communities can bring new hope at a time of great uncertainty. As someone who has been personally moved by his ministry, I know that Archbishop Gomez will be a compassionate, reassuring presence for millions in the United States and beyond.”

In addition, we have just learned that several distinguished Angelenos will be awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti congratulated Vin Scully, Frank Gehry, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ellen Degeneres and Tom Hanks – via Twitter – on their upcoming receipt of the Presidential Medal Of Freedom.

The Presidential Medal Of Freedom is the highest civilian honor for exceptional contributions to the common good in the US. Being awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom is a huge recognition for the individuals receiving the prestigious award. It is also an honor for Los Angeles, the city that nurtures and celebrates creativity.

 

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Nov 082016
 

2013 LAX Shooter Sentenced

Paul Ciancia, 26, has been sentenced to a life in prison as a result of a plea deal that spared his life.

Ciancia mercilessly killed Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo Hernandez (39), a father of two, and injured three other people (two of them TSA officers) during a November 1st 2013 LAX shooting rampage.

As a part of the sentence, U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez recommended that Ciancia be detained at a psychiatric facility where he’ll receive treatment.

In a statement L.A. Mayor, Eric Garcetti said:
“Today’s sentencing closes a chapter on a horrific and terrifying episode that shocked Los Angeles and the nation. Officer Gerardo Hernandez was a brave Angeleno who had received a commendation for his work at LAX, and tragically became the first TSA officer to die in the line of duty — targeted and killed because of the uniform he wore, and his dedication to keeping travel at our airport safe and secure. Justice has been served to Paul Ciancia, and my hope is that his life sentence brings some measure of peace and healing to Officer Hernandez’s family and all whose lives he touched as a father, husband, friend, and protector.”

 

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Oct 182016
 

The Death Of King Of Thailand

“I extend my deepest sympathies to the people of Thailand on the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

His quiet dignity, unyielding love for his country, and strong determination to bring progress to Thailand made him a revered figure in his nation and throughout the diaspora — including Los Angeles, home to the largest Thai population outside of Thailand and the first officially-designated Thai Town in the world. Having lived in Thailand as a student, I know firsthand the love and pride that His Majesty stirred in his people.

The thoughts and prayers of people everywhere are with Her Majesty Queen Sirikit and the entire family, along with the millions across generations who knew His Majesty as their leader, defender, and the living embodiment of their accomplishments and aspirations.”  Mayor Eric Garcetti

 

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Sep 222013
 
Secretive DWP Nonprofits Should Open spending Records Mayor Says

Secretive DWP Nonprofits Should Open spending Records Mayor Says / Anything L.A.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called Friday for a public accounting of roughly $40 million in Department of Water and Power ratepayer money that went to two secretive nonprofit groups in charge of improving relations with the utility’s largest employees union.

“I think that ratepayers deserve to have transparency — to know where ratepayer money is going,” Garcetti told reporters as he prepared to take questions from constituents at a curbside “office hours” event in Boyle Heights.

The Joint Training Institute and the Joint Safety Institute, controlled by union leaders and managers of the DWP, have received up to $4 million a year since their creation more than a decade ago.

Nearly all of the nonprofits’ money comes from ratepayers, records show. About $1 million per year has gone to salaries for a handful of administrators and more than $360,000 was spent on travel from 2009 to 2011, The Times reported Thursday.

Officials at the nonprofits, the DWP and the employees union, Local 18 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, declined to be interviewed about the institutes’ activities and spending.

The broad purpose of the organizations, city records show, has been to “identify” safety and training as core values at the department, and to promote “communication, mutual trust and respect” between DWP managers and the union. But ordinances establishing the nonprofits in 2000 and 2002 don’t specify how the ratepayer money should be spent.

“Everybody wants workplace safety,” Garcetti said Friday. “That’s a great goal. So I think that the reason why something like this would be set up in itself isn’t bad. But if it’s being spent well, let’s see where it is.”

For years, DWP managers and the city attorney’s office have quietly debated whether to make the institutes’ meetings and records public. The DWP has invoked attorney-client privilege to block disclosure of memos written by city lawyers arguing the nonprofits should be bound by open government rules that apply to city agencies.

On Friday, Garcetti, who has promised greater transparency at City Hall, sidestepped the question of whether he approved of an agency that he now oversees invoking attorney-client privilege to keep the memos secret.

“I’ll be talking to the department,” Garcetti said. “I’d like us to be able to show that. Obviously there’s some legal rights that the other side of this agreement has. But moving forward, if we’re putting money in, we should design this in a way where people know — if there’s nothing to hide, let’s see it.”

The DWP union ran a brutal and high-profile campaign against Garcetti’s election. The city recently reached a tentative four-year pact with Local 18, but the union has not yet ratified it.

Garcetti described his call for public disclosure of the nonprofits’ spending as “part of reforming DWP from a place where we did too many things behind closed doors and out of the spotlight to a place where we shine sunlight.”

“We’re spending the money on our bills,” he said. “We deserve to know where that money goes — how it’s spent, how it’s paid. And I welcome all people to be a part of that. This isn’t an us-versus-them. Whether it’s the union, whether it’s the bureaucrats at DWP, we should have them be a part of this mission to reform DWP.”

By Michael Finnegan