Apr 262017

L.A. Commemorated Armenian Genocide

Tens of thousands of Armenians and their friends (including Los Angeles city’s leadership) marched on Monday outside the Turkish Consulate on Wilshire Boulevard in commemoration of the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

The Armenian genocide took place between 1915 and 1918 (and again between 1920 and 1923) and resulted in a mass murder of one and half million Armenians living in Turkey. The Armenians were killed, tortured, exploited and starved to death.

Countries like France, Argentina, Greece and Russia have officially recognized the Armenian Genocide. The Republic of Turkey till today’s day denies that a genocide was committed against the Armenians. (During the Monday’s march the Turkish flag and a statement denying the genocide were flown above Los Angeles.)

Even though evidence against Turkey has been gathered and recorded by Great Britain, Germany and America – the countries who were trying to save surviving Armenians – at the time, Turkey was never formally admonished, forced to either return the Armenian land it occupies or pay restitution to the genocide victims’ descendants. (To learn more visit: http://www.armenian-genocide.org)

A genocide or holocaust is the pragmatic extinction of a nation or ethnic group. It is a crime against humanity. It always begins with the government creating unjustified fear and hatred of such a group by the society at large which often incites violence and hate crimes.

Remembering and honoring victims of the Armenian Genocide and the Jews murdered in the Holocaust is of utmost importance always. Perhaps even more so today when our new administration – which has attempted to introduce nationality and religion-based travel ban – is prosecuting Mexican nationals living in the United States: detaining and deporting individuals without criminal records and even protected by the Dream Act; tearing apart families and separating mothers from their children. Singling out any ethnic group or nation for prosecution of any kind is inhumane. Historically, it has led to mass tragedies.

We cannot allow history to repeat itself: anywhere, ever. It is our moral responsibility to recognize warning signs and prevent discrimination and prosecution based on nationality, ethnicity or religion.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti made a statement:

“I stand today with survivors of the Genocide, the Armenian Diaspora in Los Angeles, and people throughout the world to remember a great suffering. We stand together in our conviction that the horrible wound opened in 1915 can only be healed through full and unqualified acknowledgement of the truth.

Today’s commemoration is about more than remembering one of the lowest moments in world history. It is a time to reflect on and admire the strength and perseverance of the Armenian people — who for more than a century have inspired people everywhere by insisting on proper recognition, refusing to let their story be minimized, and demanding that their ancestors never be forgotten.

At a moment when the world is again confronted by unthinkable atrocities, we look to the Armenian people’s relentless pursuit of justice, and compassion for all who face oppression and seek refuge. We find hope in that example — and today we march arm-in-arm, lifting our voices to honor the 1.5 million Armenians who died, and stand up for those who face injustice everywhere.”

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




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Apr 262017

Not Winning With Sanctuary Cities

First, a federal appeals court blocked the President’s travel ban, twice. Now his attempt to retroactively attach conditions to federal funding approved by Congress has been found unconstitutional as well.

The latest executive order intended to force communities (sanctuary cities) to cooperate with immigration enforcement, led to numerous lawsuits which were filed in Washington State, Massachusetts and California. San Francisco and Santa Clara County’s lawsuits were the first to be heard by a judge. Consequently, the first preliminary injunction in the lawsuits filed in California was issued by U.S. District Judge William Orrick.

In the words of U.S. District Judge Orrick: “Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the president disapproves.”

While commanding the court’s decision, San Francisco City Attorney, Dennis Herrera pointed out that neither the President nor the attorney general can ignore the Constitution.

The injunction will be in effect while the lawsuits make their way through the court system. It effectively blocks President Trump from using federal funding as a bargaining chip against cities that protect immigrants from deportation.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti made the following statement on the ruling to block the President’s executive order on immigration enforcement:

“Today’s ruling by Judge Orrick is good news, and reminds us that people’s rights transcend political stunts. The Constitution protects cities’ right to create humane, sensible policies that keep our neighborhoods safe and our communities together. It is time for the federal government to stop attacking cities and scapegoating immigrants, and begin focusing on the hard work of comprehensive immigration reform. I will keep working to defend the rights of all our residents — including immigrants — and fighting to protect our own federal tax dollars, which Angelenos want to invest in keeping their families safe and our city strong.”

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




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Apr 032017

North Carolina Against LGBTQ Rights

North Carolina repealed the HB 2, better known as the “bathroom bill”, last week. The repeal is seen as an attack on the LGBTQ community because it denies transgender people the use of restrooms, changing rooms or locker rooms that match their gender identity.

Making matters even worse for the LGBTQ community, the HB 2 has been replaced by a new law which takes away from them anti-discrimination protections, including employment and housing. North Carolina’s LGBTQ community has been hit hard. Their plight however is beginning to attract support. Among notable supporters is the NCAA men’s basketball championship which has already relocated all regional games – which were to take place in North Carolina – elsewhere.

Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti, expressed his support for the North Carolina’s LGBTQ community by calling on L.A. city officials headed to North Carolina on non-essential business to boycott the state that officially withdrew its recognition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people’s rights and their need for anti-discrimination protections.

“Every American deserves to live free of discrimination, and the law signed last week by Governor Cooper does nothing to protect the rights and dignity of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Cities should have every opportunity to make policies that affirm values of equal justice, protect people from hate and bias, and uphold the Constitutional right to self-determination. Until that is made real in North Carolina, I urge the City Council to extend L.A.’s ban on non-essential travel to the state by City employees. I would sign that ban right away, and will continue doing everything in my power to make sure that Angelenos’ tax dollars are never spent to support bigotry based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti

It is hard to comprehend that in the 21st Century – and with about 20% of the millennials identifying themselves as members of the LGBTQ community! – anyone would question the need for non-discrimination or civil rights’ protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Sexual orientation or gender identity is an inherent part of personal freedom and human rights. Not supporting the rights of this historically disadvantaged community is absurd. ALL law-abiding and tax-paying U.S. citizens are entitled to rights that keep them safe and free to live as they choose. Anything LA Liberal Magazine says: Live And Let Live!

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




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Dec 192016

Slaughter On A Berlin Christmas Market

On December 19th 2016 a truck driver with Polish license plates plowed into a crowded Christmas Market in Berlin, Germany, at a high rate of speed. The 18 wheeler loaded with steel went over the curb and onto the plaza surrounding the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church which hosted small merchants’ stands with traditional Christmas decorations, snacks and beverages. There was festive music and crowds of people in a holiday mood when the terror struck.

(The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is not only centrally located in the capital of Germany but holds a symbolic meaning to Germans reminding them of the horrors of WW2 bombings.)

As a result of this horrific Christmas time attack, twelve are confirmed dead. Fifty are injured. A passenger in the truck has been found dead. The driver didn’t attempt to break during the incident and escaped from the scene. According to latest reports, the driver was arrested. It isn’t known as of yet, whether the tragedy was an accident or a deliberate act of terror. (German authorities contacted the company that owns the truck. It appears that the truck may have been stolen. The identity – or even nationality – of the driver wasn’t made public so far.)

UPDATE: The Polish driver of the truck that caused carnage in Berlin was found murdered. The man under arrest for allegedly driving the truck during the massacre was wrongly accused and has been released. A manhunt for the killer-driver is over. Berlin truck killer Anis Amri was shot dead in a confrontation with two police officers in Milan, Italy on 12/23/16. The Tunisian refugee denied political asylum in Germany – but not deported – was in fact a terrorist who pledged allegiance to ISIS.

Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti issued the following statement:

“Los Angeles stands with the people of Germany in their grief and sorrow following today’s horrific attack on a Christmas market in Berlin. We mourn those lives lost.
This is a time of year where people everywhere – and of many faiths – turn their focus to all that is good in our world, and recommit themselves to the love and understanding that lies at the core of our humanity. Inhumane and evil acts like today’s cowardly attack cannot be allowed to diminish our resolve to live those ideals. And we will never abandon the values of brotherhood and sisterhood that the enemies of peace seek to take away.”

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



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Oct 242016
2016 L.A. Aids Walk

Photo courtesy of AIDS Walk Los Angeles

This year’s L.A. Aids Walk which started in Grand Park in Downtown Los Angeles was yet another successful event which brought fun and entertainment to all at hand while raising much needed funds for the ongoing fight with HIV / AIDS.

The 2016 L.A. Aids Walk was 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) long and took place on Sunday, October 23rd. The opening ceremony was attended by Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles County Supervisor, Hilda Solis.

Musical Performances by Estelle / Empire and India Carney / The Voice provided superb entertainment.

Among celebrity guests were:

  • Stephanie Corneliussen / Mr. Robot
  • Pauley Perrette / NCIS
  • Peter Gallagher / Law and Order: SVU
  • Bebe Wood / The Real O’Neals
  • Mary Hollis Inboden / The Real O’Neals
  • Jenna Ortega / Jane the Virgin

How about the score?

Top Walkers
Chaz Dean$70,550
Wayne Flick$58,000
John Squatritto$13,010
Pauley Perrette$12,875
Kendra Castleberry$11,951
Rusty Buchanan$10,175

Top Teams
WEN in Spirit – $76,975
Latham & Watkins – $61,971
APLA Health – $52,514
Starbucks LA/Central CA – $30,834
Team Comcast NBCUniversal – $26,307
Hollywood United Methodist Church – $25,055

The Big Winner once again, was the fight against HIV / AIDS. The proceeds 2016 L.A. Aids Walk will benefit APLA Health’s prevention, care, and advocacy programs for the thousands of men, women, and families affected by HIV / AIDS in Los Angeles County as well as more than 20 other HIV/AIDS service organizations that are able to participate and raise funds through the Community Coalition Initiative (CCI).

Learn more about the fight against HIV / AIDS in Los Angeles and in the U.S.
APLA Health
Los Angeles County Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Office of National AIDS Policy
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services



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Aug 232016


Mayor Garcetti Launches Partnership with AIGA, Edward James Olmos Spanish-Language ‘Get Out the Vote’ Campaign

Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the L.A. launch of “Este Año tu Voto es Cosa Seria (This Year, Your Vote is a Serious Matter),” a non-partisan, Spanish-language voter awareness campaign. The announcement was made in partnership with AIGA, the professional association for design, and the campaign’s non-profit partners, NALEO Educational Fund, Mi Familia Vota, and the League of Women Voters.

“Our democracy is at its best when all citizens have their voices heard on Election Day,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The results of this election will have real consequences in the daily lives of millions of Angelenos — and we can’t afford for anyone to sit this one out.”
The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs will promote “Este Año tu Voto es Cosa Seria” as part of its broader efforts in civic engagement and non-partisan voter education. The campaign features actor and director Edward James Olmos in a series of public service announcements and :05-, :10-, and :15-second spots, which run daily on local Spanish-language networks KMEX Ch. 34 – Univision L.A., Telemundo 52 Los Angeles / KVEA, and Azteca 54. In September, the campaign will roll out posters on bus benches and bus shelters that direct Angelenos to NALEO’s bilingual toll-free number (888-839-8682) and Mi Familia Vota’s website (http://www.mifamiliavota.org) for voter education and registration information.

“No matter what your political affiliation, we cannot say it enough about how important it is to get your vote out,” said actor/director Edward James Olmos. “We need first-time voters, student voters and everybody to vote on November 8. For those unable to vote, please encourage those who can to commit to you that they’ll get their vote out. We’re all in this together.”

Launched nationally on President’s Day, AIGA’s Get Out the Vote campaign wields the power of design to mobilize the communication design profession in support of voter engagement and to motivate the American public to register and turn out to vote in the 2016 election. AIGA is working to amplify the campaign in select major markets across America.

The L.A. Launch Of A Non-Partisan Spanish-Language Voter Awareness Campaign is expected to significantly increase the number of votes cast by Spanish-speaking Angelenos in the upcoming presidential election.

“AIGA, the oldest and largest professional association for design, believes that the power of design lies in its singular ability to deliver a message with clarity, emotional power, and the urgency to act,” said Julie Anixter, AIGA Executive Director. “AIGA’s initiative, Design for Democracy, part of its broader commitment to impact, channels the talent and experience of the most relevant designers in the country to join in on the efforts of community leaders in cities, like Los Angeles, to improve the quality of life for all citizens. Through this Get Out The Vote campaign we are very proud to support the efforts of Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti, Edward James Olmos, Agustín Garza, and so many others to ensure that the call to action, to vote, is taken seriously.”

Jun 302016

Show L.A. Youth The Way

Hire LA’s Youth is one of the City’s most exciting programs to put young adults to work, ensuring they have “first time” job experience that will set them on the path of lifetime earners. This year we are committed to providing 15,000 jobs for young people ages 14 to 24 who live in the city of Los Angeles.

Become a Partner with the Hire LA’s Youth Initiative

  • SPONSOR employment for one or more youths – a $2,200 pledge to the program sponsors one youth
  • HIRE one or more young people at your workplace
  • GET SUBSIDIZED SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYEES by offering supervised work at your workplace
  • SPONSOR SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYEES and GET SUBSIDIZED SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYEES by offering supervised work at your workplace

This Program Benefits All Angelenos!
Thousands of motivated young job seekers apply each year hoping for a summer job opportunity and Mayor Eric Garcetti and our workforce partners are determined to put 15,000 young people to work this summer with the goals of:

  • Preparing young adults for the 21st Century workforce in the city of Los Angeles
  • Engaging youth in positive activities during summer
  • Partnering with the city’s business community
  • Developing long-term employment opportunities for L.A.’s youth

They are the future, let them know you care! Learn how to get involved in Hire LA’s Youth.

Your life is calling: Learn how to prepare for a job!



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May 292016

Winner will receive a $25,000 prize.

Visit the official website here – www.lamayorscup.org

Los Angeles Mayor will reward L.A. Entrepreneur for Innovative Solutions to toughest Civic Challenges with a Mayor’s Cup

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is challenging residents to help him find creative solutions to L.A.’s most pressing challenges.

Today, the Mayor announced his first annual Mayor’s Cup competition, which will solicit proposals from student entrepreneurs and local academics to support local economic growth and encourage civic engagement — on issues ranging from beautifying vacant and blighted spaces, to building affordable housing.

“Los Angeles is full of dynamic thinkers who work to improve our quality of life through everything from entertainment and transportation, to clean tech and manufacturing,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The Mayor’s Cup will incentivize the creativity of young entrepreneurs across our city. Whether you have a great plan that will help us build more affordable housing, or a brilliant strategy to increase employment opportunities for low-income Angelenos, we want to put your ideas to work.”

Mayor Garcetti and the City of Los Angeles invite college students, faculty members, and staff from Los Angeles colleges and universities to enter the competition. Finalists will pitch their ideas to a panel of business and government leaders, including Mayor Garcetti. The grand prize winner will receive $25,000 and the opportunity to work with City Hall for eight weeks to bring their idea to life. Technical development, mentorship, and collaboration with City leadership will be guided by the Mayor’s Operations Innovation Team (O-Team).

Eligible teams can choose from one of the following challenges:

• How can we better support the enhancement and beautification of City real estate assets and public property?
• What can we do with vacant, blighted, and City-owned properties in your neighborhood?
• How can we build and preserve more affordable housing, including through incentives for public and private investors?
• How can the City better connect everyday small business owners to the professional services and growth opportunities they need to thrive?
• How can we grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem in L.A. to increase employment and skill-building opportunities for local workers?

Other partners in the competition include the USC Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy & Jobs, University Venture Network, Cal State L.A. Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Loyola Marymount University’s Fred Kriesner Center for Entrepreneurship, Startup UCLA, and L.A. City Partners.

“Mayor’s Cup is an exciting program that brings together government and entrepreneurs in a way to explore how technology can make the city more efficient and productive,” said David Belasco, Co-Director and Adjunct Professor at the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. “We believe that this competition will bring unique ideas to improve the lives of Angelenos.”

Additional information and entry forms can be found at www.lamayorscup.org. The competition will culminate at a live presentation for Mayor Garcetti and select city and business leaders at USC in March.

Important competition dates are as follows:

May 15, 2016: Competition guidelines posted

October 15, 2016: Applications due

November 1, 2016: Finalists announced

November 16, 2016: Finalists will pitch the Mayor, Deputy Mayors, and local business leaders in a live competition



(Your email won’t be published.)

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Mar 112013

Runoff Set in Race for Los Angeles Mayor

After finishing first and second in Tuesday’s nonpartisan mayoral primary, City Councilman Eric Garcetti and City Controller Wendy Greuel will face each other in a May 21 runoff to take over a city that faces a $216 million budget gap and rising pension costs that could cripple municipal finances.
Judging by the dismal turnout in the primary, with only 18 percent of registered voters going to the polls, Ms. Greuel and Mr. Garcetti may face an uphill battle to engage the roughly four million residents in the nation’s second-largest city.

Mr. Garcetti received 33 percent of the vote, with much of his support centered in his Hollywood City Council district, while Ms. Greuel received 29 percent and did particularly well in the San Fernando Valley, which she used to represent on the Council.
Much of the primary campaign focused on the candidates’ personal stories. Ms. Greuel, a former city councilwoman, has emphasized that she would be the first woman elected mayor, while Mr. Garcetti, the son of former District Attorney Gil Garcetti, has played up his family’s Mexican heritage. If elected, he would also become the first Jewish mayor of the city.

The two are now likely to turn their attention to courting supporters of Kevin James, a Republican who came in third in Tuesday’s elections, and Jan Perry, an African-American city councilwoman who received 15.9 percent of the vote, just behind Mr. James.

“There weren’t candidates running who could draw from traditional bases, and in L.A. that really matters,” said Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute of Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles. “They’re going to need to reach out to African-Americans and white liberals on the West Side, which are two big groups up for grabs. They are relatively unknown players on the big stage and really need to build coalitions to win.”

Both Democrats, Mr. Garcetti, 42, and Ms. Greuel, 51, agree on a wide range of issues and could struggle to differentiate themselves in a general election. Both have tried to position themselves as the best person to bring together business and labor interests in negotiating contracts and budget deals, as well as improve the city’s economy.

After voters rejected a ballot measure to increase the city’s sales tax to 9.5 percent, city officials said Wednesday that they were considering new ways to further cut the city budget, which could include reducing the size of the police department or paring back street repairs.

The role of public employee unions is likely to be a key issue in the runoff.

Ms. Greuel came under repeated attack from opponents for the support she has received from the union that represents workers at the Department of Water and Power, which spent more than $2 million to help her in the primary. On Wednesday, she was endorsed by the powerful local Service Employees International Union, which represents tens of thousands of city and county workers and could provide critical votes in the runoff. Mr. Garcetti has the backing of the teachers’ union, the Teamsters and other local unions.

“We’re going to be talking about who is going to create a better business environment and how to put this city back to work,” said Bill Carrick, a strategist for the Garcetti campaign, who said Ms. Greuel has not proved she can cut costs. “She’s hidden behind the old cliché of getting rid of waste, fraud and abuse, but it is almost meaningless how much money she has found in her role as the controller.”

In her speech to supporters Tuesday night, Ms. Greuel said Mr. Garcetti could not be trusted, which is why she also had support from business groups, including the Chamber of Commerce.

“What they know is I’m going to be the person who stands up and says exactly what I mean,” she said in an interview with KPCC radio Wednesday. “I’ll be able to have those tough conversations and ultimately solve the problems that face Los Angeles.”

Two incumbents for the Los Angeles school board were re-elected after competitive races that drew millions of dollars from around the country, including $1 million from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, to support candidates backed by Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa.

The current board president, Monica Garcia, received 54 percent of the vote, enough to avoid a runoff. And Steve Zimmer, an alumnus of Teach for America who was backed by the teachers’ union, beat a challenger who had the support of the mayor’s coalition.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: March 6, 2013
An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of one of the candidates who will face a May runoff in the Los Angeles mayor’s race. She is Wendy Greuel, not Gruel.