May 172017
 

City Attorney Mike Feuer Secures Restitution For Victims

CITY ATTORNEY FEUER SECURES RESTITUTION FOR VICTIMS ALLEGEDLY SCAMMED BY CHATSWORTH WATER DAMAGE RESTORATION COMPANY

California Restoration to pay $88,000 to 23 victims, $150,000 Civil Penalty, Establish Restitution Fund of $250,000

In his continuing efforts to protect consumers, City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced his office has secured restitution for 23 victims allegedly scammed by Chatsworth-based California Restoration, a $250,000 restitution fund for additional victims and a civil penalty of $150,000. The City Attorney’s lawsuit alleged that for at least the past four years, California Restoration regularly engaged in fraudulent business practices.

“Imagine your home is flooded with sewage and the company you call for help takes advantage of you instead,” said Feuer. “Whether it’s Wells Fargo creating fake accounts, phony lawyers scamming immigrants or sewage removal companies allegedly victimizing customers, we will fight to hold L.A. businesses accountable and stand up for consumers. That’s why, in addition to the restitution we’ve gotten for 23 victims, we’ve set up a fund for other customers who believe they’ve been victimized. We’re now asking them to come forward.”

California Restoration, owned by Matthew and James Monroe, is a Chatsworth-based water damage restoration company that removes water and sewage from residential homes. The City Attorney’s complaint alleges that for at least the past four years, the company regularly engaged in the following unlawful business practices:

  • Used contracts that omitted the description of the work to be completed, the cost of the project, the approximate date of completion, and the customers’ three-day right to cancel.
  • Made substantial misrepresentations in the procurement of the contract and defrauded customers with false and fraudulent pretenses.
  • Made false and fraudulent statements in support of claims submitted to insurance companies.
  • Unlawfully initiated legal action against former customers and dissuaded them from cooperating with the Contractor’s State License Board.

Feuer’s office spearheaded the case following a collaboration with the Contractor’s State License Board, the Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Insurance. After California Restoration had its contractor license suspended, the City Attorney moved to address past violations, identify victims and ensure that future violations do not occur.

In addition to requiring California Restoration to pay restitution and penalties, the company will remove all liens placed against former customers and dismiss all pending lawsuits against former clients. California Restoration also must:

  • Allow customers to cancel contracts up until midnight of the third day after the contract is signed.
  • Use the same language in its contracts that it used during its oral sales presentations.
  • Not dissuade customers from reporting their experiences to regulatory agencies, including Contractors State Licensing Board.
  • Make only truthful statements to customers and the public at large about their services.
  • Include in all its contacts key information, including the cost of the work to be completed, the approximate dates upon which the work will be completed, its contractor license number, a description of the project including materials and equipment being used, among other items.

Consumers who used the services of Cal Restoration, Inc., and/or California Restoration, LLC between July 15, 2012 and May 15, 2017, and believe they were victimized, may be eligible to receive restitution. They should contact (213) 978-8070 or email mike.n.feuer@lacity.org.

 

 

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May 162017
 
Mayor Garcetti Facilitates Affordable Housing

Photo courtesy of LA Mayor’s Office

 

Garcetti creates more affordable housing and protects thousands of Angelenos from eviction by enabling the City to legalize certain unpermitted housing units.

 

Mayor Garcetti signs Ordinance to legalize more Affordable Housing Units: Mayor Eric Garcetti today signed a new law that will create more affordable housing and protect thousands of Angelenos from eviction by enabling the City to legalize certain unpermitted housing units.

There are currently thousands of occupied units across Los Angeles that were not permitted properly when they were built. This ordinance creates a path to legalization for many of those units, allowing the City to ensure that they are safe and habitable, without displacing families from their homes.

“Too many Angelenos are already struggling to stay ahead of rising rents — and we must take action to protect our communities, and keep families in their homes,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This ordinance will improve the health and safety of our housing stock, add more units to the market, and bring us closer to meeting our affordable housing goals.”

The new ordinance will use existing State Density Bonus provisions to legalize the unapproved units, once they have passed all necessary health, safety, and habitability inspections. The City will permit the units in exchange for long-term commitments from landlords to keep them affordable.

“Passage of the Unapproved Dwelling Units Ordinance is a small but significant step to address affordability in Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Gil Cedillo. “Buildings zoned as multiple family, including apartments and duplexes, will now be be brought to code while ensuring health and safety requirements, adding to our housing stock. We are in a housing crisis and need to use every tool within reach to increase our affordable housing supply.”

“The UDU ordinance is a common-sense solution to increasing the City of Los Angeles’ affordable housing stock and protecting low- and moderate-income Angelenos doing their best to get by living in unapproved units at no fault of their own,” said Councilmember José Huizar, Chair of the City’s Planning Committee. “This ordinance will directly benefit and protect those residents and their families while increasing our available affordable housing stock for others.”

To give property owners time to pursue this new route to legalization, the Housing and Community Investment Department (HCID) is developing a program that would defer certain code enforcement proceedings, while landlords bring their unpermitted units into compliance.

This new policy is just one piece of Mayor Garcetti’s strategy to solve the affordability crisis in Los Angeles. The Mayor has also called on the City Council to pass an Affordable Housing Linkage Fee — a fair, reasonable requirement that market-rate developers build affordable housing or contribute to the City’s affordable housing programs. This could add 1,000 new affordable housing units to the market every year-— about double the current rate of production.

Owners of multifamily buildings who have questions on how to pursue legalization of unapproved dwelling units can contact the Department of City Planning’s Priority Housing Project (PHP) program at (213) 202-5456 or dcpphp@lacity.org.

 

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May 122017
 
Mayor Garcetti Watches Over Owens Valley

Photo property of L.A. Mayor

 

Mayor Garcetti visits Owens Valley to monitor LADWP emergency flood control efforts

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti traveled to the Owens Valley to survey the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) emergency flood control preparations for what the utility expects will be a record snowmelt from the Eastern Sierras.

The trip comes after Mayor Garcetti declared a local State of Emergency to protect the lands and communities of the Owens Valley from flooding, as this year’s snowpack begins to melt.

“I declared this State of Emergency because we have a responsibility to protect Angelenos and the people of the Owens Valley,” said Mayor Garcetti. “We are acting as quickly and diligently as we can to address this potential threat, and I’m pleased by the progress we’re making.”

During his visit, the Mayor spoke with community members, met with LADWP workers involved in the flood control efforts, and toured key areas — including Mono Lake and Owens Lake — where the snowmelt is threatening communities and LADWP infrastructure.

This year’s snowpack in the Eastern Sierras is 241% above normal, and as spring goes on, LADWP expects the snowmelt to send up to 1 million acre-feet of runoff into the Owens Valley.

This runoff — nearly twice the amount of water that Angelenos use in a year — could damage local communities, hydroelectric power plants, and dust mitigation infrastructure in Owens Lake. Mayor Garcetti’s Emergency Declaration enables LADWP to act quickly in response to the threat.

 

 

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May 112017
 

Wage Theft Prosecuted In Los Angeles

 

CITY ATTORNEY FEUER FIGHTS FOR RIGHTS OF HOME CARE WORKERS AGAINST ALLEGED WAGE THEFT

Lawsuit Alleges Valley Homecare Provider Paid Employees As Little As $5.50 Per Hour or Less, Failed to Provide Overtime Wages

 

Continuing his aggressive fight against alleged wage theft, City Attorney Mike Feuer announced his office has sued a Canoga Park-based home care provider for allegedly routinely failing to pay its employees minimum wage and overtime.

“Stealing wages from hard-working men and women is reprehensible,” said Feuer. “No worker should be forced into poverty because an employer denies them their basic rights to a minimum wage and overtime. My office will aggressively combat wage theft and fight to ensure all workers are paid what the law demands.”

“This case is sending the important message that here in Los Angeles City, immigrant workers rights are being protected” said Aquilina Soriano, Executive Director of the Pilipino Workers Center.. Immigrant workers like the Filipina homecare workers of this homecare agency have suffered from poverty wages while providing heart-felt, quality care to the elders of our city.”

“SEIU 2015 fights every day for the rights of our dedicated home healthcare workers,” President Laphonza Butler, Local SEIU 2015. “We applaud City Attorney Mike Feuer’s leadership and commitment to fighting wage theft and look forward to continuing to support those efforts in the days ahead.”

The complaint alleges that during the last four years, Emelyn Nishi and her corporations Health Alliance Nurses Corp., and Hand Homecare Provider, Inc., have employed two hundred workers or more, mostly Filipino, immigrants. Defendants allegedly charge between $170 and $250 per day for 24-hour in-home domestic care to families. However, these employees allegedly were paid only $100 to $125 per shift, equating to as little as $5.50 per hour or less. According to the lawsuit, defendants allegedly pressured their employed caregivers to falsify time records to avoid overtime payments, and routinely threatened them with termination or blacklisting within the industry.

The defendants allegedly also prohibited caregivers from discussing rates directly with clients and often threatened exorbitant contractual penalties for entering into a direct hire position with clients. Defendants allegedly misclassified their caregiver employees as independent contractors to avoid paying federal and state payroll taxes and sidestep government investigations.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction against further alleged unlawful, unfair and fraudulent business acts as well as restitution to all current and former employees who were not paid minimum wages or overtime. In addition, defendants could face civil penalties up to $2,500 for each violation.

Feuer asked other workers who may be the victims of wage theft to come forward and report it directly to his office by e-mail at mike.n.feuer@lacity.org or by phone at 213-978-1868. Feuer emphasized that wage theft victims may report to his office anonymously.

Deputy City Attorneys Ben Delfin and Miguel Bahamon of Feuer’s Affirmative Litigation Unit are handling the litigation.

 

 

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May 092017
 
Star-Studded 50th Anniversary Celebration At Ahmanson

Annette Bening and Alfred Molina in “The Cherry Orchard” at the Mark Taper Forum. Bening and Molina will participate in Center Theatre Group’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the Ahmanson Theatre. For more information, visit CenterTheatreGroup.org/50thCelebration. Center photo by Craig Schwartz.

 

MATTHEW BRODERICK, TYNE DALY, KEITH DAVID, LOUIS GOSSETT JR.,

THOMAS SADOSKI, JIMMY SMITS AND MORE JOIN

ANNETTE BENING, SIR MATTHEW BOURNE, ALFRED MOLINA,

EDWARD JAMES OLMOS AND PHYLICIA RASHAD

FOR CENTER THEATRE GROUP’S STAR-STUDDED

5OTH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION PERFORMANCE

One-Night-Only Production to Take Place on Saturday, May 20th 2017 at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre

 

Michael Ritchie, Artistic Director of Center Theatre Group, announced today that Matthew Broderick, Tyne Daly, Louis Gossett Jr., Thomas Sadoski, Jimmy Smits, René Auberjonois, Jon Robin Baitz, Bill Cain, Anthony Crivello, Culture Clash, Merle Dandridge, Tim Dang, Keith David, Shaila Essley, Davis Gaines, Harry Groener, Clint Holmes, David Henry Hwang, Gregory Itzin, Dale Kristien, Doug LaBrecque, Tzi Ma, Alan Mandell, Dakin Matthews, Christina Saffran, Benjamin Schrader, Shoshannah Stern, Lisa Vroman, Ed Waterstreet and Aryana Williams are set to take the stage at Center Theatre Group’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, Co-Chaired by Chairman of NBC Entertainment and Center Theatre Group board member Robert Greenblatt and fellow Center Theatre Group board member Sue Tsao.

The lauded group joins previously announced Center Theatre Group alums Annette Bening, Sir Matthew Bourne, Alfred Molina, Edward James Olmos and Phylicia Rashad for the one-night-only production from writer, director and producer Robert Egan. The performance will draw from the many landmark productions that have been brought to life on Center Theatre Group’s stages, as well as its continuing role in creating new work and helping to define the role of theatre both in Los Angeles and beyond.

Center Theatre Group has welcomed to its stages some of today’s biggest stars, including Matthew Broderick, Sterling K. Brown, Viola Davis, Jane Fonda, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Lane, Angela Lansbury, Al Pacino, Chris Pine, Denzel Washington and more.

For more information about Center Theatre Group’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, please visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org/50thCelebration.

 

 

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May 062017
 

$10,000 Award for Emerging L.A. Theatre Artists

 

CENTER THEATRE GROUP NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS
FOR THE 2018 RICHARD E. SHERWOOD AWARD

June 5th is the Deadline to Apply for $10,000 Award for Emerging L.A. Theatre Artists

 

Center Theatre Group is now accepting submissions for the 2018 Richard E. Sherwood Award. The deadline to submit an application is June 5th 2017, at 11:59 p.m.

The Sherwood Award is an annual $10,000 prize that supports innovative and adventurous theatre artists and engages them in a professional relationship with Center Theatre Group. The award is presented each year at the Ovation Awards ceremony produced by LA Stage Alliance. Two additional finalists will each receive a $2,000 honorarium.

Center Theatre Group invites individual emerging artists to submit an application if they have resided in Los Angeles for at least two years and have developed or collaborated in at least two fully produced projects in Los Angeles. Sherwood awardees demonstrate leadership qualities, push existing boundaries and are dedicated to improving the future of their respective artistic fields. Artists are not limited by title, role or genre, but they must have a relationship to contemporary performance rooted in theatre.

Center Theatre Group will also offer two information sessions to prospective applicants on Saturday, May 13 at 11 a.m. (must RSVP by Wednesday, May 10) and Monday, May 22 at 7 p.m. (must RSVP by Thursday, May 18). To RSVP or to receive more information about the sessions, please email Sherwood@CTGLA.org. Both sessions will be held at The Music Center Annex building, 601 W. Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Created in memory of Richard E. Sherwood, the $10,000 award aims to cultivate emerging theatre artists working in Los Angeles who push formal and aesthetic boundaries and demonstrate dedication to improving their respective artistic fields. Richard E. Sherwood was a patron of the arts with a special appreciation for emerging artists who are in the vanguard of theatre. He was president and then chairman of the Center Theatre Group Board of Directors from 1980 until his passing in 1993. The award is established as an endowed fund at Center Theatre Group by his family, friends, colleagues and fellow board members to honor Sherwood’s passionate commitment to theatre.

Past recipients of the Richard E. Sherwood Award include lighting designer Pablo Santiago, Miwa Matreyek of Cloud Eye Control, Sean Cawelti of Rogue Artists Ensemble, Miranda Wright of Los Angeles Performance Practice, Lars Jan of Early Morning Opera, lighting designer Christopher Kuhl and costume designer Ann Closs-Farley, among others.

For more information about the Richard E. Sherwood Award, please visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org/Sherwood.

For questions or concerns about the application process or to RSVP to the information sessions, please contact Sherwood@CTGLA.org.

 

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May 032017
 
One-Of-A-Kind Cast Party At Ahmanson Theatre

Cast of Fiasco Theater’s “Into the Woods” at the Ahmanson Theatre

AHMANSON THEATRE TO THROW CAST PARTY SATURDAY, MAY 13

FOR ALL “INTO THE WOODS” ACTORS FROM ANY PRODUCTION

What Character Did You Play In “Into the Woods”?
The Baker? Cinderella? The Wolf? A Prince? The Witch? Little Red Ridinghood?

On Saturday, May 13, 2017, following the 2 p.m. matinee performance of Fiasco Theater’s “Into the Woods” at the Ahmanson Theatre, Center Theatre Group will throw a cast party for all the Bakers and Witches, Cinderellas and Princes, Milky Whites, et al., who have ever appeared in a production of “Into the Woods.”

With a pianist to play songs from “Into the Woods,” those familiar with the show may sing along with their character counterparts and share backstage stories.

Actors are encouraged to send in photos of themselves in character; photos will be screened during the party and shared on Center Theatre Group’s social media sites.

A special ticket price is being offered for the May 13 matinee performance; “Into the Woods” actors will be able to purchase one ticket and get one free using a special promo code: ITTAKESTWO.

Be it a school production, community theatre, Broadway or film all those who have been ‘into the woods’ are invited to participate. The call is out to talented Southern California actors who have appeared in a production of “Into the Woods,” including Teri Bibb, Karen Culliver, Zachary Ford, Helen Geller, Gordon Goodman, Michael G. Hawkins, Bonnie Hellman, Pamela Hamill, Kim Huber, Tracy Katz, Damon Kirsche, Carol Kline, Heather Lee, Vicki Lewis, Bets Malone, Mary Gordon Murray, John Rubinstein, Brent Schindele, Leslie Stevens, Robert Yacko, and from 3-D Theatrical’s production, Viva Carr, Jeanette Dawson, Tim Martin Gleason, Jordan Lamoureux, Bets Malone, Julie Morgentaler, Tracy Rowe Mutz, Christanna Rowader, Cameron Sczempka and Jeff Skowron.

Center Theatre Group also extends a warm invitation to Meryl Streep, James Corden, Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp, Anthony Geary, Joanna Gleason, Bernadette Peters, Chris Pine, Vanessa Williams, Judi Dench, Charlotte Rae, Cleo Laine, Douglas Sills, Anna Kendrick, Christine Baranski, Tracey Ullman, Sally Struthers and all the denizens of Sondheim’s modern classic “Into the Woods.”

The acclaimed Fiasco Theater production of “Into the Woods” plays through May 14, 2017, at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre. The celebrated new production of the Tony Award-winning musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, is directed by Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld.

This wildly inventive ensemble piece features versatile actor/musicians who sing, act and play instruments, including Anthony Chatmon II as Lucinda/Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince, Eleasha Gamble as Baker’s Wife, Evan Harrington as Baker, Lisa Helmi Johanson as Little Red Ridinghood/Rapunzel, Bonne Kramer as Cinderella’s Stepmother/Jack’s Mother, Patrick Mulryan as Jack/Steward, Darick Pead as Milky White/Florinda/Rapunzel’s Prince, Evan Rees, Music Director/Pianist, Fred Rose as Mysterious Man, Vanessa Reseland as Witch and Laurie Veldheer as Cinderella/Granny, with Joshua Archer, Sean Peter Forte, Javier Ignacio, Kate Moore and Alanna Saunders.

“Into the Woods” includes memorable songs like “Children Will Listen” and “No One Is Alone.” Mind the wolf, heed the witch and honor the giant in the sky in this extraordinary musical about the power of wishes and what really happens after they come true. The award-winning musical has been mounted with boundless imagination in a witty and wild theatrical reinvention of a beloved modern classic.

Scenic design for “Into the Woods” is by Derek McLane, costume design by Whitney Locher, lighting design by Christopher Akerlind, sound design by Darron L West and Charles Coes, orchestrations by Frank Galgano and Matt Castle, music supervision by Matt Castle and choreography is by Lisa Shriver.

The acclaimed Fiasco Theater production of “Into the Woods” is presented by the Dodgers (the Tony Award–winning producers of the original “Into the Woods” with Bernadette Peters, and of its revival with Vanessa Williams, “Jersey Boys,” “Matilda”), along with NETworks Presentations (the Lincoln Center Theater production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “South Pacific,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “War Horse”).

Unanimously revered and extended twice at Roundabout Theatre Company, “Into the Woods” became New York’s surprise hit of the 2015 season, followed by a celebrated engagement at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London.

The popular film adaptation of “Into the Woods” by Walt Disney Pictures premiered in 2014 with Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, James Corden and Anna Kendrick, and was critically and commercially successful. Already in the top five of the most successful movie musical adaptations ever, it was nominated for three Academy Awards and three Golden Globes.

Bank of America is the season sponsor for the Ahmanson Theatre and Delta Airlines is the official airline sponsor.

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, programming seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting May 13 Cast Party for “Into the Woods” at Ahmanson Theatre and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Tickets for “Into the Woods” are available by calling (213) 972-4400, online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org or by visiting the Center Theatre Group box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre. Tickets range from $25 – $125 (ticket prices are subject to change).

The Ahmanson Theatre is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles.

 

 

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May 022017
 
Robin Coste Lewis Los Angeles Poet Laureate

Robin Coste Lewis, Los Angeles Poet Laureate

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti names

Robin Coste Lewis the Poet Laureate of Los Angeles

Award-winning poet is nationally recognized as a major figure of contemporary literature

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that Robin Coste Lewis, winner of the National Book Award, is the new Poet Laureate of the City of Los Angeles.

As an official ambassador of L.A.’s arts community, Lewis will promote and celebrate the written word, and represent the city’s rich literary scene.

“Robin is a fearless writer whose lyricism reclaims history for people who feel forgotten, and gives voice to those who feel silenced,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Los Angeles is fortunate to be represented by such a powerful artist. She will push boundaries and challenge us to rethink our perspectives.”

The Los Angeles Poet Laureate Program is a collaboration between the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) and the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL). Its aim is to enhance the presence and appreciation of poetry and the literary arts in Los Angeles, and to engage Angelenos who have limited exposure to poetry and other forms of expressive writing.

“The role of the L.A. Poet Laureate is two-fold: first, to celebrate and curate an ever-widening cross-city appreciation for poetry of all kinds, from all cultures and nations; second, to celebrate the rich and diverse history of Los Angeles poetry,” said Lewis. “Poetry is high art, sure, but it is also an exceedingly accessible cultural game that anyone can play. From the elderly to prisoners, I try at all times to remind my students that the only difference between a great poet and a lousy one is practice. Poetry isn’t rocket science. It’s merely love.”

A native of Compton, Lewis is the author of the award-winning collection Voyage of the Sable Venus. She is a writer-in-residence and provost’s fellow at the University of Southern California. A finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the California Book Award, she has published poems in The New Yorker, The Best American Poetry, Lambda Literary Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond.

“We are thrilled to celebrate National Poetry Month with Robin named the official ambassador of Los Angeles’s vibrant poetry and literary culture,” said Danielle Brazell, General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. “We are so pleased she will promote the transformative qualities of poetry and the written word across all communities in our great city.”

Lewis has an MFA in creative writing from New York University, a master of theological studies from Harvard Divinity School, where she studied Sanskrit and comparative religious literature, and a PhD in poetry and visual studies from the University of Southern California. She lives in Los Angeles.

“Lewis’s poetry is both tender and arresting. She is an astute cultural critic, alert to the complexities of race and the black female voice,” said City Librarian John F. Szabo.

To select the new Poet Laureate, DCA convened a peer review panel of four professionals: a senior librarian from LAPL, the director of a local chapter of a national literary nonprofit organization, a City of Los Angeles Master Fellow in Poetry, and an award-winning poet from San Francisco.

Lewis will serve a two-year term as Poet Laureate, and will be awarded an annual grant of $10,000 from DCA.

 

 

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May 012017
 

25th Anniversary Of 1992 L.A. Riots

25 years ago Los Angeles was burning….

The riots were believed to be the African American community’s reaction to the acquittals of four LAPD officers accused of the brutal beating of Rodney King. There were however several other factors that likely contributed to the uncontrolled outburst of black frustration, among them are the disproportionately high unemployment rate in the African American community and several – not just one! – verdicts which seem to have indicated that violence against blacks wasn’t prosecuted the same way violence against members of other racial groups was.

Justified or not, frustration with hardship and injustice boiled over: there was violence (most notably the vicious assault of Reginald Oliver Denny, a white truck driver), arson and looting. A state of emergency was declared. The situation was beyond Los Angeles Police Department’s capacity to contain. Finally, the California Army National Guard was called in and only then order was restored.

In the aftermath of L.A. Riots: 58 people were dead, over 2,000 injured and more than 11,000 arrested. The estimated property damage topped one billion dollars.

A significant progress was made in the recovery process, but not all issues have been successfully addressed till today’s day.

On the occasion of 25th anniversary of 1992 L.A. Riots Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued the following statement:

“The 1992 unrest was one of the most painful moments in the history of Los Angeles — and today we remember those who perished in the violence, honor the heroes who risked everything to help others survive the chaos, and stand with those whose lives were forever changed by the destruction.

Twenty-five years of healing, reconciliation, and reform have shown the world who Angelenos are: a resilient people who remember our past and never give up hope for the future. That’s why this anniversary is about both how far L.A. has come and how far we have to go. We have made historic and lasting reforms to policing — but are still working to build more trust and transparency, to ensure that no one is deprived of equal justice. We have now recovered and exceeded the number of jobs in the city before the unrest — but we’re still fighting hard against poverty and income inequality, so that no communities are excluded from economic prosperity.

Today, let us recommit ourselves to the work of continuing to build bridges — to opportunity, to equality, and most importantly, to each other.”

 

 

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Apr 272017
 
Free Concert Broadway At Grand Park

Mark Ballas, who will appear in the Los Angeles engagement of the national tour of “Jersey Boys,” which plays May 16 through June 24, 2017, at Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400. Photo by SMOG design.

 

CENTER THEATRE GROUP PRESENTS “BROADWAY AT GRAND PARK” FRIDAY APRIL 28

Free Concert from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in Grand Park Across From The Music Center

“Into the Woods and “Jersey Boys” Casts Perform Hits From Their Smash Broadway Shows

“Jersey Boys” to Perform “Sherry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh, What A Night”

On Friday, April 28, Center Theatre Group will launch the newly created free concert event “Broadway at Grand Park” from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. with cast members from the Ahmanson Theatre’s “Into the Woods” and “Jersey Boys” performing some of the biggest hits from these popular shows. The concert is free and open to the public.

Mark Ballas as Franki Valli will lead the Jersey Boys for the Grand Park concert with Matthew Dailey, Keith Hines and Cory Jeacoma as Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi and Bob Gaudio, respectively. The Jersey Boys will perform the hits “Sherry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Oh, What A Night,” “Who Loves You” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” Cast members from “Into the Woods” will perform a selection of favorites from the hit Sondheim musical.

Ballas will reprise his acclaimed Broadway performance as Frankie Valli in the Ahmanson engagement of “Jersey Boys.” Ballas, known for his Emmy nominated work on “Dancing with the Stars,” made his Broadway debut in the role last fall. “Jersey Boys,” plays at the Ahmanson May 16 through June 24, 2017.

Free Concert Broadway At Grand Park

The cast of the Fiasco Theater production of “Into the Woods,” which plays April 4 through May 14, 2017, at Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The acclaimed Fiasco Theater Company’s “Into the Woods” is currently playing at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre through May 14. The Tony Award-winning musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, is directed by Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld.

“Into the Woods” includes memorable songs like “Children Will Listen” and “No One Is Alone.” Mind the wolf, heed the witch and honor the giant in the sky in this extraordinary musical about the power of wishes and what really happens after they come true. The award-winning musical has been mounted with boundless imagination: a witty and wild theatrical reinvention of a beloved modern classic.

Music and lyrics for “Into the Woods” are by Stephen Sondheim, the book is by James Lapine and the co-directors are Noah Brody and Ben Steinfeld.

The Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning hit musical “Jersey Boys” is the behind-the-music story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. They were just four guys from Jersey, until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard—and the radio just couldn’t get enough of it. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off stage it was a very different story—a story that has made them an international sensation all over again.

The book for “Jersey Boys” is by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, the music is by Bob Gaudio, the lyrics are y Bob Crewe, the choreography is by Sergio Trujillo and the director is Des McAnuff.

Bank of America is the season sponsor for the Ahmanson Theatre and Delta Airlines is the official airline sponsor.

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, programming seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Grand Park Mainstage is located at 200 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012. The event will also feature a pop-up box office open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Grand Park so attendees may purchase tickets for “Into the Woods” and “Jersey Boys.”

Tickets for “Into the Woods” and “Jersey Boys” are available by calling (213) 972-4400, online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org or by visiting the Center Theatre Group box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre. Tickets will also be available for purchase from 11:30 to 2 p.m. in Grand Park on Friday, April 28 only. Tickets range from $25 – $125 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Ahmanson Theatre is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, 90012

 

 

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Apr 252017
 

Mayor Garcetti Protects Affordable Housing

 

Mayor Garcetti continues to tackle housing crisis with new law strengthening Rent Stabilization Ordinance

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti continues to aggressively address Los Angeles’s housing affordability crisis with a new law that strengthens enforcement of the City’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO). The new legislation will preserve rent-stabilized units or require that new affordable housing units be built.

Landlords who tear down rent-controlled units under the state’s Ellis Act must now either replace them one-for-one with affordable units or ensure that 20% of new units are affordable — whichever number is higher.

This new law will also help prevent displacement of tenants by increasing regulation of both vacant and occupied rental units; requiring owners to re-start the Ellis process if withdrawn units are re-rented; tightening rules when units are demolished without necessary approvals; and requiring property owners to file annual reports.

It also expands relocation services for displaced tenants, and preserves RSO units by raising the threshold necessary to obtain an exemption for newly-built replacement units.

“We’re growing L.A.’s housing stock to meet our resident’s growing demand in every way possible — including strengthening our stock of rent stabilized housing. But we need to make sure that it is done in a way that’s fair to all Angelenos by protecting people from being priced out of communities where they have invested so much of their lives,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The law I signed today is a great step in the right direction.”

“As Chair of Housing, I’d like to thank Mayor Garcetti for his commitment to protect tenant rights and affordable housing,” said Councilmember Gil Cedillo. “The City Council approved my Ellis Act amendments to the RSO, which will close loopholes used to evict tenants and remove affordable housing units off the market. By preserving affordable housing, we will ensure that Los Angeles is a livable City.”

“One of our goals, as elected leaders, must be addressing the loss of existing affordable housing to new, unaffordable development, and these amendments take an important step in that direction,” said Councilmember Paul Koretz.

“Preserving affordable housing is how we preserve the character and inclusivity of our neighborhoods,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin. “Strengthening our rent control rules to better protect affordable housing is good for families throughout Los Angeles.”

“The City of Los Angeles must do everything in its power to protect our rent-controlled affordable housing stock,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “With every lost RSO unit, our friends, families and neighbors are potentially displaced and priced out of a difficult housing market. By strengthening these Ellis Act restrictions and RSO requirements, we are taking an important step forward in protecting Angelenos.”

Half of L.A. families live in an apartment covered by the RSO, which is designed to protect Angelenos from runaway rents and displacement from their neighborhoods.

In December 2015, Mayor Garcetti signed into law the Tenant Buyout Ordinance, which strengthened 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 ordinance required 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.

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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Apr 242017
 
Mayor Garcetti’s 2017-2018 Budget And Vision For Los Angeles

Photo property of the City of Los Angeles

 

Mayor Garcetti proposes new budget that builds on first-term progress, and charts a course to L.A.’S future

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti today unveiled his proposed 2017-18 budget — a fiscally responsible spending plan that focuses on the City’s commitment to ending homelessness, builds on the Mayor’s efforts to improve basic services, and puts voter-approved Measure M and Proposition HHH funding for housing and transportation projects into action.

The $9.2 billion budget allocates more than $176 million toward housing and services for homeless Angelenos — a $38 million increase from last year’s investment — and $35 million to fix some of the City’s most broken streets, and make roads safer for Angelenos.

“Over the last four years, we have brought Los Angeles back to basics — now, it’s time to build on that progress and dream bigger for tomorrow,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This budget will enable us to continue bringing change that Angelenos can see and feel in their neighborhoods, while building the future that we have all imagined together.”

Last November, L.A. voters approved Measure M and Proposition HHH to invest billions of dollars in housing and supportive services for the most vulnerable, and transportation infrastructure to make L.A. more connected. Mayor Garcetti’s budget puts tens of millions of dollars of that funding directly to use this year.

More than $89 million of the $176 million allocated to fight homelessness is HHH funding, which will go toward new permanent supportive housing and service facilities for homeless Angelenos. And the $35 million for transportation will come from Measure M and California SB 1, a transportation package that will fund street repairs across the state.

The budget maintains a 5% reserve fund while advancing Mayor Garcetti’s Back to Basics agenda — including a $2 million increase to the City’s graffiti removal program, which will enable the City to respond to 90% of requests within 24 hours, and a doubling of the Girls Play L.A. initiative, which will improve gender equity in sports programming throughout Los Angeles.

Mayor Garcetti’s proposed budget includes funding for:

A Safe City
• 10,000 Sworn Police Officers
• LAPD Metro System Patrol
• LAPD Body-Worn Video Initiative
• LAPD Domestic Abuse Response Teams
• LAPD Pledge to Patrol Program ($1 Million)
• Firefighter Hiring ($10.5 Million)
• Fire Department Youth Program Coordinator
• New Fire Station Alerting System ($1 Million)
• Enhanced Cybersecurity Protection

A Prosperous City
• Community Plan Updates ($3.5 Million)
• Hire L.A.’s Youth & Summer Youth Program
• Day Labor Centers
• L.A.’s Best Expansion
• Proposition HHH Housing and Facilities ($89 Million)
• Outreach and Sanitation Crews ($36.8 Million)
• Sobering Center Emergency Resource Unit

A Livable & Sustainable City
• Vision Zero ($17 Million)
• Great Streets ($3.6 Million)
• DASH Expansion ($14 Million)
• Sidewalk Repair ($31 Million)
• 24-Hour Graffiti Removal ($2 Million)
• Girls Play L.A. Expansion
• Joint Use Agreements for Park Space
• Tree-Trimming ($7.1 Million)
• Purposeful Aging

A Well-Run City
• Innovation Fund
• Anytime-Anywhere City Employee Candidate Testing
• Asset Management ($1.8 Million)
• Network Improvement
• Procurement Reform
• Finance System Enhancement
• Reserve Fund Maintenance (5%)

Mayor Garcetti’s full proposed 2017-2018 budget is available here.

 

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Apr 232017
 

Our Earth, Our Lives: NOT A Business

Earth Day is celebrated worldwide since 1970 and its goal every year is to raise public awareness of environmental protection and more recently, global warming.

The 2017 Earth Day celebration took the form of March for Science. In the United States, the largest March for Science took place on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Smaller marches took place in all 50 states and had a new urgency since the Trump administration’s policy denies the dangers of global warming, restricts research (and research sharing), cuts science budgets and severely limits the authority of EPA while supporting and promoting industries that contribute to environmental destruction and accelerate global warming.

The scientific community is traditionally apolitical, but because of the current political climate many highly-regarded scientists participated in this year’s March to emphasize the importance of science in our lives and our survival as specie.

While President Trump doesn’t seem to understand the urgency of environmental protection or the need to prevent / delay climate change, facts speak louder than any politician can. President Trump’s environmental policies threaten our air and water and long term, our lives.

It is in this context that we appreciate California’s and Los Angeles’ leadership even more. On the occasion of Earth Day, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said:

“Earth Day is a time to appreciate the beauty of the planet we call home, and a time to reflect on our mandate to clean the air we breathe, protect the water we drink, and preserve the health of the world we share with all of creation. That’s why our Sustainable City pLAn embraces environmental stewardship and justice as fundamental values that we fight for in Los Angeles — that’s why we’re going to keep fighting climate change by making our utility coal-free by 2025, restoring our river to its natural habitat, and working to open up more green space where our families can connect with nature.”

Well said, Mr. Mayor. Thank you for embracing science and protecting our city from environment-destroying and greed-driven policies.

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

 

 

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Apr 182017
 

CTG CAREER FAIR FOR YOUTH

CENTER THEATRE GROUP PRESENTS

“COLLEGE & CAREER FAIR FOR THE ARTS”

SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 2017, AT THE MUSIC CENTER ANNEX

Free Workshops, College Counseling and More Offered to High School Students

 

Center Theatre Group invites current high school students, parents and teachers to attend the second annual “College & Career Fair for the Arts” on Saturday, April 22, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at The Music Center Annex located at 601 W. Temple St. in Downtown L.A. Center Theatre Group will also be hosting the previously announced “Going Pro Career Fair” for college and university students on Saturday, April 8, 2017, at East Los Angeles College. Both events will give students the opportunity to explore education and career opportunities in the arts.

Center Theatre Group’s “College & Career Fair for the Arts” is intended to help students navigate the transition from high school to college, and learn more about careers in the arts. More than 30 colleges, universities and organizations will be in attendance including the University of Southern California (USC), the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Fashion Careers International and more. The fair will include free workshops, a food truck with free lunch (12 to 2 p.m.) and opportunities for one-on-one college counseling and personal statement help.

The free workshops will give students the opportunity to learn about the college application process and what admissions staff are looking for; the FAFSA (Federal Application for Student Aid), student loans, scholarships and financial aid; and hear from professional theatre artists across the field, from designers to actors. Workshops are open to students only.

To RSVP to Center Theatre Group’s “College & Career Fair for the Arts,” students should email StudentBody@CTGLA.org with the following information: the student’s full name, grade and school; which discussions they would like to attend; and if they are interested in participating in a 20-minute session with a college counselor or personal statement expert. Those who RSVP in advance will receive a free gift upon entry. For more information about Center Theatre Group’s “College & Career Fair for the Arts,” the “Going Pro Career Fair” and other upcoming student events, please visit https://www.centertheatregroup.org/programs/students-and-educators/teen-and-college-initiatives/upcoming-student-events/.

 

 

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Apr 172017
 

Academy Talent Development Program

 

THE ACADEMY WILL LAUNCH ‘ACADEMY GOLD’ TALENT DEVELOPMENT AND INCLUSION PROGRAM THIS SUMMER

Sixteen Entertainment Industry Partners Participate in Pilot Year

 

In June, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will launch Academy Gold, a new entertainment industry-wide summer internship and mentoring program that will expand opportunities for students and young professionals from underrepresented communities. This initiative will afford top film entertainment, technology, production services and digital media companies an opportunity to recruit and educate a nationwide pool of diverse talent. The Academy also will build an alumni database to track the professional development of Academy Gold participants and provide a resource to connect alumni with one another upon completion of the program.

Several companies, including Deluxe, The Walt Disney Company, Dolby Laboratories, FotoKem, FremantleMedia, HBO, IMAX, Lionsgate/Starz, Panavision, Paramount Pictures, Participant Media, Sony Pictures, Technicolor, Twentieth Century Fox Film, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros., have already committed to the program. Each partner will sponsor up to three interns.

“As chair of the Academy’s Education Committee, I am proud that the Academy is taking proactive steps in building partnerships within the entertainment industry to move the needle on talent development and inclusion,” said Nancy Utley, Academy governor and president of Fox Searchlight Pictures. “The Academy Gold program is a testament to the shared commitment of the Academy and industry leaders to address one of biggest challenges facing our community today and effectuate meaningful change.”

In this pilot year, more than 50 interns (including 15 interns who will be placed within the Academy) will participate in the Academy Gold program. The eight-week program will offer participants networking opportunities with Academy members and industry professionals, screenings and educational workshops. The internships are available to undergraduate and graduate college students with an emphasis on high-quality, underrepresented talent in order to help them acquire the knowledge, skills and connections to achieve success as they navigate full-time, above- and below-the-line entertainment industry careers.

“The Academy is in a unique position to tap into and encourage its nearly 7,000 members to become involved mentors,” said Edgar Aguirre, the Academy’s director of talent development and inclusion. “The Academy Gold program will empower and create new opportunities for emerging and diverse talent, while engaging our membership and underscoring the impact these leaders can have on shaping the future of our industry.”

For more information about the Academy Gold program, visit www.oscars.org/AcademyGoldProgram.

*

ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 7,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which is under construction in Los Angeles.

FOLLOW THE ACADEMY
www.oscars.org
www.facebook.com/TheAcademy
www.youtube.com/Oscars
www.twitter.com/TheAcademy

 

 

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Apr 082017
 

California Road Repair Approved: We’ll Pay

The Road Repair and Accountability Act was introduced and signed just last week. In the words of League Executive Director Carolyn Coleman: “Californians are sick and tired of driving on bad roads and we are all paying the cost of disrepair, traffic congestion and unsafe roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure.”

The Road Repair and Accountability Act has been voted on and approved by the California Legislature in one week of being signed by California Governor Brown.

Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti issued a statement following the act’s approval:
“Today’s billion-dollar commitment by the California legislature will deliver better roads, bridges and transportation infrastructure from one end of the state to the other. Here in Los Angeles, we will be able to repave our roads and give our residents a smoother ride on their daily commute and on their drives to see the people and places they love, with nearly $100 million invested annually into our local streets. None of this would have been possible without the persistence and vision of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senator Jim Beall, and Assemblymember Jim Frazier. Their years of hard work and determination will serve generations to come.”

The Road Repair and Accountability Act is good news for California’s roads, commuters and visitors. Its cost however seems to have been passed in its entirety to us and we’re not talking about chump change but $5.2 billion a year for 10 years. We’ll have to cough it up at the DMV (vehicle registration and renewal fees, new usage fees for driving electric and hybrid vehicles, etc.) and at the gas pump.

Considering the fact that a significant segment of Los Angeles population still didn’t recover from the latest economic slump, The Road Repair and Accountability Act is a great recipe for fixing the roads and losing weight, at the same time. It will compound financial hardship of many low income families in Los Angeles.

Read more about The Road Repair and Accountability Act

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

 

 

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Apr 072017
 

LA Mayor Supports 2nd Chances

 

Mayor Garcetti Partners in New Effort to Give Angelenos a Second Chance

Partnership with 70MillionJobs.com aims to increase employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated Angelenos.

 

Mayor Eric Garcetti launched a partnership with 70MillionJobs.com, the first online job board to match formerly incarcerated individuals seeking work with employers interested in hiring qualified applicants of all backgrounds.

“People who have served time and are returning home deserve an opportunity to make a fresh start, prove themselves in the workforce, and earn a good living for themselves and their families,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This platform will help transform lives by opening up connections to employers who are willing to give qualified applicants a second chance.”

As part of a three-month pilot program with the Mayor’s Office, the site will allow Los Angeles employers to post a limitless number of jobs. In turn, job seekers will receive text notifications about new opportunities and can upload video resumes that are forwarded directly to employers. Most of the applicants enrolled during the pilot period will be affiliated with community-based organizations in the L.A. area and have received job readiness training.

About one in four adults in California has an arrest or conviction record, which creates significant barriers to employment. According to a recent study, up to 80% of Los Angeles employers are unwilling to hire formerly incarcerated individuals. Research has also shown that providing employment opportunities to formerly incarcerated individuals is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce recidivism and make communities safer. The state’s average recidivism rate is 65 percent, but for individuals who secure jobs shortly after release, it drops to as low as 3%.

Removing barriers to employment is one of Mayor Garcetti’s top priorities. In April 2016, the Mayor signed an Equitable Workforce Executive Directive, instructing City departments to prioritize L.A.’s most underemployed communities — including veterans, the formerly incarcerated, and disconnected youth — in the hiring of about 5,000 new workers over the next three years.

The Mayor’s Office of Reentry has also partnered with Caltrans to employ more than 1,300 formerly incarcerated people over the next three years. And last year, Mayor Garcetti formed a Blue Ribbon Commission on Employment Equity — an alliance of private and public sector employers committed to providing opportunities for the formerly incarcerated and others who have been historically excluded from upwardly-mobile jobs.

“Unemployment and recidivism are huge challenges that ruin lives, families and cities like Los Angeles,” said Richard Bronson, co-founder and CEO of 70MillionJobs.com. “This pilot program represents an effective partnership of government, non-profit and for-profit businesses, committed to short circuit the pernicious cycle of recidivism.”

70MillionJobs.com, the City of Los Angeles and all partner employers comply with all City and State laws pertaining to the use of criminal records in hiring. To post a job, go to 70MillionJobs.com. For more information, contact info@70MillionJobs.com.

 

 

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Apr 012017
 

L.A. City Attorney Denied LAX Clearance

 

US CUSTOMS DENIES LOS ANGELES CITY ATTORNEY’S REQUEST FOR ACCESS TO SECURE AREAS AT LAX

FEUER APPEALS DENIAL

After being denied access in January to secure areas at Los Angeles World Airport where dozens of immigrants were unlawfully detained, City Attorney Mike Feuer applied for a security clearance provided to other law enforcement officials. This week, federal officials denied Feuer’s application. Feuer is appealing the decision.

“When the City Attorney of the nation’s second largest city cannot gain access to all areas of the airport located in his jurisdiction, something is terribly wrong,” said City Attorney Mike Feuer. “I went to LAX in January because I wanted to secure the release of the detainees. I also wanted very direct answers to basic questions. A security clearance would have provided me with access to the detainees so I could have assessed their situation and well-being.”

Feur’s appeal LINK.
US Customs letter LINK.

Visit the links above! Read the details for yourself. By all appearances, L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer was illegally denied security clearance. It is troubling. Could it be a sign of things to come? The US Customs And Border Protection refusal to grant Mike Feuer full access to all areas of LAX is strangely reminiscent of martial law which strips power from ALL members and branches of government in favor of one. If Los Angeles City Attorney (a person in position of authority and a member of L.A. government!) is prevented from doing his job by US Customs And Border Protection what’s in store for the rest of us? McCarthyism? Driving restrictions?

Fight Mr. Feuer: Los Angeles belongs to us! No on travel bans. No on ICE representing itself as LAPD. No arrests in Los Angeles courthouses.

 

 

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Mar 292017
 

Mayor Garcetti Defends L.A.

 

Mayor Garcetti on the President’s Executive Order to roll back federal climate action

 

“President Trump’s moves today to undo the Clean Power Plan and roll back other key climate policies undermine the important efforts — throughout the country and the world — to tackle the single greatest threat and economic opportunity of our time: climate change. I asked 37 of my fellow ‘climate mayors’ to join me in writing President Trump to object to his actions, including severe proposed budget cuts to the EPA and clean energy programs like Energy Star at the U.S. Department of Energy, and rollbacks to vehicle fuel efficiency standards. The administration is taking clear steps to undermine not only the federal government’s commitment to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, but also U.S. leadership on public health and growing the clean energy economy.

“No matter what happens in Washington, we will work to meet our Sustainable City pLAn goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050, move toward zero emissions transportation, and pursue our vision of a 100% clean energy future. Los Angeles has also divested from the coal-fired Navajo Generating Station, and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will be completely coal-free by 2025.

“Nothing can stop us from investing in electric cars and mass transit; from ending our reliance on coal; from installing cool roofs and pavement; or from leading America in solar power. Los Angeles will uphold the obligation to preserve the health of our planet, protect our most vulnerable residents, and create a 21st century economy — and working with my fellow ‘climate mayors,’ we will continue doing our part to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement in cities across the country.” — Mayor Eric Garcetti

Mayor Garcetti is the co-founder of the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda (MNCAA), a network of 75 U.S. “climate mayors” representing 41 million Americans — working together to strengthen local efforts for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting efforts for binding federal and global-level policymaking. Earlier this year, Mayor Garcetti led the release of an EV RFI with 30 MNCAA cities to demonstrate potential demand for over 110,000 electric vehicles, trucks, and equipment for cities. Mayor Garcetti is also Vice Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, an international network of the world’s megacities taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and he has signed the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.

 

 

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Mar 272017
 

LA City Attorney Warns Against Immigration Fraud

 

CITY ATTORNEY FEUER LAUNCHES PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN AGAINST IMMIGRATION CONSULTANT SCAMS, SUPPORTS LEGISLATION TO LICENSE NOTARIOS

 

In the wake of increased action by Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officers, City Attorney Mike Feuer today announced a multi-agency collaboration to educate the public on immigration consultants and to crack down on those who misrepresent the services they may provide under the law. As part of this effort, the City Attorney supports legislation proposed by City Councilwoman Nury Martinez to establish a permitting and enforcement system for immigration consultants.

“Immigration fraud schemes can have devastating and long-lasting impacts on families,” said Feuer. “It’s especially important now, at a time of heightened anxiety in our immigrant communities, to prevent residents who turn to immigration consultants out of desperation from being victimized. My office will continue to work closely with our partners on the City Council and the County to safeguard families’ dreams and hold accountable those who would prey on immigrants’ fears.”

“During such uncertain times, it is unfathomable that people would take advantage of Angelenos who are just trying to take care of their families,” said Councilwoman Nury Martinez. “By establishing a license for immigration consultants, we will be doing two things: Providing a resource of legitimate consultants for people to access; and giving the City the tools necessary to prevent more people from being victimized. Our number one goal must continue to be to protect families in Los Angeles.”

“It is unfortunate that at a time when some of our most vulnerable Angelenos seek immigration advice, they find themselves victims of notario fraud and immigration consultant scams,” stated Councilmember Gil Cedillo. “I thank City Attorney Mike Feuer for his leadership and educational campaign, and Councilwoman Nury Martinez for her motion to regulate notarios in the City of Los Angeles. People’s lives are at stake especially under the Presidency of Donald Trump, and anyone seeking to profit from these misfortunes should be ashamed of themselves,” added Cedillo.

“Fraudulent immigration consultants and ‘notarios’ take advantage of the most vulnerable residents in Los Angeles County,” said County of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs Director Brian J. Stiger. “We stand together with City Attorney Mike Feuer and other partners to fight all types of fraud affecting immigrants.”

The motion, presented by Councilmember Martinez and supported by Feuer and Cedillo, calls for the development of an immigration consultant licensing process through the Office of Finance that will monitor and identify consultants as well as fund investigations. Enforcement and citation of businesses not in compliance with the law would be done by the City Attorney in coordination with the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (LACBCA). The motion would also require all immigration consultants and notaries to comply with all provisions of the California Immigration Consultant Act in order to curb immigration services fraud.

Under current regulations, immigration consultants are not lawyers and have a very limited and specific role in helping someone complete the process to change their immigration status. The limited services immigration consultants can offer include completing immigration forms but can’t tell consumers which forms they need, translating answers without advising consumers what answers to provide, securing supporting documents, submitting forms and making free referrals to licensed attorneys.

The City Attorney and LACBCA have partnered to enforce current laws governing immigration consultants. There are currently several referrals from LACBCA that the City Attorney is reviewing. There is also an ongoing case against Eddie Bonilla, a notario, set for trial next week that alleges violations of unlicensed practice of immigration law that was investigated by LADCBA.

Immigration consultants must give customers a written contract, in English and in the consumer’s language that gives customers a three-day right to cancel it without any charge. Immigration consultants must also post signs to make it clear that they are not licensed attorneys, and they must tell customers that they can’t provide legal advice.

Support for new legislation calling for licensing of consultants is part of an ongoing and comprehensive enforcement and education campaign spearheaded by City Attorney Feuer, the LA County Department of Business and Consumer Affairs, and legal aid organizations to address immigration scams. Individuals who believe they have been a victim of immigration scams should contact the DCBA at (800) 593-8222, or file a complaint DCBA’s website: www.dcba.lacounty.gov.

Consumers can find additional tips and information on the City Attorney’s website http://www.lacityattorney.org/immigration-fraud, and on DCBA’s website: www.dcba.lacounty.gov.

 

 

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