Monday, October 26, 2020
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The Los Angeles City council gives the nod to resume parking enforcement starting Oct. 15.

 

The date to reinstate parking enforcement was slated to resume on Thursday, Oct 1., but Councilman Joe Buscaino submitted an amendment to delay the enforcement and use the next two weeks to inform the public on the city’s policy.

 

Today’s vote will allow the city to resume parking enforcement and impounds when applicable for street cleaning, abandoned vehicles, oversize and overnight restrictions, peak-hour and anti-gridlock zones, and expired vehicle registration.

 

Oversized vehicles

In Venice, oversized vehicles have become a problem on many streets.  Mark Ryavc, president of Venice Stakeholders Association, said it took numerous years to remedy OVO’s a few years ago.

 

According to historical information on the Venice Stakeholders website, pressure for permit parking grew dramatically in the late 1990s as the number of RVs and campers in Venice grew to over 250 vehicles.  Efforts to remove oversized vehicles during this time were amplified by numerous instances of the dumping of human waste by RV and camper dwellers in street gutters and even on residents’ lawns and gardens.  Late night noise, loss of parking and use of the vehicles for drug sales and prostitution were also frequently cited by residents.

 

What’s next

On Oct. 15, the city will resume enforcement of expired preferential parking district permits. The council suspended imposing new citation late penalties until Oct. 22.

 

Buscaino’s amendment also delays when the city will impound vehicles when someone is living in them.  The Los Angeles Department of Transportation will need to come up with a plan for next steps on how to deal with this.

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If you didn’t catch the first presidential debate of 2020 tonight — and if you didn’t, and did virtually anything else with that time, congratulations on a restful evening well-spent — you missed a cameo appearance by California.

 

It was after President Donald Trump said that he would — but then ultimately did not — denounce white supremacists and western chauvinist activists. And it also came after former Vice President Joe Biden, refusing to take a position on whether Democrats should pack additional justices onto the Supreme Court, turned to the perpetually interrupting president and asked, “Will you shut up, man? This is so un-presidential.”

 

Debate moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News attempted to raise the quality of discussion during the COVID-19 portion of the evening — “an awfully serious subject,” he reminded the two candidates, “so let’s try to be serious about it.”

 

Alas. Within minutes, Trump was questioning Biden’s academic credentials. “There’s nothing smart about you, Joe.”

 

When California did finally come up, it was ushered onto the stage by Trump, playing its obligatory role as ecotopian basket case and presidential whipping boy.

 

Wallace: “Do you believe that human pollution — gas, greenhouse gas emissions —contributes to the global warming of this planet?”

 

Trump: “I think a lot of things do, but I think to an extent, yes. I think to an extent, yes. But I also think we have to do better management of our forests. Every year I get the call: California’s burning, California’s burning…If you had forest management — good forest management —you wouldn’t be getting those calls.”

 

That half-admission that the globe may be warming thanks to human activity was a softening of the position the president took earlier this month on his visit to a smoke-billowing California. In a televised back-and-forth with state Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot, the president dismissed any concerns about climate changing, insisting that the planet will actually “start getting cooler.”

 

When Crowfoot responded that he wished “science” agreed, the president retorted: “I don’t think science knows actually.”

 

This is now the third year running that President Trump has responded to historically catastrophic wildfires in California by blaming the state for poor forest management.

 

Most foresters and ecologists agree that overly aggressive fire suppression and inadequate management of dead trees has, along with climate change, created the preconditions for the state’s chronic wildfire problem. One wrinkle: The State of California only manages 3% of the forest land here. About half is managed by the federal government.

 

The president also touched on his administration’s ongoing legal battle with California over national fuel economy standards for cars and the state’s tailpipe emission restrictions. The president repeated his administration’s consistent line on the subject: Environmental mileage regulations make new cars more expensive, leading more older, less efficient clunkers on the road and leading, in fact, to higher overall emissions.

 

When it was Biden’s turn to respond, he pivoted away from California by name. But running through the bullet points of his campaign’s environmental plan, the list sounded familiar to Californians: spurring the adoption of electric trucks by building out a network of charging stations, incentivizing renewable energy production, and achieving a goal of “net zero emissions” from the national electricity grid by 2035.

 

For the record, Trump chimed in that he is “all for electric cars.” But, he added, “what they’ve done in California is just crazy.” That was likely an attempt to make political hay of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order last week calling for the phasing out of gasoline-powered cars by 2035.

 

And when the topic came to voting-by-mail, the president lambasted the decision by states such as California to automatically send mail ballots to all active, registered voters — repeating the oft-debunked claim that voting by mail is a recipe for voter fraud.

 

But it wasn’t all ragging on Democrat-dominated California.

 

During his riff on the state’s wildfire problem, Trump noted that he was “getting along very well with the governor” of California.

 

And earlier on in the debate, Trump gave another friendly nod of sorts to Newsom — although not by name.

 

Reminiscing about the early months of the coronavirus outbreak, when Trump and Newsom very publicly and uncharacteristically made nice, Trump reflected: “Many of your Democrat governors said President Trump did a phenomenal job,” he said to Biden. “People that would not necessarily be on my side said that.”

Simi Aliu and Kinikia Gardner, from LA City Planning, presented their current draft of the updates to the Venice Community Plan. Click here to view plan 

 

According to Ms. Gardner, the goal of the plan ” is to try to move the needle as to inclusivity and diversity on the Westside.  We want to provide opportunities for people to live on Westside and incentivize affordable housing.”

 

This would be accomplished by allowing multiple unit buildings where none are allowed now, with the city mandating a certain percentage of affordable units in new developments.  She also stated that “finding places to house people is a big priority for the city.  And we cannot plan for “as is” because world has changed in 50 years.”

 

As previously reported here, the changes to the current plan are significant and include:

 

–   Oakwood would simultaneously be declared an “cultural heritage district” and be opened up to multi-family housing with height limits up to four stories (the updates go by stories rather than feet, something several public commenters found “deceptive”).

 

– Lincoln Blvd. would be declared a “mixed use corridor” with development encouraged up to seven stories, and residential development allowed adjacent to it going up to four stories. Rose Avenue, Abbot Kinney and Ocean Front Walk would be similarly zoned, with development encouraged up to four stories, and Washington Blvd. would allow for new structures between 6-10 stories.

 

– Windward Avenue would become a “pedestrian promenade and plaza”.

 

In advance of the meeting, the East Venice Neighborhood Association issued a lengthy letter listing many of their concerns, and a number of their members were in attendance to reiterate these.

 

In addition to frustration with height restrictions that are spelled out not in feet but in stories, there are many concerns with the methodology used to determine how much affordable housing is needed, the impact this greatly increased density will have on Venice’s infrastructure, and whether or not this rush to density takes into appropriate consideration the impacts of climate change and risk of flooding in the coastal zone.

 

Also prior to the meeting, LUPC met and passed a number of motions, including one requesting a 30 day extension of the time granted stakeholders to submit comments and concerns (the deadline is currently set for October 15th) and another requesting a second presentation with more specific and inclusive information.

 

Board commentary included Barry Cassally recommending City Planning looking at historical density and upzoning in order to determine best practices for density restoration and Chris Zonnas reminding the planners that they absolutely must preserve Venice’s special character.

 

LUPC Chair Alix Glucovsky remarked that “nature always wins”, and that, since 1986, Washington Boulevard has twice been subjected to coastal flooding — something to consider when allowing Miami-style, high-rise development so close to the shore.

 

The presenters stated that they are looking at holding a Community Town Hall in 2021, with more meetings to come in October.  They also stated that, although they are working at an accelerated pace because “the Mayor wants it done”, in all likelihood this will not be finished by the end of 2021 due to time constraints put on City Planning Staff by the current pandemic.

 

Venetians are encouraged to submit comments and questions to Simi.aliu@lacity.org and Kinikia.gardner@lacity.org, and to keep an eye on the VNC calendar for upcoming informational meetings and other outreach.

If you are not already signed up to receive alerts and disaster notifications, now is the time to get that done.

 

On Sept 17, a 4.6-magnitude earthquake shook parts of Los Angeles.

 

Although the earthquake did little damage, CaL OES  is urging residents to be prepared.

 

 

Here’s what you need to know:

 

Why are Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) important to me?

Alerts received at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency. With WEA, warnings can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way, without the need to download an app or subscribe to a service.

 

 What are WEA messages?

 

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier.

 

 What types of alerts will I receive? 

 

Extreme weather, and other threatening emergencies in your area.  AMBER Alerts, Presidential Alerts during a national emergency.

 

What does a WEA message look like?

 

WEA will look like a text message. The WEA message will show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert. The message will be no more than 90 characters.

 

How will I know the difference between WEA and a regular text message?

 

WEA messages include a special tone and vibration, both repeated twice.

 

What types of WEA messages will the National Weather Service (NWS) send? 

Tsunami Warnings, Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings , Hurricane, Typhoon, Dust Storm and Extreme Wind Warnings

 

What should I do when I receive a WEA message?

Follow any action advised by the message. Seek more details from local media or authorities.

 

Earthquakes

What is earthquake early warning?

 

Although no one can reliably predict earthquakes, the technology exists to rapidly detect seismic waves as an earthquake happens, calculate the maximum expected shaking, and send alerts to surrounding communities before damaging shaking arrives; this is Earthquake Early Warning.

 

Why do we need Earthquake Early Warning?

 

Timely warnings of an earthquake could provide seconds to nearly a minute to take protective action such as taking cover in safe locations, stopping elevators and opening doors at the nearest floor, or automatically stopping critical processes to mitigate damages or to enhance public safety.

 

What are the benefits of earthquake early warning?

 

Scientists cannot predict earthquakes, but rapid alerts sent to government officials, first responders, and the public about a potentially damaging earthquake could reduce deaths, injuries, and property losses. Timely warnings that a major earthquake is occurring could provide a few seconds to up to two minutes depending on the size of the earthquake and your distance from the epicenter. That is enough time for students, commuters, workers and others to take protective action:

  • Public: Allow citizens, including school children, to drop, cover, and hold on; turn off stoves, safely stop vehicles.
  • Medical Services: Allow surgeons, dentists, and others to stop delicate procedures.
  • Emergency Services: Open firehouse doors, allow personnel to prepare and prioritize response decisions.
  • Businesses and Construction: Enable personnel to move to safe locations, elevators could be programmed to stop and open their doors at the nearest floor when an earthquake warning is received could prevent occupants from being stranded, sensitive equipment could be placed in a safe mode, chemicals and other hazardous materials could be secured, and production lines could be shut down to reduce damage.
  • Transportation: Automatically trigger the slowing or stopping of trains to avoid derailing, clear bridge traffic, inbound aircraft could be automatically advised to divert to other airports.
  • Power Infrastructure: Help electrical generation facilities to prepare for strong shaking and protect the grid.

Southern California will see increased risk of fire with hot temperatures and Santa Ana winds on Tuesday.

 

A heat advisory will remain in effect through Thursday, according to the National Weather Service..

 

Downtown Los Angeles is expected to reach 101 degrees Wednesday, Malibu 84, Palos Verdes 87, and Pasadena 101.

 

Strong high pressure over the coast will dominate the weather for the week brining dry and hot conditions. Wednesday will be the hottest day with temperatures as high as upper 80s-90’s in the coastal region.

 

Temperatures will be cool again by Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

 



		

Venice residents are invited on Tuesday Sept. 29, to participate in the Land Use Planning Committee (LUPC) to talk about the  community plan process.

 

LUPC, co-sponsored by the Outreach Committee, has invited the Dept. of City Planning for a virtual meeting to get specific ideas and questions answered and heard.

 

What you need to know:

 

The meeting till be held Tuesday, September 29, at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

Link:  https://www.venicenc.org

 

These community plans when adopted by the City Council will determine land use for the next 20-25 years.

 

How to get your comments heard:

 

Write & send in your comments prior to the meeting to chair-lupc@venicenc.org, or directly to Dept. of City Planning Kinikia.Gardner@lacity.org  

 

Here’s some of what they’re currently proposing:

 

Up to 10 story buildings on Washington Blvd.  Abbott Kinney possible diagonal parking/ 1-4 stories. 7 stories on Lincoln Blvd. Converting Windward into a Pedestrian Promenade. Up-zoning in some of the single family home areas so that residential lots can be split and made as duplexes East of Lincoln  up to 4 stories. Oakwood to become a Cultural Heritage District. Increases in residential height limits to allow for 3-4 stories. Road Diets, and more

 

Here are some questions that they have not considered while increasing height and density:

Communities providing their fair share of new housing but haven’t addressed if actual current density has been taken into account. They are also not addressing the impact of future housing growth and density on our local infrastructure. If they want more density, can our streets handle it? Do we have the infrastructure for more cars? And just how many toilets can we flush here in Venice without massive infrastructure changes as well?

 

ZOOM MEETING INFORMATION:
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
https://zoom.us/j/93015525053

Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +16699006833,,95256031705# or +13462487799,,95256031705#

Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 929 205 6099 or
+1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or 888 475 4499 (Toll Free) or 833 548 0276 (Toll Free) or 833 548 0282 (Toll Free) or 877 853 5257 (Toll Free)

Webinar ID: 952 5603 1705

International numbers available:

https://zoom.us/u/ abgCewO6Al

 

 

Direct Links for City Planning Updates:

https://planning.lacity.org/plans-policies/community-plan-update/planning-westside

 

https://planning.lacity.org/odocument/e5dff6ba-719d-4583-bd10-31031f7d0a3e/Venice_Land_Use_Draft_Concept_Boards_Summer2020.pdf

 

https://planning.lacity.org/plans-policies/community-plan-update/westside-events/draft-concepts-westside-plans-webinars

A motion to offer a reward to anyone who knows anything about Venice’s recent encampment fires is headed to the Los Angels City Council for a vote. 

 

In the Motion, Councilmember Mike Bonin asks the City for a $25,000 reward leading to the identification, apprehension and conviction of any person responsible for any of Venice’s alleged arson acts starting in September.

 

The motion was approved by the Homeless and Poverty Committee on Wednesday, Sept 23. 

 

Bonin says that while fires in homeless encampments are often accidentally started when heating or cooking fires spread, there have been reports that some of the recent fires in Venice have are set deliberately.

 

Two documented homeless on homeless fires

The Los Angeles Police Department arrested an unhoused person connected with a fire on Sept 17 on Ocean Front Walk. The arrest was made after a witness recorded an unhoused person set a neighbors tent on fire.

Then on Sept 12, an argument broke out at the Rose-Penmar encampment.  During the argument someone attempted to light another person’s tent on fire. A nearby resident documented the incident. 

Alleged arson fires

According to Bonin, reports indicate that someone set the Sept 14, Rose-Penmar fire and the Sept 15 Sunset Fire.

 

Bonin also states that residents of an encampment on Third Ave reported that some of their tents were doused by gasoline in the early morning hours of Sept 10. A subsequent fire broke out at 300 3rd Ave on Sept 25, at 12:30 a.m.. This was the second time in a week that a fire took place at that location.   

 

From LAFD

In an interview with the Los Angeles Fire Department for a previous story about the fires, LAFD Deputy Chief Armando Hogan informed The Venice Current that the fires were possibly the results of cooking and warming in the encampments.

 

After a press release was sent out by Bonin’s office alleging the arson, a follow-up email was sent to the LAFD for clarification.

 

The response to that email read; there is no investigation taking place; however, the LAFD is monitoring the activities to determine if/when an investigation can occur.

 

“Without suspects or witnesses, it is difficult to investigate. However, we urge residents to keep recording/filming and hopefully, LAFD’s Arson investigators will be able to determine the true cause and culprits. For the most part, as Chief Hogan stated, the Department knows these fires are possibly the results of cooking and warming in the encampments.”

 

The email stated that the LAFD will continue to respond quickly to provide medical aid and fire suppression service.

Read through the voter handbook for California’s November election, and a name pops up over and over again: Alice Huffman. As leader of the California NAACP, Huffman has weighed in with positions that critics say run counter to the historic civil rights organization’s mission to advance racial equality in education, housing and criminal justice.

 

Should voters raise commercial property taxes to pour billions of dollars into schools? Should they make it easier for cities to pass rent control ordinances? Should California outlaw the use of cash bail?

 

No, no and no, Huffman argues in the ballot handbook, where she is repeatedly identified as president of the California State Conference of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).

 

What the guide doesn’t tell voters is that Huffman’s political consulting firm has been paid more than $1.2 million so far this year by ballot measure campaigns that she or the California NAACP has endorsed. She’s been paid by campaigns funded by commercial property owners fighting the tax increase, corporate landlords opposed to expanding rent control and bail bondsmen who want to keep the cash bail system.

 

Huffman’s dual roles as both a paid campaign consultant and leader of a vaunted civil rights group amount to an unusual — but legal — arrangement. Though she has held both positions for many years, Huffman was especially sought after this year, as political campaigns respond to the national reckoning over race and frame many of their messages with themes of justice and equity. The small firm Huffman runs with her sister is being paid by five ballot measure campaigns this year, public records show — more than it has taken on in previous elections. Many of them are funded by corporate interests at war with labor unions.

 

While it’s common for political campaigns to hire strategists to help them communicate with specific constituencies, those consultants usually do not come with a brand as well-known as the NAACP is for its work fighting discrimination over the last century. Huffman’s approach — making money from the campaigns that also wind up with an NAACP seal of approval — is stirring controversy in some Black communities. Critics say it appears the endorsement of the renowned civil rights organization is essentially up for sale.

 

“I feel like it’s a conflict of interest and I think it’s misleading to the public,” said Carroll Fife, an officer of the Oakland chapter of the NAACP who disagrees with the state organization on several ballot measure endorsements. “It’s unfortunate. Politics is gross.”

 

Fife works as the executive director of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, a nonprofit that is campaigning for Proposition 15 to raise commercial property taxes and boost funding for schools. She also supports Prop. 21 to make it easier for cities to expand rent control, and says both measures would help California’s Black communities. Two-thirds of Black households in the state are renters, census data shows, and many Black students are concentrated in high-poverty schools.

 

Huffman declined to be interviewed for this article, as did other members of the California NAACP executive board.

In the ballot handbook, Huffman argues the measures would hurt low-income Californians because commercial property owners would pass their higher costs onto consumers and small-business tenants, and expanded rent control could shrink the supply of affordable housing. Huffman’s Sacramento-based firm, AC Public Affairs, has been paid $590,000 so far by the No on Prop. 15 campaign and $280,000 by the No on Prop. 21 campaign, public records show.

 

“She has the right to make money as we all do,” said Anthony Thigpenn, a community organizer in Los Angeles who heads the California Calls advocacy group and supports Prop. 15. “But when it’s something that’s using a community-based organization’s brand, and particularly when it’s taking positions… that are not in the interest of the communities that organization has advocated for and championed, that is disappointing and sad.”

 

Thigpenn said he believes increasing commercial property taxes with the so-called “split-roll” approach in Prop. 15 is a matter of racial justice.

 

“Black communities in California suffer most from the lack of funding for schools and community colleges, which are typically gateways for people to have career paths and livable wages and good jobs,” he said.


Well-known in Sacramento as a political powerhouse with a career that’s spanned some 50 years, Huffman worked for then-Gov. Jerry Brown in the 1970s. She became close with Willie Brown during the 1980s and 1990s, when he was Assembly speaker and she was a lobbyist for the California Teachers Association. She opened her public affairs firm in 1988, and was elected president of the California NAACP in 1999. Her firm helps political campaigns build coalitions and get their messages out through media, advertising and a newsletter called the “Minority News.” Many of the messages feature Huffman and her role with the NAACP.

Over the years, Huffman’s consulting business and the California NAACP’s endorsements have aligned many times. As she was paid by Indian tribes, pharmaceutical companies and cigarette makers trying to pass or defeat ballot measures in the early 2000s, the California NAACP endorsed those campaigns. The same thing happened in 2018, when Huffman’s firm was paid nearly $900,000 by the campaign fighting a rent control measure, and $90,000 by dialysis companies opposing an initiative that would have increased their cost of doing business.

 

Both measures failed in 2018 but are back on the ballot this year, and the campaigns trying to defeat them have again hired Huffman. Michael Bustamante, a spokesman for the campaign against the Prop. 21 rent control measure, said Huffman is motivated by what’s best for Black Californians.

 

“In 2018, she was passionate in her opposition to Prop. 10 because of what it would do to the African American community,” he said, referring to opponents’ argument that more rent control would drive up the cost of housing by discouraging developers from building.

 

“Over and over again she talked about how homeownership… enables African American families to get a toehold to better their future.”

“I feel like it’s a conflict of interest and I think it’s misleading to the public.”

CARROLL FIFE, OAKLAND NAACP OFFICER

Bustamante, who is also a spokesperson for the campaign against raising commercial property taxes, said in a statement that “the NAACP took its position in opposition to Prop. 15 based on clear facts that they outlined in their March 2nd report,” which says social justice advocates should be concerned that the measure would increase costs for consumers and doesn’t do enough to protect small businesses.

 

Campaign finance records show the anti-Prop. 15 campaign made its first payment to Huffman’s firm, of $70,000, on Feb. 25.

 

The campaign funded by dialysis companies opposing an initiative that would require their clinics to have a doctor on site hired Huffman to educate African American voters “about the dangers of Prop. 23,” said campaign spokesperson Kathy Fairbanks.

 

“Prop. 23 is particularly dangerous for communities of color because they suffer from kidney disease and need dialysis at higher rates,” she said in a statement. “Prop. 23 would force the shutdown of many clinics, jeopardizing the life-saving dialysis patients need.”

 

Huffman has told reporters in the past that she only takes on political clients whose campaigns are aligned with the California NAACP’s positions. But it’s not clear how the organization arrives at endorsement decisions. Its website doesn’t explain a procedure and hasn’t posted ballot measure endorsements since the 2016 election. CalMatters contacted its six statewide executive committee members including Huffman; three of them declined interview requests and three did not return messages.

 

Fife, the Oakland NAACP officer, said her local chapter doesn’t know how the statewide conference decides what to endorse.

 

“It’s not transparent,” she said.

Carroll Fife, housing advocate and officer for the Oakland chapter of the NAACP, supports Prop 15. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters
Carroll Fife, housing advocate and officer for the Oakland chapter of the NAACP, believes Huffman’s pay from ballot measure campaigns is a conflict of interest. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

The president of the San Jose chapter of the NAACP said he had been reprimanded by the state conference for recently writing an op-ed supporting Prop. 15, the split-roll property tax measure. Rev. Jethroe Moore II said he wrote the piece to express his personal opinion, and was surprised to see his affiliation with the San Jose NAACP included when it was published.

 

“These are my personal beliefs,” he said. “Alice is the president of the statewide NAACP and all the branches understand they have to support the positions that they take. I accept my responsibility for stepping out as an individual person in the community to take my stand as an American citizen.”

 

Huffman’s been re-elected president of the state conference several times, according to her bio. Delegates from local NAACP chapters vote for state officers every other year, the group’s bylaws state.

 

The national office of the NAACP did not respond to several requests for comment. In the past, it has criticized state chapters for advocating for energy policies that benefit their corporate donors at the expense of the safety of Black neighborhoods. The New York Times cited Huffman’s signature on a 2018 letter opposing a renewable energy program as part of a trend that led the NAACP national office to publish a report on the “Top 10 Manipulation Tactics of the Fossil Fuel Industry.”


Racial equity has emerged as a theme in several campaigns on the California ballot this fall, including some that the NAACP has not weighed in on. Prop. 17 would grant voting rights to people who are on parole following a prison sentence. Though it was a priority for the Legislature’s Black caucus — because African Americans make up 26% of the parole population but only 6% of California adults — the NAACP has not publicly endorsed Prop. 17.

 

On the other hand, the NAACP has endorsed the campaign aiming to maintain the cash bail system that some advocates see as unfair to many people of color. The No on Prop. 25 campaign, funded by the bail bonds industry, is asking voters to overturn a law that would end the use of money in determining who goes free while awaiting trial. It has paid Huffman $45,000 so far this year.

 

State Sen. Steve Bradford, vice chair of the Black caucus, said he’s surprised both that the California NAACP is opposed to eliminating cash bail, and that it has not taken a position on whether parolees should have the right to vote.

 

“I would hope that in the next 40 days they would weigh in strongly because the NAACP was founded on securing the right to vote for people of color,” said Bradford, a Los Angeles Democrat who describes himself as a longtime NAACP member.

Bradford said he supports Prop. 25 to eliminate cash bail because “it’s created somewhat of a debtors prison where poor folks are in jail, while rich folks can post bail for more serious crimes and be scot-free until their day in court.”

 

Alice Huffman, leader of the California NAACP, speaks at the Capitol to oppose a proposition that would raise commercial property taxes to help fund schools. Jan. 8, 2020. Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters

Though ending the use of money bail has been a goal for progressives, the final version of the California law wound up splintering the left because it leaves a lot of discretion to judges. In the ballot argument against Prop. 25, Huffman argues that the risk analysis that would replace bail in determining if someone has to be locked up before trial amounts to “computer profiling [that] has been shown to discriminate against minorities and people from neighborhoods with higher concentrations of immigrants and low-income residents.”

 

Huffman has also appeared in ads urging voters to support Prop. 22, a campaign funded by Uber, Lyft and Doordash that seeks an exemption from state labor law allowing them to treat their drivers as independent contractors instead of employees. She was featured in an email Uber sent to its customers titled “Why communities of color support Prop. 22.” And she wrote an op-ed in the Observer, a Black newspaper in Southern California, saying the Legislature failed Black and Brown gig workers by passing the labor law that Prop. 22 seeks to change.

 

“In the face of such indifference to the economic wellbeing of people of color, the only response is action,” she wrote. “If the politicians won’t stand up for us, we have to stand up for ourselves by passing Prop. 22.”

 

Huffman’s public affairs firm has been paid $85,000 so far by the Yes on Prop. 22 campaign.

 

“Alice Huffman is working with the Yes on Prop. 22 campaign to support outreach efforts in communities of color because of the significant impact the loss of app-based rideshare and delivery services will have on Black and Brown Californians,” campaign spokesperson Geoff Vetter said by email.

“As a Black woman, I know well that the Black community is not a monolith.”

APRIL D. VERRETT, SEIU LOCAL 2015 UNION PRESIDENT

Though Huffman spent much of her career with the teachers union, her consulting work now consists largely of helping corporate campaigns that are fighting against organized labor. Unions are against changing the labor law with Prop. 22, and for raising commercial property taxes with Prop. 15, adding new requirements on dialysis clinics with Prop. 23 and ending cash bail with Prop. 25.

 

April D. Verrett, president of the SEIU Local 2015 union that represents nursing home workers, said she has never been involved with the NAACP and doesn’t expect all Black voters to see issues the same way.

 

“As a Black woman, I know well that the Black community is not a monolith,” she said.

 

Still, in her mind, several questions on the ballot — money for schools, overhauling the bail system, repealing the ban on affirmative action and granting voting rights to parolees — should galvanize voters who want to advance racial justice.

 

“All of these inequities disproportionately affect people of color,” Verrett said. “Our country seems to want to have a real conversation about race and inequities. This election in California gives us an opportunity to really begin changing things.”

 

But ballot measures can be confusing, and deciding how to vote on them is difficult for many voters, said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School of Los Angeles.

 

“Endorsements really matter because you can’t look at a living breathing candidate and assess them,” she said. “So voters use helpers to try to figure out (how to vote) — and a lot of voters just look to a couple of people or organizations that they trust and that is how they make their decision.”

 

While it’s legal for campaigns to pay for endorsements, Levinson said, voters should be told when that’s the case. Otherwise, she said, “it robs voters of a meaningful ability to assess how they’re going to vote, if these endorsements are just paid for.”

The Los Angeles Police Department arrest the man they say is a person of interest in the sexual assault case that took place near the Venice Pier.

 

Kwan Dante Adams, 24, was taken into custody on Saturday, according to police.

 

Adams  is as a person of interest in the Sept. 8 attack that left a woman unconscious suffering from severe head trauma,  according to LAPD.

Related post: LAPD looking for person on interest in Venice Pier assault case

 

Detectives with LAPD’s Gang and Narcotics Division, Fugitive Warrants Section took Adams  into custody without incident. He was booked on an outstanding robbery arrest warrant, according to police.

 

No other details, including the condition of the victim, have been released by police as the investigation continues.

 

Adams was also wanted on a felony armed robbery charge.

 

Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-222-8477

The Venice Chamber of Commerce and its members are hard at work making our community a clean place to live.

 

The VCC Chamber in Action Committee launched its first Pop-Up Crew to clean up litter on Ocean Front Walk on Sept 19,  for National Clean Up Day.

 

Organized and coordinated by VCC board member and committee chair Brennan Lindner, the group of eight volunteers worked along Ocean Front Walk from Windward to Dudley and for two hours picked up a total of 10 bags of trash, according to a press release. Passersby thanked the crew for their work as they made their way down the route.

 

Lindner, a Venice resident since 2007, was driven to start the pop up crews after noticing  an accumulation of trash around Venice in recent months. Finding this unacceptable, and with a little more time on his hands since his company Generic Events had to pivot to the virtual world, he decided it was time to take charge rather than wait for the City to do something. “It’s a great way for stakeholders to be active in their community and make a direct impact where you can immediately see results,” said Lindner.

 

Pop-up cleaning crew on Ocean Front Walk. Photo courtesy of Venice Paparazzi

Working in small groups for social distancing, Chamber in Action pop-up crews will be visiting different areas around Venice in the coming months to pick up trash, initially once a month, and expanding to more frequently should there be sufficient volunteer support. So if you happen to be out and about in the early hours of a quiet Venice morning and you see our pop-up crews working, wander on by and say hi. 

 

 

The VCC Chamber in Action Committee brings Chamber members and the community together to work on improving local businesses and communities through service and facilitation in an attempt to make lasting, positive change.  Email inquiries for submitting and project application to info@venicechamber.net More info: https://venicechamber.net/committees/chamber-in-action-committee/

 

The Venice Chamber of Commerce is an organization of business leaders who actively serve as advocates for the ever-growing Venice business community. Through dynamic networking events and diverse committees, we support the interests of area businesses and contribute to improving the vitality of the local economy; positioning Venice as the “creative soul” of Los Angeles. To learn more about the Venice Chamber, visit www.venicechamber.net