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Wage Law Advocate Named to CRA


Madeline Janis-Aparicio, a leading advocate of Los Angeles' living wage law, was confirmed Friday in her bid to land a spot on the city's redevelopment board.

She was one of several commission appointments the City Council approved for various panels. Janis-Aparicio's appointment to the Community Redevelopment Agency attracted attention, both because of her outspoken views on the wage law and because she is one of several people nominated by Mayor James K. Hahn at the suggestion of labor leaders helping him fight San Fernando Valley and Hollywood secession.

Although the confirmation vote was unanimous, two council members voiced reservations about her appointment.

Councilwoman Jan Perry said she feared that the head of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy might use her new post to stifle development.

Councilman Nate Holden said Janis-Aparicio has been across the table from developers in the past, demanding worker protections and living wages in exchange for supporting their projects.

"Today, if you ask me, you're crossing the line," Holden said. "You're known as an advocate. If you sit on the CRA board, that's a conflict."

Janis-Aparicio said she adds to the diversity of opinion on the board and supports development, as long as it is responsible.

The council also approved the mayor's appointment of Sergio Rascon, business manager of Laborer's Union Local 300, as one of six new members of the Los Angeles Convention and Exhibition Center Authority. Both the city and the county appoint members to the panel, which has no city residence requirement.

Hahn' appointments drew the ire of secession leaders who said none are from the Los Angeles portion of the San Fernando Valley. Rascon is from the city of San Fernando, and Sheldon Lytton is from Calabasas, while the others live south of Mulholland Drive.

"It's a slap in the face of the Valley, where people are already saying they are underrepresented," said Karen Moran, a spokeswoman for the Valley Independence Committee.

Hahn's office defended the appointments.

"Sergio Rascon represents thousands of laborers, many of whom live in the Valley, and the mayor has appointed dozens of Valley residents to other commissions, including police, fire, airports, DWP and planning," spokeswoman Julie Wong said.

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