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February 13, 2013
The city of Los Angeles is facing a deep budget deficit for the seventh consecutive year, and City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana says there is no end in sight. The cost of city services, particularly labor costs, is expected to grow faster than revenue, even as the economy recovers from the 2008-09 recession. The solution, according to Santana and City Council President Herb Wesson, is Proposition A, which would raise the city's sales tax by half a percent. But with voters about to install a new mayor, controller and up to eight new council members, now is not the time to take that step.
February 11, 2013 | Michael Finnegan and James Rainey
City Controller Wendy Greuel has tried to set herself apart from rivals in the Los Angeles mayor's race by casting herself as a frugal budget expert well qualified to lead the city's recovery from chronic cash shortfalls. But her plans for major expansions of the police and fire departments, along with her pledge to abolish the city's business tax, set her apart in a different way: Her agenda would cost Los Angeles far more than anything proposed by her opponents. It would also make it harder to restore recent cuts in sidewalk repairs, tree trimming and other services, or to weather the next economic downturn, experts say. One of the next mayor's toughest tasks will be to close deficits projected to range from $216 million to $327 million a year.
January 25, 2013 | By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
A broad array of political fundraisers and appointees who helped Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa win office and govern the city for eight years is coalescing around mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel, according to a Times analysis of endorsements, campaign contributions and other records. At least 70 current and former Villaraigosa appointees have donated to Greuel's campaign, endorsed her or both - more than twice the number lending support to her leading rival, Councilman Eric Garcetti.
January 19, 2013 | By Rick Rojas, Los Angeles Times
The police officers made their way though the Costa Mesa park known as "ground zero," the crowded hub for the city's homeless, handing out fliers and encouraging people to get on a bus that would take them out of town. Like other cities, Costa Mesa has had a tenuous relationship with its homeless, and many would just as soon they all simply leave. But efforts on this crisp afternoon had a different motivation: They were nudging them to seek shelter from the near-freezing nights that had gripped the area and board a shuttle to the Santa Ana armory.
December 24, 2012 | By Alana Semuels, Los Angeles Times
NEW YORK - The crowd in the Upper West Side bookstore practically cooed when the mayor of Newark, looking like the college football tight end he once was, strode into a book signing and gave the audience a bashful smile. Cory Booker, here because he wrote the forward to a book about homelessness, spent the next half-hour talking about his father's roots in poverty and the kindness of humankind, throwing in references to friends such as entertainer Tyler Perry and author Alice Walker, and, presumably because this is New York, using some Yiddish.
December 16, 2012
Think of last month's election - with its presidential contest, its 11 statewide ballot measures, its additional three countywide questions, the district attorney's race and voters' first full-scale workout with the new district lines and the top-two primary - as kind of a walk-through. For Los Angeles, the big election comes March 5, with voting under way in less than two months. The city is about to undergo a sweeping turnover in municipal government, electing a new mayor, deciding whether to keep or replace the current city attorney, choosing a new controller and electing more than half - the controlling majority - of the City Council.
December 8, 2012 | By Wesley Lowery, Los Angeles Times
The four candidates competing to replace outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa squared off in South Los Angeles on Friday, debating the respective roles that housing, education, city services and budget cuts play in the lives of area residents. The forum at the St. John's Well Child and Family Center was intended to focus on health issues in an area of the city where political power has moved steadily from black to Latino voters. However, the candidates' comments were wide-ranging.
December 3, 2012 | By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
SAN DIEGO - On his last full day as mayor of San Diego, Jerry Sanders did something Sunday that took him back four decades. He rode with a police officer assigned to the 2 p.m. to midnight shift patrolling downtown. In the mid-1970s, fresh out of San Diego State, Sanders was a rookie officer assigned to that same beat. "I came in in a police car, I'm going out in a police car," Sanders, 62, had said with a laugh last week as he stood outside one of his signature achievements of his seven years as mayor: a new central library under construction.
November 8, 2012 | By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times
SAN DIEGO — City Councilman Carl DeMaio conceded defeat Wednesday to U.S. Rep. Bob Filner in the hard-fought race to succeed Mayor Jerry Sanders. DeMaio, 38, a conservative Republican, said he remains proud that he was a leader in the movement to reform the financial practices of city government, including curbing "runaway pension costs" and defeating a sales-tax increase. In unofficial returns, DeMaio trailed Filner, 70, a liberal Democrat, 52% to 48%. DeMaio told supporters that he had called Filner with congratulations.
September 11, 2012 | Catherine Saillant
Los Angeles officials are considering a plan to turn the library card into a form of identification that the city's large illegal immigrant population could use to open bank accounts and access an array of city services. The City Council unanimously voted recently to consider the proposal, which would have Los Angeles join the growing number of cities across the nation that offer various forms of identification to undocumented workers and others who cannot get driver's licenses because of their immigration status.
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