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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 3, 1997 | ERWIN CHEMERINSKY and GEORGE KIEFFER, Erwin Chemerinsky is the chair of the elected Los Angeles Charter Reform Commission. George Kieffer is the chair of the appointed City of Los Angeles Charter Reform Commission
How can Los Angeles government be redesigned to be more responsive to its residents, more effective in delivering services and more efficient? These questions are driving the current efforts to revise the 72-year-old City Charter. There is no doubt that the current charter is in major need of overhaul. Adopted in 1925, the document that governs city affairs has been amended piecemeal more than 400 times and now runs hundreds of pages. Many of its provisions are conflicting or redundant.
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OPINION
July 14, 2013 | By Lindsay Bubar and Sandra Fluke
At the dawn of this nation, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband urging that the Continental Congress "remember the ladies" as the men began to govern. Since there were no female elected leaders at the time, women had little choice but to rely on men to make their voices heard. In Los Angeles, it wasn't until 139 years after Adams' letter that the first woman was elected to the City Council, but since that time many strong, independent women have served on that body. Now, women must once again ask the city's leaders to "remember the ladies" because, deplorably, there is not a single elected woman in Los Angeles city government.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 9, 1999
Citing the need for a fair and even-handed discussion of the issue, City Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski on Tuesday asked her colleagues to create a subcommittee to oversee a study on the San Fernando Valley's proposed secession from Los Angeles.
OPINION
December 24, 2012 | Jim Newton
The work of a local political columnist is critiquing: analyzing which candidates make sense and which don't, explaining which agencies are effective and which aren't. But there is another aspect to reporting on this region's issues: getting to know the good work of people and organizations on the outskirts of Los Angeles government that succeed in easing the city's burdens. With the season in mind, here are a few of those organizations. Homeboy Industries ( http://homeboyindustries.org )
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 9, 1999 | MIGUEL BUSTILLO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Citing the need for a "fair and even-handed" discussion of the issue, Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski asked the City Council on Tuesday to create a subcommittee to oversee an upcoming study on the San Fernando Valley's proposed secession from Los Angeles.
NEWS
February 22, 1998
Over the past two months, The Times solicited the views of thoughtful, civicly engaged observers from various professions and points of view. Each of the 17 men and seven women was asked for their ideas about what works and what does not work in the city, as well as for suggestions on how to improve Los Angeles government and politics. Excerpts from those interviews: Warren M.
NEWS
July 1, 2001 | JIM NEWTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Mayor Richard Riordan leaves Los Angeles better than he found it--safer, more prosperous, more optimistic about its future. It is a city of trimmed trees and repaved roads, better libraries with more books and longer hours. Crime is down from the alarming peaks of the early 1990s, when Los Angeles voters turned their backs on a generation of Democratic rule at City Hall and put the Republican Riordan in the mayor's office.
NEWS
March 2, 1999 | JIM NEWTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Back in 1996, when then-Deputy Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department Bernard C. Parks shocked many local leaders by effectively and very publicly announcing his campaign to unseat his boss, Willie Williams, City Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky sat on the same dais and cheered. Bill Wardlaw was not there that night, but when he heard the details, he smiled, and quietly began working to make Parks' dream come true.
NEWS
August 30, 1992 | FRANK CLIFFORD and RICH CONNELL and STEPHEN BRAUN and Andrea Ford, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Somehow, somewhere along the line, connections had been frayed and confidence lost. Conceived in the ashes of Watts, this was supposed to be a municipal administration built to absorb ethnic shocks. In a city of so many colors, of so much wealth and poverty, it was expected to keep the peace. But on a single evening in late April, the flames that lighted the Los Angeles sky revealed that despite its multiracial hues, Mayor Tom Bradley's model City Hall was powerless to keep the lid on.
OPINION
March 21, 1993
I have watched with interest as one candidate for municipal office after another demonstrates ignorance of the fundamental structure of Los Angeles city government--and the reasons for that structure. Chief among these is the reference to "15 separate fiefdoms," by one mayoral candidate (March 10). The municipal government of Los Angeles was purposely structured so that a mayor can lead the city, but if the mayor fails to lead or is otherwise distracted, the city can continue to function under the plural government of the City Council.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 2011 | By David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times
Andrea Alarcon began exploring the corridors of Los Angeles City Hall at age 8, tagging along with her father as he advised Mayor Tom Bradley on issues in the San Fernando Valley. By the time she was in her teens, she was the girl with braces sitting behind the desk of her dad, City Councilman Richard Alarcon, listening to the speeches of such "big, powerful personalities" as council members Joel Wachs and Jackie Goldberg. Now, as president of the powerful Board of Public Works, the Sylmar resident and single mother has stepped firmly out of her father's shadow.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2011
John Dye Actor best known for 'Touched by an Angel' John Dye, 47, an actor best known for his role as Andrew in the long-running CBS-TV series "Touched by an Angel," was found dead Monday at his home in San Francisco, the San Francisco medical examiner's office confirmed. His brother Jerre told the Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis, Tenn., that Dye died of a heart attack. Dye became a regular on "Touched by an Angel" in 1995 for its second season and starred opposite Roma Downey and Della Reese as heavenly messengers sent to help humans through difficult times.
OPINION
January 13, 2011
Some of Los Angeles' elected leaders are suffering one of their periodic bouts of forgetfulness, this time about what it means to have or avoid a conflict of interest. Over at Los Angeles County, Supervisor Don Knabe thinks it's no big deal that he regularly takes action on matters before him that could benefit clients of his son, lobbyist Matt Knabe. Neither the supervisor nor his lobbyist son makes any apologies for those issues; each says he is merely doing his job. At Los Angeles City Hall, Councilman Dennis Zine showed a tad more sensitivity when he quietly recused himself from a matter before the council that would affect a client of his girlfriend, also a lobbyist.
OPINION
March 1, 2010
Los Angeles began February with revenues falling drastically short of projections, a $212-million budget gap that must be closed by June 30 and the prospect of a budget hole in the coming fiscal year of $484 million. It begins March the same way. But as this page noted a month ago, the City Council's appearance of inaction can be deceiving. The council voted to put off job cuts while it began a 30-day period of its own unique and frequently irritating brand of political theater, speechifying and group therapy, allowing the 15 members to at last confront fiscal reality and take necessary steps to prevent immediate insolvency.
OPINION
November 26, 2008
In the economic collapse now engulfing virtually all Americans, the troubles facing the city of Los Angeles are hardly unusual. Tax revenues are pinched by a slowing economy -- when fewer properties change hands, the city's document-transfer tax revenue falls; when fewer tourists visit, fewer tourists pay hotel taxes; when businesses' receipts shrink, business tax revenue falls off -- while costs for fuel and other supplies remain the same or even grow.
OPINION
August 13, 2008
At the core of the City Charter that Los Angeles voters adopted in June 1999 was one simple goal: to allow the people to hold their elected representatives more completely accountable for their official actions and for the operations of city government. It would be troubling, to say the least, if the charter's enhanced accountability turned out to be so feeble, so vaporous that it could be circumvented by simply moving around the pieces on the city organization chart. Now City Atty.
NEWS
February 22, 1998 | JIM NEWTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Los Angeles City Council is parochial and dim, its members occasionally thoughtful but more often preoccupied with personal political advantage. The mayor is smart and well-intentioned, but he misses opportunities to lead. Civic services are reliably available, but undermined by inefficiency and waste. Residents are poorly represented and disconnected from one another.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 20, 2004 | From a Times Staff Writer
The local chief of Fleishman-Hillard, a multinational public relations firm whose lucrative Los Angeles government contracts have recently been criticized by Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley, is getting a new position. Doug Dowie, who has led Fleishman's Los Angeles office since 1999 and developed a close relationship with Mayor James K. Hahn's administration, is taking charge of the firm's growing public affairs operation throughout California, according to sources familiar with the move.
OPINION
July 27, 2008 | D.J. Waldie, D.J. Waldie, a contributing editor to The Times, is the author of "Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir" and "Where We Are Now: Notes from Los Angeles," among other books.
Los Angeles was sold to 20th century America as the city of sunshine, health and happiness -- the favored place of suburbs, swimming pools, tans and movie stars. But if you needed one number to encapsulate the extravagant promise of L.A., you cited the city's population and marveled at its phenomenal rate of growth. That number was the measure of what we wanted to be and how much this place was desired. It was the one number that defined us.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 20, 2004 | From a Times Staff Writer
The local chief of Fleishman-Hillard, a multinational public relations firm whose lucrative Los Angeles government contracts have recently been criticized by Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley, is getting a new position. Doug Dowie, who has led Fleishman's Los Angeles office since 1999 and developed a close relationship with Mayor James K. Hahn's administration, is taking charge of the firm's growing public affairs operation throughout California, according to sources familiar with the move.
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