Much of the debate in the San Fernando Valley contest between Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman has revolved around their congressional records, but I’m having trouble deciphering them. And if it’s hard for me, after spending years writing about legislation, pity the interested voter. In their years in Congress — 29 for Berman, 15 for Sherman — they have cast many votes and introduced bills, either as a main author or collaborator. Because there’s a public record of this activity, you’d think it would be easy to look it up, rather than rely on the candidates’ speeches, charges and counter charges.
No doubt Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman will be confronted with questions about Iran as they campaign in the new West San Fernando Valley 30th Congressional District. Iran is likely to come up as they speak at meetings and debates and through the online messages and mailings that will besiege voters in the expensive, high-profile battle between these two candidates with remarkable similarities in their views and even their names.
Bill Boyarsky’s recent column discussing the Republican Presidential candidates’ support for Israel provides a stark example of the dangers of proffering an opinion founded on stereotypes
“A great school is an anchor for a neighborhood,” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. “A great school district is an anchor for a great city.”
Zev Yaroslavsky’s latest nation-building assignment wasn’t easy. Dispatched to Nigeria as part of an international corps of election observers, he checked on polling places during elections this month in a nation better known for ethnic violence and corruption than orderly changes in government.
When Susan Kent was a child in Westchester County, N.Y., she read her way through the public library children’s section and then headed over to the adult books. When the librarian told Kent they were for adults only, she called in her father. “My father came to the library and said, ‘She can read anything she wants,’ ” Kent recalled.
I’ve covered the ugly side of race relations in Los Angeles for many years. Among my memories are the Watts Riots, the 1992 riot, the public school desegregation
fight and the breakup of the Tom Bradley black-Jewish political coalition.
These days no judge is safe from the assault of the religious right, anti-government crusaders and law and order zealots.
Letters to the Editor.
Letters to the Editor.
As Antonio Villaraigosa campaigns for mayor in the Jewish community, he will face the same big question asked by all non-Latino voters: Are you too Mexican?
The question is especially important to Jews, because our community's long-time relationship with Latino and African American Los Angeles has been a powerful force in the city's history.
The faint of heart should not apply for this job: Needed, a sensitive but thick-skinned person who can get along with a combative mixture
of Los Angeles' Jews, blacks, whites, Asians, Latinos, Catholics, Baptists, Muslims, students, retired people, lawyers, doctors, homeless and many, many more.
Letters to the Editor.
"I will concede that conservative Jewish Republicans like myself are in the minority, especially out here on the Left Coast," reader Gillee Sherman e-mailed me. "But we are growing in numbers every day, and this election should see a huge improvement for Bush in the Jewish community."
The Republicans are praying that President Bush's embrace of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Gaza withdrawal plan will sway the Jewish vote.
The angry man in the back of the room at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana was shaking his fist and calling us crooks.
I made a big mistake -- eye contact. With me in his range, he raised his hand, and I think his middle finger, and yelled, "You!" Being a city ethics commissioner, I didn't think I should be called a crook in public.
As both a Los Angeles city ethics commissioner and a Jewish community journalist, I was in a skeptical mood as I took a seat in the audience of a discussion on "Jewish Ethical Values in the Halls of Power: From the Board Room to the Council Chamber."
When I arrived in Los Angeles, I was drawn to Boyle Heights, a Latino community that had once been the home of Los Angeles Jewish radical life.
It wasn't that I was looking for Eastside, left-wing Jewish roots. I didn't have any. When my grandparents lived in Los Angeles before moving north, they had a grocery store in Eagle Rock and later one near Bunker Hill. My mother commuted to UCLA by bus and streetcar to attend the first classes on the Westwood campus.
The crowd in front of the Jewish Republicans' booth didn't approach the size of those at some of the better food stands at the Israel's Independence Day celebration at Woodley Park in the San Fernando Valley. Still, it was big enough to interest me after having watched the GOP's long courtship of Jews; for years, it's been a romance that sometimes reached the engagement party but usually fell short of the chuppah.