San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has asked the city to cover his legal fees for a sexual harassment lawsuit, according to an agenda released by the city council.
In any town across the country, a city council meeting can feel a lot like ground zero for American democracy: One by one, residents approach the podium and address the decision-makers with suggestions or grievances. With a few changes, a similar scene could have played out in a medieval English shire or a 19th century Polish shtetl.
What do the recent city elections that saw Jews step into the three top citywide offices — mayor, city attorney and city controller — mean for the role of the Jewish community in Los Angeles?
In the first debate between the two remaining Los Angeles mayoral candidates, City Controller Wendy Greuel and City Councilman Eric Garcetti attempted to convince voters there are significant differences between them, even as the two veteran politicians took identical positions on one issue after another.
The Reform leadership organization Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) honored 33 CCAR rabbis who have performed 50 years of service in the rabbinate.
Looking back on her three decades of work in and around Los Angeles’ public sector, it would be easy to conclude that Wendy Greuel has been preparing to run for mayor for a long time.
Someone in the audience asked the mayoral candidates about the county’s foster children program. Eric Garcetti answered in a particularly well-informed manner, mentioning that he and his wife have cared for seven foster children.
In an interview with The Journal on Thursday, Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said that he hasn’t spent much time yet thinking specifically about what he’s going to devote his time and energy to after he leaves public office at the end of his term in 2014, but he said he will continue to work in the areas that have been priorities for him -- especially helping to address the needs of the homeless and providing healthcare to those who cannot afford insurance.
I asked City Council member Jan Perry, a candidate for mayor of Los Angeles, if she was on a spiritual quest when she converted to Judaism. “Right,” she replied. “Your question is a good way to put it.”
Chabad of North Hollywood, an Orthodox congregation in Sherman Oaks whose expansion project set off a four-year dispute with a group of neighbors unhappy about the proposed new building’s size, returned to the Los Angeles City Council on June 27 for a second time to seek approval for the plans for their now partially built 12,000-square-foot new home.
L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz, who said he was “tempted” to “clock” a commenter who gave a Nazi salute and called out “Heil Hitler” during the April 10 City Council meeting, is now expressing regret over his response.
Washington Mayor Vincent Gray has settled a lawsuit brought against the District of Columbia by a local rabbi over the date of special elections.
Montreal's city council has condemned the boycott campaign against a local shoe store that sells footwear made in Israel. A council motion deploring the campaign, proposed and supported by Mayor Gerard Tremblay, passed Tuesday by a vote of 38 to 16.
After school, Joey Freeman doesn't have much free time. He's got homework to contend with from his classes at Milken Community High School. He's slogging through a heap of college applications. And, oh, yeah -- he's also helping to run an entertainment industry executive's campaign for Los Angeles City Council.
If you want to really annoy Adeena Bleich, just ask her what it feels like to be a young Orthodox woman running for City Council. I know, because when we sat
down recently for lunch at Shiloh's, the first thing I asked her is what it felt like to be a young Orthodox woman running for City Council.
Real estate developer Sev Aszkenazy recently settled a lawsuit with the city of San Fernando over a liquor permit he was denied for a planned steak house. He said the denial was due, in part, to anti-Semitic bias.
David Nahai is an environmentalist and an attorney, not an engineer, and his major previous management challenge was running a 15-employee law firm. But he is the man Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa tapped take on the $304,000-a-year job as general manager of the Department of Water and Power, the nation's largest -- and frequently troubled -- public municipal utility. He's also the first ever to helm the DWP without decades of experience in either the utility business or city government.
Today, Jews remain a key constituency in Los Angeles politics and generate plenty of strong candidates. The dramatic rise of Latinos in local politics, though, has carved out another niche for minority candidates that once largely belonged to African Americans.
When Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took office on July 1, he could have handed out thank-yous to groups all over the city for his Election Day drubbing of incumbent Mayor James Hahn.
Jews, in all their local permutations, were a big part of Villaraigosa's victory: Orthodox Jews, Valley Jews, Westside liberal Jews -- and also the politically emerging community of Iranian Jews.
"The Iranian Jewish community is very much a part of this city," said David Nahai, a Century City attorney. "What happens to Los Angeles happens to us and so we have a deeply vested interest in the outcome of this race."
Only recently have many prominent Iranian Jews in Southern California become more involved in political races -- after realizing the impact elected officials have on their business interests, which for many include substantial real estate holdings.
For the first time since 1971, the City Council's 2nd District will elect a new representative. The winner of the Dec. 11 election will fill the seat of Joel Wachs, who left the position in October to head an arts foundation in New York.
There will be no Jews on the Board of Police Commissioners if the L.A. City Council confirms Mayor Hahn's appointees, as it is expected to do this month.
Jews may provide the swing vote in next week's tight race for the City Council's 5th District between the well-known Tom Hayden and newcomer Jack Weiss.
In a race that has enough candidates for a minyan, the fight for the 5th District City Council seat being vacated by city attorney hopeful Mike Feuer became even tougher following the Jan. 12 addition of Tom Hayden. With the former state senator expected to win a plurality in the April 10 primary, speculation is now limited to which of the other 10 candidates will face Hayden in the June 5 general election.
During the early years of the 20th century, a jour-nalist, Lincoln Steffens, published a series of exposés that were eventually turned into the book "The Shame of the Cities." It was a sensational work of non-fiction, but it was also quite depressing. Steffens uncovered corruption from the top on down in one city after another across America. It was a portrait of how American democracy was not working, and it did not inspire much confidence in our urban future.
The mayor, the judges, the police, the city's