Author: 2UG Staff

By David Lauter WASHINGTON — For a decade, starting with President Obama‘s reelection and accelerating during Donald Trump‘s years in office, Democrats moved to the left on immigration issues, downplaying border enforcement and advocating for the rights of migrants to seek asylum in the U.S. For a time, the public moved with them. The harsh enforcement measures pushed by Trump, especially the separation of children from their families at the border, generated an intense backlash among voters. Polls during Trump’s tenure found a steady increase in Americans who favored more immigration and legalization for those who had entered the U.S. without papers. As the number…

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By Aldo Toledo San Francisco is poised to apologize for its role in decades of discrimination against Black residents amid an ongoing debate over whether to give cash payments and make other reparations to the African American community. Dozens of people packed the San Francisco Board of Supervisors chamber Thursday to hear for the first time a resolution apologizing for the forced removal of Black communities from historic neighborhoods, ongoing tensions with the Police Department and underinvestment in key public services. A task force set up by the city released recommendations last summer suggesting reparations to the city’s Black community, including potential $5 million payments meant…

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By Emil Khodorkovsky I recently joined a discussion hosted by CSQ on the future of Los Angeles real estate alongside Rams COO Kevin Demoff and former Deputy Treasurer of California Jovan Agee. I expected us to provide different perspectives regarding current development challenges in L.A. and California, but we all agreed on one thing—the current real estate climate in Los Angeles and numerous other cities throughout California is detrimental to the state-mandated building of 2.5 million homes by 2030, with 1 million of those homes allocated to lower-income families. What happens if these mandates aren’t met? Among other things, the homeless crisis will…

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By Jon Healey As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the federal government awarded California $1 billion to help homeowners who fell behind on their mortgage payments during the pandemic. The state has used the money to offer up to $80,000 to low- and moderate-income homeowners with mortgage debt, overdue property taxes and deferred monthly payments. These are not loans that must be repaid. Instead, they’re payments the state makes on the borrowers’ behalf to clear their mortgage or property-tax debt. The thing is, homeowners haven’t exactly beaten down the state’s doors for the free help — not because…

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By Dakota Smith A former longtime aide to Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren Price alleges in a claim filed against the city that she was fired from her job after Price staffers accused her of being a “snitch” in the criminal case brought against the councilman by L.A. County Dist. Atty. George Gascón. Angie Reyes English, a former senior field deputy for Price, filed the claim on Feb 1. Such claims are typically lodged before a formal lawsuit. The four-page claim, which was reviewed by The Times, alleges that Reyes English faced intimidation by Price and his team and was…

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Assemblymember Tina McKinnor (D – Inglewood), Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Restorative Justice, today announced the introduction of AB 2833, the Restorative Justice Integrity Act, which will safeguard the integrity of Restorative Justice Processes statewide. With the support of the California Restorative Justice Policy Coalition (CRJPC), this legislation seeks to address critical gaps in the current legal framework by providing comprehensive admissibility protections for people who participate in these Restorative Justice processes. “This bill represents a crucial step towards ensuring that Restorative Justice processes can operate effectively in California,” said Assemblymember Tina McKinnor. “By protecting the communications of…

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By George Skelton SACRAMENTO —  Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “treatment not tents” ballot measure would make only a puny dent in homelessness. But it’s still the biggest attempt ever by a California governor to address the growing problem. Proposition 1 on the March 5 primary election ballot basically would shift current mental health funding to prioritize treatment for homeless people with mental illnesses or drug and alcohol addictions. It also would authorize selling $6.38 billion in bonds to build mental health treatment facilities and housing for homeless people while undergoing treatment. Give Newsom credit for earnestly wading into this mess and trying to fix it —…

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By David Zahniser When Mayor Karen Bass laid out her budget proposal for the Los Angeles Police Department last year, she had big plans for rebuilding the size of that agency’s workforce. The mayor’s budget called for the LAPD to end the 2023-24 budget year with about 9,500 police officers — a target that would require the hiring of nearly 1,000 officers over a 12-month period. Now, a new assessment from City Administrative Officer Matt Szabo — the city’s top budget analyst — shows the department is falling well short of its staffing goal. By June 30, the end of the fiscal…

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After pausing its direct sale of auto insurance policies in California, Allstate is back, but with higher prices for customers. Allstate’s sale of auto insurance policies, via its website or phone, resumed early this month but with an average rate increase of 30%. Some people will see increases as small as 10% and others will be hit with rates going up as much as 55%, according to a California Department of Insurance spokesperson. Allstate is the third largest insurer for private passenger auto physical damage and private passenger auto liability in California.  “This auto insurance rate approval allows us to protect…

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By Brianna Taylor Following reports first made by the Washington Post on Tuesday that the CDC would update its COVID-19 isolation guidelines — where people who test positive are urged to stay home for at least five days — the agency has remained tight-lipped if such changes are in the works. Under the planned guidelines, people would no longer be advised to isolate at home if they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication, and their symptoms are not severe and are improving. While the coronavirus continues to cause serious illness across the U.S., especially among…

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MALIBU – The City of Malibu participated in the 2024 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count along with The Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) and community volunteers on Jan. 24. The local count showed 51 people experiencing homelessness in Malibu, the lowest number since 2016, when the City began participating in the Homeless Count, and a 30% decline since the 2023 Count. “I am proud of the progress that the City has made in addressing homelessness in Malibu and I thank all the volunteers, staff and partner agencies that participated in the Homeless Count,” said Mayor Steve Uhring. “The steadily declining…

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By Michael Hiltzik It’s indisputable that the decline of state fiscal management in California began with the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978. The tax-cutting initiative upended the tax structure that provided most of the revenues needed by localities and school districts, undermining the locals’ control of their own spending. It was sold to voters as relief for beleaguered middle-class homeowners, but that was largely a scam: The chief beneficiaries have been the richest homeowners and commercial and industrial property owners, who have received billions of dollars in property tax breaks at the expense of residential owners. Jerry Brown joins Newsom in urging…

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By Heather Hollingsworth and Nick Ingram KANSAS CITY, Mo. —  One person was killed and at least eight children were among 22 people shot at the end of the parade to celebrate the Super Bowl victory by the Kansas City Chiefs, sending terrified fans running for cover and marring another high-profile public event with gun violence. Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves detailed the shooting’s toll at a news conference and said two people had been taken into custody. Police did not immediately release details about the people taken into custody or about a possible motive for the shootings. https://www.instagram.com/2urbangirls/reel/C3V9zxkvXJM/ “I’m angry…

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By St. John Barned-Smith San Francisco may be on the hook for a surprise bill that could reach $190 million in COVID expenses that it had expected the federal government to pay. The potentially massive liability lands as the city’s deficit is projected to reach more than $1 billion in a few years. In the midst of the pandemic, San Francisco and other cities across California housed thousands of homeless people in empty hotels to enable social distancing and cut down on transmission in crowded shelters and tents. During natural disasters and other emergencies, municipalities pay for unexpected expenses and then turn to…

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By Sophia Bollag SACRAMENTO — California Treasurer Fiona Ma’s sexual harassment trial was set to begin Tuesday in Sacramento Superior Court, but has now been postponed until June. Both sides arrived in court Tuesday morning but were told that because of scheduling conflicts at the court the trial needed to be rescheduled for June 17. Judith Blackwell, the former employee, sued Ma in 2021, alleging the treasurer had exposed herself and crawled into bed with Blackwell when they shared rooms at a hotel and a rental property. Ma has denied any wrongdoing and has said she looks forward to “bringing the truth…

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