Library Speaker Series Presentation

Speaker Series Event on Housing

New: 2018 Updates

 Oct 24th Housing Conversation


On October 24, 2017 the Pacific Palisades Democratic Club presented a panel and town hall-style exchange with the community focused on housing in the aftermath of County Measure H and City Proposition HHH.

Our panelists included Steven Gray from L.A. Family Housing, Tyler Monroe from Safran and Associates, Cally Hardy from L.A. City Planning Housing Unit,  and Jennifer Kim from the County’s Homeless Initiative Team. Our featured guest, whose remarks started the evening, was Councilmember Mike Bonin.

Bonin has been an advocate of better housing policy and a proponent of much of what is unfolding as affordable housing incentivized policy city wide. He gave a brief history of housing in LA and the circumstances that have led to the current shortage that we are experiencing now. He tied the lack of available affordable housing with the homeless crisis LA is facing, and applauded the new found collaborative approach that the City and County have forged in order to finally bring resources and strategies together, and couple them for impactful results. He explained that the County Measure H money (which began to be collected as of October 1st) will go mostly to the services contemplated in permanent supportive housing units aimed at relieving homelessness, while the City’s Prop HHH money will go to incentivize developers and encourage building to increase the housing stock citywide.

Each proposes a tax to generate income to be allocated to housing initiatives to increase the housing stock in LA, and address, among other things, the homeless crisis as well as housing affordability for low wage earners. Bonin admitted that much of this planning will not translate into units for another 2/2.5 years, but said the City also had plans to convert motels, change the mode of shelters and make other immediate options available to relieve the current housing crunch, as well as offer people experiencing homelessness some viable relief from the streets.

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Tell Gov. Brown to sign campaign finance reform DISCLOSE Act

With the California DISCLOSE Act now sitting on Governor Brown’s desk waiting for a signature, California is poised to strike a major blow against the secret money unleashed by Citizens United.

That should be great news -- except that Governor Brown has vetoed similar campaign finance reform bills in the past. If we don’t speak up, this time might be no different.

Fortunately, the fact that this bill has made it this far shows the power of our voices. Less than a month ago, the calls and emails of thousands of California Legit members helped pass the historic California DISCLOSE Act through both legislative houses.

The deadline for the governor to sign this vital bill is October 15. That’s why we’re asking every Californian who cares about this issue to step up and call Governor Jerry Brown now in support of this bill.

Call (916) 445-2841 today and ask Governor Brown to sign the California DISCLOSE Act and make California the nationwide leader in exposing dark money in elections.

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 The medical bill score: How the public judges health care

By Drew Altman
Oct. 3, 2017
We track a lot of numbers in health care: how much we spend on health as a share of our economy, the number of uninsured, and the share of the federal budget allocated to health programs. What we don't track — and a number the Congressional Budget Office cannot score — is the statistic that means the most to the American people: the share of the public having problems paying their health care bills.

Percent saying they have taken action in order to pay medical bills
72%  Put off vacations, household purchases
70%  Cut back on food, clothing, basic items
59%  Used up all or most of savings
41%  Taken an extra job or worked more hours
37%  Borrowed money from friends or family
34%  Increased credit card debt
26%  Taken money out of long-term savings
17%  Changed your living situation
15%  Taken out another type of loan
13%  Borrowed from a payday lender
12%  Sought aid of a charity or non-profit
02%  Taken out another mortgage
15%  Made other significant changes
The bottom line:
The “medical bills score" is the single most important measure of how we are doing in healthcare from the public's perspective. And ultimately, if Congress ever passes a new healthcare bill, it is how the public will evaluate that plan — from Graham-Cassidy to Medicare for All and everything in between.
The numbers that matter:
As we found in a Kaiser Family Foundation poll in February:
*  31% of Americans age 18-64 report they or a family member face problems paying their health care bills.
*  But that number shoots up to 57% for people who are sick.
It makes sense that people who use more care have more health care bills, but it also reveals how poorly our system performs from a consumer perspective when people who need care the most are protected the least by insurance coverage.
The impact:
Not surprisingly, the uninsured (41%) are more likely to have problems paying medical bills. But this is not a problem limited to the uninsured: 30% of the insured – think voters — have problems with medical bills.
The backstory:
The share of the public reporting problems paying their medical bills has not moved much in recent years. The Affordable Care Act has extended coverage and better financial protection to tens of millions, but it doesn't have much of an impact on affordability beyond people covered by the Medicaid expansion and the marketplaces.
In the far larger employer-based health insurance sector, deductibles and other forms of cost sharing have been growing about five times faster than wages, and deductibles have been growing especially sharply for people who work for smaller employers.
What to watch:
Health care is a pocketbook issue for most of the public and the American people have their own scoring system. They may give this or that mostly partisan response about a health reform idea on a poll, but until they see how they'll get help paying their health care bills, they will ultimately be disappointed by every health reform plan.
Comment by Don McCanne
“Yes, but how will healthcare reform affect me?” For most people that means, how much will I have to pay for my insurance, and how much will I have to pay out of pocket for my healthcare?
Except for low-income individuals with heavily subsidized insurance, members of the work force are paying too much for their insurance, either directly or through forgone wages, and they are paying too much when they need to access healthcare, especially through high deductibles.
Under the Physicians’ Proposal -- a single payer model advocated for by Physicians for a National Health Program -- insurance premiums would be eliminated and replaced by equitable funding  of a universal risk pool that would be affordable for each of us, and deductibles and other cost sharing would be eliminated for all essential health care services since other, more patient-friendly methods of cost containment would allow the removal of financial barriers to care.
As Drew Altman states, “until they see how they'll get help paying their health care bills, they will ultimately be disappointed by every health reform plan.” The obvious lesson is that we need to show the public how a single payer, improved Medicare for all program will give them the "medical bill score" they have been looking for, and thus end the scourge of medical debt.
A Physicians’ Proposal for Single-Payer Health Care Reform:
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Let's Restore DACA and Rescue Our DREAMers

Donald Trump did something inhumane, cruel, and heartless, calling for an end to the DACA program and throwing the futures of 800,000 young immigrants into uncertainty.
You may be disheartened, frustrated and angry, but one thing you are not is powerless. Join Sea Change this month as we work to help flip the House from red to blue, starting in Congressional District 25. Here’s how you can participate:

Sept. 17 - Join us for a canvass training with OFA. You’ll learn new techniques for engaging voters at the doors.

Sept. 23 - Volunteer for our Day of Action in CD-25. We’ll be knocking on doors and talking to voters about the issues that matter to them.

Sept. 23 - Volunteer to drive canvassers. We’re looking for volunteers to drive our vans and transport canvassers from LA to the Santa Clarita Valley. Email to sign up!

On the 23rd, we’ll be talking to voters about their representative Steve Knight. He has a history of anti-immigrant stances, including voting to deny DREAMers the right to serve in the military, calling public school classes  for English learners a burden on the state, and supporting Arizona’s notorious “show me your papers” immigration law. Now, he’ll be one of the people tasked with voting for legislation that determines the future of DREAMers. It’s time for him to go!
Keep Resisting,
Sea Change Team
PS - Can't join us on the 23rd but want to support Sea Change volunteers? Click here to make a donation to support this mobilization.

Fix AB 840 to Save CA Election Integrity

AB 840 is an election bill before the CA Senate.

 The problem:


Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), Voting Rights Task Force (VRTF), Open Ballot Initiative (OBI), Citizens Oversight Project (COPS) and democracy advocates across the California insist the Assembly remand AB 840 from the Senate in order to review the significant change added May 23 without Assembly approval.  

Stealth insertion of the May 23 amendment to AB 840 gutted the foundation of California Election Integrity – paper ballots, and 1% random selection of precinct and mail vote batches for hand-audit to verify results. Section 15360 says that the 1% "public manual tally” must include vote by mail ballots. This means all of them, provided that they are postmarked by election day, and arrive by the Friday after the election, as allowed by law.

The authors, Assemblymembers Quirk (D-20) and Obernolte (R-33) were somehow convinced to insert an amendment AFTER Assembly passage. It changes CA Election Code 15360. The added language is below in bold italics:

(1) (A) A public manual tally of the ballots canvassed in the semifinal official canvass, including vote by mail ballots but not including provisional ballots, cast in 1 percent of the precincts chosen at random by the elections official.

They made nearly identical changes in sections (2)(A) and (2)(B).

The key phrase “semifinal official canvass” means the results reported on election night. It includes ballots cast in the precinct, and vote by mail ballots that arrive by election night. It excludes ballots that arrive Wednesday through Friday, and all provisional ballots. Millions of them.

AB 840 reverses the ruling by San Diego. Superior Court Judge Wohlfeil (Lutz v. Vu) that said the 1% audit had to include all mail ballots, not just the ones arriving by election day. Over half of California now votes by mail. Now that election officials won recent legislation that allowed them to shift a county to all vote-by-mail, and to count ballots received up to 3 days after Election Day, the number of excluded ballots could become decisive in determining outcomes. The LA Times reported that on Nov. 10, two days after the election, over 4 million ballots remained uncounted. They were mostly mail and provisional ballots. Legally exempting such large numbers from scrutiny is an invitation to corruption.


The Assembly Elections Committee can cut the section 15360 amendment from the bill and demand that the Senate consider only AB 840 as originally passed by their committee and the full Assembly.

Please write and/or call the members of the Assembly Elections Committee (below). Urge them to revert AB 840 to the original version passed by the Assembly April 20.

Exemptions from California's audit law would send elections backwards in our state.

                Marc Berman (Chair): (916) 319-2024

                Mathew Harper (Vice Chair): (916) 319-2074

                Ian C. Calderon: (916) 319-2057

                Evan Low: (916) 319-2028

                Kevin Mullin: (916) 319-2022

                Jim Patterson: (916) 319-2023

                Shirley Weber: (916) 319-2079

You should also write to the committee secretary: The subject line should read: AB 840: Cut section 15360.

Tell them that AB 840 was significantly amended after it left the Assembly. To protect our election audits, the Assembly needs to call it back, and cut section 15360 from the bill. All vote by mail ballots must remain part of the 1% audit.

Thank you for all you do.

In solidarity,

Mimi Kennedy for
PDA California

Save State Sen. Josh Newman from Unfair Republican Recall

Here's the Dem side the story (from the Fresno Bee):

To recap: Democrat Newman very narrowly won an Orange County-centered state Senate seat last year, one that had been in Republican hands for as long as anyone can remember. After besting the Democratic Party’s preferred candidate in the June primary election, he edged a Republican assemblywoman, Ling Ling Chang, in the November runoff.

Newman’s win embarrassed Republicans and restored the two-thirds Democratic “supermajority” in the Senate. And after Newman voted to raise gasoline taxes for highway maintenance, the GOP launched a drive to recall him, assuming that a special election’s ultra-low voter turnout would make it difficult for Newman to survive.

His vote for the unpopular gas tax was the recall signature drive’s misleading rationale, alleging that he was the decisive factor in approval, even though it was the vote of one Republican senator that actually did the deed. Newman was singled out only because his win last year sealed the Democratic supermajority and his district’s conservative leanings would make him vulnerable.

In brief, Newman did nothing to warrant being recalled[....]


Click here to visit Newman's site and help save CA's Democratic legislative supermajority from Republican attack.


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Feinstein Primary Challenge?

SAN FRANCISCO — Sen. Dianne Feinstein has dominated California politics for more than a quarter of a century. But facing blistering criticism that she’s out of touch with the progressive left following her recent comments about President Donald Trump and DACA, it’s increasingly looking like the Democratic lawmaker will face a major primary challenge if she runs for a fifth full term.

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CD 11 Bonin | July Neighborhoods First Newsletter






Welcome to the July issue of Mike Bonin's Neighborhoods First newsletter!

IN THIS ISSUE: Mike's second inauguration celebratory tree giveaway kicks off with a great first event, free smoke detectors are distributed in Pacific Palisades, new signs point to Ladera, and early data is made available about the effects of a street safety project in Mar Vista... but first, please read this month's Neighborhoods First Profile about a wonderful South Brentwood neighbor who has made her community better by getting involved.

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Here’s How Trumputin and the Russians Did Their Evil Dance

 by Ted Vaill - Board Member PaliDem Club

After 50 years as a lawyer, dealing largely with complex cases, I have become adept at parsing through facts and coming up with a “theory of the case”: a storyline that explains what happened. I am not always right, but I have found that I am usually right. So here is my storyline as to how Trumputin (as I call him) became entwined with Putin and his Russian thugs and won the 2016 American Presidential election…

What Probably Happened

In the mid-1990s, Trumputin’s business operations were bankrupt, largely because of his bad bets on Atlantic City casinos, and no banks would loan him money for his future operations. So he shifted his business operations to licensing his name to various business ventures, taking a licensing fee and putting no money into the ventures. Ten years later, his business was again basically solvent, but the banks still would not touch him, except for some sketchy ones, like Deutsche Bank, which specialized in money laundering for Russian oligarchs, and other similar sleazy characters, like those operating the Bank of Cyprus. read more

Poster of the Week




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