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Morning Brief: Filling Kamala Harris’ Shoes

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Good morning, L.A.

As California U.S. Senator Kamala Harris gears up for her new role as Vice President, leaders and activists in the state are pushing Gov. Gavin Newsom to appoint another Black woman to her soon-to-be-empty seat.

My colleague Libby Denkmann reports that a group called #LetsKeeptheSeat held rallies in L.A. and Sacramento yesterday, urging Newsom to select one of two Congresswomen: Karen Bass of L.A. or Barbara Lee of Oakland.

“We want to make sure that we do not lose our seat and are not erased from [the Senate],” said Molly Watson, a spokesperson for the progressive group Courage California.

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But #LetsKeeptheSeat isn’t the only group with an interest in Harris’ position. A handful of Latina and Latino officials and leaders have also called on Newsom to appoint a representative from their community, with California Secretary of State Alex Padilla as a leading candidate.

Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A. today, and stay safe out there.

What You Need To Know Today

Coronavirus Updates: Southern California only has 1.7% ICU capacity remaining, and daily COVID-19 deaths have quadrupled in the past month. COVID-19 infection rates in California are consistently higher in low-income neighborhoods than more affluent areas, according to an analysis by ZIP code.

Shootings By Officers: The L.A. District Attorney’s office found that officers acted lawfully when they opened fire on a suspect outside the Silver Lake Trader Joe's in 2018, striking and killing assistant store manager Melyda Corado in the process. The L.A. Police Commission found the fatal officer shooting of Daniel Hernandez was partially out of policy.

L.A.’s New Reps: The two newest members of the L.A. City Council, Nithya Raman and Mark Ridley-Thomas, share a common goal: shaking up L.A.’s response to the homelessness crisis. LAUSD’s newest board member, Tanya Ortiz Franklin, was seated.

Dining Out: From Temecula to Solvang, more SoCal restaurants are openly defying the state's outdoor dining ban -- and the heart of the resistance seems to be in Orange County. COVID-19 has threatened their explosive growth, but Southern California's food halls keep fighting to make it work.

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