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Morning Briefing: Who’s Behind LA’s Progressive Wave?

A banner in Silver Lake for Nithya Raman, who won the Nov. 3 2020 election to represent CD4 on the Los Angeles City Council. (Eric Kelly)
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Good morning, L.A.

In writing about the progressive wave that swept our local elections, my colleague Libby Denkmann identified Ground Game L.A. as the group behind Nithya Raman’s upset win in the race for the City Council’s District 4 seat. With no prior political experience, Raman unseated incumbent David Ryu — a rare occurrence in local city council races.

Her win shined a spotlight on the nonprofit, which is emerging as a force to be reckoned with in local politics.

Born during Jessica Salans’ 2017 campaign for a city council seat, Ground Game L.A. took shape when a group of volunteers joined forces to back the candidate. Salans lost, but core volunteers saw an opportunity to coalesce the city’s progressive energy and turn it into action. According to its website, the nonprofit now publishes its own news site, and works to support renters’ rights, end police violence and clean up the environment – in addition to backing candidates.

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Co-founder Meghan Choi said that Ground Game L.A. has been taken under the wing of more experienced activists, who have shown the organization how to be effective.

"We had incredibly good mentorship,” she said, “from groups that had been doing this work for a long time.”

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

Jessica P. Ogilvie

Coming Up Today, November 12

Now that Biden has won the presidential election, Josie Huang checks in with DACA recipients, who have experienced a roller coaster ride after Trump canceled the program that lets them live here legally.

Frank Stoltze analyzes a survey of LAPD cops by their union that finds overwhelming dissatisfaction with Chief Michel Moore.

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The Past 24 Hours In LA

L.A. Kids: LAUSD officials rolled out a return-to-campus plan, should L.A. County move out of the purple coronavirus tier.

Policing Law Enforcement: The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department may have violated a student journalist’s constitutional rights by unlawfully seizing his camera and phone while he covered a protest in September.

Race In L.A.: On Veterans Day, we profiled Luther Hendricks, 95, one of the first members of the all-Black Montford Point Marines, the Marines’ equivalent of the Tuskegee Airmen. The Census Bureau is reporting that non-response rates were high this year for questions involving birth date, race, and Latina/o or Hispanic origin.

Election 2020: Nithya Raman's upset of incumbent L.A. City Councilman David Ryu is the cap on a series of wins by progressive candidates and measures in the city. What does the defeat of Prop 15 mean for future efforts to reform Prop 13?

Photo of the Day

Ninety-five-year-old World War II veteran Luther Hendricks poses with some of his military honors.


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