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What You Need To Know Today: City Council Breakdown, AG Redistricting Investigation, Cheap Fast Eats

People sir cross-legged in the street holding protest signs
The scene Tuesday at L.A. City Hall. Protests continued at Wednesday's city council session.
(Michael Flores
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Thursday, October 13.  

Today in How To LA: What to know about City Council after Nury Martinez resignation, California Attorney General launches investigation into redistricting; plus Cheap Fast Eats in Long Beach 

We’ve all learned A LOT about the Los Angeles City Council recently — in particular, how some councilmembers feel about the Black, Oaxacan, and LGBTQ+ communities they are supposed to serve. The intense pushback from lawmakers and everyday Angelenos throughout the week spurred former L.A. City Council president Nury Martinez to resign from her powerful decision-making seat yesterday. President Joe Biden and several other prominent figures called for the resignation for all three of the council members who were on that leaked tape from October 2021.

Although Ron Herrera, the L.A. Labor head has resigned (at the time of this newsletter hit your email inbox) neither councilmembers Kevin de León or Gil Cedillo have resigned.

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Which brings me to this crucial point, Angelenos: We need to make sure that we are fully aware of WHO is going to be on the ballot and what they actually have the power to do.

As we have all figured out by now, they have a hand in the redistricting process, which, by the way, California Attorney General Rob Bonta is now investigating due to the scandal. And there are some motions that could reshape L.A. politics in the future.

The 15-member city council (which is the most powerful city council in the United States) is also responsible for creating local laws, ordering elections, regulating city taxes and so much more (you can find out more by perusing our Voter Plan Guide!). For example, council members have decision-making power in determining how money gets spent for transportation safety improvements in their districts and how much city ordinances should be enforced. L.A. City Council also has the ability to decide how strong city ordinances will be, as in the case with an anti-camping ban. Back in August, then-Council President Martinez said enforcement of the expanded ban would depend on each councilmember. Three councilmembers voted no on the action.

About How to LA Newsletter
  • This is the web version of our How To LA newsletter. Sign up here to get this newsletter sent to your inbox each weekday morning

Here’s some food for thought as you prepare to vote:

  • Do you know who is on the ballot for the election this November? 
  • If you live in districts 5, 11, 13 and 15, you have to vote between the top two candidates in a runoff. 
  • Are you ready to read all about how the actions of the L.A. City Councilmembers affect your everyday life and who is actually in decision making seats? 

Read my colleague Caitlin Hernández’s guide about who’s who on the city council and what’s next after this huge scandal.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

The News You Need After You Stop Hitting Snooze

  • Days after the leaked tape from City Council hit the public, California’s Attorney General is launching an investigation into the city’s redistricting process, in a “motion that could reshape L.A. politics.” 
  • California now has a new resource for those in need of childcare. The website will feature resources for financial assistance, interviewing providers, and will filter providers based on your needs.  You can find more information about the website here.
  • LAUSD is facing a last-minute schedule change, as school board members voted to get rid of the controversial “acceleration” days that teachers used as an extra day for student learning.
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom is facing criticism for focusing on a non-medical benefits program while still failing to address the disproportionate level of health care in areas of need.
  • See how the Serrano people are continuing to uphold their tradition of using traditional whipplei yucca despite the impact of climate change on its dwindling supply. 
  • The Supreme Court is examining an old case between Andy Warhol and Lynn Goldsmith over Warhol’s famous silk screens of the artist Prince. While Goldsmith argued he infringed her copyright, Warhol claimed his copyrighted work as “transformative.”
  • Health experts are disputing the accuracy of BMI as a determinant of a person’s health status, instead citing its usefulness only for understanding weight trends within a population. 
  • Scientists have discovered a new way to understand numerous conditions such as ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, and schizophrenia by examining a human organoid implanted in rats.

Wait! One More Thing...Introducing The Cheap Fast Eats Series!

Fish Tacos from Holé Molé
The fish tacos from Holé Molé make for a perfect Cheap Fast Eats when dining out in Long Beach
(Brian Feinzimer for LAist)
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A foodie at heart, I am always down for a good meal. I love exploring different restaurants in Southern California. Well, guess what? We now have a new series where you can check out restaurants too! It’s called Cheap Fast Eats. Our podcast team has ventured out to Long Beach to see what amazing spots they have. I’m getting hungry just listening to our podcast host Brian De Los Santos and our Food and Culture associate editor Gab Chabrán talk about these unique spots. Read about all these cool cuisines like A&J Seafood Shack’s garlic shrimp plate here.

By the way, if you haven’t already checked out the first article in the series, make sure you read it here. It’s all about treating yourself to some hearty food in Pasadena for $10 or less.

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