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What You Need To Know Today: How To Make Your Voter Game Plan, LA City Council To Vote On New President And A Tense Reparations Meeting

(Illustration by Dan Carino
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Tuesday, October 18.  

Today in How To LA: Read our crash course in all things elections with the Voter Game Plan, L.A. City Council to vote on a new president, a clash of opinions at a Californian reparations task force meeting 

In just a few weeks, I will be experiencing a first: voting on who will be the next mayor of Los Angeles, and on several other races, too. Over the course of the year that I’ve been back living in L.A., I’ve learned so much more about the election process — and now I want to share it with you.

I mean, in just one week alone, I’ve got a wealth of information about how the L.A. City Council works!

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Like I’ve said before, this election is huge. We are voting for a new mayor for the first time since 2013, a few new city councilmembers, too, plus L.A. County Sheriff (make sure you check out the latestImperfect Paradiseseason on current Sheriff Alex Villanueva). Not to mention all those measures and propositions on the ballot!

If you’re anything like me, all of this is extremely overwhelming, especially after the L.A. City Council scandal heard ‘round the world. I know it can probably feel like cramming for that big test at the end of the school year. But guess what? We can help you put your Voter Game Plan together!

Our guide includes information about all those races on your ballot, including what each elected official is responsible for and what to consider in a candidate. We also break down those complicated local and state ballot measures. If you’re wondering why kidney dialysis is on your ballot for the third time, we’ve got you.

We also have a list of questions YOU probably have — like what to do if your address changed. Check out our FAQs – and if your question isn’t answered, look for the purple “Ask a Question” button and type out your question to us. We’ve responded to every Voter Game Plan question we’ve gotten since 2020.

That’s not all, folks. There’s also a place in our guide where you can fill out a virtual ballot, specific to your address. I loved this feature for the June primary elections because I was able to take it with me to my actual voting post.

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Here are some key dates to hang up on your fridge: 

  • Oct. 24 is the last day to register to vote online 
  • Oct. 29 is the day in-person voting begins 
  • Nov. 1 is the deadline to request for a new vote-by-mail ballot 
  • Nov. 8 is Election Day and deadline to return to vote-by-mail ballot 

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

The News You Need After You Stop Hitting Snooze

*At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

  • Despite growing demands for L.A. City Councilmembers Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo to resign after the leaked tape scandal, they're still holding onto their posts. Acting Council President Mitch O’Farrell is taking action by removing them from their respective committees. Remaining council members will then vote on a new president. 
  • Interim L.A. City councilmember Heather Hutt chimes in with her thoughts on the leaked tape scandal after her name is mentioned in the recording as a supporter:  “I’m a Black woman, not a pawn.” (Los Angeles Times) 
  • Musician. Cultural Theorist. Activist. These are just some of the terms used to describe the MacArthur Genius Grant Winner Martha Gonzalez. My colleague Adolfo Guzman-Lopez chatted with the local "Artivista" to learn about the work that led her to receive this highly acclaimed prize.
  • California will end the COVID-19 state of emergency early next year. To understand what it achieved and what it means that it’ll soon be over, read about it here
  • The road to enforcing California’s wage theft laws has not been an easy one, as state officials report the agencies enforcing the laws have been “too short staffed to do their job.”  
  • If you’re a home or business owner who follows wildfire safety and mitigation actions under California's special guidelines, you could soon get a nice reward: an insurance premium discount. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Whether you’re looking for fall-related events or local art festivals, you can check our list of events here to see what’s going on in L.A. this week.
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Wait! One More Thing...At A California Reparations Meeting In L.A., Cash Compensation Brings A Clash of Opinions

A Black man holds a sign that reads: "World Leaders! Reparations for Slavery NOW!" He is standing indoors, and another Black man stands next to him. The man holding the sign is wearing a black skull cap, sunglasses and a face mask with Black, white, yellow, red and green designs.
Los Angeles resident Walter Forster attends a California Reparations Task Force meeting held at the California Science Center in Los Angeles on Sept. 23, 2022.
(Pablo Unzueta

By now, it’s likely you’ve heard how our state is working on being the first to try to provide reparations to Black American residents after decades of nearly irreparable harm from enslavement, segregation and discrimination. A majority of California’s 2.8 million Black American residents could be eligible. 

The task force hopes to bring in a long list of possible actions like eliminating anti-Black housing discrimination practices and addressing environmental racism.

Capital B reporter Adam Mahoney recently attended a state reparations task force meeting in L.A. where the conversation around cash compensation got a little heated. 

Some Black Angelenos feared the state would put money in the hands of people who would waste it on non-essentials. But others felt it wasn’t important to talk about who was worthy or not. Another person at the meeting worried that money would end up going to white businesses owners.

Mahoney sums it up this way:

“Public comments at the Los Angeles meeting highlighted a growing tension among advocates and opponents of reparations for Black Americans: Would a cash infusion alone reverse centuries of targeted violence against Black neighborhoods? How can Black folks address the ways that racism has created internal divisions among the Black community?”

Black Californians who are descendants of enslaved ancestors can be expected to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to rough estimates from economic experts.

Read the rest of Mahoney’s article here.

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