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What You Need To Know Today: Navigating Family Leave, New LA City Council President, History of LA’s Black-Owned Restaurants

An abstract illustration of a pregnant person standing on a platform of multicolored puzzle pieces that are slowly breaking off and floating around the frame. Behind them, floating sketches of calendar pages, question marks, and baby bottles.
(Alborz Kamalizad for LAist)
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Wednesday, October 19.  

Today in How To LA: Navigating family leave while pregnant, LA City Council has a new president; plus, a deep dive into the history of Black-owned restaurants in LA.

I don’t have to be pregnant to know the process of preparing to bring a child into this world is hard. There is a LOT to think about. One of the biggest issues for working parents is figuring out how to take the time they need to care for their new baby.  

I can make an educated guess that taking a PAID leave of absence from work to concentrate on your precious baby would make life so much easier. So, how do you navigate the convoluted pathway to family leave in California? And what should you be prepared for when you come back to work?  

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My amazing colleague Stefanie Ritoper has a guide just for the people who are seriously thinking about these questions. The great thing about Stefanie is that she is not only a journalist, she’s also a mom who’s been through this process twice! She and the early childhood education team have talked to several pregnant people through the new hey bb text service so they KNOW how important it is to have answers to these questions. To get those answers, they’ve chatted with some of the top experts in the field.

Here’s what you can find in the guide:

  • How the U.S. compares to the rest of the world when it comes to family leave (umm…it’s not great at all.)
  • Whether or not you need to tell your employer you’re pregnant, and how to talk to them about your pregnancy in general 
  • How to ask for accommodations at work to help you through your pregnancy
  • How to take time off to take care for your baby 
  • What rights you have to pump breastmilk at work 
  • How to find California legal experts, birth workers and other resources
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If this speaks to you or someone you love, open up your notes app (or pull out your legal pad if you’re old school) and dig into Stefanie’s article today.

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! 

  • The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted for Paul Krekorian as the new president after former President Nury Martinez was caught on a leaked tape spouting racist remarks.
  • Two Cal State professors filed a federal lawsuit over a caste discrimination policy. The two faculty members say it violates the Constitution. Find out why by reading Josie Huang’s story. 
  • Are you curious what happens to L.A. City council members' pay and pension when they leave office? Caitlin Hernández reports on a few interesting facts, including the fact that members CAN’T lose their pension. 
  • L.A. Unified School District student enrollment has declined, but not as much as district administrators expected. That’s an encouraging sign after two years of declining enrollment during the pandemic. 
  • We all know how much of a PAIN navigating health insurance is. I have bad news for you. While your insurance won’t be impacted when California’s COVID-19 emergency ends early next year, your coverage will likely be more pricey when the national health emergency ends. 
  • In 2018, 10-year-old Anthony Avalos died after being abused and tortured by his mom and her boyfriend. Now, Avalos’ siblings and father will receive a $32-million settlement after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors finalized its approval. (Los Angeles Times) 
  • The Supreme Court has declined to re-examine a challenge to racist laws against American Samoans seeking birthright citizenship. Southern California is home to the largest population of Samoans living in the U.S. mainland. 
  • The increasing weight of inflation is pushing down on all of us. To me, it’s starting to feel like that Twilight Zone episode when the earth was moving closer to the sun…except this is real life. Or consider NPR’s analogy to the 1979 film When a Stranger Calls.
  • Is there a story about your favorite family dish? Just in time for the holiday season, NPR wants to hear about the special family recipes that mean so much to you and your kin.

Wait! One More Thing...The Legacy Of LA's Black-Owned Restaurants

A group stands outside Daddy Grants Old Time Pit Barbecue restaurant on Washington Boulevard.
A group stands outside Daddy Grants Old Time Pit Barbecue restaurant on Washington Boulevard. From left, an employee, Clara Grant, and Lemuel "Daddy" Grant.
(Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library)
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Did you know that Fatburger was founded by a Black woman named Lovie Yancey? Did you know that Wally Amos (also known as Famous Amos) opened his first cookie shop on the Sunset Strip in 1975? Or that my favorite place, the legendary Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles in L.A. was founded by a guy from Harlem?

Nothing excites me more than learning about Black history, especially if it’s about my hometown, and especially if it’s about food. Today, we’re traveling back in time to explore the history of L.A.’s Black-owned restaurants. 

There’s actually historical records of Black Angelenos starting restaurants all the way back to 1888. That first restaurant was Frank Blackburn’s “coffee and chop house” on 1st and Los Angeles Street.

Central Avenue, too, became a destination and a hub where Black people could own and operate restaurants, cafes and shops, and thrive in community. Read all about it here.

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