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What You Need To Know Today: The Ballot Is Long, Rise In Respiratory Illness In Children, Adidas Drops Kanye West

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Good morning, L.A. It’s Tuesday, October 25.  

Today in How To LA: Introducing a new tool to help you vote in this election, a rise in a respiratory illness in children; plus, what to know about Measure LA

Can you believe it? Election Day is just two weeks away and there’s still so much ground to cover. I’ve already talked to you about the Voter Game Plan where you can explore a variety of guides about each race, review frequently asked questions and fill out a virtual ballot before you cast your vote.

Now, LAist has another tool to help you make informed voting decisions. The Ballot Is Longis a five-part email course where our reporters give you all the information you need on some pretty complicated topics, like how to vote on judges or water agency officials. Each course explains the race or issue in an easily digestible way. Plus, our team is here to answer any additional questions that you have about the general election.

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I spoke with Mary Plummer, one of our senior editors (and a former politics reporter), about the new email course and why YOU should subscribe. 

Aaricka: How did you choose the topics to cover, for example, judges and water agencies? 

Mary: “We took a look at the ballot and thought about what some of the most confusing items would be for voters as they're looking and thinking about how to vote. We really wanted to provide resources that aren't necessarily easy to find elsewhere.”

Aaricka: What do you want people to gain from this email course? 

Mary: “I hope that folks walk away from this feeling like they're making a more informed vote and also feeling like they have a place that they can turn to for help. The information in the course comes directly from our newsroom, and our reporters who have deep experience covering these issues. It’s a community resource we’re very proud to offer.”

Aaricka: Why is it so important to vote in this election cycle? 

Mary: “This election cycle really impacts the quality of life here in L.A. County. One of our emails is on L.A.’s two housing measures, for example, that are going before voters for the city of L.A. The housing issues impact all of our day to day lives. We've really tried to break down some of the key issues on the ballot to help them become more understandable and accessible.”

So…What’s the curriculum for this course? 

  • Day 1: How To Choose Between Two Democrats 
  • Day 2: Voting on Judges, Explained 
  • Day 3: How To Make A Smart Vote On Water 
  • Day 4: Legalized Sports Betting 101 
  • Day 5: The Ins and Outs of L.A.’s Two Housing Measures 

So get your notes ready, friends. Class is in session. Sign up for The Ballot is Long here

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  • 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

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A few reminders: 

  • If you haven’t registered already, contact your county registrar’s office or head to any vote center in L.A. County beginning Oct. 29 to register in person.
  • The last day to vote: Nov. 8.  Ballots must be postmarked by this day. If you’re voting in person, you must be in line by 8 p.m.

Moved recently? 

Keep in mind: The Ballot Is Long email series is geared toward L.A. County voters, but may be useful for anyone.

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! 

  • This morning Adidas announced it cut ties with the rapper formerly known as Kanye West. Here is the company statement. Hollywood talent agency  CAA also dropped Ye, following his anti-Semitic tirades. (New York Times/ Los Angeles Times/LAist)
  • There’s a rise in respiratory syncytial virus — or RSV for short — in Southern California. The positivity rate has jumped from 24% last winter to currently 31%. My colleague Elly Yu has more on what you should know
  • There's free money for college studentsto buy groceries but they aren't applying for it.
  • Even though many health care facility support staff gained extra duties when COVID-19 spread throughout California, their pay stayed the same. Now, in Southern California, a labor union is working on obtaining a $25 minimum wage at private medical facilities. 
  • California’s post-pandemic standardized testing results are in and they’re exactly as predicted. 47% of students met or exceeded standards on the English language arts test — a 4% drop from pre-pandemic testing.
  • The world is a little less bright, especially on Instagram. Actor and comedian Leslie Jordan died Monday at the age of 67 in a car crash in Hollywood. Prior to his pandemic popularity from his warm-hearted social media videos, he was known for roles in popular shows such as Will and Grace and American Horror Story.
  • The second sex crimes trial for Harvey Weinstein begins in L.A. This is a larger case than the one in New York. 
  • The Los Angeles Football Club is just one win away from grabbing the 2022 MLS Cup. Check out the next game at the Banc of California Stadium in South L.A. on Oct. 30 at 12:00 p.m.
  • Governor Gavin Newsom and State Senate Brian Dahle battled it out during their only debate before the Nov. 8 general election. Read more here about how they would each tackle the cost of living, climate policy, reproductive rights and more. 

Before You Go...What In The World Is Measure LA?

Graphic of a person's hand placing a ballot in a ballot box decorated with the California state seal
(Dan Carino

Here’s an interesting story: The 229,000 students who are a part of the L.A. Community College District — the largest community college district in the country — could soon see renovations to campus facilities. That is…if voters say yes to a $5.3 billion construction bond for those repairs that is currently on the ballot. There’s a lot that needs to be done to the buildings, and there’s job training included as well.

So, why is it important? As my colleague Adriana Pera reported, the LACCD is a “blue-collar educational engine for the region”. Many of the students that attend one of the nine schools in the system earn an income at, or below, the poverty line. And more than 75% of the population are students of color.

Adriana wrote all about what Measure LA would do and the arguments for — and against — the bond. Read more about it here.

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