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What You Need To Know Today: The Role of LA's Mayor, Kevin de León Will Not Resign, Snacking in Little Tokyo

Graphical banner with text, A Political Matchmaking Quiz for LA Voters; and images of all candidates
(Dan Carino
LAist )
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Good morning, L.A. It’s Thursday, October 20.  

Today in How To LA: What you should Know about voting for the mayor of L.A, Councilmember Kevin de León says he will not resign; plus Snacking in Little Tokyo. 

Quick pop quiz: who has the power to appoint a police chief for the city of Los Angeles, but does not have the power to choose who sits on the school board?

Okay, do you give up? It’s the L.A. mayor. The current man in charge, Mayor Eric Garcetti, is currently finishing his last term, putting the seat up for grabs. Congresswoman Karen Bass and real estate developer Rick Caruso are currently in the running to take it. 

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It’s a quite powerful position to be in, though not as power-wielding as other major cities like New York and Chicago.

L.A. mayors can make city budgets, appoint commissioners and kick out city officials. They can also declare local emergencies or disasters, but they cannot do it unilaterally. Members of the L.A. City Council would have to agree to it. The L.A. mayor – whoever it may be – needs buy-in from the council and others to enact most policies. In a recent episode of the How to LA podcast, host Brian De Los Santos breaks down the power of the mayor to effect change in three key areas: environmental policy, homelessness, and police reform. You should listen to that here.

Our Voter Game Planguidehas even more information about the role of L.A.’s mayor. There you can find out… 

  • What’s on the agenda for the next term
  • What happened at last month's mayoral debate. 
  • An interview with mayoral candidate Karen Bass 
  • HOW MUCH money the candidates have raised and WHO has been giving them campaign money 

So, okay Aaricka, I get what the mayor does, but who will we be voting for in less than three weeks? 

Squaring up for the mayoral seat in next month’s election are two born and raised Angelenos with different perspectives on approaching the issues in this city, like homelessness:

On one side you have billionaire real estate developer Rick Caruso who has focused on building 30,000 beds to take the unhoused people all the streets. On the other side, you have congresswoman and a former Vice Presidential-hopeful Karen Bass. Her approach tends to focus on homelessness prevention with better social services for unhoused people…along with beds.

Homelessness is one of several issues that are top of mind to Angelenos, but the next leader will inherit a plethora of city issues. So you have some tough choices to make, L.A. But I have a surprise for you.

If you love quizzes (and matchmaking!) as much as I do, I encourage you to take our Meet Your Mayor quiz. It’s a quiz to help you figure out which candidate is more aligned with YOUR specific views.

Happy studying, friends!

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But before you go…I have a really quick, but important caveat: 

You may not be able to match with Caruso on some questions. Why not? Rick Caruso’s campaign originally participated in our primary quiz from June, but after weeks of several emails and calls, his team has failed to provide responses to our follow-up questionnaire for the November election. We’ve tried hard to include his answersas much as we could. Check out his profile page and contact his campaign to ask them to give the answers you need to know.

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

The News You Need After You Stop Hitting Snooze

  • Kevin de León wants you to get one thing straight: he is not resigning. Despite calls for him to step down after being part of a conversation in which colleagues made racist remarks, he told two different TV outlets why he has no plans to resign and that he wants to work to repair “damaged relationships.” 
  • In the latest episode ofImperfect Paradise: The Sheriff we hear from families of those shot by deputies who say they’ve been harassed by those deputies. Alex Villanueva denies the allegations, claiming the families have been paid off by activist groups.
  • In the fallout since the 2021 U.S. Capitol riots, a former UCLA student has been sentenced to 3 years in prison, after pleading guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding, earlier this year.
  • Contrary to past years, Cal State Fullerton will no longer send its student teachers to train in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified District, an Orange County district that banned Critical Race Theory in its schools. This comes in the wake of national incidents such as the killing of George Floyd that made the push towards CRT popular.
  • The state of California is fighting to get back over $20 billion in employment money that was lost during the pandemic due to unemployment insurance fraud. Find out what they’re doing to redeem the money.
  • As baby boomers who work in water treatment jobs begin to retire, industry leaders worry about the future of the water industry and water availability amidst the current climate crisis
  • Get ready, because there’s gonna be a new face on our currency! Anna May Wong will become the first Asian American to make her way on to U.S. currency. Wong was an actress known for championing representation during her time in Hollywood.
  • Have questions about the upcoming gas rebate? We’ve got you covered. Click here to learn all about who is eligible, how much you can expect to receive, and when you will receive it.
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Wait! One More Thing...Snacking In Little Tokyo

A variety of snacks are all arranged with their snack bags facing up surrounded by a large ceramic container in the center of different-shaped chips. There is also an open beverage can next to the container.  There is also a small bowl of purple gummy candy next to the yellow takoyaki ball snacks.
Feast your eyes on all the delicious snacks that can be found in Little Toyko
(Brian Feinzimer
LAist )

You know where I’ve never been? I’ve never explored Little Tokyo. I’ve recently moved downtown and I can’t wait to go there because I LOVE Japanese food.

Now our resident L.A. snack king Jason Goble has given me a good reason to go. In the latest edition of Snacking in the City, Jason takes us to two markets: Nijiya Market in Japanese Village Plaza and Marukai Market across from San Pedro Street.

I might just need to try the Hot Chili and Seaweed Potato Chips by Koikeya that he mentions with my peanut butter and jelly sandwich lunches! You should try it out too.

Check out Jason’s latest adventure into snacktown here.