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Los Angeles and California continue travel bans to North Carolina

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The City of Los Angeles and the state of California are not impressed with North Carolina.

When North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed a repeal of House Bill 2, a measure that, among other things, required people using public bathrooms to use the facility that corresponds to the gender assigned on their birth certificate, he signed a new law, House Bill 142 that retains many of the worst provisions of HB 2, including a ban on local anti-discrimination laws.  

The new law, HB 142, was immediately denounced by activists, state and local governments nationwide as a draconian compromise.  

“It doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican, if you vote for this bill (HB 142), you are not a friend of the LGBT community,” Equality North Carolina executive director Chris Sgro said in a statement. 

Cooper was elected in November calling for repeal of HB 2, which was enacted by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, whom he defeated.  “This is not a perfect deal, and this is not my preferred solution,” he said.

James Esseks, who is director of the ACLU LGBT Project, said lawmakers “should be ashamed of this backroom deal.” ”This is not a repeal of HB 2. Instead, they’re reinforcing the worst aspects of the law,” he said in a statement.

The compromise was instantly met with vows from a number of local and state governments to continue existing bans against conducting government business with the North Carolina: Atlanta; Baltimore; West Palm Beach; Minnesota; New York City; Washington, DC; San Francisco; Seattle; Portland, OR; Los Angeles; Oakland; Santa Fe; Cincinnati; Salt Lake City; Palm Springs, CA; Portland, ME and Wilton Manors, FL. 

The California ban on public-funded travel to North Carolina and three other states applies as long as laws remain in effect that allow exemptions to anti-discrimination measures protecting LGBT people.

State Assemblymember Evan Low, writing for The Advocate, says California’s ban will continue. “There has been a recent wave of anti-LGBT laws and under the current administration, more lawmakers may be emboldened to pass so-called “religious freedom” laws of their own. We must continue to place pressure on states that codify discrimination and hold them accountable when they try to skirt the consequences,” he said.

In Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti, in a statement, said “Every American deserves to live free of discrimination, and the law signed last week by Governor Cooper does nothing to protect the rights and dignity of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Cities should have every opportunity to make policies that affirm values of equal justice, protect people from hate and bias, and uphold the Constitutional right to self-determination. Until that is made real in North Carolina, I urge the City Council to extend L.A.’s ban on non-essential travel to the state by City employees. I would sign that ban right away, and will continue doing everything in my power to make sure that Angelenos’ tax dollars are never spent to support bigotry based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

Following Garcetti’s lead, three members of Los Angeles’ City Council on Friday introduced a motion that would prevent the City of Los Angeles from conducting business with the state of North Carolina.

“I am outraged and quite frankly ashamed of the state legislators in North Carolina,” said Councilman Paul Koretz (5th District), who, along with Councilmembers Mike Bonin (11th District) and Mitch O’Farrell (13th District) introduced the motion.  “We are supposed to be crusaders for social action and social justice for all, not just the select few,’’ Kortez said in a statement.

Garcetti hopes the City Council will leave the ban in place and prevent official City business from being conducted with the state until the bill that replaced HB 2, HB 142 is overturned.

City Council is expected to vote on the motion when it returns from recess on Wednesday, April 19.

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Los Angeles

LA City Council votes to suspend Ridley-Thomas over corruption charges

The 11-to-3 vote to suspend vote came two days after Ridley-Thomas announced that he would “step back” from his duties

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Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas speaking at a press conference (Blade file screenshot photo)

LOS ANGELES – The city council voted Wednesday to suspend Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, 66, who was was indicted a week ago by a federal grand jury on 20 federal counts of conspiracy, bribery, mail and wire fraud.

The 11-to-3 vote to suspend vote came two days after Ridley-Thomas announced that he would “step back” from participation in City Council meetings and committees. Ridley-Thomas, who has denied any wrongdoing, has said he will not resign and will fight the federal charges against him, KTLA and the Los Angeles Times reported.

The federal grand jury’s indictment alleged that Ridley-Thomas took bribes from a former dean at the University of Southern California, (USC) when he was a member of the County Board of Supervisors.

In a letter sent to fellow councilmembers Monday, he indicated that he would step back from his duties but he declined to resign from his seat. He said that he planned to fight the “outrageous allegations” and would resume participation on the legislative body “at the earliest appropriate time.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that in exchange for the payoffs, Ridley-Thomas allegedly supported awarding county contracts worth millions of dollars to USC. 

In the indictment Ridley-Thomas is charged with conspiring with Marilyn Louise Flynn, 83, then dean of USC’s School of Social Work, to steer county money to the university in return for admitting his son Sebastian into graduate school with a full-tuition scholarship and a paid professorship, the Times reported.

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Los Angeles

LA City Councilman Ridley-Thomas will ‘step back’ from duties, not resign

He will fight the “outrageous allegations” and plans to resume participation on the legislative body “at the earliest appropriate time”

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City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas (Screenshot via KABC 7 News Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas in a letter sent to fellow councilmembers Monday said that he would step back from his duties but he declined to resign from his seat.

In the letter he said that he will fight the “outrageous allegations” and plans to resume participation on the legislative body “at the earliest appropriate time,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

“I fully appreciate the importance of the council being able to conduct its business with minimal distractions,” Ridley-Thomas said in the letter, adding that he was stepping back with that in mind.

Ridley-Thomas, 66, was indicted earlier this month by a federal grand jury with 20 federal counts of conspiracy, bribery, mail and wire fraud alleging he took bribes from a former dean at the University of Southern California, (USC) when he was a member of the County Board of Supervisors.

The Los Angeles Times reported that in exchange for the payoffs, Ridley-Thomas allegedly supported awarding county contracts worth millions of dollars to USC. 

In the indictment Ridley-Thomas is charged with conspiring with Marilyn Louise Flynn, 83, then dean of USC’s School of Social Work, to steer county money to the university in return for admitting his son Sebastian into graduate school with a full-tuition scholarship and a paid professorship, the Times reported.

Both Ridley-Thomas and Flynn deny the charges.

Mark Ridley-Thomas will ‘step back’ from LA City Council meetings, won’t resign- KABC 7 News Los Angeles:

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Los Angeles

IATSE and film studios reach a deal, strike averted

The new contract put a halt to what would have been the first nationwide strike in the union’s 128-year history

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Graphic via IATSE

NEW YORK – Negotiators for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees reached a deal Saturday averting a major production strike that would have crippled film and television production nationwide.

The new 3 year contract between the union representing the 60,000 rank and file behind-the-camera film and TV workers and the studios put a halt to what would have been the first nationwide strike in the union’s 128-year history and the first major strike by crews since World War II.

Text of the press release announcement:

Important Update: Tentative Agreement Reached – Strike Averted
Late Saturday, President Matt Loeb and the 13 Hollywood Locals announced that the IATSE
has tentatively agreed to terms and conditions for the 2021 Basic and Videotape Agreements.
Everything achieved was because you, the members, stood up and gave us the power to
change the course of these negotiations. Our solidarity, at both the leadership and rank and
file level, was the primary reason that no local was left behind and every priority was
addressed. Because of you we realized:


• Living wage achieved
• Improved wages and working conditions for streaming
• Retroactive scale wage Increases of 3% annually
• Employer Funded Benefits for the term
• Increased meal period penalties including prevailing rate
• Daily Rest Periods of 10 hours without exclusions
• Weekend Rest Periods of 54 and 32 hours
• Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday Holiday
• Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives
• 13th and 14th checks for pre-August 2009 retirees
• Additional MPI Hours for On-Call Employees
• Expansion of Sick Leave Benefit to the entire country

Your local will provide more detailed information over the next few days. The Memorandum
of Agreement will be available when drafting is completed. We are currently working out the
details of the electronic ratification process.

Your strike authorization vote, your preparation for a strike and your willingness to risk
your livelihood to fight for yourselves and each other has profoundly changed our union.
We thank you for your unwavering support.

In Solidarity,
Matthew D. Loeb
International President,
IATSE
Rebecca Rhine
National Executive Director,
IATSE Local 600
Rachael Stanley
Executive Director,
IATSE Local 892
Greg Reeves
Business Representative-Secretary,
IATSE Local 728
Adam West
Business Representative,
IATSE Local 705
Patric Abaravich
Business Representative,
IATSE Local 871
Cathy Repola
National Executive Director,
IATSE Local 700
Scott Bernard
Business Representative,
IATSE Local 695
Doug Boney
Business Representative,
IATSE Local 884
Thom Davis
Business Manager,
IATSE Local 80
Randy Sayer
Business Agent,
IATSE Local 706
Tobey Bays
Business Agent,
IATSE Local 44
Robert D. Denne
Business Representative/
Secretary-Treasurer,
IATSE Local 729
Chuck Parker
National Executive D

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