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Midterm races closer than expected

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Katie Hill with HRC volunteers (Photo courtesy Hill for Congress)

Warning: this is not hyperbole. If the Democrats do not flip the House on Nov. 6, Trump Republicans will control the White House, the US Senate, and the US Supreme Court, with the elevation of controversial nominee Brett Kavanaugh, despite the outcry from a majority of women who think his character makes him unfit to serve for a lifetime on the highest court in the land. 

President Trump successfully convinced many Republicans that federal Judge Kavanaugh was effectively put on trial during his confirmation hearing and was denied due process since the FBI did not corroborate Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s sworn testimony that a very drunk 17-year-old Kavanaugh sexual assaulted her when she was 15. Democrats claimed the FBI investigation, limited in scope by the White House, was a whitewash since the FBI failed to interview many of the people Ford said could corroborate her account. Indeed, Democrats insisted that his Senate confirmation hearing was a job interview where his lies under oath, Ford’s powerful public testimony, as well as the accusations of other alleged would ordinarily have been an immediate disqualification by any other potential employer.

How much will Kavanaugh and Trump’s mocking of Dr. Ford at a campaign rally in Mississippi have on voters? The answer is hard to gauge, especially since each day brings a new, explosive revelation that could tip voters one way or the other. But right now, the fight over 

Kavanaugh has so galvanized sleepy conservative GOP voters that most poll takers think the Senate, once a possible win for Democrats, will now remain in the hands of Republicans. The House, on the other hand, has become increasingly more vulnerable—Democrats need 23 seats to re-take the House.

But that Big Blue Wave may now have subsided as the enthusiasm gap between Democrats and Republicans shrunk to only two points with the Kavanaugh hearings.

The Hill Reports: “Polling released from Harvard CAPS/Harris on Monday (Oct 1) showed that registered Democratic voters are slightly more likely to vote than Republican and independent voters based on the battle over the Kavanaugh nomination, which could provide some comfort to the party. Half of Democratic voters say they’re more likely to vote, compared to 46 percent of GOP voters.”

But the polls are hard to decipher: bisexual candidate Katie Hill, 31, had a sizable lead over anti-LGBT incumbent Steve Knight in California’s 25th Congressional District to the point that she was a “Lean Democrat” in the Cook Political Report. On Oct. 4, that race was listed as a “Republican Toss Up.” Real Clear Politics’ summary of polls had Kight up by two points though Hill was still within the huge 10 point margin of error. Roll Call also took Knight off their list of the most vulnerable House incumbents.

“At this point, the consensus is that this race will be close,” Lindsay Bubar, Senior Advisor to the Hill for Congress campaign, tells the Los Angeles Blade. “Every poll has it within two points one way or the other, indicating that every single dollar we raise and every door we knock on will matter. We need all of the support we can get between now and Election Day to ensure we flip this seat and elect Katie to Congress.” 

Roll Call also took anti-LGBT Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s seat in California’s 48th District off their vulnerable House list.  The Cook Report has that seat as Republican Toss Up, though Democratic businessman Harley Rouda is more confident of winning if women, young people and minorities turn out to vote.

Indeed, Rohrabacher’s notoriety as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s favorite congressman ties him directly with Trump—both of whom are essentially on the ballot for voters who care about the range of issues from national security to LGBT and women’s rights to climate change to basic human decency as an example for the next generation. 

“Unfortunately, Donald Trump is a bad example, in so many ways, for our kids and also for elected politicians. I think what we’ve seen in the Senate with this breakdown in decorum—Donald Trump has to take some responsibility for that happening by creating an environment where that type of behavior is not only acceptable but it’s almost encouraged. Rouda told the Los Angeles Blade at an LGBT fundraiser in Los Angeles Oct. 3. “The role of the President of the United States is to bring Americans together. This is the first time in our lifetime that we have ever seen a president who purposely and systematically is pitting Americans against Americans.”

A new poll conducted for the Los Angeles Times by UC Berkeley’s Institute for Governmental Studies— taken before the Kavanugh hearings—suggests the Republicans “are at risk of a wipeout in California’s six most hotly contested congressional races.” But, the Times points out, “if the tide ebbs only slightly, the GOP could emerge with much of its control intact.”

“Trump appears to be the main motivator for voters in these districts,” veteran pollster Mark DiCamillo, who directs the Berkeley IGS Poll, told The Times. “He’s the central figure.”

As of their Oct. 4 poll, The Times reports:

– Republican incumbent Rep. Steve Knight of Palmdale (CD 25) “is narrowly trailing in the only remaining L.A.-centered district the GOP holds.” Hill has a slight edge, 50% to 46%, within the poll’s margin of error.

– longtime anti-LGBT incumbent Rep. Duncan Hunter of Alpine (CD 50), who has been indicted on federal fraud charge, “has only a 49%-47% lead over Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, a result well within the poll’s margin of error.”

– Democrat Mike Levin has a 55%-41% lead over Republican Diane Harkey to replace retiring Republican Rep. Darrell Issa in CD 49.

– longtime anti-LGBT Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa and  Democrat Harley Rouda in CD 48 “are in a dead heat, each with 48%. Voters also split almost evenly on whether they approve of Trump.”

–  Republican incumbent Rep. Mimi Walters of Laguna Beach is trailing Democrat UC Irvine law professor Katie Porter, 52% to 45%, a big deal since Walters is so tied to Trump.

– Democrat Gil Cisneros and Republican Young Kim are locked in a dead heat for CD 39, an open seat vacated by Ed Royce. Kim and the Republicans have been running a horrific ad against Cisneros, touting a sexual harassment charge by a woman who later retracted the allegation. But the harm may have been done. The Times poll show Cisneros holding a nominal 49%-48% edge.

Another poll commissioned by Democrats show that women will be the key to winning and voter turnout. The poll by Change Research, commissioned by Fight Back California SuperPAC and the California Labor Federation, which tracked 337 likely women voters from Oct. 2-3 shows:

“In CA-39, Cisneros leads Kim among women voters, 58 percent to 39 percent. In CA-45, Porter leads Walters among women, 53 percent to 42 percent. In CA-48, Rouda leads Rohrabacher among women, 56 percent to 43 percent. In CA-49, Levin leads Harkey among women, 59 percent to 36 percent.”

“Based on this poll, It is clear that suburban women who fueled Hillary Clinton’s victories in these districts are now fueling the support for the Democratic Congressional candidates in these districts,” lead strategist Katie Merrill told POLITICO.

LGBT voters are turning out, too, from Human Rights Campaign and Equality California, to Stonewall Democratic Club, Stonewall Young Democrats, and others, to unseat the Republican incumbents who they say do not represent California and pro-equality values. But only turnout will determine if Democrats can flip the House, keep Trump Republicans in check and democracy viable until Trump can be relieved of command.

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Community Services - PSA

LA County Parks after Dark program celebrates 50th anniversary of Title IX

Parks & Rec offers sport opportunities for girls in flag football, soccer, softball, basketball, lacrosse, cheerleading and volleyball

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – On Thursday, June 23, 2022, 34 participating Parks After Dark (PAD) parks will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Title IX with a highly anticipated girls’ sports clinic and showcase starting at 6:00 p.m.

More than 1,800 girls, ages 5 to 18 will have the opportunity to learn skills and techniques from various sports such as soccer, lacrosse, softball, basketball and cheerleading. Sports will vary at each park.

In 1972, Title IX, the civil rights legislation that prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or any other college sports was passed into law to provide equal opportunity, scholarships and participation for girls in sports. In 2022, the department of Parks and Recreation is striving to offer girls sports County-wide to support the vision of Title IX and aiming for gender equity across all sports programs.

“The department’s goal is to provide a safe space dedicated for girls to play, increase opportunities for women coaches and administrators and to provide a positive experience while participating in sports,” says Regina Bradley, LA County Parks and Recreation Sports Manager.

The department currently offers sport opportunities for girls in flag football, soccer, softball, basketball, lacrosse, cheerleading and volleyball.

Parks After Dark is an award-winning program designed to bring communities together by filling park spaces with family-centered activities that transform local parks into summer safe havens. This summer’s program lineup will feature an array of girls’ sports programs to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Title IX, which paved the way to gender equity for girl’s participation in sports.

The L.A. County Parks after Dark program is possible thanks to the generosity of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors – First District Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, Second District Supervisor and Board Chair Holly J. Mitchell, Third District Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, Fourth District Supervisor Janice Hahn and Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger – L.A. County Chief Executive Office, L.A. County Department of Public Social Services, L.A. County Probation Department and many community-based organizations throughout L.A. County.

“Now more than ever, L.A. County families need park spaces to heal from the trauma brought on by COVID-19 combined with the financial stress many people are facing,” L.A. County Parks Executive Director Norma Edith García-González said. “Parks after Dark eliminates barriers to recreational opportunities and introduces families to no cost enriching experiences that promote mental and physical health through fun and games.”

Parks After Dark, launched in 2010, has proven to be a successful prevention and intervention program that provides multiple benefits to vulnerable communities,decreasing violence and crime, and increasing social cohesion and community well-being. In 2018, Parks After Dark was recognized by the National Recreation and Park Association, which presented L.A. County Parks and Recreation with its Best in Innovation award.

For more information on Parks After Dark, visit https://parks.lacounty.gov/PAD.

All PAD parks will host programs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 6:00-10:00PM between June 16th and August 6th:

Jackie Robinson Park – 8773 E. Avenue R, Littlerock

Stephen Sorenson Park – 16801 E. Avenue P, Lake Los Angeles

George Lane Park – 5520 W. Ave L-8, Quartz Hill

Val Verde Community Regional Park – 30300 W. Arlington Rd., Val Verde

El Cariso Community Regional Park – 13100 Hubbard St., Sylmar

Loma Alta Park – 3330 N. Lincoln Ave., Altadena

Pamela County Park – 2236 Goodall Ave., Duarte

Valleydale Park – 5525 N. Lark Ellen Ave., Azusa

Charter Oak Park – 20261 E. Covina Blvd., Covina

San Angelo Park – 245 S. San Angelo Ave., La Puente

Bassett Park – 510 N. Vineland Ave., La Puente

Allen J. Martin Park – 14830 E. Giordano St., La Puente

Rimgrove Park – 747 N. Rimgrove Dr., La Puente

William Steinmetz Park – 1545 S, Stimson Ave., Hacienda Heights

Amigo Park – 5700 S. Juarez Ave., Whittier

Sorenson Park – 11419 Rose Hedge Dr., Whittier

Adventure Park – 10130 S. Gunn Ave., Whittier

Amelia Mayberry Park – 13201 E. Meyer Rd., Whittier

City Terrace Park – 1126 N. Hazard Ave., East Los Angeles

Eugene A. Obregon Park – 4021 E. First St., Los Angeles

Belvedere Community Regional Park – 4914 E. Cesar Chavez Ave., Los Angeles

Ruben Salazar Park – 3864 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles

Saybrook Park – 6250 E. Northside Dr., East Los Angeles

East Rancho Dominguez Park – 15116 S. Atlantic Ave., Compton

Mona Park – 2291 E. 121st St., Compton

Athens Park – 12603 S. Broadway, Los Angeles

Mary M. Bethune Park – 1244 E. 61st St., Los Angeles

Earvin “Magic” Johnson Park – 905 E. El Segundo Blvd, Los Angeles

Helen Keller Park – 12521 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles

Jesse Owens Community Regional Park – 9651 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles

Franklin D. Roosevelt Park – 7600 Graham Ave., Los Angeles

Ted Watkins Memorial Park – 1335 E. 103rd St., Los Angeles

Col. Leon H. Washington Park – 8908 S. Maie Ave., Los Angeles

George Washington Carver Park – 1400 E. 118th St., Los Angeles

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Community Services - PSA

LA County Parks & Rec invites folks to Juneteenth at Jackie Robinson Park

FREE Performances, Guest Speaker Series, Games, Art Displays, Car Exhibits and So Much More this Saturday!

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – It’s Park Time L.A. County! LA County Parks and Recreation invites you to our Juneteenth celebration, on Saturday, June 18th from 10am to 10pm at Jackie Robinson Park (8773 E Avenue R Sun Village).

Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States; specifically, when former slaves were finally freed in Galveston, Texas, two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Though long celebrated within the Black community, Juneteenth was formally made a federal holiday on June 17th, 2021.

The L.A. County Juneteenth Celebrations are possible thanks to the generosity of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors – First District Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, Second District Supervisor and Board Chair Holly J. Mitchell, Third District Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, and Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger – and many community-based organizations throughout L.A. County.

Juneteenth at Jackie Robinson is hosted in partnership with local community organizations. This year’s activities include musical performances, speaker’s series, wellness activities, resource fairs, artist experiences, hands-on children’s activities, video game trucks and so much more.

For more information on Juneteenth celebrations, contact Delmy Villegas-Delgado, Recreation Manager at (626) 369-5141 or at [email protected]

Juneteenth at Jackie Robison is a FREE events with no registration required. Food available onsite at cost by local businesses and vendors.

Please join us at the following parks and celebrate Juneteenth with us this Saturday:

Jackie Robinson Park – 8773 E Avenue R Sun Village from 10 am to 10 pm

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Community Services - PSA

Los Angeles County Parks & Recreation launches summer aquatics

Summer aquatics registration opens up Saturday, June 18 and programs start Monday, June 20, 2022- visit parks.lacounty.gov/aquatics

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – It’s Park Time L.A.! Beat the heat, get fit or learn to swim at L.A. County seasonal and year-round pools. There’s something for everyone including lap swim, novice teams, aqua aerobics too! Free Every Body Swims and other summer aquatics programs run from June 20 to August 20.

Register at reservations.lacounty.gov starting June 18. 

L.A. County’s five year-round pools operate Monday through Saturday from 6 am to 7 pm. The County’s twenty-three seasonal pools operate on two rotating schedules from 11 am to 7 pm. Pools on schedule 1 operate Monday, Wednesday and Friday and pools on schedule 2 operate Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

For more information on swim programs, visit parks.lacounty.gov/aquatics.

L.A. County’s Summer Aquatics programs are possible thanks to the generous support of the L.A. County Board of Supervisor First District Supervisor Hilda L. Solis for her support in funding programming at Belvedere Pool, as well as the American Red Cross and LA84 Foundation for supporting scholarships. Visit your local pool to learn about more information on scholarships. 

Looking for more places to cool off in the evening? Attend evening swim at one of our 18 Parks After Dark (PAD) locations from 6 to 7:30 pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Find a PAD swim site by visiting parks.lacounty.gov/pad.   

L.A. County also has 18 splash pads to cool off in that operate from 10 am to 7 pm Monday through Sunday through September 30.

To find a splash pad near you, visit parks.lacounty.gov/aquatics

For more information on L.A. County’s aquatics programs, contact:

 [email protected]

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