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Rep. Katie Hill getting death threats

Says Rep. Omar’s dehumanization is ‘worst of all’

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Rep. Katie Hill and Stonewall Democratic Club President Lester Aponte (Photo by Karen Ocamb)

It’s spring recess, a time when elected officials return to their districts to share what’s happening in this new world of quicksand politics. But Stonewall Democratic Club’s “Stoney Awards” on April 13 offered a sense of optimism that the darkness of Trump era is only a blip on the progressive trajectory of American democracy. 

Stonewall honored Rep. Katie Hill, Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu, transgender rights activist Karina Samala, Black AIDS Institute founder Phill Wilson and Stonewall’s member of the year, John Erickson—and Rep. Adam Schiff received a hero’s welcome.

Though the 2020 elections are still 19 months away, races are well underway with Democratic candidates seeking Stonewall’s endorsement. In fact, Hill told the appreciative crowd, during the 2018 primary, she was accused of faking her sexual orientation to win their endorsement.

“One of my favorite moments in the entire campaign was in the primary,” Hill said, “when I was told that I was pretending to be bi because I wanted the endorsement of the Stonewall Democratic Club. So clearly this is an endorsement that carries a lot of clout.”

Republicans want Hill’s purple 25th District back in 2020. She won handily in 2018 as part of California’s blue wave winning the House of Representatives. The millennial activist defeated longtime conservative Rep. Steve Knight, son on the infamous anti-LGBT state legislator Pete Knight. 

But while her district includes Lancaster, Palmdale and Simi Valley where “The Gay Agenda” was produced and anti-LGBT hate crimes were routine, the old GOP stronghold went 50.3% for Hillary Clinton and 43.6% for Donald Trump. By 2018, Democrats held a nearly 4-point edge in the working class district. Hill defeated Knight 54.4% to 45.6%, becoming California’s first out LGBT woman in Congress.

Hill was assigned to three significant House committees, including the important Oversight and Reform Committee where she is Vice Chair to Chair Rep. Elijah Cummings. Oversight is holding hearings on climate change and prescription drug prices, as well as accountability in government. Additionally, Hill is co-Freshman Class Representative with Colorado Rep. Joe Neguse to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and top leadership.

Hill will be holding a “conversation” with constituents about her first 100 days on Sat, April 27, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM PDT at Santa Clarita City Hall. RSVPs are required: https://katiehill.house.gov/

Mike Garcia, son of a Mexican immigrant and a fighter pilot Iraq War veteran, announced on April 10 that he is challenging Hill. His strategy is to tie her to Bronx Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and others pushing a “Socialist agenda”—the new official Republican Party talking point.

“I have been at the edge where bullets fly and lives are lost,” Garcia said in a press release, reports Politico. “I believe America is the greatest country in the world. I’ve seen men and women lose their lives defending this country. And I am disgusted that politicians in Washington are voting in lockstep with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to push a Socialist agenda that jeopardizes everything we’ve risked blood and treasure to defend.”

Hill took the announcement in stride.

“I know how tough these primaries can be. With three Republicans now filed to run and likely more who will jump in, I wish them all luck,” she told Politico. “I am deeply grateful to Mr. Garcia for his service to our nation and thank him and his family for all they have given to keep America safe.”

Hill reported a little over $607,000 in first quarter filings for her re-election bid, according to Politico. Her SoCal 2018 fellow candidates also have done well. Finance whiz Rep. Katie Porter raised about $416,000; Rep. Gil Cisneros brought in $260,000; Rep. Harley Rouda collected around $495,000; and Rep. Mike Levin reported about $442,000.

The other member of the group, Ammar Campa-Najjar, lost by 3.4 points to longtime anti-LGBT Rep. Duncan Hunter, who is under federal indictment for allegedly using campaign funds for personal matters. Campa-Najjar raised more than $345,000 in the first quarter to Hunter’s reported $93,000. Hunter, meanwhile, has resurrected his nasty claims that the devout Christian Campa-Najjar has secret ties to Islamic terrorists.

“He’s just trying to fearmonger,” Campa-Najjar told Politico, calling Hunter’s claims “totally devoid of moral character and facts” to “distract from his criminal indictment.”

But nowhere has the ugly trope of Islamic terrorism been used as harshly as against Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Somali refugee who came to the US as a teenager with her family seeking asylum. She and Rep. Rashida Tlaib are the first two Muslim women elected to Congress and are in Hill’s freshman class. Omar is also the first to wear a hijab on the House floor, becoming a powerful symbol for both refugees and Muslims—and a prime target for Trump’s anti-Muslim aggression.

Trump tweeted a video using a fragment of remarks Omar delivered to the Council on American-Islamic Relations against the backdrop of graphic images showing the 9/11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center. Omar was describing how CAIR was founded after 9/11 “because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

“Since the president’s tweet Friday evening, I have experienced an increase in direct threats on my life — many directly referencing or replying to the president’s video,” Omar tweeted. “This is endangering lives. It has to stop.”

In an interview during the Stonewall event, Hill said death threats have become commonplace.

“I think that people have really diminished the fact that she [Omar] and Alexandria and Rashida—and even myself have—we’ve been under death threats for quite some time,” Hill told the Los Angeles Blade. “Theirs have been worse—I don’t want to pretend I’m even on the same level as them. But hers [Omar’s] have been the worst of all.

“I don’t know exactly what makes people think they can do that. But I do think it’s a dehumanization,” Hill said. “This idea of people being dehumanized as second class citizens—however you want to put that in your mind—is that you are able to put them to a point where they are getting death threats or you feel like you can do that to somebody. We have to say unequivocally that that behavior is unacceptable.”

The interview was before Speaker Pelosi’s response to Trump’s tweet about Omar, which some Democrats felt was too tepid, and before Pelosi’s appearance on “60 Minutes” where she seemed to minimize the impact of AOC and the more outspoken newer members.

Hill seems to have a good working relationship with Pelosi. “It feels very much like she’s preparing for the next generation of leadership and I’m really honored and humbled and feel a great deal of responsibility to be part of that,” Hill told the Los Angeles Blade. “And I think it shows how much I’ve got to learn. She’s just an incredible role model and I would say unequivocally that we’re not quite ready for her to go.”

Hill, who has endorsed Sen. Kamala Harris for president, thinks candidates should focus on issues while providing a contrast to Trump.

“As far as I’m concerned, people’s opinions of Donald Trump are set. So from where I’m at, we have to do our constitutional obligation in Congress to hold the President accountable and to provide the oversight that hasn’t been done for two years. We’re going to keep doing that,” Hill said.

“We’re also sent there to work on healthcare and to work on rebuilding the middle class, doing the infra-structure, raising people’s wages, and providing accountability within government—so we’ve got to do that at the same time,” she said.

“In terms of the presidential campaign, I think what people want to see is what alternative you bring. And to me that’s honesty and integrity and an alternative that is not Donald Trump. I don’t honestly think that people need to have a whole lot pointed out about him, because everyone knows if you’re with Trump—that’s not moving, no matter how much you try,” Hill said, noting the importance of voters in the middle. “We can acknowledge what he’s done but we should not let him drive the narrative, which is what he’s done for four years.”

Hill is also practical regarding calls for Trump’s impeachment.

“Honestly, I think that what we have to just say across the board is that impeachment is a political process. If we don’t have the votes in the Senate, there’s no point,” she said. “So what we have to do instead is bring to light all the information for the American people and make sure that they have that information going into the election and can make their own decision.”

Hill’s own focus is her district, her committee assignments and her leadership post. “In large part, I see a responsibility to be a messenger on behalf of the new class as the Freshman Leadership representative and as somebody who is from this purple kind of middle,” Hill said. “It’s kind of figuring out what that messaging is and being able to deliver it and do both jobs at the same time.”

And run for re-election to keep the House in 2020.

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Los Angeles County

New on the LA County Channel

You can watch on Channel 92 or 94 on most cable systems, or anytime here. Catch up on LA County Close-Up here

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

New on the County Channel

The Veteran Peer Access Network (VPAN) is the first community-driven support network serving veterans and their families in the U.S. Led by veterans for veterans, VPAN connects L.A. County Departments, nonprofits, the V.A., and L.A. City Programs to help veterans navigate often complicated systems to connect to resources. VPAN prioritizes hiring veterans as “battle buddies” and systems navigators to connect assist their fellow veterans.

You can watch more stories like this on Channel 92 or 94 on most cable systems, or anytime here. Catch up on LA County Close-Up here.

In Case You Missed It

Arts Internship Program – Apply Today!

LA County Arts and Culture Internships - Positions now open!

Positions for the 2024 Arts Internship Program are now available! This program will provide 228 university and community college students with paid on-the-job experience in the arts at over 160 nonprofit organizations across the LA region. What’s more, all Arts Internship Program internships provide 400 hours of work experience at $17.28 an hour.

Positions will continue to be posted on a rolling basis through July 2024. Visit the LA County Arts & Culture website to learn more!

At Your Service

The Works App

From reporting potholes to finding critical services, it’s LA County at your fingertips.

The Works App empowers you to report:

  • Issues like potholes, graffiti, overgrown trees, and blocked storm drains
  • Property-related concerns and suspected violations
  • Illegal dumping activities affecting our streets and environment
  • Maintenance needs of trails and facilities in County parks

Keep up to date with the County’s latest news on upcoming events. Locate the nearest LA County offices, libraries, shuttle buses, and other services.

Download The Works for iPhone or Android today and transform how you connect with LA County!

Out and About

Celebrating Juneteenth

Join LA County in celebrating Juneteeth at Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell’s 4th Annual Juneteeth Celebration and Resource Fair on Friday, June 21, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This event features music, food trucks, live performances, access to County services, resources, fun activities, and more! All residents are welcome to attend this FREE event. We encourage you to register and forward this email to your friends and neighbors! Register here

To learn more about Juneteeth and find events and programming in your community, click here.

Photo Finish

Levitated Mass at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. (Photo: Los Angeles County)

Click here to access more photos of LA County in action.

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Los Angeles County

Parks make life better month- Culver City’s movies in the park

California’s “Parks Make Life Better!” recognizes the importance of equitable access to parks, recreation, trails, open space, & facilities

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Los Angeles Blade graphic

CULVER CITY, Calif. – July is “Parks Make Life Better!” month and the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department is celebrating with Movies in The Park every Saturday night, all month long! 

Bring your blankets, picnic baskets, and lawn chairs to see:

Gates will open at 7 PM and movies will begin at dusk. Admission is free. 

The California “Parks Make Life Better!” campaign recognizes the importance of equitable access to parks, recreation, trails, open space, and facilities for the positive development of all. Culver City PRCS invites you and your family to celebrate with us. 

PARKS MAKE LIFE BETTER MONTH

MOVIE SCREENINGS

WHEN

Saturday July 6, 13, 20, and 27

7 PM gates open, movie starts at dusk

WHERE

  • Veterans Memorial Park on 7/6
  • Syd Kronenthal Park on 7/13
  • Fox Hills Park on 7/20
  • Culver West Alexander Park on 7/27
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Los Angeles County

LA Metro: More frequent and reliable bus service

Bus ridership in the San Fernando Valley is growing faster than in any other Metro bus service area & improvements reflect ridership growth

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles/Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro)

LOS ANGELES – Effective Sunday, June 23, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) announced that the agency will offer more frequent and reliable bus service and an improved travel experience on multiple routes based on direct feedback from customers and bus operators, and review of ridership and travel time data. 

Bus service improvements will update travel times so riders will wait less at stops. Added trips at peak travel times will provide extra capacity to move additional riders more efficiently during busy travel periods and some lines will be extended so riders can more easily reach major destinations. Several bus lines will operate more frequently on weekdays as outlined in the NextGen Bus Plan.

Metro is also improving peak hour frequencies weekdays on two San Fernando Valley bus lines as part of the North San Fernando Valley Corridor Transit Improvements project.

Route changes by region are as follows:

San Fernando Valley

Bus ridership in the San Fernando Valley is growing faster than in any other Metro bus service area. Metro is adding capacity on many lines to accommodate this growth in ridership.

As a first step in implementing the Measure M funded North San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor Improvements Project, Line 152 on Roscoe Boulevard and Line 166 on Nordhoff Street will begin operating service every 10 minutes during the busiest weekday peak periods both eastbound and westbound. On Line 152, 10-minute service will operate eastbound in the 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. hours and westbound during the 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. hours in the evening. Line 166 will operate 10-minute service westbound in the 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. hours and eastbound in the 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. hours. Each will add new weekday trips to the schedule. Seven new trips on Line 152 and eight on Line 166.

Line 158 will add 25 extra trips between the Southern terminal at Moorpark/Van Nuys and Van Nuys/Woodman to increase weekday frequency from 60 minutes to 30 minutes on the segment of Line 158 along Woodman Avenue.

Line 165 on Vanowen Street will add two additional eastbound trips during the 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. hours of weekday evening peak.

Line 169 on Saticoy Street will add one additional weekday trip during the 6:00 a.m. hour westbound and an additional eastbound trip during the 4:00 p.m. hour between Hollywood Burbank Airport and West Hills Medical Center for service every 30 minutes.

San Gabriel Valley

Line 76 routing will be modified to achieve faster access to and from Downtown LA and provide new direct connectivity via Alameda Street to the Little Tokyo/Arts District Station (A & E Lines). Line 76 will have new stops along Alameda Street for Union Station and will discontinue stops at Vignes Street at Cesar Chavez behind Union Station. Riders from Union Station will now board the bus on the Alameda Street side of the station.

Line 267 will be extended from Pasadena to Altadena, replacing Line 686 on Colorado Boulevard and Allen Avenue. Operating hours will be extended by an extra hour until 9 p.m. for Line 267 to maintain the same hours of service that Line 686 offers. Frequency will increase for the former Line 686 segment between Pasadena and Altadena on weekdays to every 30 minutes from every 60 minutes. Weekend service will remain at every 60 minutes.

Line 268 will improve bus service to the City of Sierra Madre in response to resident requests, by extending the route to Sierra Madre Boulevard via Baldwin Avenue, Sierra Madre Boulevard, and Sierra Madre Villa Avenue instead of Foothill Boulevard to and from Sierra Madre Villa Station. Metro Micro rideshare service will continue to be available in Sierra Madre. A second route change for Line 268 will improve access to the El Monte Metrolink Station with buses rerouted via Tyler Avenue, Valley Boulevard, and Santa Anita Avenue.

Gateway Cities

Line 265 on Paramount Boulevard will increase service from 60 minutes to 40-45 minutes on weekdays. Service will remain at 60 minutes on the weekends.

South Bay

Line 108 in the City of Commerce on Eastern Avenue will move its terminus location slightly north to Harbor Street due to Eastern Avenue being restored to two traffic lanes in each direction, preventing buses from safely parking at the existing terminus.

Westside/Central LA

Line 81 will relocate the northbound terminal at Eagle Rock Plaza from eastbound on Colorado Boulevard at Eagle Dale Avenue to westbound Colorado Boulevard at Eagle Dale Avenue to accommodate the Line 217 extension to Eagle Rock Plaza at the Colorado and Eagle Dale Terminal. This change will require that two stops relocate near Eagle Rock Plaza. Line 81 will also see two southbound trips added to the afternoon peak schedule weekdays in the 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. hours to accommodate increasing ridership.

Line 217 will extend from Vermont/Hollywood to Eagle Rock via Glendale to allow easier access for riders between Mid-City, Hollywood and Glendale. Lines 180 and 217 will each be scheduled to operate every 12 minutes daytime on weekdays and every 15 minutes daytime on weekends with coordinated schedules to maximize frequency on duplicated segments.

At Westwood, Metro Line 20, 602, and 720 buses will no longer be able to travel through the federal GSA building parking lot between Veteran Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard. As a result, Line 602 will move from the existing terminus on Veteran Avenue to a new terminus location at Kinross Avenue west of Gayley Avenue and will discontinue use of the stop at Wilshire Boulevard and Veteran Avenue. Eastbound Line 20 and 720 buses starting trips from Veteran Avenue will instead travel via Veteran Avenue, Santa Monica Boulevard and Sepulveda Boulevard to reach Wilshire Boulevard.  

Metro will also adjust service levels slightly on many bus lines to better match ridership   levels and to accommodate the above improvements. This includes some changes to the first and last trips on some lines. Also, 49 weekday, 42 Saturday, and 41 Sunday bus lines will have revised schedules to improve their reliability. A complete list of the changes and links to new schedules can be found at metro.net/mybus.

Stay informed by following Metro on The Source and El Pasajero at metro.netfacebook.com/losangelesmetrotwitter.com/metrolosangeles,  twitter.com/metroLAalerts and instagram.com/metrolosangeles.

Bus & Rail Transit information
323.GO.METRO (323.466.3876)
6:30am – 7pm (Monday – Friday)
8:00am – 4:30pm (Saturday/Sunday)

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Southern California

Triple A: SoCal gas prices continue dropping quickly

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.87, which is 11 cents lower than a week ago

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Triple A Auto Club/Los Angeles Blade

LOS ANGELES – Gas prices in Southern California have dropped by more than 50 cents a gallon in most areas after two straight months of price declines, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch. The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.87, which is 11 cents lower than a week ago. The average national price is $3.46, which is two cents lower than a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.83 per gallon, which is 10 cents less than last week and 13 cents less than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.85, which is 10 cents lower than last week and eight cents lower than this time last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.97, which is five cents lower than last week and two cents higher than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.75, which is 10 cents lower than last week and 10 cents lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.96 average price is eight cents less than last week and nine cents higher than a year ago today.

“Oil Price Information Service reports the latest Energy Information Administration data shows that West Coast refinery utilization rates reached their highest production levels of 2024 at the beginning of this month,” said Auto Club Spokesperson Doug Shupe. “California continues to have the highest gas prices in the U.S., but this week for the first time since March, gas prices in most local areas are lower than at this time a year ago.”

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on June 13, averages are:

061324

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Los Angeles County

Culver City Pride Ride & Rally

You’re invited to Culver City’s 4th annual Pride celebration. The party will place on Saturday, June 29th, 2024

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Photo Credit: Culver City Government

CULVER CITY, Calif. – The Culver City PRIDE RIDE will start at 4PM on Saturday, June 29th, 2024, from Syd Kronenthal Park and make its way over six miles through the neighborhood streets of Culver City. RSVPs are required for attendees of the PRIDE RIDE. Metro Bikes will be available for those who want to ride and do not have a bicycle.

The Culver City PRIDE RALLY, which is an evening street block party with Drag Performers, local speakers, Live DJs, dancing, a Family Art Experience, and so much more! Located on Main Street in Downtown Culver City from 6PM to 9PM.

In a press release a spokesperson noted: “You’re invited to Culver City’s 4th annual Pride celebration. The party will place on Saturday, June 29th, 2024. This event is known throughout for bringing our community together to celebrate what makes us unique and the values that unite us.”

Consider taking the bus or using other mobility options to attend the event including the City’s Circulator that connects Downtown to the Culver City ELine (Expo) Station! Plan your trip by calling 310-253-6500, visiting the Culver CityBus website, or using the Next CCBus app that provides real time bus locations, trip planning and bus occupancy levels. Learn more about the parking in downtown Culver City and please avoid parking in residential neighborhoods. To take the circulator, look out for “Board Here” signs!

For exact times, use the NextCCBus app or visit CulverCityBus.com.

For more information about the events and to RSVP for the PRIDE RIDE, please visit the Culver City Pride website.

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West Hollywood

WeHo Mayor John Erickson graces cover of THE FIGHT Magazine

This interview delves into his personal narrative, celebrating his identity and the vibrant LGBTQ+ community he now calls home

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Mayor John M Erickson on the cover of THE FIGHT Magazine (Paulo Murillo/WeHo Times)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – West Hollywood Mayor John Erickson has landed on the front page of The Fight Magazine.

In this issue, a shirtless Mayor, being interviewed by editor and publisher of WEHO TIMES, Paulo Murillo, speaks about the gay male experience while growing up in Ripon Wisconsin.

The Q&A is part of an ongoing media partnership between the two news outlets. Space is limited in print, so stay tuned for the full unedited online interview coming soon.

Mayor John M Erickson on the cover of THE FIGHT Magazine (Paulo Murillo/WeHo Times)

West Hollywood Mayor John M. Erickson grew up in the small town of Ripon, Wisconsin where he faced the challenges of understanding his sexuality amidst a backdrop of limited representation and societal expectations.

This interview delves into his personal narrative, celebrating his identity and the vibrant LGBTQ+ community he now calls home as we approach Pride Month in the City of West Hollywood.

How do you identify?

I identify as a very proud gay man. I identify with the historical struggle to come out as a member of what was then the lesbian and gay community or the gay community, and now the full beauty of the rainbow we have today… I’m comfortable in my own body that way, and I fought like hell to be this comfortable and this out with who I am.

When did you know you were gay?

I grew up in a really small town … population like 7,000 people, and I knew I was different at a young age. I want to say middle school. I probably knew I was gay as more versions of LGBTQ identity were coming out on TV. You’re always so fearful of what that is because you’re othered in so many communities. By the time I was in high school, I knew I was gay. And before I went to college, I came out privately to a few close friends. Then when I was a sophomore in college, I came out fully to my family.

How did your family react?

My mother probably took it harder than anyone, but that’s because she grew up at a time when LGBTQ people were further demonized than they are still today. My dad was very stoic and said, “Well, you’re just so good at sports. I don’t understand what’s going on.” He didn’t get it, but I came to be close to them in individual ways. My sisters were extremely supportive in bringing my parents around. Thank God they’re licensed therapists, so they were able to work through it with my mom and my dad. They had a toolbox, and now my parents are some of my biggest supporters. I can’t do what I do without them.

To read the rest of the interview click on the link below:

******************************************************************************************

Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appea

******************************************************************************************

The preceding article was previously published by WeHo Times and is republished with permission.

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Los Angeles

Tens of thousands at LA Pride Parade & Block Party in Hollywood

The parade was hosted by “Good Morning America” weekend co-anchor Gio Benitez and ABC7 anchor Ellen Leyva. ABC7 broadcast the parade live.

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KABC interviews actor George Takei's (seated on trunk lid) husband Brad Takei at LA Pride Parade on Sunday. Takei and Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Kristin Crowley served as grand marshals of the 2024 LA Pride Parade in Hollywood. (Screenshot/KABC 7)

LOS ANGELES – The 54th annual LA Pride Parade kicked off Sunday morning as tens of thousands of Angelenos and visitors took over the streets of Hollywood, continuing a two-day celebration of Pride Month 2024.

Broadcast live and online by KABC 7, The band Mariachi Arcoiris kicked off the 2024 LA Pride Parade with a rousing performance in Hollywood.

KABC also caught up with grand marshal and “Star Trek” legend George Takei accompanied by his husband Brad Takei.

The parade began at 11 a.m. at Highland Avenue and Sunset Boulevard, then headed north on Highland, east on Hollywood Boulevard, south on Cahuenga Boulevard and back to Sunset.

Takei, who served as the Icon Grand Marshal told KABC: “As someone who has witnessed the struggles and triumphs of our community over the years, I am filled with gratitude for the progress we have made and inspired to continue the fight for full acceptance and equality for all.” 

Takei’s husband Brad compared him to the late Betty White joking about the actor being 87 years old having just had a birthday this past Spring.

KABC noted that Professional wrestler Cassandro, El Exotico served as the Legacy Grand Marshal, while Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Kristin Crowley — the agency’s first openly gay chief — was the Community Grand Marshal.

“These individuals epitomize this year’s theme of Power in Pride,’ not just through their own achievements, but through their unwavering commitment to advancing LGBTQ+ rights and visibility,” Gerald Garth, board president of event sponsor Christopher Street West, said in a statement. “As this year’s grand marshals, they embody the essence of empowerment, showing us that our differences are not obstacles but sources of strength. Together, they inspire us to embrace our identities, break barriers.”

In an interview with the Los Angeles Blade on Friday, Los Angeles City Fire Department Chief Kristin M. Crowley expressed her excitement about participating in the LA Pride Parade this Sunday.

“This feels like a whole other level, especially being part of the parade as a grand marshal of the Los Angeles Fire Department,” she said. “It’s very humbling. I have been proud to participate in the pride parade over the past few years, but this is extra special—being able to be out front and represent the department and our community as a whole.”

The parade was hosted by “Good Morning America” weekend co-anchor Gio Benitez and ABC7 anchor Ellen Leyva. ABC7 broadcast the parade live.

The LA Pride Block Party followed the parade beginning at noon and continuing until 8 p.m. on Hollywood Boulevard between Vine and Gower streets. The free event included vendor and information booths, a beer garden, food trucks and live entertainment.

Additional reporting by KABC 7 LA

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Los Angeles County

Dive into Summer with LA County Parks & Recreation!

Enjoy free recreational swim, exciting games, fun giveaways, music, delicious food, and so much more! Visit LA County Parks & Recreation today

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Castaic Sports Complex Aquatic Center offers a splash pad, recreational swimming pool, and swim lanes. (Mayra Vasquez/Los Angeles County)

LOS ANGELES – Join us for an epic series of pool parties happening at all our pools to kick-off our summer aquatics programs!  Enjoy free recreational swim, exciting games, fun giveaways, music, delicious food, and so much more!

Check out our website: parks.lacounty.gov/aquatics and find a pool party happening near you!
Don’t miss out on the fun! Bring your friends and family and let’s make this summer unforgettable! 

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Los Angeles County

Boys & Girls Club of Malibu is raising mental health awareness

The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu (BGCM) members are taking a steps towards addressing youth suicide with the “1 in 5” campaign

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(Photo courtesy of The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu)

MALIBU, Calif. – The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu (BGCM) are taking a steps towards addressing youth suicide with the “1 in 5” campaign, a youth-led initiative to raise awareness about mental health.

In light of research indicating that 20% (one in five) of teens seriously contemplate committing suicide and 9% have attempted it, BGCM members are determined to combat this pressing issue through their new thought-provoking clothing line.

“1 in 5” Campaign

Diego Alvarez, a BGCM member for ten years, along with two friends from the club, started the “1 in 5” clothing line to spread the word and remove the taboo surrounding youth suicide and mental health. Alvares and Violet Way, the Director of Education at BGCM and an alumna of the club, gave The Blade an exclusive interview about their recent efforts. 

The “1 in 5” apparel line, is a series of crewneck sweaters featuring thought-provoking statements like “Tomorrow Needs You.” 

“We want to spread awareness and end the taboo surrounding the topic of suicide,” Alvarez told The Blade. “We wanted it to be something for everyone. We created something that was timeless and that could capture the message,” said Alvarez.

The unique apparel line was unveiled at BGCM’s Third Space storefront last month on May 14, coinciding with National Mental Health Awareness Month. Proceeds from the apparel sales support the BGCM Wellness Center, allowing it to continue to offer no-cost mental health counseling and social support services. 

Alvarez emphasized the importance of the campaign’s message: “We definitely want people to reach out.”

Irina C., a BGCM member and mental health advocate, emphasized the importance of addressing suicide openly: “After everything we have been through, I refuse to let suicide be a taboo topic any longer. The more hidden it is, the more stigma there is around it. I want to help people be comfortable enough to talk about it in order to be able to reach for help without fearing judgment, and ‘1 in 5’ will do exactly that.”

The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu

The BGCM Wellness Center serves as a vital resource for youth, families, and the aging population, providing comprehensive mental health services with a commitment to “no barriers to access.” This means that all students, from kindergarten to 12th grade, can access licensed clinical therapists and social workers every school day, free of charge. The clinical team also collaborates with educators to implement a social-emotional wellness curriculum, empowering students to understand and manage their mental health and recognize when peers may need support.

(Photo courtesy of The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu)

Alvarez, reflecting on his long-term involvement with BGCM, said, “It’s really a place I see as a safe space. You can be yourself.” The club, a nonprofit organization, offers a variety of services, including a completely free wellness center. Although there is a $90 fee for the school year, waivers are available, ensuring that everyone has access to its resources, regardless of whether they attend public school in Malibu.

As a child of immigrant parents, Alvarez acknowledges the gap in understanding the benefits of mental health wellness, particularly regarding suicide. “Parents don’t always know how to communicate with their kids and talk about this stuff,” he said. “I want people to know that even though it is hard to talk about, it is still possible to talk about.”

Way noted the club’s efforts to bridge this gap by providing services and workshops for parents, helping them better understand and support their children’s mental health. She also said she encourages open communication about mental health struggles. “It’s better to have a friend that is mad at you and alive,” she stated, emphasizing the importance of supporting friends who may be contemplating suicide and ensuring they feel safe to share their feelings.

BGCM encouraged community members to participate in National Mental Health Awareness Month by purchasing a “1 in 5” crewneck or making a direct donation to the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu Wellness Center.

The Wellness Center, a trauma-informed facility, offers no-cost mental health and wellness services to youth, families, and the aging population. Services include mental health counseling, crisis intervention, trauma-informed case management, social and emotional learning, healthcare assistance, parenting support groups, and student workshops. For more information or to request support services, visit BGCM Wellness Center.

(Photo courtesy of The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu)

For 24 years, the Boys & Girls Club of Malibu has enabled young people to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. With four sites, including a Wellness Center and three Clubhouses, BGCM serves a membership of 700 K-12th graders and 1,700 youth through outreach programs.

The Wellness Center provides free mental health, wellness, and social support services to all Malibu Public Schools and is available to the community at large. Currently, the club services over 200 individuals from over 100 zip codes. BGCM’s programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, healthy lifestyles, and social and emotional wellness.

To learn more about the “1 in 5” initiative and purchase the apparel online, visit Third Space Malibu at link: (Here).

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Third Space
23357 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265

[email protected]
Phone: 310-359-3224

Store Hours:
Tuesday-Friday 11am to 6pm
Saturday 10am to 6pm
Sunday 11am to 5pm

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San Bernardino County

Redlands joins growing list of SoCal cities banning Pride flags

Across Southern California display of the LGBTQ+ Pride Flag for Pride Month has been cloaked in acrimonious debate in multiple jurisdictions

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Mayor Pro Tem Paul Barich speaks just before Redlands City Council rejects proposal to fly Pride flag. (Screenshot/YouTube KCAL CBS LA)

REDLANDS, Calif. – After a contentious debate between Redlands City Council members this past Tuesday, a proposal to allow annual display of the LGBTQ+ Pride Flag on city property during June Pride Month was defeated in a 3-2 vote.

Mayor Eddie Tejeda, Councilmember Mario Saucedo and Mayor Pro Tem Paul Barich all voted against adopting the proposal while the amendment was supported by Denise Davis, the city’s first openly LGBTQ council member, who says she wants an even more inclusive flag policy that represents other marginalized communities too.

According to SFGate, Councilmember Davis described raising the flag as a “statement of our shared humanity,” but Saucedo — who opposed the measure — lamented that his friends now have “an issue” with him over his stance and that he’s been “called names on social media.”

“I am accepting of everybody,” he said.

Councilmember Jenna Guzman-Lowery described the debate as “exhausting” before voicing her support for the flag and describing it as a symbol of safety. Her tone visibly upseting and angering Mayor Pro Tem Barich who shot back with “it’s amazing how people say, ‘Well, you judge us.’ Unfortunately, a lot of people in this room judge more than anybody else.”

Barich argued that putting the flag up would create a rift in the community, and complained about people from other cities who have called Redlands about the issue. It’s “lazy just to [say], ‘Oh you’re a bigot or homophobic,’” SFGate reported the Mayor Pro Tem complained then added:

“Denise, have I always respected you? You know me personally,” Barich said, turning toward her. “This is not about me,” she responded.

In seeming justification prior to voting against the proposal Barich noted “One of my dearest, closest friends is gay,”

Across Southern California display of the LGBTQ+ Pride Flag for Pride Month in June has been cloaked in acrimonious debate in multiple jurisdictions. Last month after a tense back and forth between city council members, the city of Downey banned display of the Pride Flag, voting instead to implement a ‘neutral’ flag policy agenda item brought forward for a vote by that city’s Mayor Pro Tem Hector Sosa.

Three months ago the city of Huntington Beach voters passed a ballot measure that enshrines into the city charter an ordinance that would only allow the American flag, California state flag and the city of Huntington Beach flag to be flown or displayed on city property passed by the city council in February of last year.

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