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Christy Smith is the only woman running in CA 25 special election

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A look at their Facebook pages the week before Thanksgiving gives an insight into the candidates vying to replace former Rep. Katie Hill in California’s 25th Congressional District in the March 3 special election. The men – Democratic YouTube host Cenk Uygur, Republican former Rep. Steve Kight and former Trump campaign staffer George Papadopoulos all focus on themselves.

Assemblymember Christy Smith, however, focuses on the district – from the 32-plus photos of a Lancaster community Thanksgiving dinner to packaging Thanksgiving dinners for 124 families associated with the Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers in Newhall to raising $1,406 at her Hart High School Class of 2009 reunion to show support for Saugus High School, still grieving after the recent mass shooting.

But Smith also has some California mamma bear snarl. Papadopoulos has lived in California for just over a year and is still on supervised release after spending two weeks in federal prison for lying to the FBI during the Mueller probe. On Oct. 29, Smith posted a Twitter video mocking the 32-year old.  “Hey, guess what, this is California,” said Smith, slapping her hand on a US map. “And as soon as you can identify my district on here, you let us know.”

Nonetheless, on Nov. 25, Papadopoulos went on “Fox & Friends” to announce he’s running to “promote the ‘America First’ agenda.” Some media outlets are speculating about a possible duel between Papadopoulos and Cenk Uygur, the hyper-masculine progressive co-founder/host of The Young Turks, who is also running.

The Los Angeles County Democratic Party, Stonewall Democratic Club, and Stonewall Young Democrats have condemned Uygur for past controversial comments, including a 2000 blog post in which Uygur called women “flawed.”

“It seems like there is a sea of tits here, and I am drinking in tiny droplets,” Uygur wrote. “Obviously, the genes of women are flawed. They are poorly designed creatures who do not want to have sex nearly as often as needed for the human race to get along peaceably and fruitfully.”

Uygur posted a Facebook video complaining about the “personal attacks.” But Uygur has a bigger problem. “I’ve never once seen Cenk at anything,” Zakia Kator, an Afghan refugee progressive activist who supports Smith, told the Daily Beast. “He’s truly a carpetbagger. Nobody knows him, other than the people like me who actually listen to his show.”

After Uygur filed to run on Nov. 13, conspiracy theory InfoWars host Mike Cernovich fantasized about a debate with the uber-progressive. Smith posted a cryptic tweet: “Here’s an idea. How about all of you man spread in your own damn districts?! #CA25 belongs to #CA25”

Endorsements poured in, including from Equality California. “Christy Smith is an outstanding ally and champion for the LGBTQ community,” Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur said in a press release. “In Sacramento, she’s fought to lower the cost of healthcare and make our schools safe and supportive for all students. We’re confident she’ll do the same in Washington and are proud to support her campaign for Congress.”

In his video, Uygur complained that his opponent didn’t want to discuss “the issues.” But a quick scroll through Smith’s Twitter feed demolishes that assertion. She highlights community events, provides important information during the terrible fires that ravaged her district and talks about her education, good governance, and pro-nurses legislation signed by Gov. Newsom.

Smith told the Los Angeles Blade that if elected, she will make education a top priority.

“Our public school system is one of the most important cornerstones of our democracy,” she said. “I plan to be a member who’s focusing on everything that’s relevant to my District, but especially working on improvements in our public education system across the country.”

Smith said she finds Uygur’s commentary “disqualifying.” But it was his lack of response to the Saugus High School shooting that really galled her.

“The night of the event I was with grieving families and really trying to work to pull our community back together,” Smith said. “I got home to find out that he had been raising money online and boasting about fundraising totals. Probably from his mansion in Newport Beach. That act alone I found singularly disqualifying for the kind of District that he hopes to represent.”

Smith said she learned about the LGBTQ community as a teenager when her mother was a home healthcare worker for people with AIDS during the 80s while living in Santa Clarita.

“She really became bonded to these individuals, sometimes to their families, sometimes to their partners,” Smith said. “[She] shared with me the injustices that these individuals were facing — not being able to leave property to a partner or a loved one;  not being able to provide for them, being on their deathbed and not having family members come to be at their side because they had been disavowed for being a part of the gay community. The fact that we talked about deep issues like this, informed me.”

That led to “some really solid friendships” with LGBTQ people, including supporting and mentoring a gay young man who ran for school board in their local community.

Smith said she appreciated “the warmth and the outpouring of support” from Equality California and Stonewall. “It just means the world to me,” she said. “I may not be the perfect ally because I haven’t shared the struggles, but I am always certainly willing to learn and to understand and to appreciate. I hope to not let the community down.”

For more, visit Christy for Congress.

 

 

 

 

 

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Los Angeles

Los Angeles City Council bans homeless camps in 54 locations

Sitting, sleeping & storing property near fire hydrants, building entrances, driveways, libraries, parks, elementary schools banned

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LA Homeless Service Authority workers Giovanna Miranda, (L) & Tania Trigueros (Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES – Setting up or creating encampments by homeless persons in 54 select locations across the city is now banned after the LA City Council voted 12-2 Wednesday to outlaw sitting, sleeping and lying in those places.

Utilizing new laws passed over the summer after contentious and at times acrimonious debate, the council enacted new rules regulating sitting, sleeping and storing property near fire hydrants, building entrances, driveways, libraries, parks, elementary schools and several other locations.

The council also directed city staff to ensure that the homeless were given proper notifications prior to action and that all departments expand staff and make available resources to help those affected by the new ban.

On Wednesday, U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough announced that the VA is going to place more than 500 unhoused veterans living in Los Angeles into permanent housing.

According to McDonough, the efforts will be in two steps, the first to assist approximately 40 veterans living on the street in what is colloquially referred to as the ‘Veteran’s Row’ encampment, located adjacent to the VA campus in Brentwood on San Vincente Boulevard.

That encampment has been highlighted by mayoral candidates visiting it frequently including last week by U.S. Representative Karen Bass, (D) who was accompanied by the VA Secretary.

The next step is move another 500 veterans into permanent or transitional housing by December 31, the VA Secretary said.

In the last census count of homeless people conducted by the County of Los Angeles, of the nearly 66,000 people experiencing homelessness, roughly 3,900 are homeless veterans.

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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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