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LA LGBTQ politicos react to Democratic debate

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Local LGBT politicos reacted much as the rest of the country to the sixth and final Democratic presidential debate of the year at Loyola Marymount University on Dec. 19. The two most striking observations were the dearth of people of color candidates on the stage, given the diverse demographic strength of the Democratic Party, and that LGBTQ issues were finally raised as a party concern.

Most of the attention, however, was focused on the dramatic flareups as Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar attacked out South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is leading in Iowa, over fundraising transparency and his comparable lack of experience.

Local LGBTQ politicos are still assessing the field, but starting to hone in on top choices.

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago and LA County Democratic Party Chair Mark Gonzalez at the debate (Photo courtesy Gonzalez)

“California will play one of the most crucial roles in deciding the next president of the United States, and we were proud to welcome seven of our candidates to Loyola Marymount University here in Los Angeles,” out LA County Democratic Party Chair Mark Gonzalez told the Los Angeles Blade. “As a proud gay, Latino Angeleno, it’s great to see one of the most diverse fields in history crisscross the country. My only hope is that we will get a chance to see more of our black and brown leaders on future debate stages. We’re just over 40 days away from the first votes cast, and as we’ve continued to see over the past few months, our candidates are ready to take on this president and present a strong case to the American people for Democratic leadership.”

Determined to make a difference in the primary winnowing process, California moved its primary to Super Tuesday, March 3. Early vote-by-mail starts on Feb. 3, ironically the same day as the Iowa Caucuses. The last day to register to vote is Feb. 18 and the last day to request a Vote-By-Mail ballot is Feb. 25. This takes on even greater importance in light of billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision to skip the early primary states and flood Super Tuesday states like California with ads. (See the Sec. of State website for more info at , where Sec. of State Alex Padilla also refutes recent reports about a widespread glitch with the Motor Voter program at the DMV changing voters’ party affiliation.)

Photo: longtime activist/organizer Torie Osborn, a senior advisor to Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, addresses her “Resist and Rise” team at an event for Rep. Karen Bass’ PAC Sea Change, with out LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin, Rep. Ted Lieu, Kuehl and Bass last Sept. (Photo by Linda Garnets)

“Perhaps it’s the afterglow of democracy at work – the orange fascist is IMPEACHED! (thanks to our work building the Blue Wave last year), but I felt really positive about our Democratic field at the debate,” Osborn told the Los Angeles Blade. “I really missed [Sen. Kamala] Harris, [former HUD Sec. Julian] Castro and [Sen. Cory] Booker but overall I like us! I really like us!”

Recently, Osborn announced her endorsement of Warren. “I love, love, love her bold populism and authenticity – and laughed out loud at her line ‘I’d also be the youngest women elected!’ But I liked everyone. Even [former Vice President Joe] Biden is so damn nice, compared to the chaos and cruelty and corruption emanating from the White House. I’ll work my ass for any of them. I believe we must have a woman and person of color on the ticket. But I’m dedicated to winning the Senate and Presidency next year.”

#NotAboveTheLaw organizers Karen Eyres and attorney Patrick Ryan Blood speak at the West Hollywood rally on the eve of President Trump’s impeachment (photo courtesy Blood)

Entertainment attorney Patrick Ryan Blood, a huge #KHive Harris fan, thought Sen. Bernie Sanders sounded like a “broken record” but Biden “flexed his experience across the board, enjoyed a gaffe free night and showed us that he very much so is a candidate who on day 1 would be ready to assume the office of Presidency.”

But Blood’s heart is trending toward Klobuchar.  “It is fairly clear Amy Klobuchar won the night, easily. She made her policy, experience, and plan for America front and center, took aim at Trump being weak, and took aim at the inexperience of Pete Buttiegieg (which so many seem willing to overlook),” Blood told the Los Angeles Blade. “Pete has a weird way of escaping unharmed even when factual failures or shortcomings are illuminated. I am curious how the media will cover the exchanges with Warren and Klobuchar against Pete because if Kamala did the same it would have been the ‘angry black woman’ rhetoric.”

Longtime gay politico Fred Karger, who made history as the first gay person to mount a serious run for president, seeking the Republican nomination in 2012, now supports fellow gay political pioneer, Pete Buttigieg.

“Sens. Warren and Klobuchar took some cheap shots at frontrunner Pete Buttigieg on the debate stage, but that’s bound to happen when you’re in the lead by double digits in both Iowa and New Hampshire,” Karger told the Los Angeles Blade. “Pete deflected the hits well and went on to wow millions more Americans with his smart answers and closing statement on ‘belonging.’”

Billionaire businessman Tom Steyer did better than many expected but still struggles with the albatross of appearing to buy his way onto the debate stage. High tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang also made points but failed to score. His best moment was when asked about the balance of men and women in politics. “If you get too many men, and leave us alone for a while,” Yang said, “we kind of become morons.”

Klobuchar gave a shout out to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who was sitting in the front row. But when asked in the spin room who he is going to endorse now that Harris has dropped out, Newsom demurred.

“The problem is legitimately, I have a lot of friends up there … so it’s hard. Kamala Harris was easy for me,” Politico reported Newsom as saying. “I just feel pretty good and proud that these are good choices the American people can look forward to have. And we’re going to see how big a role we’re going to play here in California.”

Newsom also threw some shade at Warren in her use of the Hall Wines cave fundraiser against Buttigieg. “Billionaires in wine caves should not pick the next president of the United States,” she said.

“There are literally hundreds of Democrats that have been in that same cave. Some of the most enlightened progressive voices in American politics today,” Newsom said, according to AP reporter Kathleen Ronayne.

“Having dinner in a wine cave is so typical for us in Napa Valley,” Hall Wines owner Kathryn Walt Hall told the San Francisco Chronicle, noting that the wine cave is open to the public.

Hall — President Bill Clinton’s ambassador to Austria who was introduced to her real estate tycoon husband Craig Hall by the late Democratic Texas Gov. Ann Richards — said she has hosted numerous political and other fundraisers there, including for victims of the 2017 wildfires in Napa Valley.

“We think that Pete Buttigieg is just a great candidate, and we reached out to a wide cross-section of people in Napa Valley,” Hall said, noting that about 200 guests attended with ticket prices at $500, $1,000 and $2,800.

On the one elitist detail that really stood out, the Chronicle reported: It’s not quite true that Hall Wines has $900 bottles of Cabernet for sale, as has been widely reported. The winery does sell a $900 jeroboam — the equivalent of four standard bottles of wine — but its regular-size bottles range from $28 to $250.”

Asked about the 1,500 Swarovski crystal chandelier, Hall laughed. “I don’t know how many crystals it’s got, but it has a lot and it’s really beautiful,” she said, “and it’s wonderful because Swarovski comes from Austria, where I served.”

The Warren vs Buttigieg “wine cave” spat didn’t bother Osborn.

“I work daily against Trumpism,” she said. “Every single day, I either organize door-knocking in the Antelope Valley or north Huntington Beach to hold those newly flipped House seats or I work for our March 22 $50 fundraiser with [shooting victim, former Rep] Gabby Giffords for [her husband] Mark Kelly to flip that Arizona Senate seat. From my perch they all look good.”

Osborn is focused. “Remember activism is the antidote to rage and despair. We learned that from AIDS. We are warriors. All my lessons from the height of AIDS are put to use in this fight. My resistance group had over 100 at last meeting Dec 8,” Osborn said. “Focus. Empower. Build a leadership team. Analysis. Action. Collaboration.  It works! We win in 2020 just like we won in 2018….We do our jobs: organize, organize, organize. Register and mobilize youth, people of color, LGBT folks, poor people. Get them to the polls. And we win.”

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LA leaders call for unity & protection for trans community

LAPD has noted a 13 percent increase in overall hate crimes, with LGBTQ+ specific hate crimes up by 33 percent

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LAPD Deputy Chief Ruby Flores speaks to reporters during a April 15, 2024 press conference. (Photo by Simha Haddad)

LOS ANGELES – Addressing a concerning escalation of threats against LGBTQ+ organizations throughout the country, leaders from TransLatin@ Coalition, the Los Angeles Police Department, and other officials gathered in a press conference to denounce acts of intimidation and to call for unity and protective measures for the trans and queer community.

A bomb threat called in to the LAPD on March 28, aimed at the TransLatin@ Coalition specifying today April 15 as the target date, has prompted an immediate and ongoing response from local authorities to ensure the safety of those at the coalition’s facilities and others. The LAPD has since been closely monitoring the site. 

The suspect, identified as Henry Nolkemper, a white 61 year old male, was arrested by LAPD shortly afterward after being observed entering his residence on West 53rd Street. The police then searched his residence. Despite the absence of explosives, he was booked under serious charges including criminal threats with a hate crime enhancement.

Nolkemper, known to have a history of mental health issues, was on parole for previous threats to the community. His parole has since been revoked and he is currently held on a one million dollar bail.

The press conference today began with remarks from Robin Toma, Executive Director of LA vs Hate, who highlighted the organization’s role as the third largest source of hate crime reporting in Los Angeles, trailing only police sources.

He also stated that LA vs Hate has reported a troubling increase in trans-specific crimes, noting that such incidents are grossly underreported, a sentiment echoed by surveys within the trans community.

Robin Toma, Executive Director of LA vs Hate, Bamby Salcedo at the podium speaking, LAPD Assistant Chief Blake Chow, & Capri Maddox, Executive Director, City of LA Civil + Human Rights & Equity Dept. (Photo by Simha Haddad)

Bamby Salcedo, President and CEO of TLC, expressed her gratitude for the continued support from various partners and emphasized the daily challenges faced by transgender individuals. “Every day a trans woman steps out of her home, it is a revolutionary act. We are people who walk with targets on our backs,” Salcedo declared, setting a tone of resilience and defiance against the threats.

Special thanks were given to Supervisor Hilda Solis and Jury Candelario, a partner from APAIT and a Filipino immigrant, who marked 35 years in America by calling the trans-related stress “chronic” in his long tenure as a social worker. Esther Lim, representing Supervisor Solis, condemned the bomb threat as an act of “cowardice” and highlighted Solis’ support through a previous $55,000 contribution to TLC and a new motion to establish LA’s first LGBTQ+ commission.

Assistant Chief Blake Chow and Deputy Chief Ruby Flores of the LAPD provided updates on the legal actions following the threat. They noted a 13 percent increase in overall hate crimes, with LGBTQ+ specific hate crimes up by 33 percent. “Behind each hate crime, there is a victim, there are families,” Flores said, urging the community to report incidents and support anti-hate education initiatives.  “These crimes affect people in ways statistics can’t reflect.” 

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The press conference also featured voices from the community like Mariana Marroquin, Associate Director of Trans Wellness, who spoke passionately about the ingrained nature of hate experienced by trans individuals from a young age, and Cari Maddox, who emphatically stated, “Hate has no home in Los Angeles.”

Mark Bayard, representing Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon, affirmed the DA’s commitment to fighting hate crimes vigorously, especially in light of the upcoming election season, which often sees a spike in such incidents.

As the community grapples with this latest threat, the message from today’s conference was clear: solidarity, education, and legal protection are key to combating hate and fostering a society where transgender people can integrate fully and safely.

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24-year-old trans Latina Angeleno & makeup artist shot to death

“This incident has prompted renewed calls for legislative action to address gun control and protect marginalized groups from violence”

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Meraxes Medina/Instagram

LOS ANGELES – In a tragic incident that has shaken the community and advocates for LGBTQ+ rights, Meraxes Medina, a 24-year-old transgender Latina and makeup artist, was fatally shot in Los Angeles on March 21.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, Medina was found dead on the road in South Los Angeles. The LAPD said she was shot in the head and that there was evidence she was also struck by a vehicle. Friends and family have confirmed Medina’s identity, celebrating her life and mourning her untimely death, which marks another violent act against transgender individuals.

Medina, known for her work at Universal Studios and her vibrant presence on social media, had begun hormone therapy and was navigating life as an undocumented person who had faced homelessness. Despite these challenges, those close to her remembered her for her potential and the positive impact she had on those around her. Friends have expressed their grief and shock, emphasizing Medina’s kindness, talent, and the bright future they believed she deserved.

The circumstances surrounding Medina’s death reflect a larger pattern of violence targeting the transgender community, particularly transgender women of color. Advocacy groups have highlighted the disproportionate impact of gun violence on transgender individuals, noting that a significant percentage of homicides within this community involve firearms.

The incident has prompted renewed calls for legislative action to address gun control and protect marginalized groups from violence.

California chapters of groups with Everytown for Gun Safety released a statement underscoring Medina was at least the third transgender person killed by gun violence in the U.S.

“We cannot ignore the disproportionate impact of gun violence on our transgender and gender-expansive neighbors, especially its impact on Black trans women and trans Latinas. We must honor Meraxes’ legacy by continuing to fight to protect our transgender and gender-expansive communities not only in California, but across the country,” said Ashley Castillo, a student leader with Students Demand Action and National Organizing Board Member.

As the investigation continues, Medina’s death serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need for a societal shift to ensure the safety and dignity of all individuals, regardless of gender identity. “The loss of Meraxes Medina is not only a tragedy for those who knew her but also a call to action to combat hate and violence against the transgender community,” said one activist.

“Meraxes was a young woman who deserved to live out a long and fulfilling life. At just 24-years-old, she had so much more to give. Yet again, we find ourselves honoring the life and mourning the loss of someone from our transgender community killed by gun violence, and that alarming reality should emphasize our collective need to fight against lax gun laws. We need to come together and remind everyone, especially lawmakers and politicians, that our lives are worth saving and worth living,” said Tori Cooper, Human Rights Campaign Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative.

Bamby Salcedo, President/CEO of The TransLatin@ Coalition, issed the following statement:  “It’s unfortunate that our sister Meraxes Medina had to perish to the ignorance and violence that we continue to experience as a community, and these are just another examples of what our lives are, and we want to ensure that we hold elected officials accountable for bettering our lives and our future.”

KABC 7 reported between 2017 and 2023, there were 263 reported homicides of transgender people in the U.S., according to the organization. A gun was used in 193 of them.

In California, there were 14 homicides of transgender people reported between 2018 and 2024 so far, and 37% were in Los Angeles.

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LAPD monitoring threats against TransLatin@ Coalition

“These acts of violence underscore the urgent need for comprehensive measures to protect and uplift the most vulnerable among us”

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Los Angeles Police Department vehicles responding to a call for service. (Los Angeles Blade/LAPD file photo)

LOS ANGELES – In a concerning escalation of threats against LGBTQIA+ organizations throughout the country, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) confirmed that a bomb threat was called in to the department on March 28, aimed at the TransLatin@ Coalition (TLC), a vanguard organization for Transgender, Gender Non-Conforming, and Intersex (TGI) Latinx communities.

The threat, specifying April 15 as the target date, has prompted an immediate and ongoing response from local authorities to ensure the safety of those at the coalition’s facilities. The LAPD has since been closely monitoring the site. 

This recent threat comes at a time when the TLC, alongside other organizations within the LGBTQIA+ community, faces increasing hostility, underscored by a series of bomb threats and hate mail aimed at destabilizing the work and well-being of TGI Latinx individuals.

In response to the threat, Bamby Salcedo, the President and CEO of the TransLatin@ Coalition has amplified security measures at TLC and reinforced the importance of emergency preparedness among the staff, emphasizing the coalition’s dedication to fostering a secure and supportive environment despite the daunting challenges posed by such threats.

The bomb threats have been accompanied by hate mail, filled with vitriolic anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and attacks on the Democratic Party, aimed at undermining the coalition’s mission and intimidating its leadership, including Salcedo and Vice President/COO Maria Roman Taylorson.

Despite these attempts to sow fear, the TransLatin@ Coalition stands firm in its mission. “We refuse to be silenced or intimidated,” Salcedo said.

The organization continues to call for unity and action, urging the public to stand in solidarity with TGI communities, report threats or violence, and advocate for greater acceptance and understanding of TGI identities.

The coalition’s commitment to the rights, empowerment, and well-being of TGI Latinx individuals in the United States remains unwavering. Through advocacy, education, and community organizing, the TLC addresses the unique challenges and systemic injustices faced by this community, emphasizing the intersectionality of race and economic status.

As the TLC navigates through these trying times, they have also taken to social media to call for support and positivity, highlighting the unexpected financial strain of heightened security measures. 

This recent threat against the TLC occurs amidst a broader climate of heightened animosity towards the LGBTQIA+ community, as reported by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). The HRC’s documentation of fatal violence against transgender and gender-expansive individuals in 2024 alone paints a grim picture of the dangers faced by the community.

“These acts of violence and discrimination underscore the urgent need for comprehensive measures to protect and uplift the most vulnerable among us,” HRC noted.

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Suspects break into home of Real Friends of WeHo’s Joey Zauzig

Reports indicate that a resident in the area contacted the LAPD while the burglary was in progress at a residence on Marmont Lane

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Joey-Zauzig (Screenshot/YouTube Instagram)

By Paulo Murillo | WEST HOLLYWOOD – An attempted robbery unfolded in the Hollywood Hills early Monday morning at the residence of television personality and influencer Joey Zauzig, known for his role in “The Real Friends of WeHo.”

“Last night at around 12am, 3 men, armed with face masks broke into our house while we were sleeping,” Zauzig posted in an Instagram story. “I woke up to it and triggered the alarm as they shattered one of the glass doors. We are ok and the dogs are safe… thank god they were at training camp.”

Zauzig added that it was truly one of the scariest things that has ever happened to him. “Seeing the footage on our cameras and waking up to it,” he said. “I’m still very much in shock. Please be careful always set your alarms”

He later posted video footage of the three suspects creeping into their home and a screen grab of the vehicle believed to be the getaway car.

Joey Zauzig Instagram screen grab

“I thank you guys so much for all the messages and the love,” he posted in an update. “I’m just wondering when I’m gonna feel back to normal because I definitely don’t and a lot of messages are unfortunately from people that have gone through the same thing.”

He said that he’s getting a lot of recommendations for therapy, but all he hopes to do is to get back to normal. “Last night got zero sleep,” he said. “I had the worst nightmares…this is so f*cked up, but now I’m like at a point where I’m just like angrJoey Zauzigy and now I really want to share this to like, catch these people and it’s the worst feeling ever.”

Earlier posts on Instagram show Zauzig enjoying the sun in a Cabo trip, and indication that he was out of town.

Reports indicate that a resident in the area contacted the police while the burglary was in progress at a residence on Marmont Lane in Hollywood Hills just after midnight on April 8, 2024.

The Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson informed KTLA 5 that the burglary occurred shortly after midnight on Marmont Lane. The suspects, described as three individuals—one wearing a black shirt, one in a blue hoodie, and the third in all black—had fled the scene before law enforcement arrived, LAPD stated.

The Real Friends of WeHo reality series premiered on MTV, on January 20, 2023. The show follows the lives of six LGBTQ+ celebrities, personalities, and entrepreneurs living in West Hollywood, feature Brad Goreski, a celebrity stylist; Todrick Hall, a choreographer and singer; Curtis Hamilton, an actor; Dorión Renaud, CEO of Buttah Skincare; Jaymes Vaughan, a TV host and business owner; and Joey Zauzig, who was described at the time as a digital entrepreneur. The show was not picked up for a second season.

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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.

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

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LA’s chief financial officer says the city has big financial problems

Projected deficits for years to come will force wrenching choices that threaten the vital services Angelenos rely on

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LA City Controller Kenneth Mejia. (Screenshot/YouTube)

LOS ANGELES – The City is under going an audit of finances and spending on Mayor Karen Bass and the city’s Inside Safe program after the LA Alliance for Human Rights and a federal judge expressed frustration over the management of funds to tackle homelessness through that and other services programs.

LA City Controller Kenneth Mejia however, is raising alarms over what he says is a serious budget deficit that is creating greater financial issues for the City. “It’s fair to say that the city of L.A. should be worried about our financial health. It’s not looking good and the people of Los Angeles will suffer based on decisions that City Hall makes,” Mejia told KABC 7.

According to Mejia, Los Angeles has a projected budget deficit of $476 million dollars, which is made up of $289 million in overspending and $187 million in less than expected revenues. The overspending occurred in three departments: police and fire – mainly because of staffing issues and overtime – and in liability claims.

“We’re not in a recession. This is not COVID. This is a budget deficit that we made here in City Hall,” said Mejia.

The City Controller in a statement when his office released the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) in January said: “It is my responsibility to report the bad news: this year the City is spending well beyond our actual revenues. Projected deficits for years to come will force wrenching choices that threaten the vital services Angelenos rely on. This is not the result of a sudden economic downturn, but the culmination of years of short-term budget balancing at the cost of long-term fiscal sustainability.”

Mejia also pointed out that “despite widespread staff vacancies, General Fund departmental spending actually exceeded last year’s adopted budget by nearly $200 million. Had the vacancy rate been closer to normal, the budget would have been in the red.

As our Office has consistently pointed out, citywide deferred maintenance of vital infrastructure requires urgent attention. Last year’s underspending of $316 million in budgeted capital expenditures underscores that the City continues to fall behind – which means even higher costs in the long run.

Again, as we have warned, current staff shortages and long-term underinvestment in the training, technology, equipment and facilities for our workforce hobbles productivity and shortchanges our residents. The homelessness crisis and the reality of a changing climate put even further strain on City resources.”

Mejia told KABC 7 he’s against eliminating 2,000 vacant positions to save money.

“It’s not like these positions have been vacant for many years. They haven’t. All these departments have been trying to fill these positions. A few months ago, we were talking about ‘We need to fill these vacant positions. Come on, join the city.’ And now, we’re like ‘Oh wait. We need to hold back because we’re overspending on police, liability claims, on fire.’ Now, we have to cut other positions in other departments in order to cover that overspending,” said Mejia.

He also warned that without a long-term approach to “putting our fiscal house in order, short-term decisions will doom Los Angeles to an inexorable decline in public services, undermining our quality of life and the economic prospects of our residents.”

In a statement provided to KABC 7 and the Blade, the mayor’s office said they remain “focused on the work that has resulted in thousands more Angelenos coming inside last year than the previous year, a record number of LAPD applications, and finalizing a budget in partnership with our city department heads that will be balanced and protect services for Angelenos.”

The deadline for Mayor Bass to release her budget for next year is April 22.

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Los Angeles

900 Los Angeles homeless deaths in 2023- 23% lower than 2022

Across all of LA County, there was a total of 1,467 deaths of homeless people in 2023. The City’s 900 deaths make up 61% of County deaths

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A homeless man sleeps in front of Grand Park along Grand Avenue. (Photo Credit: Mayra Vasquez/Los Angeles County )

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles City Controller Kenneth Mejia released a new report Thursday that showed that 900 people died while experiencing homelessness within the City’s boundaries in 2023. According to the data, this was down nearly 23% from the previous year’s total of 1,167.

Mejia noted that “any number of unhoused deaths is unacceptable.” The City Controller’s Office also released a map of unhoused deaths in 2023 using data obtained from the Los Angeles County Medical-Examiner Coroner’s office.

Mejia stated “We made this map to bring visibility to the hundreds of deaths suffered by unhoused people in the City of LA that otherwise happen quietly with little attention.”

2023 map and analysis: http://unhouseddeaths2023.lacontroller.app

In response to Mejia’s report, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass issued the following statement Thursday: “Every death that occurs is a tragedy and we express our condolences to those friends, family and community members who have lost a loved one due to this crisis.”

Bass added, “The focus of our work has been to take urgent action to save lives and while the controller’s data released today indicates a decrease in deaths, we know that there is still much more work to be done.”

The data from the report showed that about 678 deaths or 75% were categorized as accidental, while 160 (or 18%) of deaths were natural, 16 (or 2%) were suicide and 6 (or 1%) were undetermined. The report further detailed that about 40, or 4%, homeless people were the victims of homicide in 2023, accounting for 12% of all murders in the city.

The data on homicides noted the fact that the homeless population makes up roughly 1% of the city’s total population yet accounted for 12% of all homicides in the city.

Racial disparity was also a major point the report noting that while Blacks are only 8% of the City’s population, as a group they accounted for 33% of the total homeless population and 31% of the total number of deaths in 2023. About 274 (or 30%) of white homeless people died in 2023, and 289 (or 32%) of Hispanic/Latino homeless died in 2023.

 

Additionally, at least 338 (or 73%) of deaths were in streets or areas without proper utilities, such as tents, parking lots, parks, RVs and vacant buildings, according to the Controller’s analysis.

Also according to the Controller’s analysis January, February and March were the most deadly months for homeless people in 2023.

City Council Districts with the highest numbers of deaths of homeless in 2023 were 1 and 14 encompassing the downtown, north, northeast areas. District 14 had 269 deaths, accounting for 29.9% of unhoused deaths in 2023, followed by 105 deaths or 11.7% in District 1, and 77 or 8.6% of deaths in District 13 in the Hollywood area.

In the 2022 Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority survey, the highest numbers of people experiencing homeless were in City Council Districts 14, 9 and 1, followed by Districts 6 and 13.

Nearly 70% of deaths were suffered by people ages 31-60. Ages 51-60 had the highest death rate.

Across all of Los Angeles County, there was a total of 1,467 deaths of homeless people in 2023. The City of LA’s 900 homeless deaths make up 61% of County deaths.

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South LA trans woman murdered, LAPD are looking for suspects

Surveillance footage captured near the scene of the March 21 murder showed a person dragging the victim’s body out of a light-colored sedan

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LAPD & CHP patrol vehicles/LA Blade file photo

By Rob Salerno | LOS ANGELES – A trans woman believed to be in her early 20s was murdered in the early morning of March 21 near the corner of West 70th and Figueroa Streets, the latest in what appear to be a string of slayings of sex workers in the area.

The LAPD are still looking for information and have not yet made any arrests.

The LAPD responded to a call around 4:20 am and found the victim suffering a gunshot wound to the back of the head. She was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. 

Two days earlier, officers had responded to a call around 8:50pm on Hoover St between Slauson Ave and West 59th, where they found a woman who had been killed by a gunshot. Police believe both women were shot with a 9-millimeter firearm.

Police believe both women were engaged in sex work but have not released any information identifying them.

The Los Angeles Times reported that surveillance footage captured near the scene of the March 21 murder showed a person dragging the victim’s body out of a light-colored sedan next to the parking lot of a high school before driving off.

Police speculated that the victim was shot in the car after a sexual encounter that went wrong. The area is known as a place where sex workers are picked up by clients who drive to nearby motels on Figueroa St. 

The LA Times noted that another 25-year-old sex worker was killed on nearby Western Ave in February when someone in a vehicle fired a gun at the corner she was standing on. Another man was shot in the same incident, but he survived. LAPD does not consider this event to be linked to the other two murders.

LAPD are asking anyone with information to come forward.

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Rob Salerno is a writer and journalist based in Los Angeles, California, and Toronto, Canada.

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L.A. Marathon is Sunday & here are road closures to avoid

Roughly 25,000 runners will stream through city streets with the goal of completing Sunday’s 39th Los Angeles Marathon

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L.A. Marathon 2023 (Photo Credit: City of West Hollywood/Jon Viscott)

LOS ANGELES – Celebrating its 39th year of running, the Los Angeles Marathon course will begin at Dodger Stadium and it will conclude at Century Park in Century City. The portion of the route that runs through the City of West Hollywood remains unchanged.

Roughly 25,000 runners will stream through city streets, passing by iconic venues, all with the goal of completing Sunday’s 39th Los Angeles Marathon. The 26.2-mile course begins at Dodger Stadium, with the competition getting underway at 7 a.m. and going through several communities, including Echo Park, Silver Lake, Los Feliz, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Century City.

The finish line is at Santa Monica Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars in Century City. Most streets will reopen by 1 p.m. Sunday, with parts of Avenue of the Stars and Century Park East near the finish line being the last to reopen at 8 p.m.

The Los Angeles Marathon route for 2024 will guide runners westbound into the City of West Hollywood along Sunset Boulevard at Marmont Lane, just west of N. Crescent Heights Boulevard. From the Sunset Strip, runners will turn left (south) onto N. San Vicente Boulevard; then right (west) onto Santa Monica Boulevard; then left (south) onto N. Doheny Drive, where they will enter the City of Beverly Hills. The Marathon will run through West Hollywood between miles 14 and 15 of the course.

To ensure the safety of the large numbers of Los Angeles Marathon runners, there will be several street closures in the City of West Hollywood on Sunday, March 17, 2024 from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m.; crews will work to reopen roads to vehicle traffic as quickly as possible as the Marathon moves through the City of West Hollywood:

  • Sunset Boulevard between Marmont Lane and Clark Street/N. San Vicente Boulevard (the route enters the City of West Hollywood from the City of Los Angeles west along Sunset Boulevard from Marmont Lane, just west of N. Crescent Heights Boulevard);
  • N. San Vicente Boulevard between Sunset Boulevard and Melrose Avenue;
  • Santa Monica Boulevard between La Cienega Boulevard and N. Doheny Drive;
  • N. Doheny Drive between Santa Monica Boulevard and Beverly Boulevard (the route exits the City of West Hollywood to the City of Beverly Hills south along N. Doheny Drive).

Parking will be strictly prohibited along the Los Angeles Marathon route. “No Parking” signs will be posted prior to the event. Vehicles in violation will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.

Los Angeles Marathon spectators and community members who are searching for alternative parking solutions in West Hollywood during the Los Angeles Marathon are encouraged to visit the City of West Hollywood’s website, where a directory of parking structures and municipal lots with hours of operation and rates is available online. Members of the public are encouraged to carpool and to use public transportation, taxis, or ridesharing options.

Roads will be closed to the public for the event as early as 3 a.m. on Sunday. They include roads along the route. A map of closures can be found below:

A map of road closures along the L.A. Marathon course for Sunday, March 17, 2024. The closures will begin as early as 3 a.m. (Google Maps)

A full list of complete-street closures can be found at this link: L.A. Marathon course closures.

Along with the fully closed roads along the entire course, several streets will be local access only, meaning only residents can access these roads since they aren’t on the race course. Residents can ask for local access at the traffic closure.

A list of local-access only areas can be found at this link: L.A. Marathon additional street closures.

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Los Angeles

Crescenta Valley councilman urinates on doorway to LGBTQ bar

One of the men on the video was later identified as Chris Kilpatrick, an elected member of the Crescenta Valley Town Council

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DTLA LGBTQ+ bar manager scuffles with men after they urinate on bar's employee entrance doorway. (Screenshot/YouTube KABC 7)

UPDATED: The Crescenta Valley Town Council (CVTC) on Thursday announced councilman Chris Kilpatrick had resigned. “Today, Councilmember Chris Kilpatrick tendered his resignation from the Crescenta Valley Town Council,” CVTC said in a statement posted to Instagram.

LOS ANGELES – In an incident caught on surveillance security video this past weekend at the Precinct DTLA queer bar located at 357 South Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, two men are seen walking into the alcove of the employee entrance to the bar and urinating on the door.

One of the men on the video was later identified as Chris Kilpatrick, an elected member of the Crescenta Valley Town Council. In an interview with KABC 7 Eyewitness News, Jeremy Lucido, bar’s general manager said:

“I was walking to my car on the sidewalk, noticed two guys, drunk with their full cocktails,” Lucido said. “I recognized the glasses from our bar so I knew they (had been) inside. I told them ‘whatsup! You can’t have your drinks out here’ and I went to grab one of the cups and the tall dude pushed me and I flew back.”

Lucido said that when he later reviewed the surveillance security video, he realized that they were the same men he had the altercation with. He told KABC 7 that he posted the video to the bar’s Instagram account which then racked up over 5,000 views and reactions.

“Two bros walk into a bar. 🍻👬😵🚫 Last Saturday night, these two party boys decided to show everyone what not to do at Precinct. They first left the bar with full cocktail glasses in hand, then decided to go to our employee entrance, whip out their 🍤 and piss all over it together. 💛 When done, they rounded the corner where one of the managers spotted the drinks and tried to take them away; the big one reacted by physically assaulting him, throwing him to the ground. Precinct is a safe space for all; let’s have a good time. Don’t be a d*ck. 🫶🏼 oh, yeah, we also have several bathrooms.”

KABC 7 reported that the video has racked up nearly 1,000 comments. Many commenters identified one of the men as Kilpatrick.

“The comments just grew very fast with different stories, other parties and party hosts, and bar managers, like ‘oh yeah, we know them’,” Lucido told KABC 7.

John Duran, an attorney for Kilpatrick in a statement to KABC claimed that Lucido did not identify himself as a bar employee. He says Kilpatrick acted in self-defense, believing he was going to be gay-bashed.

The attorney’s statement read in part: “…public urination is not a criminal offense. It is an infraction under the Los Angeles Municipal Code and one can be cited to pay a fine for this violation. Battery is a misdemeanor offense including an unlawful touching as exhibited by individual one, who grabbed my client first. Pushing back is an affirmative defense if done to defend oneself or others.”

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Los Angeles

LAPD seeking additional victims of celebrity photographer

If you have been a victim or have information about this investigation, you are urged to contact LAPD’s Special Assault Section: 213-473-0447

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Kenneth Howard Dolin via screenshot YouTube & headshot provided via the Los Angeles Police Department

LOS ANGELES – Investigators with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Operations-West Bureau Special Assault Section (SAS) are seeking additional victims in a series of sexual assaults in the Hancock Park area.

On January 10, 2024, a 29-year-old woman reported that she was sexually assaulted by Kenneth Howard Dolin at his residence/photography studio in Wilshire Division. Dolin is a well-known photographer and acting coach.

KTLA 5 news reported that Dolin’s website includes photos of “Saturday Night Live” stars like Chris Parnell and Molly Shannon, former Laker and actor Rick Fox, “numerous multiple Oscar and Emmy Award winning actors” and “luminaries from the worlds of business and media,” he writes.

He has significant connections in the entertainment industry and has been known to solicit victims on modeling websites. The detective’s follow-up investigation revealed that two additional female victims in their mid-twenties also accused Dolin of sexual assault in 2017. All three incidents began with professional contacts that led to reports of Dolin touching women inappropriately during photo shoots when they were alone in his studio.

On March 4, 2024, SAS investigators arrested 64-year-old Kenneth Howard Dolin for 289(a) P.C., Penetration with a Foreign Object (booking #6769557). He has since been released from custody pending further investigation. 

“These victims felt trapped and had to comply with his advances,” said Detective Brent Hopkins, a supervisor with the Special Assault Section. “There’s a huge difference between art photography and sexual assault. We want to make sure we know everything that happened and make sure that line does not get crossed again.”

Investigators believe other victims have yet to be identified. A photograph of the suspect is being released to identify and speak with those victims.

If you have been a victim or have information about this investigation, you are urged to contact Officer Richard Podkowski, Special Assault Section, at 213-473-0447.

During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247).

Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly towww.lacrimestoppers.org.

Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.

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