Having a Democratically controlled California state legislature does not guarantee passage of progressive legislation. But the shoulder-shrugging killing of a human rights bill that LGBTQ lobbying group Equality California marked as a top priority should jolt LGBTQ and allied voters into an awareness that even endorsed Democrats require ongoing scrutiny.
When out State Sen. Scott Wiener introduced his Intersex Autonomy bill, SB 201, last year, cosponsored by Equality California, interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth and the ACLU of California, it seemed like the logical extension of Wiener’s SCR 110, passed in Aug. 2018. The resolution denounced medically unnecessary surgeries for intersex children that Human Rights Watch recognized as a human rights issue. The international human-rights organization applauded passage of Wiener’s resolution, saying it “signals the state’s respect for people born with variations in their sex characteristics.
“California’s leadership on the protection of intersex children’s rights is not only an expression of solidarity and dignity, but a reminder that doctors take an oath do no harm,” Kyle Knight, a Human Rights Watch researcher and author of two reports on intersex issues, said in a statement to NBC News. “Medical professional associations should draw a hard line saying that unless surgery is medically necessary, intersex children have the right to grow up and participate in the decision to undergo surgical procedures.”
The United Nations agrees. “Intersex people are born with sex characteristics that don’t fit typical definitions of male and female. In many countries, intersex children are subjected to repeated surgery and treatment to try to change their sex characteristics and appearance, causing terrible physical, psychological and emotional pain – and violating their rights,” says the UN’s Free & Equal campaign, which recognizes Oct. 24 as Intersex Awareness Day.
“Intersex children don’t need to be ‘fixed;’ they are perfect just as they are! The United Nations is calling on governments and parents to protect intersex children from harm.”
In fact, the UN convened its first meeting in Sept. 2015 to discuss medical intervention on the genitalia of intersex babies as a human rights violations similar to the outrage of female genital mutilation.
Buzzfeed News reported on Sept 19, 2015:
“The U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights meeting, held in Geneva, builds off a 2013 report by the U.N.’s Special Rapporteur on Torture calling on the world’s nations to outlaw ‘genital normalizing’ surgeries on intersex individuals.
This week’s meeting also discussed human rights violations such as infanticide and widespread discrimination that occurs against intersex people around the world. But the issue of how to end the practice of intersex surgeries was front and center.
“Too many people assume, without really thinking about it, that everyone can be fitted into two distinct and mutually exclusive categories: male or female,” said Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the U.N.’s high commissioner for human rights, in his opening remarks.
“Such violations are rarely discussed and even more rarely investigated or prosecuted,” Hussein said. “The result is impunity for the perpetrators, lack of remedy for victims, and a perpetuating cycle of ignorance and abuse.”
An estimated 1 in every 2,000 babies are born with traits that doctors would classify as intersex, though some experts say the real number is even higher.
When these babies are born, in the U.S. and elsewhere, it’s common medical practice to operate on them to make their genitalia appear more typically male or female.
The surgeries have been the subject of fierce debate for several decades. Many activists argue that they are medically unnecessary, based on social fears about ambiguous genitalia, and can cause physical or psychological harm — all without the patient’s consent. For this reason, many activists refer to the surgeries as “intersex genital mutilation,” drawing a comparison to the cultural practice of female genital mutilation that has been outlawed in many countries.”
Not everyone agreed. “These are social interventions on your genitals — if we’re going to use that language about Africa, we’re going to have to use it here,” Alice Dreger, a historian of medicine and intersex patient advocate, told BuzzFeed News. “The parallel that they’re done for social reasons is very clear. But it’s going to be very difficult to convince most doctors that the surgeries constitute a human rights violation.”
Wiener, Equality California and the ACLU of California side with interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth. “The bill does not prohibit treatment or surgery when it is medically necessary; it will simply delay elective surgeries often performed on babies in an attempt to ‘normalize’ their bodies until they have the ability to make their own informed decision,” at least until age six when children start more intense self-awareness, Equality California said in a press release.
Advocates also drew the distinction between the needs of the transgender and intersex communities.
“Transgender has to do with your gender identity. Whereas intersex has to do with your biological characteristics,” says Emily in a Buzzfeed-produced video.
“Often intersex people get surgeries that they don’t want and transgender people have to fight for surgeries they do want,” Cypher says in the video.
“These surgeries should be performed only with informed consent by the person whose life will be permanently impacted,” Wiener told NBC News in a statement. “A baby cannot provide that consent.”
He added: “These surgeries can have significant negative impacts on people’s lives, particularly if the gender chosen by the physician and parents is different from the child’s ultimate gender identity.”
Wiener turned SB 201 into two-year bill last year in response to concerns expressed by the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee, where it was first heard as part of oversight and regulation of the medical profession. He also modified the bill this month but the amendments failed to appease the California Medical Association and other doctors’ groups “that vehemently opposed the legislation as a threat to their expertise and the safety of some of the patients they serve,” the Sacramento Bee reported.
“SB 201 treats every child the same, ignoring the potential impact of treatment,” Hillary Copp, a pediatric urologist at UCSF, told the Bee. “We’re not for or against surgery and we’re not performing the surgeries that are being insinuated. We’re offering all medical treatment options and when we’re unsure of diagnoses, the majority of times, we are not offering surgery.’
Committee chair Sen. Steve Glazer –backed by Sens. Richard Pan, Jerry Hill and Bill Dodd — said that while the issue of sex-assignment surgery must be addressed, “SB 201 would have consequences that…could violate the medical community’s pledge to ‘first, do no harm,’” the Bee reported.
On Jan. 13, without negotiation or compromise on further amendments, the committee killed the human rights bill by a vote of 4 to 2. Democratic Sens. Cathleen Galgiani of Stockton, a member of the LGBT Legislative Caucus, and Connie Leyva of Chino voted in favor of SB 201 while Sens. Glazer, Ling Ling Chang (Republican Vice Chair) and Bob Archuleta abstained, presumably to avoid having an anti-LGBTQ/ anti-human rights vote on their records. Sens. Dodd, Hill, Pan and Republican Scott Wilk had no such qualms and voted NO.
“I’m very disappointed that the Committee voted down this civil rights bill,” Wiener said. “Intersex people deserve legal protection, and we are committed to ensuring that protection under California law. Today’s vote was a setback, but this is only the beginning. We aren’t giving up on protecting intersex people from non-consensual, invasive, dangerous surgery. As with many civil rights struggles, it sometimes takes multiple tries to prevail. We will be back.”
“Four members of the California Senate Business and Professions Committee voted today to continue allowing pediatric surgeons to cause documented, irreversible harms against children born with diverse sex traits,” said Kimberly Zieselman, Executive Director of interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth, after the Jan. 13 vote. “Our fight for bodily autonomy is far from over. I’m heartened by the conversations SB 201 started, and by the increased awareness and concern for harmful medical interventions on intersex children.”
“We are deeply disappointed in the committee’s decision not to affirm the legislature’s respect for the bodily autonomy and human rights of this marginalized population of children,” said Elizabeth Gill, Senior Staff Attorney for the ACLU of California. “California already prohibits certain other practices with high risks of irreversible harm from taking place during childhood. SB 201 would have been in line with this approach and helped center care on the needs of patients themselves, not the ‘normalization’ of their bodies.”
But Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur nailed what really happened. “Today, California stumbled as a leader on human rights and LGBTQ equality,” he said. “Today’s vote by the California Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee means that the Golden State will continue to subject infants every year to medically unnecessary, harmful and often irreversible procedures aimed at ‘normalizing’ their bodies. We’re grateful to Senator Wiener for leading California — and the country — on this important issue, and we urge senators who voted against protecting human rights today to learn from his example. This fight is not over, and we remain committed to this legislation and ensuring that California affirms and respects the bodily autonomy of all people.”
Will there be any consequences? Equality California has already endorsed incumbent Glazer in his reelection bid for Senate District 7.
But might Equality California’s PAC revisit that endorsement after Glazer’s abstention – which is tantamount to a NO vote? The organization has withdrawn endorsements in the past over a key vote.
Also to consider is the interesting note that three days before the committee killed the intersex human rights bill, the California Medical Association contributed $50,000 to an independent expenditure supporting Committee Chair Glazer’s reelection?
And Glazer has a progressive challenger in Marisol Rubio, is a scientific researcher, health care provider and disability advocate who is worth a serious look.
After all, though the California Democratic Party could achieve no consensus on a candidate for Senate District 7 at their Nov. convention, she beat Glazer handily at a pre-convention conference a month earlier.
“Glazer finished second in his district in Saturday’s endorsement voting, well behind Marisol Rubio, founder of San Ramon Progressives and a disabled rights activist. The vote was 52% to 34%, with the rest voting for no endorsement,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
On Jan. 16, Rubio received the endorsement of the East Bay Stonewall Democrats.
The fact that – without allowing for the opportunity to negotiate amendments – a Democratically-controlled committee in the California Legislature killed a human rights bill protecting intersex children in 2020 should be a wake up call to all equality-minded voters.
This article has been corrected to indicate that Ling Ling Chang and Scott Wilk are Republicans.
Capitol insurrectionist arrested in LA after standoff with FBI
Seen wearing a black sweatshirt with ‘Fags for Trump’ silkscreened on it, draped in a Pride flag, & carrying a hammer on January 6, 2021
LOS ANGELES – After an hours long stand-off outside a home at Willis Avenue and Burbank Boulevard in Van Nuys with FBI agents, Eric Christie was arrested for his role in the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Christie is seen in multiple video and still photos on the East Front Capitol steps wearing a black sweatshirt with ‘Fags for Trump’ silkscreened on it, draped in a Pride flag, and carrying a hammer.
According to NBC News, Christie is a known local far-right anti-vaxxer and protested against coronavirus pandemic restrictions around the Los Angeles region and often attended rallies supporting former president Trump.
Christie, whom the Associated Press said is 56 years old, was identified for his role in the January 6 insurrection by online sleuths and was publicly identified and named by the anti-fascist activist and security researcher Chad Loder in February 2021.
The U.S. Department of Justice still has Christie’s case under seal, though the criminal complaint reveals some of Christie’s alleged actions that day.
According to prosecutors, he ran toward the Capitol after a crowd pushed through barriers, then runs up steps on the east side of the building while repeating “This is our Capitol” on the bullhorn.
He later stood atop a government vehicle parked near the Capitol and added more chants to his bullhorn, including “It’s a MAGA party, it’s a MAGA party,” “Welcome to MAGA country, District of Columbia” and “Beverly Hills is in the house,” prosecutors said.
“Christie was previously named by a defense attorney in another Jan. 6 case, in which the court filing suggested Christie was a ‘suspicious actor’ and questioned why he hadn’t been arrested yet,” NBC News also reported.
Christie was also a write-in candidate for Los Angeles City Council in 2020.
According to law enforcement sources he was arrested at an address associated with him.
Breaking: After an hours-long standoff, the FBI arrested LA resident Eric Christie for his involvement in Jan. 6, sources confirm.— Samuel Braslow (@SamBraslow) December 23, 2022
Christie, a write-in candidate for city council in 2020, appeared at the riot in a “fags for trump” shirt and carrying a hammer. pic.twitter.com/oybof7i1ZJ
Mayor Bass declares state of emergency over homelessness crisis
Latest count by L.A. Homeless Services Authority revealed there were 41,980 unhoused people in the city this past year, up 1.7% from 2020
LOS ANGELES – In her first official press conference, newly sworn-in L.A. City Mayor Karen Bass issued a declaration marking a state of emergency on the city’s homelessness crisis as her first official act as mayor.
Flanked by L.A. City Council President Paul Krekorian and Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Janice Hahn along with other elected and city officials, Bass told reporters “we are united and serious about the city’s crisis of homelessness.”
“I will not accept a homeless crisis that afflicts more than 40,000 Angelenos and affects every one of us. It is a humanitarian crisis that takes the life of five people every day,” the mayor added just prior to officially signing the declaration. “It must stop, and change starts now…There will be no holding back on my watch.”
Her campaign for the office of Mayor of L.A. was largely focused on ending the homeless crisis — a promise the new Mayor addressed Sunday in her inaugural speech.
“Tragically, our city has earned the shameful crown as being home to some of the most crowded neighborhoods in the nation—Pico Union, South L.A., East L.A., the East Valley. We know our mission – we must build housing in every neighborhood,” Bass told the audience gathered at Microsoft Theatre.
The latest count by the L.A. Homeless Services Authority revealed that there were 41,980 unhoused people in the city this past year, up 1.7% from 2020.
“The mayor’s first priority and likely the main one for some time to come is homelessness,” said Raphael Sonenshein, executive director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at California State University, Los Angeles told KABC 7 Eyewitness News Monday.
“The voters don’t expect a miracle but will be looking for a clear and credible path toward measurable and visible improvement,” Sonenshein said. “It’s an opportunity for an energetic reset on a crisis that has seemed stuck, and also a chance to restore confidence in local government in Los Angeles.”
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass declares a state of emergency on homelessness:
The order immediately gives Mayor Bass the power to lift rules and regulations that slow or prevent the building of permanent and temporary housing for the unhoused; to expedite contracts that prioritize bringing unhoused Angelenos inside; and that allow the city to acquire rooms, properties and land for housing for Angelenos in need. Moving forward, Mayor Bass will issue executive directives to advance these critical reforms.
Immediately prior to signing the declaration, Mayor Bass met with her department heads – as well as the heads of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and Metro – to outline her strategy to move Los Angeles forward with a unified approach to homelessness. The Los Angeles County CEO was also present for the meeting.
She also met with frontline service providers and Janice Hahn, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors; Hydee Feldstein Soto, City Attorney; Kenneth Mejia, City Controller; Paul Krekorian, City Council President; Curren Price, President pro tempore, Los Angeles City Council; and Nithya Raman, Los Angeles City Councilmember and Chair of the Homelessness and Poverty Committee.
All of the above attended the signing.
LA City Council bans Styrofoam, plastic bags, & have “Zero Waste”
“There is no place in the City of Los Angeles for harmful environmental products like Styrofoam, & today we are making that a reality”
LOS ANGELES – In a unanimous vote, the Los Angeles City Council today approved an ordinance that will prohibit the distribution and sale of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) products, commonly referred to under the trade name Styrofoam, in the City of Los Angeles.
“I am pleased that we were able to advance yet another transformative environmental policy with unanimous support of the City Council,” said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, the chair of the Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice, and River committee. “Angelenos want to be good stewards of the environment, and this legislation is reflective of that value – as well as the urgency with which it must be implemented. There is no place in the City of Los Angeles for harmful environmental products like Styrofoam, and with today’s decisive action we are making that imperative a reality. I hope that future Councils, along with other jurisdictions across the country and the world, follow our lead on environmental justice and the elimination of products that degrade public health.”
“Our world is drowning in plastic. To the point where, in any given week, each of us ingests enough plastic from our food and water to make a credit card,” said Council President Paul Krekorian. “The petrochemical industry is lying to the people of the United States by trying to convince them that somehow it’s OK to use these products because they’re recyclable. They’re not. Almost no plastic ever gets recycled and styrofoam definitely does not. The steps that we’re taking today are an important part of changing industries, changing consumer behavior and educating the public about the harm that this is causing them,” Krekorian said.
“EPS foam, also known as Styrofoam, is toxic from production to usage to landfill. The Styrene and Benzene in EPS are both known carcinogens and can also negatively affect workers inside EPS factories. The manufacturing process can contaminate neighborhoods outside EPS factories. The toxins can leach into hot drinks and food as people use cups and food containers. And then EPS ends up as little white bits marring our world-class beaches,” said Councilmember Paul Koretz, the author of the original legislation. “Even worse, the manufacturing process releases significant amounts of hydrofluorocarbons, which are massively potent greenhouse gasses. It’s way past time for Styrofoam to go away forever.”
The Council also approved an additional ordinance that adds to the Los Angeles Municipal Code a section promoting the use of reusable bags and regulating the use of plastic and paper single-use carryout bags at apparel stores, farmers’ markets, food or beverage facilities, hardware stores, and open air markets. In addition, the Council approved instructions to LA Sanitation and Environment (LASAN) requiring reports back to the Council, by April 2025, regarding compliance with these new policies. The Council also instructed LASAN to prepare outreach programs to educate stakeholders on both ordinances.
Additionally, the Council requested that all proprietary departments, along with their respective boards, adopt and implement the ordinance requiring “zero waste” at City facilities and events, along with a direction to LASAN to prepare an outreach program and further instruction to all departments to report back on progress with this ordinance, which was passed earlier this year.
“LA Sanitation and Environment (LASAN) has a unique responsibility when it comes to protecting public health and the environment,” said Alex Helou, LASAN Assistant Director. “We do that through the hard work of collecting, recycling and composting materials, but also through the much less visible work of educating residents on what can and can’t be recycled. Items like expanded polystyrene, plastic bags and single-use foodware accessories do not belong in the blue bin.”
“For more than 30 years, Heal the Bay has conducted thousands of cleanups, removing millions of pieces of plastic off of our beaches and out of our waterways. It is clear that cleanups will never solve the issue of plastic pollution. To truly protect public health, we need aggressive and responsible solutions like today’s unanimous vote by the Los Angeles City Council to ban polystyrene addressing upstream sources and slowing the production and sale of plastic products, said Tracy Quinn, President and CEO of Heal the Bay. “We commend Councilmembers Koretz, Krekorian, and O’Farrell for their leadership on this issue and look forward to helping put these laws into effect in the new year.”
21 years in prison for gunman who shot gay dogwalker
“You shot me and left me to die, and both of our lives have changed forever. […] but I do forgive you and everyone involved with the attack”
LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge handed down a sentence of 21 years in a California prison to James Howard Jackson, who had shot then thirty-year-old Ryan Fischer, a gay professional dog walker in Hollywood on Feb. 24, 2021.
The robbery/dognapping made global headlines after it was revealed that the two French Bulldogs taken were owned by Oscar and Grammy award winning singer Stefani Germanotta, known as Lady Gaga.
Fischer was walking three of the singer’s dogs when Jackson shot him during a struggle and then along with an accomplice grabbed two of the dogs in the 1500 block of N. Sierra Bonita Avenue just off Sunset Blvd, taking off in a late-model white Nissan Altima 4-door sedan.
The Lady Gaga connection was a coincidence, authorities told KTLA/Associated Press. The motive was the value of the French bulldogs, a breed that can run into the thousands of dollars, and detectives do not believe the thieves knew the dogs belonged to the musician.
According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, the sentence handed down was part of a plea deal.
“The plea agreement holds Mr. Jackson accountable for perpetrating a coldhearted violent act and provides justice for our victim,” the office said in a statement. Howard had been charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit a robbery and assault with a semiautomatic firearm.
In a victim’s impact statement made prior to Jackson’s sentencing, Fischer said:
“Your honor, thank you for the opportunity to give my impact statement here in court, and for everything you, Michele Hanisee [Deputy LA District Attorney] and the DA’s office, and detectives and law enforcement have done to bring these cases to completion. It’s hard to believe that it’s nearing 2 years since I was taking Asia, Koji and Gustav out for an evening stroll when – in an instant – I suddenly found myself fighting with everything I had to protect those dogs from being stolen. But it wasn’t enough: I was beaten, strangled, shot and left to die bleeding out on a sidewalk and gasping for my life. And Koji and Gustav were gone.
In some ways that night and everything that followed: from hospital stays, lung collapse after lung collapse and eventual surgery and partial removal- physical therapy that I’m still in to get mobility and sensation fully restored in my shoulder, chest and hand, the media storm that made me terrified to even go back to my home or walk on the street, the loss of a career, friendships, sense of self and savings and then aimlessly traveling this country for over a year as I went into debt, contemplated suicide, and struggled – and continue to struggle – with my identity and how to move past such a life-changing, earth-shattering event…
Sometimes it feels like all that happened to someone else, and other times it feels like I never left that sidewalk. A part of me is still trying desperately to save those dogs knowing you were going to shoot me. I’m sure it feels the same for you, Mr. Jackson. I imagine you’re on that sidewalk sometimes too. You shot me and left me to die, and both of our lives have changed forever. A limbo neither of us asked to be in.
In my darkest hours, when I feel lost and abandoned and mourn a life and those dogs I sacrificed myself for, a life I’ve accepted – through a lot of therapy – I’ve accepted I’ll never see again, I try to focus on what I’ve gained:
- A deeper love for friends and family that have shown up and continue to show up even when I’m still such a mess. I love you and thank you.
- That, despite everything and the trauma I still work through in regards to them, I love dogs so so much and look forward to continue bringing them back into my life.
- Gratitude for strangers that became family and have supported me in countless ways.
- And that I finally feel healthy enough to stop running from my problems.
- Forgiving myself for not being able to save those dogs that night and falling down again and again these last two years.
- Forgiving friends who didn’t and don’t know how to be there for me in the lengthy recovery process this continues to be.
And forgiveness for you. It’s something I’m still working on but I do forgive you and everyone involved with the attack. You completely altered my life, and I know I can’t fully move forward from the night you shot me until I said those words to you.
My hope for you is the same for me: to live a life of purpose and grow from what happened that night. Moving forward, it’s going to be a hard road for both of us, and I know from prison it won’t be easy. But I do hope you find a calling there as I continue to search for my own and live life contributing to others. It’s the only way to heal from this experience.
I also wanted to give gratitude, to thank you for not killing – for not harming – the dogs after everything and the media storm. They were returned and returned to their mom. I don’t think I could have lived with myself if they died.
And, in general, I just wanted to say how guns have impacted my life and countless others and continue to harm our society. I look forward to contributing to a future that doesn’t destroy so many lives and so many people in this country. It doesn’t make sense to fear for your life at school, places of worship, clubs, or when you’re taking dogs out for an evening stroll.
Thank you all for your time today.“
KTLA/AP also reported that another accomplice, Harold White, pleaded no contest Monday to a count of ex-convict in possession of a gun. White, who was in a relationship with McBride at the time, will be sentenced next year.
The couple had allegedly tried to help White’s son, Jaylin White, avoid arrest in the aftermath of the shooting.
Jaylin White and Lafayette Whaley earlier this year pleaded no contest to robbery.
Vice President to swear in Karen Bass as Los Angeles mayor
The inauguration ceremony is set to begin at 11:30 a.m. at City Hall. Bass’ term as mayor officially begins on Dec. 12
LOS ANGELES – Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas C. Emhoff will attend the mayoral inauguration ceremony of Los Angeles Mayor-elect Karen Bass on Sunday, December 11, 2022. The Vice President will ceremonially swear in Bass as the city’s 43rd Mayor, becoming the first woman and woman of color to serve as the city’s chief executive.
The inauguration ceremony is set to begin at 11:30 a.m. at City Hall. Bass’ term as mayor officially begins on Dec. 12.
The Vice-President, and on separate occasions husband Doug Emhoff, both had campaigned together last fall with Rep. Bass.
During a Get Out The Vote student rally at UCLA Harris told attendees:
“I know Karen Bass,” Harris told the crowd. “I’ve worked with Karen Bass. When I was in Sacramento and she was in Sacramento, I saw how she would tirelessly fight for the people of this region, the people of our state and the people of our nation. Karen Bass has a long history of always being on the side of people, fighting for the people.”
LA Times: LAPD execute search warrants in racist audio leak probe
It is unclear how the recordings were made. Recording conversations without a person’s consent is illegal in California, with rare exceptions
LOS ANGELES – Several law enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times Tuesday that Los Angeles Police Department detectives have served several search warrants as they attempt to find out who recorded a meeting filled with racist and offensive comments among three L.A. City Council members and a powerful labor leader.
The Times reported that the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe is ongoing, did not identify the specific targets. But they said the department obtained warrants for several social media accounts, including the Reddit account that first posted the audio leak.
This past October, LAPD Chief Michel Moore announced in a press briefing that detectives were investigating the source of the leaked racist recordings that thrust City Hall into a harsh national spotlight.
“The department has initiated a criminal investigation into the allegation of eavesdropping into the L.A. Fed meeting involving then-Councilperson Nury Martinez, Councilmember Gil Cedillo and Councilmember Kevin de León and the Fed president Mr. [ Ron] Herrera,” Moore said, referring to the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.
The recordings took place at the offices of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, which has called the leak “illegal” and vowed to have those involved prosecuted. The union attempted to block the Los Angeles Times from publishing details of the recordings, saying they were obtained illegally. The Times refused to halt publication.
It is unclear how the recordings were made. Recording conversations without a person’s consent is illegal in California, with rare exceptions.
Trans remembrance vigil held at LA LGBT Center
“We refuse to let violence rob us of the possibility to gather, to love each other, and to dream together in solidarity”
HOLLYWOOD – A Trans Remembrance Vigil was held at the Los Angeles LGBT Center on Monday, November 21st.
Candles and white, pink, and lavender flowers mounted on tiers draped by a trans flag adorned the center stage. A large monitor served as the focal point of the evening above the memorial display.
The Trans Chorus of Los Angeles started the ceremony with an acapella performance. Following the song of hope and redemption, opening remarks were given at the pulpit by the Anti-violence project manager for the LGBT center, Mariana Morroquin, and representatives from the Trans Wellness Center, Bienstar Human Services, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Friends Community Center, APAIT, and [email protected]
“I think it is very important to acknowledge our partners,” said Morroquin, somberly addressing the seated audience of about one hundred and fifty. “We know that hate is real. A lot of us have seen hate pretty close. We are very grateful to have you. We open our arms to receive your love and your support. The way we support each other is by providing jobs, providing spaces for us, and providing opportunities. Because hate is out there. We need this space. We need to welcome everyone. I want you to keep that in your heart. And tomorrow, when we get back to work, let us open our hearts and our minds. Don’t make decisions for us. Invite us to those tables. We know what we need. We’ve been doing this forever. We are going to keep fighting because this is what we do.”
She then added, “We refuse to let violence rob us of the possibility to gather, to love each other, and to dream together in solidarity. We gather because we must remember what is worth fighting for. For now, we commemorate. We tell the stories of the ones we lost. For tonight, that will be enough.”
One by one, members of the audience approached the pulpit to read the names and stories of a multitude of trans people whose deaths were the tragic result of hate crimes. The photos, names, and ages of the victims were displayed on the center-stage monitor.
“My name is Nikai David,” said one speaker, the photo of a pale, curly-haired young lady displayed behind them. “I am a model and social media influencer who aspired one day to own my own clothing boutique. I had just celebrated my birthday a week before I was shot in Oakland California, on December 4th, 202. I was thirty-three years old.”
Stories of these deaths included shootings by assailants, police, and family members, brutal beatings, and stabbings. The bodies of these victims were found in their homes, in garbage cans, and on streets where they were left, still dying, among other locations.
The final name read was Daniel David Aston, who died in the recent Club Q mass shooting. This year, TDOR came on the heels of the senseless massacre in Colorado Springs that left five members of the LGBTQ+ community dead and 25 injured.
Reverend Valerie Spencer gave an impassioned closing speech, first inviting the audience to take several deep breaths in unison.
“We will mourn our family, our siblings,” said Reverend Spencer, “but we are not having our primary focus on the violent conclusion of their life. We are choosing to see them and know them and celebrate them in the full context of their living. For they were fierce and powerful people.”
Karen Bass speaks to Los Angeles for first time as mayor-elect
With her daughter at her side, the mayor-elect spoke of her background & love for the city of LA She addressed issues including homelessness
LOS ANGELES – Rep. Karen Bass, (D-Calif.) addressed the City of Los Angeles for the first time as mayor-elect since she was declared winner Wednesday and her opponent billionaire real estate magnate Rick Caruso conceded in a press conference.
With her daughter at her side, the mayor-elect spoke of her background and love for the city of Los Angeles. She addressed issues including homelessness and economic hardship promising that her administration would work hard to get things done for the city.
Her primary focus she said when she takes office in December is to declare a state of emergency and execute actions on the homeless crisis that has enveloped Los Angeles.
KABC 7: Karen Bass to address city of Los Angeles for the 1st time as mayor-elect:
Beloved North Hollywood bookstore suffers arson attack
The Iliad Bookshop has been a fixture in North Hollywood for 35 years, the fire is currently under investigation by LAFD arson investigators
LOS ANGELES – The Iliad Bookshop, located 5400 Cahuenga at the corner of Cahuenga and Chandler Blvds. in North Hollywood, was the target of an alleged arson attack at around 11 p.m. this past Thursday evening.
LA Fire firefighters responded to the blaze in front of the rear entrance which was fully engulfed after an unknown person or persons stacked up books and items left out by the store.
In interviews with KCBS2 LA, KABC7, and other media outlets, the bookshop’s owner Daniel Weinstein, said that a flyer, which he categorised as “terroristic,” was left at the scene of the blaze. The damage to the building was primarily to the entrance area with noticeable scorch marks, there was smoke damage inside as well. Weinstein added that the store’s iconic two live-in cats, Zeus and Apollo, were not harmed.
There was no information as to the extent of the damages to the store’s inventory.
In a GoFundMe started by the bookshop to repair and recover from the attack, Weinstein wrote:
“We were very lucky: neighbors saw the flames and flagged down a passing firetruck; had the firefighters arrived mere moments later, the entire store would probably have gone up. As it is, we suffered heavy damage to the main entry. The doors (which are metal) are still functional, but will need to be either replaced or fixed. We lost lighting fixtures, signage, and wood framing; we also suffered damage to the mural on the right side of the doors. Smoke filled the interior of the store, but we were able to rescue our two cats Zeus and Apollo and we’re hopeful that the damage to the books and fixtures is minimal.
We have high insurance deductibles so we need to cover the cost of replacing the exterior lights, sign, and trim, and touching up the mural. We expect the funds we’re looking for to be divided between repair costs and a mural artist.”
The Iliad Bookshop has been a fixture in the North Hollywood community for over 35 years. In a March 2019 profile article by Los Angeleno magazine writer Augustus Britton, the shoppe was described as “a cozy mix of librarial reverence and old lore magic. The walls are lined with literary memorabilia, most notably art by R. Crumb and posters of Bukowski alongside author obituaries from days past. An aged photograph showing Weinstein drowning in a pile of hardcovers hangs on the wall.”
Britton goes on to say: “Weinstein’s 10 employees are awesome. There are no better poetic words to describe them. One could say they all look like fictional characters. Grateful Dead fans, Philip K. Dick spies or Stendhal savants eating Chinese food at the counter while the shop’s spunky cats Zeus and Apollo — more nods to Greek mythology — climb over their shoulders.”
The fire is currently under investigation by LAFD arson investigators.
LAPD asking for public’s help finding missing teen in West LA
On Sunday, the LAPD issued a brief statement: “Andrew was located and reunited with his family.”
UPDATED: Monday Nov. 7, 2022 from KABC 7.
A Los Angeles teen who went missing from his home on Halloween night has now returned safely and been reunited with his family, police said Sunday.
On Sunday, the LAPD issued a brief statement: “Andrew was located and reunited with his family.”
Andrew’s mother Anna posted on Facebook that Andrew came home Saturday. She said her son left home voluntarily because he was struggling with some mental-health issues. He then decided to come home on his own volition after about five days of sleeping on the street.
She expressed thanks to the public for providing support and said Andrew saw some of the missing-person flyers “and knows now that he is cared about by so many people.”
LOS ANGELES – The family of 18-year-old Andrew Jason Wright and the Los Angeles Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit are asking for the public’s help in locating him. Wright, an 18-year-old high-school senior, was last seen Monday around 6 p.m. near the 1700 block of Federal Avenue in West Los Angeles.
Wright is described as an 18-year-old male Asian with brown hair and brown eyes. He stands 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs approximately 190 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black coat, maroon vest, gray pants, and black leather shoes.
His mother told KABC Eyewitness news that Wright has recently been suffering from depression and is extremely worried.
“He went on a walk around 6 p.m.” Anna Wright said. “He was supposed to go trick-or-treating with his little brother and sister at 7. And he never came back.”
Andrew’s father set up a search party where volunteers have been going around looking for him and passing out flyers.
If you have seen, or have any information regarding the whereabouts of Andrew Jason Wright, please contact Los Angeles Police Department, Missing Persons Unit, at (213) 996-1800.
During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).
Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most Keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.
From KABC 7:
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