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LGBTQ+ ally City Councilman Kevin de León announces run for mayor

De León currently represents Council District 14 that takes in the predominantly Latino neighborhoods of Boyle Heights and El Sereno



Kevin de León from campaign advert (Screenshot via YouTube)

LOS ANGELES – Standing in front of a group of enthusiastic supporters Tuesday at the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de León announced that he was joining the mayor’s race for next year’s city elections.

Councilman de León, a Democrat, is the third city elected official to announce his intention to seek the mayor’s chair after current Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was elected for a four-year term in 2013 and again in 2017- who’s limited to serving no more than two terms, was picked by President Joe Biden to serve as the U.S. ambassador to India on July 9, 2021.

Born in Los Angeles of Guatemalan and Mexican descent, raised by a loving, hard-working single mother, de León, 51, got an education and spent 12 years in Sacramento, rising to become the President Pro Tem of the California Senate, authoring and passing legislation and making history. It was his bill that then Governor jerry Brown signed into law making California a “sanctuary state”—a law that was upheld by a federal appeals court.

In an August 2018 interview with former Los Angeles Blade Editor Karen Ocamb, he reflected on his relationship with the LGBTQ+ community.

“I’ve always been very close to the LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual) community even before I even knew all the initials that keep growing,” de León says with a laugh during an extensive phone interview with the Los Angeles Blade. “It’s always been my core set of values that every human being deserves a real opportunity to succeed, regardless of who they love and regardless of the hue of their skin and regardless of their legal status. That is embedded in my DNA.”

De León learned to care about LGBT people as a child from his mother and aunt around the kitchen table.

“My mother got a third grade education and my aunt even less,” he says. “I was very young and they were talking about a gay friend, a colleague of theirs. I didn’t understand. Obviously, they didn’t understand themselves. But they spoke with such affection, such tenderness. And here were two immigrant women with limited formal education and the way they spoke so lovingly, tenderly, beautifully about their gay friend. I could deduce the person they were talking about was gay—they kind of spoke in code around me when I was just sitting there listening to them at the kitchen table. And it transcended ethnicity and legal status and poverty—that we’re all human beings and we deserve dignity and respect. That had an ‘Ah Ha’ impact.”

De León’s LGBT education continued as he picked his mother up from her work as a housekeeper at convalescent homes. “She had quite a few gay colleagues with her and I just remember they were just so beautifully nice with my mother and my mother with them and that had a huge impression on me of the universal values of treating everybody with dignity and with respect. So when there is a discriminatory blow against anyone in the LGBTQIA community, I feel that blow equally.” 

De León, 54, is by far the most prominent Latino running. Fluent in Spanish, he represents a district that takes in the predominantly Latino neighborhoods of Boyle Heights and El Sereno, as well as much of downtown, where a development boom has fueled huge growth over the past decade, KTLA reported.

Two other candidates — Councilman Joe Buscaino and City Atty. Mike Feuer — have been campaigning for several months. The race also features two business leaders: Jessica Lall, who heads the downtown-based Central City Assn., and real estate broker Mel Wilson, who has been involved with several San Fernando Valley business groups.

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Los Angeles

IATSE and film studios reach a deal, strike averted

The new contract put a halt to what would have been the first nationwide strike in the union’s 128-year history



Graphic via IATSE

NEW YORK – Negotiators for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees reached a deal Saturday averting a major production strike that would have crippled film and television production nationwide.

The new 3 year contract between the union representing the 60,000 rank and file behind-the-camera film and TV workers and the studios put a halt to what would have been the first nationwide strike in the union’s 128-year history and the first major strike by crews since World War II.

Text of the press release announcement:

Important Update: Tentative Agreement Reached – Strike Averted
Late Saturday, President Matt Loeb and the 13 Hollywood Locals announced that the IATSE
has tentatively agreed to terms and conditions for the 2021 Basic and Videotape Agreements.
Everything achieved was because you, the members, stood up and gave us the power to
change the course of these negotiations. Our solidarity, at both the leadership and rank and
file level, was the primary reason that no local was left behind and every priority was
addressed. Because of you we realized:

• Living wage achieved
• Improved wages and working conditions for streaming
• Retroactive scale wage Increases of 3% annually
• Employer Funded Benefits for the term
• Increased meal period penalties including prevailing rate
• Daily Rest Periods of 10 hours without exclusions
• Weekend Rest Periods of 54 and 32 hours
• Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday Holiday
• Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives
• 13th and 14th checks for pre-August 2009 retirees
• Additional MPI Hours for On-Call Employees
• Expansion of Sick Leave Benefit to the entire country

Your local will provide more detailed information over the next few days. The Memorandum
of Agreement will be available when drafting is completed. We are currently working out the
details of the electronic ratification process.

Your strike authorization vote, your preparation for a strike and your willingness to risk
your livelihood to fight for yourselves and each other has profoundly changed our union.
We thank you for your unwavering support.

In Solidarity,
Matthew D. Loeb
International President,
Rebecca Rhine
National Executive Director,
IATSE Local 600
Rachael Stanley
Executive Director,
IATSE Local 892
Greg Reeves
Business Representative-Secretary,
IATSE Local 728
Adam West
Business Representative,
IATSE Local 705
Patric Abaravich
Business Representative,
IATSE Local 871
Cathy Repola
National Executive Director,
IATSE Local 700
Scott Bernard
Business Representative,
IATSE Local 695
Doug Boney
Business Representative,
IATSE Local 884
Thom Davis
Business Manager,
IATSE Local 80
Randy Sayer
Business Agent,
IATSE Local 706
Tobey Bays
Business Agent,
IATSE Local 44
Robert D. Denne
Business Representative/
IATSE Local 729
Chuck Parker
National Executive D

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Los Angeles

In time for holiday travel LAX opens new parking structure

The $294-million, 4,300 parking space structure is located a half mile away from LAX’s Central Terminal Area



Mayor epic Garcetti and LAWA/LAX officials open new parking structure (Photo Credit: City of Los Angeles and LAX Airport)

LOS ANGELES – This week City Mayor Eric Garcetti celebrated the opening of the LAX Economy Parking, a new LAX parking faculty set to open Tuesday. The $294-million, 4,300 parking space structure is located a half mile away from LAX’s Central Terminal Area.

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the City of Los Angeles department that owns and operates Los Angeles International (LAX) and Van Nuys (VNY) general aviation airports announced that there will be a dedicated shuttle bus to take travelers to the parking facility and the terminal area’s arrivals level.

Graphic courtesy of KTLA 5 and Los Angeles World Airports LAX

The four-story facility will have electric vehicle charging, automatic entry and exit, and allow drivers to pre-book parking online for a discounted rate. Initially, pre-booking discounts will give drivers up to 70% off the drive-up rate of $25 per day.

Previously, parking at LAX was only available on a first-come, first-served basis, with no reservation system available.

For those travelers who have furry canine companions or service dogs, the airport authority noted the new LAX Economy Parking facility features a pet relief area.

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Los Angeles

60,000 Film & TV workers set to strike next Monday if no deal is reached

“What we learned from the pandemic is the employers can change the way they do business if it’s in their interest to do so”



IATSE union workers prepare strike signs for walking the pickets (LA Blade photo montage)

NEW YORK – The president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees union announced Wednesday that his union members will stage a strike at 12:01 AM PST next Monday unless a deal is reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the studios is reached.

“I am announcing that unless an agreement is reached, 60,000 @IATSE film and tv workers will begin a nationwide strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) on Monday, October 18 at 12:01 a.m., PDT, ” union head Matthew D. Loeb tweeted.

“We will continue bargaining with the producers this week in the hopes of reaching an agreement that addresses core issues, such as reasonable rest periods, meal breaks, and a living wage for those on the bottom of the wage scale,” Loeb said then added: “

However, the current pace of bargaining doesn’t reflect any sense of urgency. Without an end date, we could keep talking forever. @IATSE film and tv workers deserve to have their basic needs addressed NOW.”

A strike now would be catastrophic and would result in serious setback for an industry that had recently returned to work after long pandemic shutdowns and recurring aftershocks amid new outbreaks, the Associated Press noted.

“There are five whole days left to reach a deal,” said Jarryd Gonzales, a publicist for the group representing the studios said in a statement. “Studios will continue to negotiate in good faith in an effort to reach an agreement for a new contract that will keep the industry working.”

The Associated Press reported that if negotiations fail, it would be the first nationwide strike in the 128-year history of IATSE, whose members include cinematographers, camera operators, set designers, carpenters, hair and makeup artists, animators and many others.

Union members say they are forced to work excessive hours and are not given reasonable rest via meal breaks and sufficient time off between shifts. Leaders say the lowest paid crafts get unlivable wages. And streamers like Netflix, Apple and Amazon are allowed to pay even less under previous agreements that allowed them more flexibility when they were up-and-comers, the AP noted.

“We’ve continued to try and impress upon the employers the importance of our priorities, the fact that this is about human beings, and the working conditions are about dignity and health and safety at work,” said Rebecca Rhine, national executive director of the Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600. “The health and safety issues, the unsafe hours, the not breaking for meals, those were the exception for many years in the industry, which is a tough industry. But what they’ve become is the norm.”

“Rank and file members are genuinely upset that the studios and the producers are intransigent in their positions and are not listening,” a person with IATSE Local 44 who has direct knowledge of the talks but not authorized to speak on the record told the Blade Wednesday evening. “A strike would cripple the economy here in LA especially,” they added.

“A strike is always difficult for everybody. Everybody suffers, it’s hard, but I believe that our members have the will and the resolve to do what’s necessary to be heard and to have their voices translated into actual change in the industry,” Rhine told the AP. “What we learned from the pandemic is the employers can change the way they do business if it’s in their interest to do so.”

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