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LA County axes official travel to Florida & Texas over anti-LGBTQ+ policies

“We’re not gonna spend our money going to your states and it sends a message that we won’t support this egregious behavior”

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LA County Board of Supervisors (Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles)

LOS ANGELES – One of the agenda items during Tuesday’s LA County Board of Supervisors meeting was a motion by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis to ban taxpayer funded travel to Texas and Florida over those states’ controversial anti-LGBTQ+ policies.

The motion carried unanimously, suspending LA County employees from travel to both states effective immediately.

“As we’ve done in the past where states have enacted some egregious laws that contravene everything that we have done in L.A. County and in California, this motion calls for a travel ban on all travel to these states,” L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said.

“We’re not gonna spend our money going to your states and it sends a message that we won’t support this egregious behavior,” Kuehl agreed referring to the motion.

L.A. County’s order suspends travel to the two states “unless the Chief Executive Officer determines that the failure to authorize such travel would seriously harm the County’s interests.”

The ban can be lifted when either of the bills or orders are suspended, the motion states.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill last month, which is sure to prompt lawsuits as opponents question the legality of legislation they see as harmful and discriminatory.

H.B. 1557, titled “Parental Rights in Education,” will make classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-3, while “age-appropriate” teaching would be allowed in older grades – though it is not clear what is considered “age-appropriate.” The bill would also allow parents to sue schools or teachers who violate the legislation. 

In Texas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott ordered state agencies to investigate reports of gender-affirming care on minors, following an official opinion from state Attorney General Ken Paxton that called the treatment a form of “child abuse” under Texas law. 

The Texas Court of Appeals for the state’s third circuit reinstated the temporary injunction Monday, as issued by the Travis County, Texas district court on March 11, 2022, which bars the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) from investigations of parents and families of Transgender youth.

Travis County Texas District Court Judge, Amy Clark Meachum, ordered a preliminary statewide injunction March 11 and had granted a temporary restraining order to block the DFPS from investigating the plaintiffs of a lawsuit brought by Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas (ACLU of Texas), and the ACLU.

Supervisor Kuehl called the order in Texas “discriminatory, harmful and deliberately cruel.”

Supervisor Solis also echoed Kuehl’s remarks.

“I too come from a family that has parents whose children are LGBTQ, and I know what it was for them to raise their children and even to talk amongst our own larger family, and how important it is to support each other and in particularly these young people who are trying to live out their best in life,” Solis said.

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Los Angeles County

2nd Recall effort against LA County District Attorney George Gascón fails 

The 520,050 valid petition signatures fell short of the 566,857 required to place the recall question on the ballot

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Screenshot/YouTube: LA DA George Gascón holding a press conference last Fall

LOS ANGELES – The second effort to recall Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón was rejected Monday after the LA County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office announced recall organizers had fallen short of the requisite validated signatures needed to qualify for the November elections ballot.

A spokesperson for Dean C. Logan, the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, said that recall organizers had submitted a total of 715,833 petition signatures, of which 195,783 of the signatures were invalid and another 45,000 were duplicate signatures. The remaining 520,050 valid petition signatures fell short of the 566,857 required to place the recall question on the ballot.

KTLA reported that organizers halted their first recall attempt last fall after they were unable to gather the necessary signatures by the end of October.

Gascón, 67, was elected in 2020 on a pledge to reform the county’s criminal justice system. Since he took office, juveniles are no longer being charged as adults, sentencing enhancements that he says lead to mass incarceration have been eliminated and cash bail for nonviolent felony offenses has ended. Misdemeanors associated with substance abuse and mental illness are also being diverted out of the criminal justice system, both KTLA and the Los Angeles Times have reported.

Gascón’s policies have provoked criticism from Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, as well as officers from the Los Angeles Police Department and others from the 88 jurisdictions within the County.

Recall organizers contend that his policies favor criminal defendants and have contributed to a significant rise in crime rates reported across the County.

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Los Angeles County

Project Angel Food’s Lead With Love 3 telethon pulls in a new record

The evening was a triumph, as the broadcast became the highest grossing night in the telethon’s three-year history

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Eric McCormack & Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (Photo by Philip Faraone/Getty Images for Project Angel Food)

LOS ANGELES – The Saturday telethon hosted by KTLA 5 to benefit the Hollywood based charity Project Angel Food was a massive success according to its organizers pulling in $1,172,970.00 which exceeded the event’s sponsored by City National Bank goal by 17%.

KTLA 5 and Project Angel Food noted the evening was a triumph, as the broadcast became the highest grossing night in the telethon’s three-year history. Project Angel Food CEO Richard Ayoub reflected, “With inflation and rising food insecurity among L.A.’s critically ill population, it is so encouraging to see Los Angeles step up to help us rise to the challenge.”

Project Angel Food feeds critically ill men, women, and children in Los Angeles County. The organization delivers Medically Tailored Meals, with care and compassion, directly to the client’s homes. More than 2,500 vulnerable Angelenos are fed daily, with over 1.2 million meals delivered each year.

Oprah Winfrey opened the show, Richard Gere made a rare television appearance, and Lori Loughlin made her first non-acting television appearance in more than three-and-a-half-years.  The night was filled with fan favorites, celebrity messages, an All-Star Phone Bank of celebrities taking donor calls, and musical performances.

Will & Grace star Eric McCormack and KTLA Morning News anchor Jessica Holmes returned to host the annual televised event and were joined by Loni Love and Alec Mapa who also returned as dynamic co-hosts. 

(L-R) Loni Love, Pauley Perrette, Alec Mapa, Eric McCormack, Jessica Holmes, Debbie Gibson, Mary-Margaret Humes, Michelle Visage, Gregory Zarian, Lawrence Zarian, Charo, and Melissa Peterman onstage during Project Angel Food’s Lead with Love 3 – a Fundraising Special on KTLA on July 23, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Project Angel Food)”

Highlights included:

  • Lori Loughlin, who has volunteered with Project Angel Food since January 2021, appearing a “day in the life of a Project Angel Food volunteer” package in which she said of the organization, “It is a community, it is a family, and all the people that work here are so wonderful. They have welcomed me with such open arms at a time when I was feeling particularly down and broken. That’s how I found a home here, and that’s what I feel like they did for me, and that’s why I’m so proud to be here and working with this organization, because they really do care. It’s really a community.”
  • Oprah Winfrey’s stirring opening, kicking off the show with this message: “When we find a way to serve other people, we see how compassion and empathy can really make a lasting, positive impact by showing up for somebody else.”   
  • Richard Gere announcing a $75,000 matching grant from the Herb Ritts Foundation, saying, “Herb was one of my dearest, closest friends and when he passed away in 2002, from complications from HIV/AIDS, it was completely devastating for all of us. And he wanted his foundation to continue the work he had been doing helping people.”
  • A hysterical Will & Grace reunion in which Eric McCormack’s Will & Grace co-star Sean Hayes feigned audio issues and insulted McCormack’s gray hair and beard.
  • A Charlie’s Angels reunion with Jaclyn Smith and Cheryl Ladd.
  • Four “Mystery Guests” included Cybill Shepherd, who left McCormack flabbergasted with revealing she knew Elvis Presley, “in the Biblical way,” Charo, 13-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Kahn, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who discussed delivering meals with Project Angel Food.
  • The television debut of Debbie Gibson’s new song “Cheers” from her upcoming Christmas album which closed the show, and Taylor Dayne’s live performance of “I’ll Be Your Shelter.”
  • Loni Love “flipping her wig” when Rock ‘N Roll legend Stevie Nicks called in a surprise $25,000 donation.
  • Presenting sponsor City National Bank’s Linda Duncombe, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing, Digital and Product Officer, delivering a $100,000 check to McCormack, Project Angel Food CEO Richard Ayoub, and Holmes.
  • Pauley Perrette, who was on hand to introduce a musical performance, bringing with her a $9,000 donation.

Executive produced by television veteran, Brad Bessey, along with Michael Levitt, Ayoub, KTLA’s Marcus Smith and Jacob Burch, and Mark McBride, sponsorships, the live two-hour fundraising special was jam-packed with surprises, energy and fun. Bessey says, “Over dinner with Eric several months ago, he mentioned in passing he would love our show to have more of a ‘variety feel’ this year, so we ran with it. I think we delivered with humor and heart.” 

The All-Star Phone Bank, emceed by Mapa, created the most unpredictable and entertaining segments of the night with Melissa Peterman, Michelle Visage, Kim Coles, Jai Rodriguez, Beth Hall, Mary-Margaret Humes, Lawrence Zarian, and Gregory Zarian talking to donors throughout the night and creating comedy chaos along the way.

In addition to Dayne and Gibson’s live performances, musical highlights included Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo performing “We Belong,” Sarah McLachlan performing, “I Will Remember You,” Five for Fighting performing, “World,” and Josh Groban performing, “Angels.”

Celebrity messages flooded in from supporters Bryce Dallas Howard, Sharon Stone, Whoopi Goldberg, Eugene Levy, Gloria Estefan, Karamo, Holland Taylor, Henry Winkler, Fran Drescher, Tyler Henry, Danny Pino, Cheryl Burke, Rachel Lindsay, Ross Mathews, and Jonathan Del Arco.

Donations are still being accepted for LEAD WITH LOVE 3, at angelfood.org/love.

To learn more about Project Angel Food, please visit www.angelfood.org.

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Los Angeles County

KTLA & Project Angel Food kick off 3rd Lead with Love telethon Saturday

The stars will be out on Saturday night for ‘Lead with Love 3,’ sponsored by City National Bank, & airs live on KTLA 5 from 7 to 9 p.m.

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'Lead with Love 2' Courtesy of KTLA & Project Angel Food

LOS ANGELES – The annual telethon in support of Project Angel Food’s vital work of feeding critically ill men, women, and children in Los Angeles County returns this Saturday, July 23. The organization prepares and delivers over one million Medically Tailored Meals each year.

The telethon, which premiered as the coronavirus pandemic gripped the nation and especially Southern California, has raised over $2 million for the charity. This year the stars will be out on Saturday night for ‘Lead with Love 3,’ which is sponsored by City National Bank, and which airs live on KTLA 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. including celebrities like 2022 Primetime Emmy Award nominees Sheryl Lee Ralph of “Abbot Elementary” and Henry Winkler of “Barry.” 

Janene Drafs, Vice President, and General Manager of KTLA 5, noted; “This show gets better and better every year, and we are thrilled to extend our relationship with Project Angel Food. KTLA has a 75-year tradition of being there for L.A., so providing this very special program to connect our community of viewers with Project Angel Food’s work serving the most vulnerable in our community at large is what being “L.A.’s Very Own” is all about.”

Also appearing will be Richard Gere, who will be presenting a gift from the Herb Ritts Foundation, and Oprah Winfrey, as well as music from Josh Groban, Sarah McLachlan and Five for Fighting, among many other talented musicians who will perform at KTLA’s studios in Hollywood.

Project Angel Food’s CEO Richard Ayoub reflected, “While this year’s show promises to be our most entertaining yet, we are in urgent need of donations to help combat the rising cost of fuel and food. Everyone is feeling the pinch at the pump or at the grocery store. But multiply that by the 2,400 people we feed every day, driving to all corners of L.A. County’s 4,700 square miles. The need is great, and we appreciate KTLA and City National Bank’s confidence in extending our telethon through at least 2024.”

More than 2,500 clients are fed daily, with over 1.2 million meals delivered each year by Project Angel Food, which has a Four-Star Charity Navigator rating and has been declared an essential service by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

To learn more about Project Angel Food visit angelfood.org.

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