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Politics

09 Oct 2019
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Palm Springs residents living in the newly drawn Districts 1, 2 and 3 will head to the polls to elect three City Council members. These elections are the first step in the city’s transition from at-large to district-based representation, to comply with the California Voting Rights Act. The changeover will be complete after the November 2020 election of council members in Districts 4 and 5. (To see the newly drawn districts, visit www.palmspringsca.gov/government/city-clerk/election-general-municipal-election.) Another change: The city will no longer have a directly elected mayor; instead, Palm Springs will join most other valley cities in designating a councilmember as mayor for a year on a rotating basis. The Independent recently reached out to the three candidates running for the new District…
29 Sep 2019
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Palm Springs residents living in the newly drawn Districts 1, 2 and 3 will head to the polls to elect three City Council members. These elections are the first step in the city’s transition from at-large to district-based representation, to comply with the California Voting Rights Act. The changeover will be complete after the November 2020 election of council members in Districts 4 and 5. (To see the newly drawn districts, visit www.palmspringsca.gov/government/city-clerk/election-general-municipal-election.) Another change: The city will no longer have a directly elected mayor; instead, Palm Springs will join most other valley cities in designating a councilmember as mayor for a year on a rotating basis. The Independent recently spoke to the three candidates running for the new District 2…
16 Sep 2019
On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Palm Springs residents living in the newly drawn Districts 1, 2 and 3 will head to the polls to elect three City Council members. These elections are the first step in the city’s transition from at-large to district-based representation, to comply with the California Voting Rights Act. The changeover will be complete after the November 2020 election of council members in Districts 4 and 5. (To see the newly drawn districts, visit www.palmspringsca.gov/government/city-clerk/election-general-municipal-election.) Another change: The city will no longer have a directly elected mayor; instead, Palm Springs will join most other valley cities in designating a councilmember as mayor for a year on a rotating basis. The Independent recently reached out to the four candidates running for the new District…
12 Sep 2019
Millions of California renters are about to receive some of the nation’s strongest protections against rent hikes and evictions—and the primary advocacy group for California landlords is OK with that. State legislators this week passed AB 1482, a bill from Assemblyman David Chiu, a Democrat from San Francisco, which limits annual rent increases to 5 percent plus the rate of inflation (typically 2-3 percent). Modeled after a first-in-the-nation Oregon measure adopted earlier this year, the bill also requires landlords to provide a “just cause” for evicting tenants and, in some circumstances, pay for tenants to relocate. “We do not have time for those suffering in our streets,” Chiu said after the bill’s final passage. “We do not have time for those (who are) one rent…
12 Sep 2019
Doctors, real estate agents and hairdressers can keep their independent contractor status—but not truckers, commercial janitors, nail-salon workers, physical therapists and, significantly, gig economy workers, who will gain the rights and benefits of employees in California under sweeping workplace legislation passed this week. Gov. Gavin Newsom has committed to signing the bill, which cleared the Assembly 56-15 in a challenge both to the longstanding trend toward outsourcing labor and to the business model of companies such as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, who have threatened a $90 million fight at the ballot box. Once signed, AB 5 would upend longstanding employment practices that have seeped into the Democratic presidential debate about how workers should be treated, particularly in today’s gig economy. “With one clear test across…
04 Sep 2019
Tax credits for renters. Consumer protection for student borrowers. More homeless shelters that allow pets. Those were among the hundreds of ideas that California lawmakers killed Friday, as they winnowed down a huge stack of bills in preparation for the Legislature’s final sprint before the session ends on Sept. 13. Chairs of the appropriations committees announced their decisions in a rapid-fire ritual—and, in the Assembly, over the shouting protests of people who oppose a bill to limit vaccine exemptions. Here are a few noteworthy proposals that lawmakers snuffed out Friday as they acted on legislation in the mysterious “suspense file,” where bills can die with no public explanation: Rainforest protection: As the Amazon rainforest burns, a bill aimed at protecting tropical forests went up in…
20 Aug 2019
California will soon have a tougher new legal standard for the use of deadly force by police, under legislation Gov. Gavin Newsom signed yesterday, Aug, 19, that was inspired by last year’s fatal shooting of a young, unarmed man in Sacramento. Newsom signed the legislation amid unusual fanfare, convening numerous legislators, family members of people who have died in police shootings and advocates including civil-rights leader Dolores Huerta in a courtyard at the Secretary of State’s building—used in the past for inaugurations and other formal events. The governor contends that with Assembly Bill 392 in place, police will turn increasingly to de-escalation techniques, including verbal persuasion, weapons other than guns and other crisis-intervention methods. “It is remarkable to get to this moment on a bill…
19 Aug 2019
It was late in June when La Quinta High School senior Lizbeth Luevano met two other students—Diego Martinez, from West Valley High School in Hemet, and Julia Melendez-Hiriart, from Ramona High School in Riverside—at the Southwest Airlines terminal at the Ontario airport. The three students had never before met in person, but they were flying together to Washington, D.C., for the 2019 R2L NextGen week-long program, organized by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI). The program—launched in 2011 by the CHCI with the support of founding sponsor State Farm—has helped bring 533 students to Washington, D.C., over the past nine years. Two trips this summer brought 103 students from 17 different areas of the country to our nation’s capital to learn about the federal government,…

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