Friday, October 29, 2010

City Council Approves Huizar’s Vote-by-Mail Election Plan

See the Press Release below regarding the VBM Plan:


Huizar Logo 2

CONTACT: Rick Coca
(213) 473-7014 or

Data shows Vote-by-Mail increases voter participation

LOS ANGELES (Oct. 29, 2010) — The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Friday to adopt Councilmember José Huizar’s legislation calling for Vote-by-Mail elections in the City’s next available Council seat Special Election. The plan would also leave open all polling places so voters can either vote-by-mail or vote in person on Election Day.

Following the Council seat Special Election, the City Clerk’s office would determine the number of people who participated via Vote-by-Mail vs. those who voted in person. The City Council could then use that data to determine how many polling places they would need to keep open in order to expand Vote-by-Mail in future elections.

“This is a victory for the voters of Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Huizar. “By giving them access to Vote-by-Mail without having to send in any forms, we will see a rise in voter-participation, which is the main goal of introducing this legislation. It is my hope that we will see Vote-by-Mail expanded throughout the City in future years so that more people take part in our City’s democratic process.”

Friday’s action by the City Council was a compromise designed to initially allow for voters to vote in person at the same number of polling places while increasing the number of overall voters by sending Vote-by-Mail ballots to all registered voters in the Special Election District.

Vote-by-Mail has consistently led to an increase in voter participation in states like Washington and Oregon and cities like Denver and Burbank. Increased voter participation via Vote-by-Mail cuts across all demographics, regardless of political affiliation, race or economic status.

Councilmember Huizar presented his plan as part of an election reform package, the Los Angeles Voters’ Bill of Rights. That effort has the support of Council President Eric Garcetti and several good government organizations, including California Common Cause; League of Women Voters of Los Angeles; California Clean Money Campaign and the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Bringing Jobs to Los Angeles with YMI Jeans


I was pleased to join the Mayor and YMI President and Founder, David Vered, recently to announce that even in these tough economic times, your City leaders are working with private enterprise to create jobs for working families. At a time when many companies are struggling to stay afloat, YMI Jeanswear, one of America’s top junior denim brands, celebrated the expansion of its corporate offices and fashion distribution center at a special ribbon cutting event and tour.

Founded in 2000 by three fashion entrepreneurs, YMI is now nationally recognized as a lifestyle brand for teens and young women, ages 15 to 25. Moving just a few miles from its original location bordering the cities of Vernon and Los Angeles, YMI is underscoring its commitment to Los Angeles and the support of local commerce by constructing its new, energy efficient building in the Boyle Heights community, just east of downtown LosAngeles.

You might note that I will soon be announcing the fourth program in my Government Reform Forum Series. It will be held later this year and will focus on jobs and the economy. Earlier forums have included Campaign Finance Reform, Election Reform and Charter Reform.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Microsoft Makes a Difference at Mendez

I want to congratulate Microsoft Corporation for announcing today that they are adopting the Mendez Learning Center in Boyle Heights and in doing so, making a more than $1 million commitment to be used for training, software and other assistance. When I helped create and envisioned the high school while working on the school board, I knew we wanted to bring in the private sector to assist the math/science and engineering/technology focused campuses. Microsoft has stepped up to the plate in a major way and is showing they believe in the students of Mendez and they deserve our heartfelt thanks.