California Today: Los Angeles’s Mayor Sounds Off on Trump, Housing and More
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Today’s introduction comes from Jennifer Medina, a national correspondent based in Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES — After coasting to re-election with 81 percent of the vote in March, Mayor Eric Garcetti has been the subject of much chatter — will he run for governor or try to become a United States senator? Will he emerge as a national leader in the Democratic fight against the Trump administration?
There were a few clues in the mayor’s State of the City address Thursday morning. Mr. Garcetti said he planned to focus on the continued troubles over homelessness here and promised to stick to the Paris agreement on climate change even if the White House does not. (Though he did not explain how the city could do so without federal support.)
Los Angeles, he said, is “a vision of what America is reaching for tomorrow.”
“When others try to pull us apart, we pull together,” he said. “While others are obsessed with the most powerful person in our country, we are empowering the most vulnerable in our own backyard.”
Some highlights from the speech:
“As mayor, there’s no issue I spend more time on — because I believe that homelessness is the moral issue of our time.”
The mayor said that thanks to Measure H, which voters approved in November, the city will have $55 million a year to expand mental health and substance abuse programs and triple the number of supportive housing units in the next two years.
“Anyone who writes a check at the beginning of the month knows that the rent in this city is just too high. Too many people are getting priced out.”
Hundreds of thousands of people in the city spend more than half their income on rent or live in severely overcrowded housing, the mayor said. Allowing more homeowners to build in their backyards and making it easier to build affordable housing would ease the burden, and he urged council members to approve a new fee for developers.
“In Los Angeles, every city facility, service and program is available to every resident — regardless of their citizenship or immigration status.”
Emphasizing that the Los Angeles Police Department would “never act as a federal immigration force,” Mr. Garcetti spoke briefly in Spanish saying that officers are on the streets to serve and that nobody should be afraid to report a crime.
(Please note: We regularly highlight articles on news sites with limited access for nonsubscribers.)
• A subculture of surfers dots coastlines from San Diego to Sydney after sunset. Visibility is just one of the perils. Why do it? [The New York Times]
• Ann Coulter rejected an offer to reschedule her speech at U.C. Berkeley after it had been canceled over safety concerns. [The New York Times]
• A Beverly Hills couple was accused of masterminding a sprawling medical-insurance scheme. [Orange County Register]
• An examination revealed “a sequence of questionable decisions and missteps” in the Lake Oroville crisis. [The Associated Press]
• In Los Angeles’s construction force, immigrants have gained jobs, unions have withered and pay has sunk. [Los Angeles Times]
• Watch out. Rattlesnake sightings are way up in Southern California. [Los Angeles Times]
• Tahoe got so much snow that Squaw Valley ski resort is considering staying open all summer. [Bloomberg]
• A Los Angeles matchmaking service connects people based on their mutual affection for cannabis. [The New York Times]
• Silicon Valley companies are offering workers paid time off to protest President Trump. [The Washington Post]
• An oral history of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill that helped shape the modern environmental movement. [Pacific Standard]
• The Central Valley dominated a ranking of the most polluted American cities. [Quartz]
• Our critic can’t recommend this enough: John Ridley’s wrenching documentary about the Los Angeles riots. [The New York Times]
• Another documentary on the Grateful Dead inspires a newfound appreciation of the band’s indelible stamp on the culture. [Opinion | Los Angeles Times]
On Saturday, a swimming pool full of rainbow sprinkles will open in Los Angeles — at last.
After a popular run in New York last summer, the pop-up Museum of Ice Cream has moved into an arts district warehouse, where it will celebrate all things milk, cream and sugar for the next five weeks.
The museum created 10 “reimagined” installations, including a melted Popsicle jungle, a walk of fame — featuring “Vanilla Ice” of course — and a live mint “grow house.”
The project is the brainchild of Maryellis Bunn, a design strategist, and her boyfriend, Manish Vora, a former investment banker.
Asked why they chose Los Angeles, Mr. Vora said it was a natural choice.
“If you look at the epicenters of ice cream innovation, you’re seeing that happening in Los Angeles,” he said, citing the city’s artisanal creameries such as Salt & Straw.
The museum is arguably as much a celebration of Instagram culture as ice cream. The Willy Wonka-like backdrops at the New York installation became a major selfie attraction. (Mr. Vora said visitors comprised a “heavy millennial set.”)
A flavor of commercialism is also hard to ignore. American Express and Dove Chocolate are among the sponsors. A gift shop sells mini cone earrings ($8), sprinkle socks ($14) and a pink Ping-Pong table ($10,500).
Thankfully, real ice cream is included in the ticket price ($29 for adults and $18 for children and seniors). California creameries will be on hand with a rotating “scoop of the week.”
The museum runs from April 22 to May 29.
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The California Today columnist, Mike McPhate, is a third-generation Californian — born outside Sacramento and raised in San Juan Capistrano. He lives in Davis.
California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.