July 26, 2012

California’s political leaders have lined up behind longtime political activist Bobbie Jean Anderson in support of her run for the 2012 Democratic National Committee (DNC).  Taking place July 28, the Executive Board of the Democratic State Central Committee of California (DSCC) will elect 19 members to the DNC for the 2012-2016 term.  Members of the DNC are directly responsible for articulating and promoting the Democratic platform, coordinating party organizational activity, supervising the national convention and, both independently and in coordination with the presidential candidate; raising funds, commissioning polls, and coordinating campaign strategy.  If elected to serve, Anderson will complete a four-year term beginning September 7 at the DNC meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina through the completion of the National Convention in 2016.

 

A list of Anderson’s endorsements include congresswomen Maxine Waters and Laura Richardson, Los Angeles County Democratic Party vice-chairs Eric Bauman and Alex Gallardo Rooker, assemblymembers Mike Davis and Isadore Hall III, Senator Rod Wright, Board of Equalization Chair Jerome Horton and Kerman Maddox. A Shreveport, LA native,  Anderson graduated from Fremont High School and after completing a course of study at the Downey Court Reporting School, was certified by the National Shorthand Reporters Association as Certified Shorthand Reporter.

 

She is a retiree of the Los Angeles County Court System after 40 years of service, including 25 years with the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office.  She later served as Field Representative for Assemblymember Mike Davis from 2006 through 2009.

 

Known as a strong community and political activist, in 1989, Anderson and several homeowners became victims of eminent domain due to the expansion of the I-110 freeway.  Believing that Caltrans was dealing in bad faith with the homeowners, Anderson, with the help of then-Assemblymember Maxine Waters, led 150 homeowners to fight for fair market values of their homes and appropriate relocation benefits for tenants.  This effort catapulted her into the political activist that she is today.

 

Anderson became a member of Black Women’s Forum where she chaired the Criminal Justice Taskforce and was appointed to the LAPD Commission in 1993 by Mayor Tom Bradley and reappointed by Mayor Richard Riordan.  In 2001, Mayor James Hahn appointed her to the Commission on the Status of Women.

 

She is active with the Democratic Party nationally and locally having attended President Bill Clinton’s White House Crime Briefing leading to her being appointed to his Criminal Justice Taskforce in 1995.

 

Since 1992, she has been elected Delegate to the Democratic National Conventions, including 2008 as a Delegate for President hopeful Barack Obama.

 

Anderson is a long-time labor activist with SEIU 660/721.  She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and Commissioner (8th CD) for the L.A. Redistricting Commission.

 

She has always been passionate about the plight of victims of domestic violence and currently serves on the board of Jenesse Domestic Violence Center where she has been a volunteer for over 20 years.

 

Parent Category: News
Category: Community

July 19, 2012

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A free-speech protest turned into a bottle-throwing clash with police that injured four officers and ended with 20 arrests, authorities said Friday.

The confrontation occurred Thursday night during Art Walk, a monthly event that encourages people to visit galleries, bars and restaurants in a revitalized downtown area.

Protesters said they were demonstrating against the recent arrests of some people for chalking on sidewalks.

"We were handing out free chalk for freedom of speech," Cheryl Aichele, 34, of the group Occupy L.A. told the Los Angeles Times.

The demonstrators were ordered to disperse shortly before 10 p.m. after they began writing on the sidewalks and buildings with chalk, Officer Norma Eisenman said.

Some messages chalked at the intersection of Spring and 5th streets included "May the youth rise" and "End the Fed," the Times reported.

Instead of dispersing, police said some protesters began hurling cans and glass bottles. Three officers were treated for minor injuries but a policewoman received a mild concussion when she was struck in the helmet, Eisenman said.

Several protesters reportedly were hurt as police struck with beanbag ammunition and batons. Eisenman, however, said she had no information about protester injuries.

A citywide tactical alert was called and about 140 officers responded, Eisenman said.

Officers in helmets and face shields formed skirmish lines and pushed the crowds out of the area, dispersing the protest in about 90 minutes.

Police arrested 20 people, 10 on suspicion of vandalism and the rest for crimes ranging from blocking a roadway to assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer, Eisenman said.

They could face criminal charges, she said.

Parent Category: News
Category: Community

July 19, 2012

By ELLIOT SPAGAT

Associated Press

 

Southern California extended its housing recovery in June as the median sales price matched a two-year high and buyers drawn by low interest rates snapped up homes in pricier coastal regions.

The median price of new and existing houses and condominiums in the six-county region reached $300,000 in June, up 5.3 percent from $285,000 during the same period last year, research firm DataQuick said recently.

It marked the third straight month that prices increased from last year, matching the longest streak since late 2010.

Meanwhile, the California Association of Realtors said the statewide median sales price in June for existing single-family homes grew 8.1 percent to $320,540 from $296,410 a year earlier.

That number doesn’t include condominiums or new homes, and it relies on residential brokers instead of county property records. Still, it suggests the recovery extended to the entire state last month as buyers were lured by low interest rates.

“Just about everywhere in the state has hit bottom,” said Jeffrey Michael, director of the University of the Pacific’s Business Forecasting Center in Stockton. “Some areas have moved into recovery and others are sliding along the bottom. It looks like the coastal areas are moving into recovery.”

Richard Green, director of the University of Southern California’s Lusk Center for Real Estate, believes California’s housing market hit bottom at the end of last year or early this year. He said metrics such as the relationship of housing prices to rental costs and income suggest the timing is ripe to buy a home.

“The fundamentals for owning are the best they’ve been in a while,” he said. “You probably have to go back to 1997. Owning just looks really good now.”

However, many buyers are facing slim pickings.

The California Association of Realtors said its statewide index showed unsold inventory in June covering only 3½ months, down from 5.1 months a year earlier.

The figure represents how long it would take to sell all existing single-family homes at the current sales clip. Supply in a normal market is considered to be six to seven months.

DataQuick President John Walsh cautioned against reading too much into the median price, saying the gain reflects a shift in sales from foreclosed properties in economically battered regions to higher-priced neighborhoods along the coast. Foreclosed properties tend to sell at steep discounts.

“The June numbers look pretty good at first glance, but they’re more mixed when you scratch beneath the surface,” he said. “Yes, the median sales price rose again. But it’s clear this has a lot to do with the changes in the types of homes selling, rather than across-the board price appreciation.”

Distressed sales, which include foreclosures, accounted for 42.2 percent of existing home sales in Southern California last month, the lowest since February 2008, DataQuick said.

Homes that were foreclosed upon during the previous year accounted for 24.5 percent of existing home sales, down from 32.9 percent during the year-ago period.

Short sales — when the sales price is below the amount owed on the property — made up 17.7 percent of existing home sales, down from 17.9 percent last year.

The number of homes sold in Southern California reached 22,075 in June, up 7.5 percent from 20,532 a year earlier, DataQuick said. It was the sixth straight month of annual gains, the longest streak since late 2009 and early 2010.

County breakdowns showed how coastal areas were driving overall gains. Orange, the most expensive in Southern California, posted a 13.7 annual increase in the number of homes sold, with a median price of $453,000. San Bernardino, the least expensive in the region, showed a 1.3 percent annual decline in sales, with a median price of $158,000.

Reflecting the shift to pricier deals, sales of homes for at least $500,000 accounted for 22.5 percent of Southern California home sales last month, the highest since August 2008, when the figure stood at 23.6 percent. Homes that went for at least a half-million dollars made up only 13.8 percent of total sales in January 2009.

The June median price in Southern California was up 21.5 percent from $247,000 in April 2009 but was still more than 40 percent off its peak of $505,000 in the middle of 2007.

Economists said a spike in unemployment or foreclosures were among the biggest threats to the nascent recovery. Michael said the low inventory suggests the market would be able to absorb a new raft of foreclosures.

Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist at the California Association of Realtors, said the state recovery began in the Central Valley about three years ago with investors snapping up homes in tranches and often paying cash. This year, the recovery has shifted to the “upper reaches of coastal areas,” where homeowners have been reluctant to sell, she said.

“They’re not feeling as frozen with uncertainty,” she said.

Parent Category: News
Category: Community

July 19, 2012

 

The community came out in numbers to support the 30th Anniversary UNCF Los Angeles Walk for Education last month in Exposition Park. The annual walkathon raises scholarship funds for deserving and under-served African American and minority youths. Chris Schauble, co-anchor, KTLA 5 Morning News returned as master of ceremonies along with the Black Greeks for HBCUs honorary chairpersons, LAUSD School Board Member, Marguerite La Motte and Actress T’Keyah Crystal Keymah of That’s So Raven, In Living Color and Cosby. City Councilmember Jan Perry was in attendance and offered remarks about the relevancy of UNCF and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

 

‘Every step we take in Southern California brings us that much closer to sending more kids to college and fulfilling President Barack Obama’s commitment for America to regain world leadership in the number of college graduates by 2020,” said Curtis R. Silvers, Jr., UNCF Area Director, Los Angeles. “UNCF’s Walk for Education is an opportunity for the community to rally together to help children to get the college education our nation needs them to have in order to compete in a global economy.”

 

Southern California Edison (SCE) served again this year as the presenting sponsor and led with the most corporate team walkers along with support from Union Bank, BP, Superior Grocers, American Airlines, Toyota, Mattel, Southern California Gas Company/Sempra Energy, Inter-Alumni Council of Los Angeles, Valley Fruits and Tropicana.

 

There is no magic formula for success; every person finds his or her unique path. But in today’s world, nearly every success story shares one common element, higher education. For that reason, the United Negro College Fund – the nation’s oldest minority higher education assistance organization – continues its commitment to providing educational opportunity for financially disadvantaged minority youth. For additional information about UNCF or willing to volunteer, please contact the Los Angeles Area Office at 213.639.3800 and help them carry out the mission implicit in its motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

Parent Category: News
Category: Community

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