California’s Prisons: Are They Fighting Crime, or Causing It?

By Erick Huerta on

California’s Prisons: Fighting Crime, or Causing It? In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California’s prisons were so overcrowded that the state was actually violating the 8th Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. The ruling was based on the prison system subjecting inmates to the physical and psychological harm that arises when people …

What Police Should Be Doing For Us—Not to Us

By Erick Huerta on

What Police Should Be Doing For Us—Not to Us Last week Vincent Warren, executive director of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, put the practice of Stop and Frisk in perspective: Speaking to Los Angeles residents gathered at Community Coalition’s headquarters on South Vermont Avenue, he invoked the memory of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed …

L.A.’s New Budget: Who’s in the Driver’s Seat?

By Erick Huerta on

L.A.’s New Budget: Who’s in the Driver’s Seat? At the beginning of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s first of three presentations on the future of city budgeting last Thursday, Rick Cole, Deputy Mayor of Budgeting and Innovation, compared Los Angeles to a luxury vehicle—to make a point about the administration’s new approach to allocating funding. Taking a …

Creating a Level Playing Field for the Past 20 Years.

By Erick Huerta on

Creating a Level Playing Field for the Past 20 Years. April 29, 1992. On this day, four Los Angeles police officers were acquitted of brutally beating Rodney King, leading to unprecedented violence that boiled over as thousands of the city’s residents took to the streets in seething protest. A lesser known fact: Also on April …

Poverty Is Rising… So Should Our Taxes.

By Manisha Vaze on

Poverty is Rising… So Should Our Taxes. Here’s a staggering statistic: According to a report released last fall by the Southern Education Foundation, nearly half of students in the U.S. public school system can now be described as low income, based on data collected in 2010-2011. And it’s only getting worse. The ranks of America’s …

Jerry Brown Wants To Save For a Rainy Day? Well, It’s Here.

By Erick Huerta on

Jerry Brown Wants To Save For a Rainy Day? Well, It’s Here. In some ways, Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget for the new fiscal year sounds … well, sound. After all, who can argue with tenets such as “paying down debt” and “saving for a rainy day”? Especially when his administration has projected increases in the …

Mapping Mondays: African American Voters in Los Angeles

By SCOPE on

African Americans in LA supported last November’s Proposition 30 by a huge majority. Four out of five Black voters voted Yes on Prop 30 according to exit polls. This map, produced by SCOPE’s Research department, illustrates where LA African American voters live by council district. Please check it out and ‘Like’ this on Facebook. LA …

Does a Sales Tax Increase in LA Stand a Chance?

By SCOPE on

On October 31st, the LA City Council discussed options for raising new revenue to address the city’s ongoing budget deficit.  Despite years of budget cuts to city services, next year’s deficit is estimated at $216 million.  The City Council finally realized that revenue solutions must be on the table and is planning to place one …

November Elections: What’s at Stake for Local Revenue?

By SCOPE on

With so much collective attention on the Presidential race and the long list of 11 statewide propositions on next month’s ballot, it’s easy to overlook the many local measures also in front of voters. According to a report produced for the League of California Cities, there are over 350 local measures on the November 6th …

How Do LA Voters Feel About Taxes?

By SCOPE on

On August 21st, the Los Angeles City Council convened a Revenue Day to discuss ways to generate, enhance or improve collection of city revenue. The city’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Miguel Santana stressed that after years of deep budget cuts, the city is left with few options to address ongoing budget deficits.  Without a new …