Minimum Wage Hearings to Kickoff in Coming Weeks

Los Angeles – Councilmember Curren Price announced Monday the calendar of Economic Development Committee hearings that will be held to discuss the current proposals to raise wages across the City.  The hearings will review an economic impact study conducted by the University of California Berkeley, which was commissioned by the City last fall. The hearings will also discuss independent studies prepared by key stakeholders the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the County Federation of Labor. These hearings come as the result of the motion introduced by Councilman Price along with his colleagues, Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Gil Cedillo, and Nury Martinez, which called for raising the minimum wage in Los Angeles to $13.25 by 2017 and $15.25 by 2019.

“We continue to see a persistent problem with income inequality in our City, an issue that we also know severely impacts our region’s long-term economic development,” said Councilman Curren Price. “Raising wages in Los Angeles will not only help hardworking men and women survive, bringing wages up to meet rising costs for goods and inflation,  it will also give our local economy a much needed booster shot, with families spending their additional income right here locally.” 

 

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Councilman Price Works to Increase Small and Minority Owned Business Representation in City of Los Angeles

Councilman Introduces Motion to Expand Contracting Opportunities for Small and Micro Businesses and Recognizes Local African American Business Leaders 

Committed to supporting and expanding the success of local small businesses, Councilman Curren Price put forward a motion to level the playing field for these special groups to secure public contracts. Los Angeles spends more than $1 billion annually in public contracts for goods and services yet for decades local small and micro businesses have failed to secure a large amount of those contracts, despite previous city efforts.

Councilman Price has asked the City’s Bureau of Contract Administration to report back on ways that they could provide more assistance to the local small and micro business community including providing larger bid discounts, subcontracting opportunities, and information and training. Councilman Price also asked the department to study the feasibility of setting aside a larger percentage of the City’s contracts exclusively for local small and micro businesses.

“Small businesses are the life and blood of our local economy and as Chair of Economic Development, I am committed to doing everything I can to support and ensure the long term viability of this vital part of our business community,” said Councilman Price.

These actions are similar to what was done recently in San Francisco, where the city approved a new plan where no less than half of their eligible public works and construction contracts, and no less than a quarter of their eligible services and commodities contracts, had to go to local small and micro businesses, essentially creating a “sheltered marketplace.”

Councilman Price also cemented his support of minority owned businesses last month, honoring some of LA’s most prominent African-American business leaders during Black History month. Price recognized business leaders who have dedicated their professional careers to expanding opportunities for African-American business owners including Jacque Bee and Crystal Mitchell, co-directors of Recycling Black Dollars, Earl “Skip” Cooper, founder of the Black Business Association, Gene Hale, President of G&C Equipment Corporation and founding member of the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Congress, and Madame MC Townsend, President of the Regional Black Chamber of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley.

“These individuals are all consummate professionals whose vital contributions to economic development in the Greater Los Angeles African American community have been invaluable,” Councilman Price said.

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Comprehensive Online Learning Available to Thousands of South Los Angeles Children

LOS ANGELES – An award-winning online learning program for young children, ABCmouse.com, has been made available, free of charge, at all Los Angeles Public libraries, making it the first major library system in the nation to offer this program at no cost. Los Angeles-based Age of Learning, Inc. offers ABCmouse.com for Libraries at no cost as part of the company’s Education Access Initiatives, which provide highly engaging and state-of-the-art education resources to children of all backgrounds, including youth in the Ninth District. Already more than 16,000 Los Angeles children have taken advantage of this free program, which research shows significantly improves early reading and math skills.

 Additionally, Age of Learning makes this top rated educational program available at no cost to all public schools, preschools, Head Start programs, and community centers in South Los Angeles through ABCmouse.com for Schools.  

"Time and time again we see the success public private partnerships can have in communities of need, and this is no exception. Through this program, Age of Learning and ABCmouse.com are helping to bring high quality education to the children of South Los Angeles in a way that keeps them engaged and excited to learn," said Councilman Curren Price. 

 

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Councilman Price Introduces Motion to Identify Timeline and Deployment Plan for LAPD Body Cameras

Los Angeles – Addressing community concerns about transparency in community policing, Councilman Curren Price introduced a motion Tuesday asking the Los Angeles Police Department to report on the status of the City’s body-worn camera program, including a timeline for a city-wide roll out and details on the deployment strategy.

In the aftermath of the death of Michael Brown and locally with the death of Ezell Ford and other incidents involving police force, community relations with law enforcement has become a pressing issue for the country, and for South Los Angeles in particular, Councilman Price said.

“We understand that the community has asked for transparency in all levels of government, and that includes with policing efforts. This city-wide body camera program will help us increase public trust in our law enforcement, and we must ensure that it is rolled out in a way that prioritizes our neediest communities.”

In Los Angeles, Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, under the leadership of Mayor Garcetti, have led efforts to deploy body worn cameras, helping the Police Department to raise money to purchase cameras for officers. Earlier this year, LAPD implemented a pilot program in the use and deployment of body-worn cameras in the City. 

On Tuesday, LAPD officials and Mayor Garcetti announced that they had negotiated a contract for the purchase of body-worn cameras and other required software, to roll out a city-wide program. 

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Framework Approved for a Legal Street Vending System in Los Angeles

Framework Approved for a Legal Street Vending System in Los Angeles

 

The City’s Economic Development Committee Approved an Outline for an upcoming Policy that Highlights a Robust and Multi-Department Process to Permit, Regulate and Secure Street Vending in the City

 

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Economic Development Committee approved a framework Tuesday for city-wide street vending regulations in Los Angeles, moving the long awaited policy goal one step further. The framework outlines the tasks and responsibilities that will be handled by several City department, including the Department of Public Works, the Bureau of Street Services, the Los Angeles Police Department the Economic Workforce Development Department to develop, manage and implement a city-wide vending regulation system. In the coming months, these departments will report back in detail on specific requirements for location and hours of operation, how to obtain permits, and enforcement strategies, among other details.

 The action comes as a result of a motion, co-authored by Councilmembers Curren Price and Jose Huizar, which called for a review of existing street vending regulations. Currently, Los Angeles has a ban on sidewalk food and retail vending programs. However, street vending programs are being operated successfully in the nation’s major urban cities including New York, Portland and Chicago.

 “Los Angeles is the second largest city in the Nation – and as far as I’m concerned the best city in the country,” said Councilman Curren Price. “It is time that we bring some structure and regulation to street vending. I firmly believe that creating a system for street vending will help micro-entrepreneurs thrive, it will help bring more diverse foods to communities like the one I represent that have lacked options for decades, and it will ensure that products being sold are safe for consumption and meet our public health and safety standards.”

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Councilmembers Introduce Motion to Raise Minimum Wage in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – Continuing the city’s proud tradition of progressive leadership on wage and poverty issues, four Los Angeles City Councilmembers today co-introduced legislation that begins the process of raising the minimum wage for workers in Los Angeles. The wage motion, submitted by Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Gil Cedillo, Nury Martinez and Curren Price Jr. calls on the City Attorney to draft an ordinance that will raise the minimum wage to $13.25 by July 1, 2017, and calls for further steps to raise the minimum wage to $15.25 by 2019. The motion also proposes attaching the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), so the wage can keep pace with future inflation.

"There may be a lot of debate around this issue, but one fact is clear, our minimum wage today no longer covers even the most basic necessities for far too many families who time and time again are forced to choose between rent or groceries, the light bill or the gas bill, paying a parking ticket or buying new shoes for their kids," said Councilman Price, who represents the Ninth District. "I have agreed to sign onto this motion because I believe wholeheartedly that raising wages will have a direct positive impact on the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of local families and local business owners, who will benefit from the economic stimulus created by our increased wages."

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Los Angeles Becomes First Major City to Support Proposition 47

Los Angeles – The Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to approve Councilmember Curren Price’s resolution to support Proposition 47. The voter initiative would change low level, non-violent petty crimes, from felonies to misdemeanors, helping to save California hundreds of millions annually and curb levels of incarceration - especially among youth of color.“I am so glad to see our city leading again, supporting a common sense change that will help reduce our prison population and reinvest up to $250 million in savings into crime prevention and mental health programs that are sorely needed in our community,” said Councilman Curren Price.Proposition 47 would change six of the lowest level, non-violent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors including simple drug possession, petty theft under $950 and forgery under $950 – charges that disproportionately impact women, studies show. Reductions would not, however, apply to sex offenders or anyone with prior convictions for murder, rape or child molestation. According to California’s Independent Legislative Analyst’s Office, the state could save up to $250 million annually per year, in reduced prison costs. 

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Supporting a World Class Convention Center

     Councilmember Curren D. Price Jr., Chair of the Council’s Economic Development Committee, issued the following statement Monday regarding AEG’s request for an extension of the Los Angeles Convention and Event Center Project: 

  “The Convention Center is a critical economic engine for our City producing thousands of jobs and millions in revenue. This makes it imperative that we keep all our options open when we are discussing the renovation of this important facility. As Chair of the Economic Development Committee, and as the Council representative for the area that houses the Convention Center, I am focused on landing the best deal for the City. I support an extension for AEG at this time because it would help Los Angeles make a better case for landing a team, ultimately allowing our City to score the “touchdown” - with or without a team.” 

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Councilman Price Issues Statement Regarding the Shooting of Ezell Ford

 

 Councilmember Curren D. Price Jr. issued the following statement Friday following the shooting of resident Ezell Ford:

 

“As I have expressed to the Ford family personally, my deepest condolences go out to them for their heartbreaking loss. Since learning of this incident, I have been in constant communication with LAPD leadership. I am calling for a thorough investigation of this incident and others that have emerged in recent days. We must act with urgency and transparency so that we can bring answers to the affected families and our residents, as well as peace to our community.

My staff and I have also been communicating with community members and I fully support their efforts to voice their concerns and exercise their right to peacefully protest. I encourage everyone to promote the tolerance we want to see in our city. 

 My office is working with city officials and law enforcement to host a community meeting next Tuesday where we hope to get more information and give everyone a safe space to voice concerns.”

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LA City Councilmembers Call for the Humane Treatment of Unaccompanied Minors and the Consideration of their Status as Refugees

LA City Councilmembers Call for the Humane Treatment of Unaccompanied Minors and the Consideration of their Status as Refugees

Officials announce the introduction of a City-wide resolution that denounces to repeal the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, reducing immigrant children’s access to immigration hearings

 

Los Angeles Councilmembers Gil Cedillo, Mitch O’Farrell, Nury Martinez and Curren Price announced their introduction of a city-wide resolution Thursday calling for the immediate support and humane treatment of unaccompanied immigrant minors. Standing with a coalition of Central American community organizations and local residents, the elected officials expressed their support of ensuring that all minors receive a fair immigration hearing and consideration of their status as refugees. The resolution officially places the City’s position on its Federal Legislative Agenda and denounces any efforts to repeal or reverse the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act., which was created to ensure the safety and legal protection of unaccompanied children.

 "When we take politics out of the equation, we are dealing with an issue that involves child refugees that are fleeing violence and abuse in their own countries,” said Councilman Gil Cedillo. “We have a humanitarian duty to protect these children and make sure they are not placed in harm's way again. The resolution we will present tomorrow will let the world know that the City of Los Angeles stands with the children."

 “As a mother and councilwoman, I believe that our responsibilities to all children extend beyond borders and politics. My heart goes out to those parents that were forced to send their children alone because keeping them meant a far worse fate. Our nation succeeds, in part, because of our compassion," said Councilwoman Nury Martinez.

 “As an elected official sometimes you need to use your voice to call for what’s right and just. These children have fled terrible conditions at home, in search of a better life as so many other Americans have done before them. Today, we want them to know that the City of Los Angeles is a safe place where they will be treated with compassion” said Councilman Curren Price, who represents the Ninth Council District, spanning the Central portion of South Los Angeles.

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