The LA Podcast

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We Built This Target

by Alissa Walker
December 29, 2020

An LA Podcast exclusive: Alissa performs an original song from her forthcoming album Knee Deep in the CEQA

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Tell me why it isn’t time for a two-week shutdown

by Hayes Davenport
December 5, 2020


Last night, the available ICU capacity in the counties that make up the state’s new definition of “Southern California” dropped to 13.1% — a decrease of 7.5 percentage points from the previous day.

This is happening in a terrifying context in LA County: almost every metric of the pandemic’s severity is picking up speed right now.

Three weeks ago, there were 966 people hospitalized with COVID in the county, and about 2,500 new cases a day. At the time that was cause for mild panic — it was a significant increase from what we’d been seeing a few weeks earlier, and public health officials started sounding the alarm and urging people to stay home.

Yesterday there were 2,668 people in the hospital and 8,860 new cases. Both are records. We will set new ones when the updated numbers come out this afternoon. This is unequivocally the most dangerous […]

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The plan: paint green energy solutions as racist

by Hayes Davenport
November 28, 2020

Nathan for You" The Anecdote (TV Episode 2017) - IMDb

Absolutely wild article in the LA Times this week by Sammy Roth, superstar energy reporter (subscribe to his climate newsletter). This story is about the natural gas industry using race and progressive language to promote fossil fuel use. A lot of it is about SoCalGas.

The Southern California Gas Company is the company that distributes gas to every home in Los Angeles. Their natural gas, is wafting around menacingly underneath your building right now. Two days ago you probably burned the SoCalGas piped into your kitchen to brown the cranberry onions and broast the turkey beans.

Many people think SoCalGas is a city-owned utility, because they associate it with the Department of Water and Power. It is not. SoCalGas is a private corporation and always has been. They started with 43 gas lamps along Main Street downtown in 1867 and are now the largest natural gas distribution utility in America. They […]

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The picture with a lot going on

by Hayes Davenport
November 22, 2020

On Friday, reporter Jim Rainey at the LA Times published the above photo.

The photo shows Rick Jacobs, one of Mayor Garcetti’s closest advisors, acting as if he’s grabbing the crotch of a blurred-out, unnamed person at the 2017 US Conference of Mayors in Miami. It’s a group shot, with Garcetti just on the other side of the person who Jacobs is pretending to grope, giving a double thumbs-up.

This photo arrives after a month of allegations regarding Jacobs’s history of sexual harassment and assault while in Garcetti’s circle — with multiple victims claiming that his misconduct took place with Garcetti’s knowledge. This is happening as the Mayor is being vetted for a position in Joe Biden’s cabinet.

All of that is, of course, the most important stuff going on in this picture. But it’s also worth looking at who else is in it. Everyone in the group shot is very relevant to the operation of LA city government — and […]

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Little Treats from the CD4 Race

by Hayes Davenport
November 19, 2020

After every good election there is the Treat Harvest — going online and gathering fun articles and posts that amplify the nice feelings. Today we reap the harvest’s bounty for the Council District 4 race.

First, some facts to freak your bean:

Nithya Raman has recorded more votes than any LA City Council candidate ever. David Ryu has the second most.Nithya almost definitely got the most votes of any city council candidate in American history (because LA’s districts are so much bigger than any other city’s).She got more votes in her first election than six of LA’s sitting councilmembers combined.She got twice as many votes in her primary as AOC got in the primary that put her into office.There are still more votes coming in.

Treat 1: A pre-election poll of political thought leaders

Apparently in October a team at Loyola Marymount conducted a survey of predictions for who would win various local races, including the CD4 race. The people […]

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You worked for a company that was writing editorials

by Hayes Davenport
November 15, 2020

The LAT handed its op-ed page over to Trump voters yesterday. Lots of other people got into it already and I don’t have anything to add. But I do want to selfishly exploit this moment to talk about another choice by the LAT editorial page that has been haunting me for months!

Context: remember how this year’s California primary was moved up from June all the way to March? So we were relevant in presidential politics for the first time in a decade? This move held real significance for the LA Times editorial board: their opinion about who should be president had a chance to actually mean something.

So the board geared up to meet the moment. In early February, they announced which races they’d be endorsing in, including for the Democratic nomination. A bunch of the candidates came to the office for interviews. (I remember someone posted a picture of Bernie during his but I can’t find it now). […]

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The LAPD is defunding itself. That might be a problem

by Hayes Davenport
November 12, 2020

Arrested Development - Blue Man 2 - YouTube

This article came out on Saturday about ten minutes after the race was called for Biden, so probably nobody saw it. But it contains some big revelations about LAPD defunding, which is now sort of happening.

The story, by Kevin Rector, is about the $150 million in cuts to LAPD that Garcetti and the Council made in July after polite suggestions from constituents. A plan for how to make those cuts is now being moved forward… by LAPD! Not an outside arbiter. The plan was drafted by Chief Michel Moore’s office in consultation with LAPD commanders. LAPD is just gonna go ahead and figure out how to defund itself, thanks so much.

Predictably, this process is playing out in a way that nobody in LA asked for.

Let’s start with the good cuts. There are some good cuts!

If you get in a minor traffic collision and decide to call 911 for some reason, the […]

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Some Good News / Some Personal News

by Hayes Davenport
November 11, 2020

For the last sixteen months, I’ve been volunteering full-time to help my friend Nithya Raman run for LA City Council, the most powerful city legislative body in America. I quit my job to do it. It was the most fulfilling experience of my life, except for the many times it sucked.

On Friday — and I don’t know how this happened — we won. It feels awesome. The days since then have been a euphoria, exactly how I imagined soaking up this moment: rocking back and forth in my office chair and clapping at the computer.

But I do need to take a second to talk about what happened here. Because what this campaign achieved is ridiculous. It’s from cartoons, for babies.

Nithya showed up to this race with no political experience whatsoever. She ran against an astonishingly well-funded incumbent in a city where […]

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Episode 146: “Jesus Swept” – Transcript

by Scott Frazier
November 2, 2020

Alissa Walker: Hello, Los Angeles. Are you out there?

Scott Frazier: This is an emergency bulletin.

Alissa Walker: It’s Monday, November 2nd: like we said on the last show, the last day, our last day on earth. Most

Hayes Davenport: All of our lives. This is the day that we’ll just live in forever. Not even like Groundhog Day style, nothing will repeat it. We’ll just advance…

Scott Frazier: Just we’re outside of time now. Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea. This is the final transmission. 

Alissa Walker: That’s what it feels like.

Hayes Davenport: No, this week did pass. That was good. That was good that that happened. A lot of stuff happened this week. We have a couple of little housekeeping things. There is new stuff that went on the site. Scott, what do we, what do we have? What do we have? What are we offering this week?

Scott Frazier: So yesterday we put up our new episode of TMZ for our Sepulveda Passholders.  That was the They […]

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Episode 146: “Jesus Swept” – Show Notes

by Scott Frazier


Tomorrow is the last day of voting. Latecomers, find your voting centers at https://locator.lavote.netPeople are voting in fun places:

Magic Castle

FYI the Magic Castle polling place delivers the full fantasy and had no line, strongly recommend 👍— climate pledge arena (@radicalflatness) October 31, 2020

Dodger Stadium

I know voting by mail is the thing to do this year, but I couldn’t resist casting my ballot at Dodger Stadium. Here’s my view from the voting booth! #IVoted— Laura J. Nelson 🦅 (@laura_nelson) November 1, 2020

Staples Center

Historic moment because of an early voting at Staples Center. I casted my vote on October 24th wearing a “24” Kobe Bryant jersey. I guess #24 was my lucky number yesterday 😄😄😄#EarlyVotingDay #StaplesCenter #MambaMentality #Democracy #PresidentialElection2020 #LAVote— Christian Esteban (@Chreeeesssstian) October 25, 2020

Final Fundraising Numbers

Supervisorial District 2

Wesson: A little over $2.5 millionMitchell: A little under $1.7 million

Council District 10

Ridley-Thomas: $658,307 ($726,681 in PAC money)Yoo: $262,092 ($35,390 in PAC money)

Council District 4

Ryu: $595,190 ($493,248 in PAC money)Raman: […]

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