The LA Podcast

Show Notes: “Raman Down a Dream” (Ep. 108)

by Scott Frazier
March 9, 2020
Tags: show notes

It’s Monday, March 9th! Last week was a big one, with voters going to their polling places voting centers all over the county for the first major election of the year.

First, Alissa brings up the way that the fear over Coronavirus has and hasn’t changed our behaviors locally. Many of the people who stand potentially at risk of the virus, and particularly seniors, don’t have information from the City and County about the disease. Helping your neighbors out and checking in with them is preparation!

Scott wants to talk about city council redistricting, which will begin ramping up later this year and get going in earnest following the completion of the decennial census. In Los Angeles, redistricting is extremely political and districts are gerrymandered to break up potentially powerful voting blocks. Scott says that as recent election cycles have continued to show the emergence of a powerful progressive politics locally (and perhaps for the first time), city councilmembers might be trying to figure out how to dilute that power during redistricting.

Next, we talk about the election. This was the first cycle where the county was using its new digital voting interfaces and those changes resulted in overwhelming lines at some voting centers in locations like the Ace Hotel downtown, UCLA on the Westside, and Toluca Lake in the Valley. We discuss what led to the delays, which appears to have been a combination of too few voting centers, poorly distributed voting centers (some, like Alissa’s, were nearly empty all day), insufficient intake staff, and very long intake times.

Hayes says this is likely as bad as this model will ever be. Scott is curious why government is not trying harder to “innovate” how it gets information in front of people, since it seems most people didn’t know about the changes.

On to results: first we have to discuss Jackie Lacey, who is now in run-off territory by the thinnest of margins. The day before the election, Lacey’s husband pulled a gun on Black Lives Matter protestors who rang her doorbell. We talk about an impressive showing by Rachel Rossi, and are hopeful that Lacey can finally be unseated in November.

Both Herb Wesson and Mark Ridley-Thomas are likely going to run-offs as well. This is particularly frustrating for MRT since he really doesn’t even WANT the job and would rather begin campaigning for mayor. Speaking of, in CD14, Kevin De Léon appears to have a leg-up in the 2022 mayoral race by winning his race outright.

In the Valley, John Lee and Loraine Lundquist are in another tight race and we aren’t sure which way this will end up going. But it sure is a black eye for city council that none of the councilmembers supported the candidate (Lundquist) who supports their policies over the one who doesn’t (Lee).

We talk at length about CD4, where Nithya Raman appears to have safely made a run-off against candidate David Ryu. Raman ran a policy-forward campaign that also served as a check on whether or not energy and enthusiasm could be generated for a city council race. That definitely paid off! Despite David Ryu raising an obscene amount of money, all of that money is spent and gone now and both candidates go into the fall election starting more or less from scratch. Let’s get Nithya onto council!