Attorney Aram James on Darren Wilson


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Darren Wilson Walks, Begging the Question: Will Cops Ever Be Held to Account?

No Indictment, no justice, in the cold blooded killing of unarmed African-American  youth Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson.  Déjà vu!

Former LAPD officer & private investigator Alex "Renegade Popo" Salazar at NYC demo

Former LAPD officer & private investigator Alex “Renegade Popo” Salazar at NYC demo

Can we achieve systemic justice in officer involved shootings, and other forms of police murder? Is it possible in this country, given our two tier justice system, one designed for the police and another designed for the rest of us? What are the necessary steps we must take to restore trust in our criminal justice system, when the police seem, rarely, if ever, to be held fully accountable, when they shoot and kill, strangle and tase and brutally beat to death, unarmed people of color, and the poor?

Former Public Defender Aram Byer James

Former Public Defender Aram Byer James

How is it that in 2014, a decision whether to prosecute such a shocking crime, one carried out in broad day light, before numerous witnesses, can be relegated to a secret, behind closed doors, grand jury process? This secrecy is particularly ironic for an incident that has played out so publicly in our media, both here at home and worldwide. Doubly ironic, when mostly peaceful demonstrators, demanding an open flow of information regarding the case, have instead, been met with a martial-law war-zone-like response, from both the police and local government in Ferguson. As more than one commentator has said about closed proceedings: “Democracy itself dies behind closed doors.”

The importance of open proceedings, our supreme court speaks

Sixth AmendmentOur U.S. Supreme Court in Richmond Newspapers INC. v. Virginia (1980) eloquently expressed the importance of open criminal proceedings, and the risks inherent to the public trust, and public safety itself, when such proceedings, instead of being held in the open, are closed off to the public view, and the necessary scrutiny of watchdogs from the community, and the press:

“The historical evidence of the evolution of the criminal trial in Anglo-American justice demonstrates conclusively that at the time this Nation’s organic laws were adopted, criminal trials both here and in England had long been presumptively open, thus giving assurance that the proceedings were conducted fairly to all concerned and discouraging perjury, the misconduct of the participants, or decisions based on secret bias or partiality. In addition, the significant community therapeutic value of public trials was recognized: when a shocking crime occurs, a community reaction of outrage and public protest often follows, and thereafter the open processes of justice serve an important prophylactic purpose, providing an outlet for community concern, hostility and emotion. To work effectively, it is important that society’s criminal process ‘satisfy the appearance of justice,’ which can best be provided by allowing people to observe such process. From this unbroken, uncontradicted history, supported by reasons as valid today as in centuries past, it must be concluded that a presumption of openness inheres in the very nature of a criminal trial under this Nation’s system of justice.”

Our own Supreme Court’s logic dictates, in fact compels, the conclusion that secret grand juries should be abolished and that public proceeding (preliminary examinations) be the rule in probable cause hearings, in all serious cases, where the determination is made, whether there is sufficient evidence to believe a crime has been committed, and that a particular person has committed such a serious crime, justifying a subsequent jury trial on the charges. This standard of probable cause, in an open setting, should apply to all persons charged with serious crimes, but certainly those involving the police, and others public officials, who hold the public trust. Public officials should be held to a higher level of public scrutiny and accountability, not a lower standard.

If you or I (as ordinary citizens) are charged with a shocking crime, say shooting down an unarmed human being, apparently without provocation, it is extremely unlikely that our potential prosecution will be decided in a secret closed door proceeding (by a criminal grand jury) . What is likely is that our guilt or innocence will be played out in a public setting, for all the world to view.

First, we can assume, except in the rare circumstance of a clear case of say self-defense, determined by a prosecutor, early in the process, that we will be arrested, and shortly thereafter brought to an open court proceeding, to enter a plea to the charges. Subsequently, all proceedings in our case, preliminary examination, jury trial, sentencing, etc., will be open to public and press scrutiny. The opposite of the secrecy and government oppression, that most often characterize grand jury proceedings.

To mitigate mistrust of our government, and the police state mentality often associated with our police, and our entire criminal justice system, particularly when they interact with people of color and the poor, we must do away with secret proceedings (grand juries). Secret proceedings that allow the police, in officer involved shootings, to shield their actions from public accountabilty. No openness means, more often than not, no justice. We the people, can no longer allow secret proceedings to stand.

As we have seen in Ferguson, one person, the elected prosecutor, in this case, Robert McCulloch, makes the call as to whether to use a secret grand jury, instead of insisting on an open proceeding, such as an open preliminary examination. Such calls (the exercise of prosecutorial discretion) are made by the elected prosecutor in each county .

If we the people are ever to change the two tier system of justice , we must take the time to know our local elected prosecutors, and how they think on the critical criminal justice issues of the day. We must actively participate in their election. If an individual elected prosecutor insists on treating police with prosecutorial kid gloves, we need to vote that prosecutor out of office.

Finally, every district attorney’s office in this country needs to establish a specialized police crimes unit. Such a unit would consist of a district attorney, an investigator, a former criminal defense attorney, and a retired police officer. All members of this unit would be highly trained in best police practices.

The elected district attorney would delegate to this unit the responsibility for prosecuting serious police crimes, with the same prosecutorial skill, equal protection of the law and professionalism as any other serious criminal activity.

In the end, absent our willingness to engage in “participatory justice” where the community is an equal partner with the local prosecutor, the local defense bar, and the local police, we will continue to hear the cries of injustice go unanswered in officer involved shootings, and other acts of police brutality.

Original Article at:

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Rudy Acuna on Ethnic Studies & Immigration


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Thinking Critically

Is a Victory Really a Victory?

Obama’s Immigration Order and Ethnic Studies

If it stinks light a match


Rodolfo Acuña 11 28 14


Jan B. Tucker, Rudy Acuna, Estela Ayala

Jan B. Tucker, Rudy Acuna, Estela Ayala

People want to believe, they want to have hope. Everyone loves a happy person, and that’s great but it makes critical thinking all the more difficult. It is like having a gas attack at a party. No one appreciates Mr. Doom in their midst. Most people are just making a living and surviving, and no one wants that Chicano bullshit messing up a good time.


I am very mindful of stepping on shit and getting those sniffing stares.  So when I heard President Barack Obama’s announcement about signing an executive order staying the deportation of about 4.5 million undocumented parents of children born in the United States, my reaction was cautious.


Watching the White House playing out the immigration scenario has been like watching a schoolyard toughie tell someone repeatedly, “I am going to beat you up.” About the 20th time he sings the same old song you want to say to him, well just do it!   


A lot of us were hopeful when Obama first said that he was going to fix the immigration mess. Indeed, there have been partial actions such as that for the Dreamers; however, at almost every step of the way he seems afraid that to alienate Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats – afraid they will not love him.


ICE data shows the Obama administration deported 357,422 (2013); 409,849 (2012); 396,906 (2011); 392,862 (2010); 389,834 (2009); and 369,331 (2008) — totaling 2,316,204 deportations between 2008 and 2013.  Also, according to ICE statistics for the fiscal year 2013, of the 357,422 deportations,  67.6 percent were from Mexico; Guatemala 13.4 percent; Honduras 10.3 percent; El Salvador 6 percent; and Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua, and Jamaica 2.7 percent.  The deportees were almost all Latino/a  or of Caribbean origin. Contrary to popular belief over 40 percent had no criminal record.


The truth be told, even before Obama gave the speech, many Latino/a immigration advocates were praising the president for “a monumental and historic undertaking”.


Obama’s plan limited it to undocumented parents who had children that were born in the United States – the parents of the dreamers would not be protected, and the order will only be in effect for as long as Obama is in the presidency.


When some critics mentioned this, the cheerleaders started lighting matches, hoping that the “sulphur smell from the match masks the fart smell from the dog.”


In this context, the recent Los Angeles Unified School Board of Education’s vote to make an ethnic studies course a graduation requirement, beginning with the class of 2019, has produced a similar euphoria among many Latina/o activists.


Student Cindy Reyes told ABC7, “We want to learn our side of the story as well.” The board’s motion calls for a phasing in of the requirement, beginning with a handful of schools in 2015-16. It will become a one-semester course by 2019.


This one is difficult to criticize because the Ethnic Studies Now Campaign and other supporters have invested an awful lot of emotional capital. Activists such as Jose Lara (AKA Jose del Barrio) have worked tirelessly. ·Ibarra, a Board Member of El Rancho Board of Education got the Pico Rivera School District to adopt an ethnic-studies requirement for all students starting in 2016, and there have also been rumblings in Santa Monica and other districts.


In the summer, the hopes of the activists were raised when California Assemblyman Luis Alejo (D-Salinas) introduced a bill that require the state’s Department of Education to develop a model for implementing a standardized, statewide ethnic studies curriculum for high schools. It met with opposition and the bill was never taken to the floor.


Latinos are the largest ethnic group in California schools comprising 53 percent of the California student body (whites are 26 percent, and Asians, 9 percent). Despite this, as a rule a student learns very little about the Mexican/Latino heritage of the state.


More important and fundamental to Ethnic Studies, it leaves out critical thinking.


The California thrust for Ethnic Studies comes from the “Save Ethnic Studies Campaign” around the outlawing of the Tucson Unified School District’s tremendously successful Mexican American Studies Program that almost eliminated the dropout problem and significantly improved the attendance in higher education. They forget it was based on a pedagogy of critical thinking.


The MAS model was never intended to be merely cultural experience or courses on race theory.  It was based on the research of educators such as Paulo Freire and Edwin Fenton. The goal was to produce critical thinkers.


Nevertheless, the devil is in the detail and there are a lot of pitfalls — as we witnessed in the Alejo Bill. Chicana/o legislators like Obama are with you for as long as it is not inconvenient for them. Moreover, as we learned in the Tucson campaign just calling it “Save Ethnic Studies” does not unify people and in fact builds in contradictions.


So take out the matches while I air some of my concerns:


·       This could prove to be atole con el dedo – 2019 is a long way to away, and there is no funding as of yet. Will conservative members and the internal bureaucracy use the budget to kill it?

·       We were further down the path with bicultural-bilingual education; what have we learned from that experience?

·       One of the biggest obstacles to Mexican American Studies at the university level was our fellow teachers who would ask, “Well, if we give you this, how about the Asians, the Native Americans, Russian Jews, and later Armenians? You are asking for special treatment.

·       That leads to the question, what is a minority?

·       What is an ethnic minority? Or, for that matter, a Latino and should they all be given equal time?

·       Who is going to determine the curriculum and the pedagogy?


My own opinion is that Mexican American Studies deals with identity, skill development and critical thinking.  Its development has to have internal checks and benchmarks in order for it not to become one more senior problems class.  Our community deserves more. Up until now education has been exclusively the study of white America; it must be expanded to reflect the nation’s diversity but at the same time attack the dropout problem.


The truth be told, few educators know much about Mexican Americans and they only think that they know about black Americans. We have the opportunity to educate the majority society, which will not easy. It is also educators who control our universities, and it is the universities who have contributed to this ignorance and kept us in this state.


Is a Victory Really a Victory? We are supposed to have diversity in academe; however, we are more segregated than the community at large. Only 3-5 percent of the faculties are of Mexican origin. 


The cheerleaders say that Obama’s Immigration Order shows he is pro-immigrant, does it? If questions are not asked, we’d better get a supply of matches and light them – in case we are not able to stand the smell.


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Executive Action on Immigration


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J.B. Tucker & Associates

News Release

P.O. Box 433 Torrance CA 90508-0433

Tel: 310.618.9596 Fax: 310.618.1950

Cell: 818.720.3719

Criminal Justice Columnist, Counter Punch Magazine

Commentator, Black Talk Radio

Public relations guru”Los Angeles Times 1996

Former 1st Vice President, LA Newspaper Guild

Member, CWA Local 39521, Pacific Media Workers Guild

For Immediate Release: November 20, 2014

For Information: Jan B. Tucker, CALLAC State Director (as above)

CALLAC Says Time For Executive Action on Immigration Action

Long Overdue

Reacting to the impending announcement that President Obama would issue an executive order to address congressional inaction on immigration legislation, the California League of Latin American Citizens (CALLAC) gave an initial single word summary of its viewpoint: “ORALE!”

Jan Tucker, State Director of CALLAC, described the elements of the impending executive order as gleaned from news reports as “positive to the extent that law abiding working families are protected and that the family reunification principles of the Immigration and Nationality Act Amendments of 1976 (INA)—signed into law by Republican President Gerald R. Ford—are followed. We have long said that immigration action must provide a pathway to citizenship and which takes into consideration families, whether the families are here or not. This action would not even have been made if not for the Latino and especially the growing Chicano vote and our decades of grassroots action demanding change—actions which must continue with increased vigor.”

In President Ford’s October 21, 1976 signing statement of the INA he told the world that:

This legislation will also facilitate the reunification of Mexican-American families by giving preference to Mexican nationals who are close relatives of United States citizens or lawful permanent residents, or who have needed job skills. I am concerned, however, about one aspect of the legislation which has the effect of reducing the legal immigration into this country from Mexico. Currently about 40,000 natives of Mexico legally immigrate to the United States each year. This legislation would cut that number in half.

The United States has a very special and historic relationship with our neighbor to the south. In view of this special status we have with the Mexican Government and the Mexican people, I will submit legislation to the Congress in January to increase the immigration quotas for Mexicans desiring to come to the United States.

Shortly after its formation, CALLAC adopted national goals proposed in a leaflet which the group charged have yet to be addressed either by the bipartisan legislation that passed the United States Senate and stalled in the House or by the President’s imminent executive order:

Recognition of the need to redress grievances of the special status of Mexicans and people of Mexican origin in the context of the conquest of Mexican territory in an unjust war, the unlawful ethnic cleansing of 2 million people including 1.2 million United States citizens in the 1930s, and continual US interference in the internal affairs of Mexico

Recognition and respect for the rights of indigenous Native Americans in the context of their conquest, de facto attempted genocide and negotiated peace treaties.

Far reaching proposals for immigration action have been put forth by CALLAC and its sister organization PALLAC which they contend address the underlying systemic economic, cultural, and international legal issues which “an American unilateralist approach to immigration” continues to ignore.

Pennsylvania League of Latin American Citizens (PALLAC) State Director Ruben Botello, has long proposed an “American Union” which would emulate the European Union (EU). In a 2011 article on the subject, Botello wrote that:

Instead of band-aid approaches to the immigration problems its sovereignties face, this region of the world needs an American Union (AU) similar to the European Union (EU) that helped end the serious conflicts and hostilities between the EU’s member nations that led to World War II.

CALLAC State Director Jan B. Tucker has pushed for invocation of Article XXI of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo as a means to legitimize the process of migration action and to place it within the multilateral context of the legal relationship between the United States of America, the United States of Mexico, and of the treaty rights of Native American tribes, many of whom assert the sovereign authority to make their own immigration rules for Mexican and other immigrants. According to Tucker, Article XXI provides for a bilateral commission or third-nation neutral arbitration for issues between the United States and Mexico.

“It is a truth of history that the border crossed the indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere—not the other way around—and unilateral efforts to block centuries old patterns of migration are doomed to fail in the short and the long run,” said Tucker, who holds a double major B.A. cum laude in Political Science & Chicano Studies. “Consistent with the model proposed by my friend and colleague Ruben Botello, however this process moves forward, it should also formalize U.S. [EEUU] recognition of dual citizenship as a step towards Western Hemispheric integration.”

In a related move, the Office of the Minister of Information of the National Brown Berets de Aztlan (NBBDA), applauded the statements of CALLAC calling for the invocation of “Guadalupe Hidalgo Article XXI remedies.”


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SFV/NELA NOW Annual Party & Election


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For more info and to RSVP, and visit our Facebook Page,



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Information Wanted, Good, Bad or Ugly


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Information wanted, good, bad, or ugly

Information wanted, good, bad, or ugly

I’m eager to get in touch with anybody who has information on any of the following people, companies or institutions. Note that inclusion on the list doesn’t mean that they have done anything wrong; some of the people listed may be potential victims. Note also that some of these names may be very common so do not impute anything adverse just because somebody’s name might be in the list because of its commonality. If you know anything or know anybody who might know anything about these folks, bad, good, or otherwise, please e-mail me at:

You may specify that your identity is to be considered confidential. As a journalist I am immune from court contempt proceedings. If you want to blow the whistle on corruption of any sort, I will protect your anonymity to the best of my ability.

Freedom of the Press IssueAside from my role as a private investigator which gives my sources a certain degree of protection under Section 7539(a) of the California Business & Professions Code, I also am protected by the immunity conferred by the California Constitution Article I, Section 2(b) and California Evidence Code Section 1070. I am a card carrying member of the Pacific Media Workers Guild Local 39521. I formerly served as the First Vice President of Newspaper Guild Local 39069 under presidents Gary North and Joe Segura. I am criminal justice and legal affairs columnist for CounterPunch Magazine as well as the operator of this Detective’s Diary blog.

The List

Louis Charles Cavallero (Sr)

DaVita’s (Restaurant on La Brea just south of 3rd Street, Los Angeles 90036 in the 70s, LCN hangout)

James William McDonald (deceased process server and private investigator; one of my mentors)

Koichi Ishihara (convicted of vehicular embezzlement in U.S. Deported to Japan following prison sentence)

Century Commerce Corporation

United Belem Corp.

Ryan Taiji Okabe

Mark Jerry Haushalter

Yaroslav D. Bilyk aka Viacheslav Bilyk aka Slavik Bilyk

Artashes Darbinyan

Credit Umbrella

Information Service Systems Art, LLC (based in Russia)

Michael Klein aka Menachem Klein

Mehran Kohansieh aka Michael Kohen

Bruce David Hersh dba Bruce D. Hersh, Esq. PC, a New Jersey Professional Corporation (disbarred)

James Martin Caban aka James Cabaw (former NYPD Sergeant fired and prosecuted for extortion)

Henkel Corporation (and its former or current employees, Thomas Steel, Richard Lawrence, Nicola Maher, Cindy Williams)

Ali Sadoughi

Ciamack Loghmani

Arianne Loghmani

Mohsen Loghmani

Mahshid Loghmani

Kenny Sabet

United Valet Parking

VALERA-ARAUJO ZOILA ELINA California License#: 0D56216

George Ventura

Zoila Valera


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Today’s Black Panthers still going strong


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L-R:  Michael D. "Chicago Mike" McCarty, Helen V. Morgan and Donna Dymally @ Simply Wholesome Slauson & Overhill

L-R: Michael D. “Chicago Mike” McCarty, Helen V. Morgan and Donna Dymally @ Simply Wholesome Slauson & Overhill

Every first Sunday of the month Los Angeles Black Panthers–not wannabes or pretenders but the real O.G. men and women of the 1960-70s era Black Panther Party–hold an informal breakfast get together and today was one of those days.


Dedon Kamathi and Helen V. Morgan

Dedon Kamathi and Helen V. Morgan

Amongst other collaboration with the Black Panthers, I’ve launched a project which is being promoted by KPFK talk show host and Black Panther Dedon Kamathi to assist radicals, from then and now, to get their government files under the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act and state law equivalents.  In California the equivalent laws are the California Public Records Act and the Information Practices Act.  Recently I’ve sent in a whole batch of request from Black Panthers who were active all over America to Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey, requesting that for efficiency and time’s sake they look at the legal issues involved in approving what to release jointly  for the requestors.  As Black Panthers spied on during the days of COINTELPRO there will be common questions of law to be applied, since much of what law enforcement did in those days has since been acknowledged to have been illegal and unconstitutional.

To download a release for me to assist you in getting your government files, to go:

Deacon Alexander & Helen V. Morgan

Deacon Alexander & Helen V. Morgan

Deacon Alexander’s family was once described by J. Edgar Hoover as the most dangerous Black radical family in America.  Hoover’s successor, L. Patrick Grey III once sent a letter about me to the head of the Secret Service telling him that I was dangerous due to activity in groups “engaged in activities inimical to the interests of the United States.”  As an “oh by the way,” that letter was sent when I was 17 years old.  Deacon’s older sister, Charlene Mitchell, was the Communist Party Presidential candidate in 1968 and Deacon headed the National Coalition Against Racist and Political Repression, amongst other things.

Akile & Helen V. Morgan

Akile & Helen V. Morgan

R.W. Akile (he usually goes by just the name “Akile”) is the man who brought Kwanzaa to Los Angeles and to this day runs the annual Kwanzaa parade and festival — the second oldest such event in America after Atlanta.  As Akile has explained:

Kwanzaa was started by a group of people known as the US Organization and their collaborators. It started at the Aquarian Spiritual Center and Book Shop the home and business of Dr. Alfred and Bernice Ligon. It marked the first time in 1616 years (350 AD to 1966) [after Julius I, Pope of Rome declared Dec. 25 would be the Birth of Jesus], that DEC. 26th would be important to the Black world once again. In the ancient world Dec. 26 corresponds to the day celebrated as Asaru’s birthday.


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Church Property Used to Oppress Workers


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For background on this story, see:


UMC ltr_001 UMC ltr_002

If you agree that First UMC Los Angeles should do what I’m asking them to do, email them at:

or, telephone or fax them:

(213) 749-0212
(213) 749-0232

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2014 Election Recommendations


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How I’m Voting (or would vote if I lived in your district)

Statewide Offices:

L-R:  Jerry Brown, Angel Luevano, Jan B. Tucker; i.e., me confronting Jerry Brown

L-R: Jerry Brown, Angel Luevano, Jan B. Tucker; i.e., me confronting Jerry Brown

Governor – No recommendation. Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown’s father—Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, sr.–said it all during Jerry’s first stint as Governor when he said that he (Pat Brown) had been a better Governor. When your own father says something like that when you’re still in office nothing more needs to be said, other than his years in office since then, from Mayor of Oakland to Attorney General, to now back in office of Governor have simply demonstrated that he continues to be more hype than anything else.

When he got elected Secretary of State in 1970 he promptly transferred one employee out of every division into the press department, which produced at least one news release every day for four years to prove that the Secretary of State was a wunderkind when in fact everything else the office was supposed to do slowed to a crawl. On substance, he fought against the right of poor people to run for office all the way to the Supreme Court and lost 9-0 in Lubin v Panish, then ignored the ruling the next day and threw Peace & Freedom Party candidates off the ballot for not paying the filing fees that had just been declared facially unconstitutional.

Lieutenant Governor – Gavin Newsom
An outstanding public servant.

Secretary of State – Alex Padilla
Alex is my Arleta homie and I have high hopes that he’ll bring some sanity back to an ultra-partisan (when it comes to unconstitutional policies designed to screw third parties) elections division and to correct the dysfunction of the office due to Debra Bowen’s mental melt down.

Controller – Betty Yee
Thankfully, she beat John Perez in the primary and will go on to run this critical office fairly and efficiently.

Treasurer – John Chiang
If he runs the Treasurer’s office like he ran the Controller’s office, we’ve got nothing to worry about.

Attorney General – grudgingly, vote for Kamala Harris
Since coming into office she’s been a major disappointment to many California civil rights groups. It’s next to impossible to get the time of day from her, especially when it came to the issue of training police on hate crimes (already part of the law). However, the office is too important to trust Republicans with.

State Bd. Of Equalization – Jerome Horton
An outstanding public servant.

Insurance Commissioner – Dave Jones
The best guy in state government and hopefully Proposition 45 will pass and give him authority to shoot down health insurance rate increases.

Superintendent of Public Instruction – Tom Torlakson
Again, an outstanding public servant.

United States Congress (House & Senate) – vote Democratic
I agree with the Democrats on most issues and with the Republicans on a very limited few issues (I’m a Peace & Freedom Party member)….but really critical issues like a woman’s reproductive rights and LGBT equality will be severely endangered if the Republicans control both houses of Congress, let alone what it will do if there is a vacancy on the Supreme Court.

Adam Shbeita

Adam Shbeita

The sole exception in California is the 44th District where I support Peace & Freedom Party candidate Adam Shbeita against Janice Hahn, primarily because of Shbeita’s strong support for Palestinian rights…and in spite of the efforts of Kevin Akin’s family (they control Shbeita’s website and delayed its implementation to the point where its effect became negligible) to subvert and sabotage his campaign (Kevin is a convert to Judaism and his family, especially his Senatorial Aide son, support right-wing Zionist policies that make Netanyahu look like a moderate).

Jan B. Tucker & Sandra Fluke

Jan B. Tucker & Sandra Fluke

State Senate
26th District – Sandra Fluke
In two different songs [Subterranian Homesick Blues and It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)], Bob Dylan sings, and teaches, that “Money doesn’t talk, it swears.” There is a reason why right-wing money-man William Bloomfield has given over $1,000,000 to Ben Allen against Sandra Fluke and the bottom line is, that money swears to high hell.

Sandra Mendoza @ Guelaguetza

Sandra Mendoza @ Guelaguetza

State Assembly
53rd District – Sandra Mendoza  (see also:
The Hollywood Forever cemetery is located in the 53rd District and Miguel Santiago is outgoing (and disgraced) Assembly Member John Perez’s Chief of Staff for the District. He has refused to take any action over the fact that the cemetery is subject to a Federal seizure order following the conviction and jailing of its owners for massive frauds against poor people (there is a nearly Half-Billion Dollar restitution order in effect). Santiago probably refuses to get involved because his boss’s boyfriend, brother and son of the owners jailed by the feds, is the operator of the cemetery and made massive campaign contributions to John Perez controlled committees (that have helped fund Santiago’s campaign).

As if that’s not bad enough, here’s a statement by a prominent Chicana artista about the exploitation at Hollywood Forever of the Chicano/a community through such events as Dia de los Muertos:

The general consensus within my circle is that Hollywood Forever Dia de los Muertos is solely a money making event. There is little or no sense of embracing the true meaning of the tradition nor does it speak to or represent the Mexican/Chicano community. This is evident by the sheer number of non Mexican/Chicano participants. The high costs of attending and participating speaks to who it is geared to draw. I personally refuse to be part of this event and I know of many people who boycott it every year. I hope this information is helpful. – Linda Gamboa
Hollywood Forever Dia de los Muertos

Celebrates 15 years in 2014

Entrance fee: $20 per person – Children 8 & under + Seniors free until 4 pm

$50 non-refundable fee for altars

Vendor fee (according to artisans in my social circle) went for $1,700 in 2013. I have heard the fee may be as high as $3,000 per booth this year. I do not know this for fact but it wouldn’t surprise me.

– Vendors are given 5 amps of 110v power but are charged $120 for 20 amps

– Vendors are not allowed to sell t-shirts of any kind due to Hollywood Forever selling their own

– No sharing of booths

– The selling of T-shirts is denied by vendors because Hollywood Forever has their own for sale (this came from a past vendor)

– This year Hollywood Forever anticipates 10,000+ visitors

Altars are built on top of existing grave sites of persons belonging to non Chicano/Mexican heritage. I find this practice to be in poor taste and disrespectful to the families who have loved ones resting in its grounds.

64th District – Mike Gipson

Mike’s running against Prophet Walker and my blog on his being a dead beat dad tells all:


Assessor – Jeffrey Prang
I explain some of the issues in this office at At some point I want to have that conversation with Jeff, especially about the role of Mehdi Bolour in backing John Noguez.

Sheriff – Jim McDonnell


Jan B. Tucker & Sheila Kuehl

Jan B. Tucker & Sheila Kuehl

District 3 – Sheila Kuehl
Aside from the fact that Sheila Kuehl is a trailblazer for women and the LGBT community, the slick attacks by Bobby Shriver’s campaign flunkies are frequently invented out of thin air and despicable. One leaflet I just happened to find sitting on a Starbuck’s table in Marina Del Rey was laughable (when like me, you’ve got a degree in Political Science and understand how the government actually works). In essence, a woman goes for help to Sheila while she’s in the State Senate and has no authority whatsoever to remedy the issue she’s complaining about, then blames her for not being able to doing anything. She goes to Shriver who does have authority over the issue and then thanks him for doing what he has the power to do??????

Adding insult to injury the leaflet had no union printing label, probably the first time in history that a member of the Kennedy family produced a campaign leaflet without a valid “union bug.” Disgraceful.

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

Goodwin Liu – YES

Mariano-Florentino Cuellar – YES
Kathryn Mickle Werdegar – YES

Associate Justice Court of Appeals, 2nd District

Frances Rothschild – YES

Nora M. Manella – NO


Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge
Office 61 – Jacqueline H. Lewis
Office 87 – Andrew M. Stein

Statewide Ballot Measures

Wes ChesbroProposition 1: Water Bond: NO– The bottom line on this measure is who do you trust. Assembly member Wes Chesbro who signed the opposition or Jerry Brown who rammed the measure through the legislature. Chesbro is one of the few legislators I have absolute confidence in. In fact before he got elected to the legislature he’d been known on occasion to back some local Peace & Freedom Party candidates. Brown I wouldn’t trust for anything.

Proposition 2: Rainy Day Fund NO– Jan Goodman’s analysis: “I think it makes sense to spend money when you have it, especially on schools and public services. The legislature can always decide not to spend all the money available without tying the hands of the legislature by artificially limiting spending. This is one of those things conservatives love to do. It REQUIRES money to be put away for debt reduction. In itself, it is not a bad idea to pay down debt, or to put money aside for the next down cycle. But when it is REQUIRED, it means no matter what condition schools are in, or healthcare, or human services. This will mean more mandatory cuts for schools. If cuts are necessary, they can be made in Prisons or other places, not schools- again!”

Proposition 45 : Health Rates YES– Jan Goodman’s analysis: “expands insurance commissioner’s authority over health insurance rates. The ads on tv are paid for by the insurance companies that don’t like what a liberal commissioner like Dave Jones will do to keep rates down.The health insurers are spending over $37 Million to run deceptive and false TV and radio commercials to mislead voters about Proposition 45. Don’t believe what they are trying to sell. (See below, which describes the LIES these guys are telling. Just ask yourself the question, When was the last time health insurance companies spent $37 million in ads to HELP YOU AND PEOPLE LIKE US?”

Proposition 46: Malpractice and Testing – YES–increases the cap on pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases which are currently set at $250,000. Here’s a real life example of why this limit is absurd:

Sept 2012 – xxxxxx of LA, CA is referred to Podiatrist xxxxxx on Sepulveda in LA – near Lax (Airport Podiatry) due to pains in his baby toe. Referral made by his primary doctor – xxxxx of xxxxxx medical on Slauson (also part of xxxxx Corp)
October, 2012, Dr. xxxxx supposedly cuts out an ingrown toe nail – toe did not heal

Jan, 2013 – xxxxx recommends cutting off half of toe to get rid of part of the bone – he thinks the bone is the issue.

February – xxxx is referred to see a vascular doctor xxxxxx of Marina Del Rey because of lack of blood flow in foot. Tests reveal that he has peripheral vascular disease in the lower extremities and needs to have an angiogram and angioplasty to correct.  After learning this, xxxx tells xxxx that he under estimated his age and just expected for his toe to heal in a couple of weeks. He then recommends going ahead with amputating half of the toe to get rid of the bone to stop pain in toe.

March 7, 2013, xxxx amputates half of toe in his office. Only gives xxxx a few Tylenol for pain. When this wore off xxxx called and requested more pain pills and xxxx refused even though he was in excruciating pain. xxxx had to go to primary doctor to get pain pills.

The toe did not heal, even though xxxx was going to see xxxx once a week and he would cut away dead skin – which would send the pain to high levels –unbearable levels all over again. xxxx asked xxxx was his bone sticking out because there was something exposed and xxxx assured him it was not bone!

April 2013, xxxx had an angiogram and angioplasty performed on the right leg which improved his blood flow and the doctor (xxxxx of Marina del Rey) felt that it should help xxxx toe heal. He also commented on the fact that the toe was open and usually amputations are covered with skin.

May 2013, primary doctor looked at toe and said that it was open and should have skin covering it. He referred xxxx to a second podiatrist for another opinion. xxxxx felt that he could see bone also
About June 2013, xxxx saw xxxx of Torrance. xxxxx immediately looked at toe as said – this bone is exposed and is most likely infected. He said that when you amputate you cover the area with skin to protect it. He recommended removing the rest of the toe immediately to stop the infection and prevent gangrene from setting in.

xxxx went back to primary doctor who then recommended for xxxx to see an infectious disease doctor, xxxx of Inglewood.

Sept 2013, xxxx Saw xxxx. Her first response was that the bone is exposed and is most likely infected. She said the same as doctor xxxx (primary) and xxxx in that when you amputate you must cover the area with skin to protect it. She recommended taking a sample of the bone to see the degree of infection but she needed to get approval. She ordered many test for xxxx.

xxxx went back to xxxx in the meantime for his routine visit and shared with him what xxxx said about testing the bone. xxxx said, oh no, I can fix that. He immediately took the piece of bone that was exposed out of xxxxx’s foot right there in the office! Even though he had maintained all along that there was no bone exposed. xxxx had asked him on more than one occasion.

xxxx also told xxxx that he was healing just fine and that it was going to just take time, but under no circumstances should he allow anyone to remove his toe. He assured xxxx that he was healing.
He kept maintaining that xxxx was on track until March of 2014 when he finally said, well, I don’t know. Perhaps you should go back and see your vascular doctor!

xxxx was then referred back to xxxx who recommended removing the toe immediately because you could see that gangrene had set in and was spreading. In June of 2014, the toe was removed, but the gangrene had begun to spread to the foot and other toes. On July 12, 2014 xxxx lost 2/3rds of his right foot and was in the hospital for almost two months fighting infection. xxxx was released from skilled nursing home on August 23, 2014. During the six week period, he was back and forth between hospital stays and skilled nursing.

Proposition 47: Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, Criminal Penalties YES – Jan Goodman’s analysis: “stop wasting prison space on low-level nonviolent crimes. Prop 47 will not only focus prison spending on violent and serious offenses but will also spend money for alternatives for non-serious, nonviolent crime. The money saved will be used to support programs in K-12 schools, victim services, and mental health and drug treatment. Prop 47 changes low-level nonviolent crimes from felonies to misdemeanors.”

Proposition 48: Gaming Referendum: YES – Non Native Americans should have very little say in whether Native Americans get to steal back some of the wealth that we ripped off from them, like, the whole freaking continent.

Los Angeles County Proposition P, Torrance T & U:  Yes

GET READY FOR 2016–Jan B. Tucker for Vice President

I’ve run for everything at one time or another from assembly to president but one office I’ve missed is Vice President.  There are three people likely to run in 2016 for President and I’d love to be their running mate because they’re all outstanding candidates:

Roseanne Barr

Bernie Sanders

Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza-Curry

Here’s what YOU can do to help.  Re-register immediately if not sooner in California as Peace & Freedom Party (if outside the state contact me and we’ll strategize about what party works best).  In late 2015/early 2016 I’m going to need you to run for Peace & Freedom Party Central Committee in the primary election so we control a bloc of delegates at the party convention that can help get a great candidate nominated for President and me nominated for Vice President.

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Brother I Sympathize: Been there, been accused of that


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The reason Oya Kali called me an Agent

Thandisizwe Chimurenga




In the Spring of 2013, my friend and comrade James Simmons approached me and asked me if I would be involved in an effort to hold Mischa Culton, who calls himself General T.A.C.O. (Taking All Capitalsts Out) accountable for alleged crimes against members of his own organization, the Black Riders Liberation Party (BRLP), and others in the Black and Brown community. This was not the first time I had heard about T.A.C.O.’s alleged crimes against Black people; I had heard them years earlier. And this was not the first time that James had approached me about some form of accountability for T.A.C.O. in 2013, but this time it looked like something was actually going to come of it. He told me that he and Dedon Kamathi were in the process of interviewing people who told them of the crimes that T.A.C.O. had committed; these people were finally speaking on it and allowing themselves to be audio recorded and were answering questions, and giving the names of others who could corroborate their stories. My answer to James at the time was to let me know when he was ready, and I would be a part of it.


When James was finally ready, what I became a part of was the Afrikan Peoples’ Liberation Tribunal (APLT), which met over Memorial Day weekend 2014, at the Watts Labor Community Action Center on Central Avenue. I joined with James, Jitu Sadiki, Dedon Kamathi and Billion GODSun to hold this public event where testimony was given in person and via audio tape by former members of the Black Riders Liberation Party and one married couple that operates a business in South Los Angeles. In excruciating detail, those in attendance heard how T.A.C.O. had stolen merchandise from this business, sold it and kept the money; how he attempted to use some of it to entice former members back into the organization; and how some of those former members later came to the business and apologized saying that they did not know what T.A.C.O. had planned and/or they had no parts in it.


Attendees heard how a former member who is HIV positive was told that she would become part of T.A.C.O.’s “family” (as in wife) so he could use her as a biological weapon for “niggas he didn’t like.”


Attendees heard how members of the organization would, either by T.A.C.O. himself or under his direction, beat and torture other members of the organization as a form of discipline known as “DP.” They told us how members, under T.A.C.O.’s “orders” or under T.A.C.O. himself, would be:


  1. tied up and placed in a tub of water with a live wire:
  2. beaten and their heads, necks and backs were jumped on, literally jumped on, with both combat-booted feet, as they laid on the floor
  3. how young female members were socked in the jaw as if they were grown men
  4. how one female member was drugged and raped
  5. how one male member was beaten and ended up in a coma;
  6. how T.A.C.O.’s own young asthmatic son, was socked in the chest as if he was a grown man
  7. how T.A.C.O. attacked one member who had been arrested (for political reasons) for falling asleep in the back of a police vehicle
  8. how T.A.C.O. kicked and stomped one female member’s teeth out.
  9. How T.A.C.O. used one particular female member as, in the words of those testifying, his personal punching bag. This member is said to be one of T.A.C.O.’s “four wives.”


Attendees were also told that T.A.C.O. was never, ever, DP-ed.


Witnesses who testified told us later that what was revealed at the Tribunal was not the worst, there was more, and those allegations are part of an on-going investigation.


What the attendees at the Tribunal did not hear about was how T.A.C.O. and other members of the BRLP had taken over a Chicana sister’s home; a recruit into what T.A.C.O. had wanted to develop into the Brown Riders Liberation Party. This Chicana was jumped on for criticizing T.A.C.O. for using monies donated to the BRLP for their programs as his personal cigarette and marijuana stash; she would later be jumped on and beaten for criticizing T.A.C.O.’s plans to keep the Brown Riders under his leadership and not under the leadership of any Chicano/Mexicano people. This sista was beaten so badly she suffered a broken sternum; she feared for her life to the point that she asked comrades from other political movements to help her leave the state of California. All she took was her backpack, her cell phone and the clothes on her back. She left everything else behind in the apartment that T.A.C.O. and the BRLP had taken over and destroyed, never paying or helping to pay any rent or utilities or buy food.


The attendees at the Tribunal did not hear about this Chicana sista’s experience for two reasons: 1) at the time of the tribunal we were unable to locate her, and 2) we felt the people she told this information to would be seen as simply spreading something they had heard but not personally witnessed. After the Tribunal, we located one person who says it was he who took the Chicana sista to the hospital after the last beating and he was the one who helped to get her out of the State of California.


Prior to the Tribunal, T.A.C.O. was informed that we would rather meet with him about these allegations than have a Tribunal; he was informed that if he refused to meet the Tribunal would be called and that he was welcomed to tell his side of the story at that time. In fact, T.A.C.O.’s presence at the Tribunal was eagerly awaited so that we would be able to once and for all put all of the “rumors” to rest and move on. That did not happen. T.A.C.O. engaged in a campaign of name-calling and threats and refused to show his face at the Tribunal. He has also recruited others into his name-calling campaign like Oya Kali, a young Black woman with her own disturbing history here in Los Angeles and who currently resides in the Bay Area, riding hard for T.A.C.O..




It is at this point that I must be honest about the real reason why I decided to participate in the Afrikan Peoples’ Liberation Tribunal. That reason has nothing to do with such lofty purposes as “Black people exercising self-determination in their communities,” or, “alternatives to calling in the state/law enforcement in our affairs.”


No. My reason is more personal and it is more vain.


I decided to participate in the Tribunal because I was embarrassed and ashamed.


Approximately 6-7 years ago, the BRLP was targeted by the LAPD and T.A.C.O., along with two other members, were arrested. A federal agent had entrapped them into attempting to purchase an assault weapon to be used against the police. When this happened, I was approached by Bilal Ali who asked me to help with a media campaign in support of the BRLP. I accepted the request. I approached a sista I knew who worked at one of the Black newspapers. This sista is my colleague in media but I have never known her to be political. Certainly not nationalist or radical in her politics. We didn’t run in the same social or political circles. We were (and still are) simply colleagues in journalism. When I approached her with the story idea about the Black Riders Liberation Party she said to me, “is that that group that be beatin’ up women?”


I was surprised. And I was embarrassed.


I was surprised that she had heard the same “rumors” that I had.


I was embarrassed because there I was, attempting to solicit help and support for T.A.C.O., when I should have known this nigga wasn’t shit.


People I had known for years and greatly respected for their work in my community told me about T.A.C.O., and instead of believing them on the strength of that, I told myself they were “rumors.” As a journalist, fact-checking is paramount. No newspaper or news organization, Black/ethnic or mainstream, would or could or should move forward on anything without verification and confirmation. But I should have known the people that I trusted any other day of the week were telling the truth and that T.A.C.O. wasn’t shit.


James did provide me with the phone numbers of two of the sistas who would eventually testify against T.A.C.O.. At the time I reached out to them we played a brief game of phone tag and I did not hear back from them. I decided that perhaps it was not for me to verify their accusations.


I should have tried harder to contact those sistas.


When my colleague who didn’t/doesn’t run in my circles told me of the “rumors” I had heard for years; when people I know and respect had told me these same things at the same time, I should have done like my colleague did – I should have basically said “hell naw I ain’t helping that piece of shit muthafucka.”


I was embarrassed for even coming to her, another Black woman, with the request.


And so, I became a part of the Tribunal as a way to atone (I hope) for dropping the ball 6-7 years ago.


Throughout this entire process, my comrades and I have been called CointelPro, agents, feds, cops, pigs, etc., because we dared to question what a pseudo revolutionary leader does in “his” organization which is said to exist for Black Power and Black Liberation.


You gaht damm right we gon question that shit. All day err day.


And then today, I was called these names again. I was called these names by Oya Kali who said that not only was I “slandering” T.A.C.O.’s name, but I should be (instead) attacking JR Valrey for the assassination of Malcolm Shabazz.


JR Valrey, a grassroots journalist in Oakland/SF, first put me in touch with Kevin Weston who hired me to cover the trial of Johannes Mehserle for the murder of Oscar Grant. I always let people know of that hook-up. I give credit where credit is due. This past September, I was honored, by both the San Francisco Bayview Newspaper where JR is an editor and by the Block Report Radio Show that he founded, with an award during Black Media Appreciation Night, an event JR founded. When it comes to Black Media, few ride harder than JR.


But I have also heard “rumors” about JR. Many, many “rumors.” About Malcolm Shabazz. About Chauncey Bailey. About various organizations that JR has either been apart of or around. What is the difference? For one, neither I nor my comrades in the APLT live in Oakland, CA. We are not there in the same community where JR is. If there is beef in Oakland with/about JR, then people in Oakland need to address that, not us down here in Los Angeles. We ain’t Tribunals R Us. We ain’t taking no show on no road. Secondly we, specifically my comrades James, Dedon and Jitu, were approached by former members of the Black Riders Liberation Party; my comrades were told something needed to be done; their help was requested. The answer to that request was the Afrikan Peoples’ Liberation Tribunal.


If the people who live in Oakland/SF feel that strongly about JR, they should do what we did down here in LA – gather witnesses, statements and evidence, ask him to meet with them about it, and if he refuses, call a Tribunal. That way, all sides can air out all of their concerns at one time, in one space, the community can make up its own mind and it can be over with.


But some folks, like Oya Kali and T.A.C.O., would rather “Facebook fight” and call names from the safety of a computer screen.


This is the reason I was called a “key operative,” a Fed, on the government payroll and an agent on October 27, 2014.


I could have ignored this, as many suggested I do.


I could have written a ratchet ass, cuss word-filled retort because that’s what Oya Kali understands best (it was suggested I do that as a first draft, then cross it out and write the real piece).


I decided to take this seriously because calling people Feds and agents are very, very serious charges. People have been killed by the use of those words. This is nothing to play with, to take lightly, or to carelessly utter.


With that said, let me make it perfectly crystal clear that I, Thandisizwe Chimurenga, do not now, nor have I ever worked with or for the police, the sheriffs, the highway patrol, the FBI or any other local/state/federal law enforcement agency against my people.


And I will not do so in the future.


But that’s easy to say on Facebook, so here’s what else I say. What T.A.C.O. should have said if he were the revolutionary he purports to be.


Bring me before a Tribunal of Afrikan people in the community, with your evidence, with your witnesses, and let’s do tha damn thang.


People who are sincere and serious don’t run FROM Peoples’ Tribunals, the way T.A.C.O. ran from Los Angeles to Oakland. People who are sincere and serious run TO them.


I got arthritis in botha my knees so, I cain’t really run. But call a Tribunal on me and watch how fast I can get there.


You go run and tell that and then get back to me.


You know how to find me.

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Municipal Tunnel Vision Protects Criminal Business & Ignores Exploitation of Labor


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Tucker - GarcettiI generally give Eric Garcetti high marks for his administration of Los Angeles.  He’s been very slow to respond to most of my communications and I’m still holding my breath over commitments he made to me and to organizations I represent to get our support in the last election, but I understand that everybody has different priorities and we have to wait our turn in line.  However, his recent response to a communication over the minimum wage and enforcement of labor laws in the City has me scratching my head.

Council Ltr blog edit_001 Council Ltr blog edit_002 Council Ltr blog edit_003Mayor Garcetti’s response:

Eric writes back:  "To address your concerns regarding United Valet Parking, I encourage you to contact the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, which adjudicates wage claims, investigates discrimination and public works complaints, and enforces Labor Code statutes and Industrial Welfare Commission orders."

Eric writes back: “To address your
concerns regarding United Valet Parking, I encourage you to contact the California
Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, which adjudicates wage claims, investigates
discrimination and public works complaints, and enforces Labor Code statutes and
Industrial Welfare Commission orders.”

Uh, okay.  Like, I said that “I have brought these practices to the attention of the State Labor Commissioner and the Police Commission who have failed to take any enforcement action….”    For those not familiar with the terminology, the “State Labor Commissioner” and the “Division of Labor Standards Enforcement” are one and the same thing.  So I already told Eric I reported the violations…..should I keep reporting the same thing to the same agency that didn’t have the courtesy to respond to the report?  Doing the same thing over and over without getting a result is one definition of insanity.

So the issue really is, as I’ve explained once already, the Police Commission doesn’t currently have enforcement authority but it should have enforcement authority over violations of the Labor Code and its own Municipal Code to take action against companies that endanger and steal from their own employees, or the City can exercise tunnel vision and pretend that the violations aren’t happening in plain view.   To see just how open and brazen these violations are, check out:

While ripping off his employees’ tips, ignoring safety laws, and failing to pay judgment and tax liens against United Valet Parking, its owner, Kenny Sabet, manages to live in luxury:

Lien chart_001

The assessed value of this Sabet home is $762,565

The assessed value of this Sabet home is $762,565

Another Sabet home assessed for $1,160,223

Another Sabet home assessed for $1,160,223

I have high hopes that the Mayor and Los Angeles City Council have the gumption to prove that they are not limousine Liberals and actually want to put some teeth into the laws that prevent businesses from operating as sweat shops in Los Angeles.   They need to enact laws like the ones that I’ve proposed to them.

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