The Education Study Committee spent this year engaged in study of by alextt

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									                 PROGRAM REPORT: 2007-2008
               Jean Thomson & Margie Engel, Co-Chairs

  Affordable Housing and Homelessness Update     The Affordable
Housing and Homelessness Update Committee researched the issues
with the help of four Interns, and presented a League Day on April
10,2008. The morning panel of Mayor's Housing Consultant John
Brady and Common Ground representative Beth Sandor discussed
affordable housing issues city-wide and aid to the most at- risk
homeless on Skid Row. Luncheon speaker Councilmember Bill
Rosendahl presented examples of success in his district in rent
controlled tenants' rights and housing with support services for
Iraq war veterans, supported by the residential neighborhood in
which it will be located. The committee will interview overlapping
city and county entities involved in affordable housing and
homelessness programs and advocacy groups working on these issues.
The Update committee will present units next year .

  City Budget Study:   Part 2 of the city budget study continued
with a focus on the city retirement plans. After the presentation
to the May 2008 unit meetings which will highlight what we have
learned about the city's retirement plans, we plan to complete our
interview process, focusing on individuals outside of the city. We
already have interviewed many people within the city and the
pension plans during the past year. When we complete interviews
and reading, we will focus on preparing a report associated with
our consensus questions.   Our bottom line questions at this time
are (1) are the city's retirement programs for civilian and fire
and police retirees sustainable; (2) are these retirement systems
appropriate?

  Education Study:   The Education Study Committee spent this year
studying the governance and accountability of LAUSD as an update
to the present position. The Committee read and reviewed the
Joint Commission Report which came out in 2006, the Rand Report
and other articles written by scholars in educational
governance.   They also interviewed stakeholders in the governance
of LAUSD including Superintendent Brewer, Board Members, District
superintendents, and Steve Barr of Greendot Charter schools. In
the April unit meetings the committee reported its findings to
date and got feedback from the members attending the units. With
this feedback in mind, we plan to continue the study and be ready
to present our findings at units next year.    The goal will be to
reach consensus on governance and accountability by the end of
the 2008-2009 League year. Anyone interested in being a part of
this continuing study should know that it is not too late to be
part of the study committee.




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  Election Integrity Committee: The committee began by exploring
the issues involved in secure elections and presented a League Day
on our findings. We have participated in discussions and
testified at the hearing on proposed changes in how the City of
Los Angeles conducts elections. We have participated in a working
group established by the Registrar of Voters to address the cross
over voter problem uncovered in the February primary. We
requested that LWV/LAC make election systems an issue for
education and action and look forward to collaborating with other
local Leagues toward secure elections.

  Instant Runoff Voting Concurrence:    The Instant Runoff Voting
program educated members about IRV and the Pasadena Area League's
position advocating IRV for single-winner elections. After
presentations, including mock IRV elections, at all unit meetings,
LWVLA members voted to concur with the Pasadena position. The
LWVLA board accepted the concurrence in early March. Now that the
position is official and the City Council is considering election
reforms, the LA League is advocating that the Council submit a
charter amendment to the voters that would mandate using IRV for
all city elections.

  Police Update--The POLICE position was written in 1978 and last
updated in 1992. The position primarily addressed the role of the
Police Commission in light of the Charter Revisions. To begin our
update review we began with a “Lunch With League” discussion with
Assistant Chief Jim McDonnell and a tour of the brand new
Scientific Investigation Division Crime Lab facility at Cal State
LA. Unit meetings in March covered the scope of our study
focusing on 1) changes in the role of the LAPD post 9/11 (hometown
vs. homeland security focus and financing), 2) the status of the
Consent decree, 3) current community policing outreach programs,
and 4) LAPD‟s role in enforcing immigration laws. We will prepare
a second set of unit meetings for the upcoming League calendar,
perhaps with consensus questions to be determined.

  Revolving Door—The Revolving Door Community Education Project is
a continuation of the series of educational unit discussions and
League days investigating the county jail system, the sentencing
and court systems, and the inmate processing. Current focus will
be a joint project with the County ILO perhaps on the options for
prevention, rehabilitation, and problems relating to the return to
society for those incarcerated.


  Running and Winning: After a planning period that seemed
endless, filled with obstacles that threatened to be


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                 PROGRAM REPORT: 2007-2008
               Jean Thomson & Margie Engel, Co-Chairs
insurmountable, the Running and Winning Forum on November 9, 2007,
was a huge success. On that day, 60 students from 10 high schools
in LAUSD Local Districts 3 and 4 came face to face with political
leaders. In each of the 10 small discussion groups, 6 high school
students met with invited guests who hold or have held elective
office. The students queried the “electeds” about why they
decided to seek political office and what it was like to campaign.
After meeting with three different electeds, each group then
formed a mock campaign team, selecting a “candidate” to run for
office and taking a position on one of the 10 focus issues for
which they had been given background information and pros and
cons. We are planning R&W Forum #2 to be held in late Fall 2008.
If you really want to have the fun and satisfaction of providing
unique civic experience engaging young people in areas important
to LWVLA, join the R&W Committee. Note: These first two years of
R&W projects have been generously funded by Verizon.


  Sustainable Communities/Global Warming Committee: The
GlobalWarming Committee spent its first year orienting itself to
the issues that impact global warming and can be addressed at the
local level. We‟ve decided to focus on Green LA a proposal for
„greening‟ Los Angeles prepared by the office of Mayor
Villaraigosa. To do this we‟ve reviewed the LA Environmental
Report in which each City Department reported their plans for a
Green LA. We have had presentations to the Committee from the Los
Angeles Departments of Water & Power and Sanitation, and Southern
California Edison with their plans towards this aim. We‟ve
conducted an Observer Corps Teach-In so that we can be „smart‟
observers of City Environmental meetings. We are working on a
League Day in the spring of 2009. Stay tuned for details.




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