JUDY COLLINS, ZACH GALIFIANAKIS STAR IN OPCC CELEBRATION

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OPCC is celebrating 50 years of providing hope to the most vulnerable
members of our community on the Westside of Los Angeles County at a
50th Anniversary gala this weekend, September 27 and 28. .

A spectacular concert will be held on September 27th at 8pm at The Broad
Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center (1310 11th St.,
Santa Monica, CA 90401). A VIP Champagne Reception and Step and Repeat
will kick off the celebration at 6:00 pm. Featured artists: Multi-Plat-
inum & Grammy Hall of Fame Artist Judy Collins, comedian Zach Galifiana-
kis, Chris Pierce, Jingle Punks Hipster Orchestra and Abstrakto (Asdru
Sierra of Ozomatli and Balthazar Getty).

Greg Germann, actor and OPCC Board member, will host the evening. Con-
firmed Guests include: David Arquette & Christina McLarty, Marcia Cross,
Annabeth Gish, Kymberly Marciano-Strauss, Penelope Spheeris and former
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Ruth Galanter of Venice.

John Maceri, Executive Director of OPCC, said, “OPCC has been serving
our most vulnerable neighbors for 50 years; adapting our services to
meet the needs we see as they change. We’re honored the community is
coming together to celebrate this important milestone and join with us in
our commitment for the next 50 years.”

Lead sponsors of OPCC’s Anniversary Weekend include: Sarah Jessup, The
Melvin & Bren Simon Charitable Foundation, Marin Aleksov & Rosland Capi-
tal, The Joyce & Stanley Black Family Foundation, Judith & Steaven K.
Jones, Marcia Cross & Tom Mahoney, Vintage Hollywood Foundation and Bart
& Tracy Zitnitsky.

Tickets are available on the OPCC web site: www.opcc.org.

HISTORIC STEP FOR WORKERS IN LOS ANGELES

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Danny Feingold
Publisher, Capital & Main

A great unfairness is that people work full time for wages that do not bring
them above the poverty line,” Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Bonin said at
City Hall Wednesday, kicking off discussion of a living wage for hotel workers.

Shortly after the discussion, the Los Angeles City Council took a big step in addressing this problem for as many as 12,000 workers in our city’s largest
low-wage industry. By 12-3, the Council voted to set a new minimum wage of
more than 15 dollars per hour for workers in the city’s largest hotels.

There is no mistaking the difference it will make to those it impacts direct-
ly. Economists estimate that 40 percent of hotel workers in Los Angeles cur-
rently live below the poverty line.

“I want my kids to study, to send them to a university,” a Hollywood hotel
worker told Capital & Main’s Bobbi Murray. This week, such dreams are a little
bit closer.

SCHOOLS, COLLEGE, COUNCIL CANDIDATE FORUMS SCHEDULED

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October 1 – Sponsored by the League of Women Voters Santa Monica and Santa
Monica-Malibu PTA Council, a candidates’ forum will be held in theSMMUSD
District Office, 2nd floor Board Room, 1651 16th Street.

The SMC Board of Trustees’ candidate forum will be held at 6 pm, and the
SMMUSD Board of Education candidates will begin at 7:45 PM. Santa Monica
CityTV will tape these forums for replay on cable, and the videos will
also be posted on www.SMVote.org

The League encourages community members to submit questions for not only
these two forums, but also for their City Council programming, which will
include a combination of statements on various issues, a one-on-one inter-
view, and two live round table discussions. Submit questions to league@lwvsantamonica.org.

Questions should be issue-focused and phrased in a way that they can be
asked of any or all of the candidates. Questions that engage in personal
attacks will not be used.

October 7 — Wilmont, NOMA & Northeast Neighbors — Airport initiatives — presentations on both LC and D — 7 PM — Montana Branch Library —
Montana at 17th

October 8 — Northeast Neighbors’ City Council Forum – 7 PM — MLK Audit-
orium, Main Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd. More information will be post-
ed at www.NENeighbors.org.

October 13 — Santa Monica Daily Press “Squirm Night” — 6 PM — SMC Broad
Stage, 1310 11th St. — SMMUSD Board of Education, SMC Board of Trustees,
and qualified City Council candidates (those who have raised at least $1,
000, turned in their SMDP questionnaire on time and, if they are a returning candidate, received at least 5% of the votes in the past election) will be questioned. While this is primarily a Q&A forum driven by the newspaper’s
editorial board, the Daily Press editor will solicit questions from the aud-
ience, and the forum will also include some elements of debate.

October 19 – Candidate Forum sponsored by the Committee for Racial Justice
– 6 PM – Church in Ocean Park, 235 Hill Street, (once block east of Main
Street) (see story below)

October 22 – “Hometown Forum” sponsored by the Santa Monica Mirror and the
Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce – 6 PM – MLK auditorium, Main Library, 601
Santa Monica Blvd.

IMPORTANT EVENTS ON CALENDAR TONIGHT, OCT. AND NOV.

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Saturday,September 27th, at 7pm the Committee for Racial Justice (CRJ) and the
Faith in Action Peace and Justice Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Church
will co-sponsor a reading of “If the SHU Fits: Voices from Solitary Confinement”
at the Unitarian Church, at Arizona and 18th St. in Santa Monica.

This Readers’ Theater combines the voices of survivors of solitary confinement
and their loved ones. Following the dramatic presentation, a spokesperson from
from the California Families Against Solitary Confinement will lead a discussion
of efforts to address this issue in California.

Sunday, October 5th, at 12:30 pm, A Forum for CA State Ballot Initiatives will
be held at the Church in Ocean Park, 235 Hill St. in Santa Monica. Three initia-
tives will be discussed.

Proposition 47 would reclassify six low-level nonviolent crimes, including sim-
ple drug possession, from felonies to misdemeanors. The CRJ Mass Incarceration subcommittee will lead this discussion. Also, two health care propositions will
be presented. Dr. Paul Song will talk about #45 and Dr. Sion Roy will present #46. Potluck lunch at noon.

Sunday, October 19th, at 4 pm, the Committee For Racial Justice will sponsor a CANDIDATES FORUM, during which provocative questions will be put to the candid-
ates. The forum will be held at the Church in Ocean Park, 230 Hill St.

At 4 pm, we’ll hear from candidates competing for open seats on the Santa Mon-
ica College board of trustees, followed at 5:00 pm by SMMUSD board of education candidates, and at 6:30 pm we will hear from city council candidates. Moderator
will be Dr. Karen S. Gunn from Santa Monica College.Food and drink will be served. Parking will be available in the school parking lot on 4th street between Hill
Street and Raymond Avenue.

Sunday, November 2nd, potluck supper will be served at 6 pm, followed at 6:30 pm CRJ’s monthly workshop will feature Santa Monica’s police chief, Jacqueline
Seabrooks speaking at Virginia Ave. Park, 2200 Virginia Ave. in the Thelma Terry Center. Discussion will include lessons learned from the Ferguson incident that
can impact policing in Santa Monica.

Call Joanne Berlin at 310—422-5431 with any questions.

PAM O’CONNOR EXPOSES SM TAXPAYERS TO SIGNIFICANT DAMAGES

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In a significant victory for residents’ First Amendment rights and a
rebuke to Mayor Pam O’Connor and City Manager Rod Gould, a federal
judge in Los Angeles has ruled that Elizabeth’s case against the City
and Gould may proceed toward trial. (see earlier story below),

Elizabeth was summarily dismissed from a city position after Mayor
O’Connor intervened, improperly — and in violation of Santa Monica
and state law — to pressure Mr. Gould to fire her.

Ms. O’Connor was retaliating because eight years ago, Elizabeth had
donated to a SMCLC mailer which called attention to Ms. O’Connor hav-
ing accepted campaign contributions from 13 Macerich Company execut-
ives before an impending Council vote on their development project.
Elizabeth also wrote an article critical of the City’s failure to re-
lease public documents about the development project.

We know Ms. O’Connor interfered in Elizabeth’s appointment, and that
it was personal, because she admitted it to the SM Daily Press.

http://smdp.com/council-evaluate-gould-rescinded-job-offer/135061

Ms. O’Connor’s petty payback to Elizabeth has now exposed the City and
its taxpayers to potentially significant financial damages, including
paying for Elizabeth’s legal fees as well as for punitive damages.

The Court stated that “[Elizabeth's] speech sought to expose the public
to potentially illegal activities” [by O'Connor and the City]. And, if
there is any doubt that O’Connor and Gould could have reasonably thought
their conduct in firing Elizabeth was OK, the Court found that “a reason-
able person would have understood [Elizabeth Riel's] termination was unconstitutional.”

The Court concluded that “Because [the City and Gould] offer no justif-
ication for [Elizabeth's] termination independent from her protected
speech, the Court finds…[Elizabeth] sets forth valid claims for First
Amendment retaliation against both the City and Gould.”

Indisputably, Santa Monica lost the most highly qualified candidate for
the job. Elizabeth was hired over 220 other applicants after many
rounds of interviews. She was only fired after Pam O’Connor interfered.
She was then vilified by the City, as though the entire sordid episode
was her fault. This was Santa Monica politics at its worst.

SMCLC is very pleased that Elizabeth’s lawsuit to vindicate her rights
is moving forward. You can be sure that you will hear more from us in
this very important election season.

Victor Fresco, Diana Gordon, Sherrill Kushner and Jeff Segal
Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City

WHERE ARE OUR BEACH TOWNS GOING, AND WHY?

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Dear Editor,

I believe I spent this past weekend in La Jolla. But I’m not certain as
I couldn’t find the village amidst traffic winding slowly through high
rise office buildings and hotels. Is this Santa Monica’s future? Is
this what happens when we ignore our beachfront environment? How did
this happen so quickly? What economic, social, and political choices can
we still make not to meet this same end?

And then upon returning, I awoke to see in your paper the Chamber’s push
to register Millennials for the election. I hope these tech savvy Mill-
ennials realize within 5 years their nightlife will give way to their
“start up” families searching for parks, classrooms, sunlight, and maybe
even water.

Driving home on the 5 and 405 the night before, I thought how sad it will
be when I can no longer find Santa Monica, with only glimpses of the sun
and the sea hard to find and tree canopies leafless without sunlight and
air. Instead, I too will be lost wandering in an ocean of development.

Ron Goldman FAIA

PS – Can we use the $1m Happiness Grant to remodel the bus stops which
would make me happy

Ron Goldman FAIA
Goldman Firth Rossi Architects
24955 Pacific Coast Highway
Suite B202
Malibu, CA 90265

RESIDOCRACY E-ENDORSEMENT BEGINS TODAY

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Residocracy Board Recommendations

To link to the Residocracy E-Endorsement page, go to https://www.residocracy.org/You_Vote_to_Endorse.php

The Residocracy E-Endorsement process has begun – Vote Today!Tell us who
you want Residocracy to endorse in the November 4 election for Santa Mon-
ica City Council

Beginning today, our E-endorsement ballot for the election of candidates
for Santa Monica City Council is available at www.Residocracy.org.

This is our first endorsement process and it is your opportunity to let
your voice be heard.

All Residocracy members who joined our Community Network of Residents be-
fore our City Council Candidates Forum on July 28, 2014 are eligible to
vote.

We have circulated a questionnaire for candidates to complete that focuses
on issue of concern to residents. All of the questionnaires we received
from candidates are posted at the site. Only those candidates who returned
the questionnaires are eligible for endorsement by Residocracy and our Com-
munity Network of Residents.

Click to read candidates’ responses to our questionnaire.

Also posted are the recommendations of the Residocracy Advisory Board and
brief descriptions of how the Board-supported candidates reflect the Resid-
ocracy vision.Sue Himmelrich, whom the Dispatch has endorsed, received the
maximum number of seven votes.

The voting period will end at midnight on Tuesday Sept. 30, so please make
sure that you submit your vote by then.

Again, Thank you for your Support and for being a valued member of our Comm-
unity Network of Residents.

Sincerely,

The Residocracy Advisory Board

Copyright © 2014 Residocracy, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website to receive important Residocracy notifications

COURT DENIES CITY’S ATTEMPT TO DISMISS FIRST AMENDMENT LAWSUIT

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On Monday, a federal district Judge denied the City of Santa Monica’s motion
to dismiss the First Amendment lawsuit brought by Santa Monica resident Eliza-
beth Riel. Ms. Riels’ lawsuit alleges that the City of Santa Monica and City
Manager Rod Gould violated her fundamental right of free speech under the U.S. Constitution by rescinding her employment contract because of political opin-
ions she expressed in 2006.

Federal district Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell ruled that Ms. Riel’s Complaint properly asserted a charge of wrongful termination in violation of the U.S. Constitution, and that the City and Mr. Gould both failed to demonstrate a
legal reason for discharging her. Judge O’Connell stated, “Because Defendants
offer no justification for Plaintiff’s termination independent from her pro-
tected speech, the Court finds Defendants fail to satisfy their burden. Accor-
dingly, the Court finds Plaintiff sets forth valid claims for First Amendment retaliation against both the City and Gould.”

The district judge also rejected City Manager Gould’s additional defense that
he should be excused because Ms. Riel’s First Amendment rights were not suffic-
iently clear at the time he fired her: “After reviewing the cases cited by
Plaintiff, the Court finds that a reasonable person [in Gould’s position] would
have understood Plaintiff’s termination was unconstitutional.”

In ruling that Plaintiff Riel’s Complaint sets forth valid claims, the Court authorizes Ms. Riel to move forward with her lawsuit, take discovery and en-
gage in other pre-trial preparation.

The lawsuit alleges that, in 2014, the City and Mr. Gould terminated Ms. Riel’s appointment as Chief Communications Officer because in 2006 she wrote a newspa-
per column criticizing the City’s failure to release public documents concern-
ing its relationship with a prominent developer, and because in that same year
Ms. Riel made a monetary contribution to a campaign that opposed the corrupting influence of developer contributions to a City Councilmember.

In Monday’s decision, Judge O’Connell stated, “[Ms. Riel’s] article for the San-
ta Monica Daily Press ‘criticized the City’s failure to release written communi-cations between City officials’ and Macerich in response to a Public Records Act request. Her contribution to SMCLC helped fund a mailer accusing Council member O’Connor of accepting campaign contributions from Macerich before voting on the
Santa Monica Place development project. These allegations establish that Plain-
tiff’s speech did not amount to mere criticism of the City’s or its officials’ visions or policies. Rather, Plaintiff’s speech sought to expose the public to potentially illegal activities.”

Ms. Riel, a 10-year resident of Santa Monica, is a national communications ex-
pert who most recently helped restore marriage equality to gay and lesbian Californians through her work with the American Foundation for Equal Rights,
which successfully overturned Proposition 8 before the U.S. Supreme Court. Ms.
Riel, who has a Master of Public Administration degree from USC, has more than
15 years’ experience conducting local and national communications efforts for high-profile issues including early childhood education, foster care adoption, anti-smoking education, and Santa Monica’s own Youth Wellbeing Report Card.

Plaintiff’s counsel Steven J. Kaplan said, “We are very pleased with the Court’s thoughtful and well-reasoned decision. We are now looking forward to proving our claims and showing the Court and a jury that the City of Santa Monica and City Manager Gould inexcusably punished one of its own residents because she criti-
cized city government and participated – like any citizen should – in the poli-
tical process.”

The lawsuit alleges that Ms. Riel was selected from a pool of 220 candidates to
serve as the City’s Communications and Public Affairs Officer. When she was hired, the City lauded her talents and credentials in a press release that called her a community leader, cited her national communications experience and touted that she was an active member of the community. City Manager Rod Gould praised Riel’s
“deep understanding and commitment to Santa Monica” and retiring Deputy City Man-
ager of Special Projects Kate Vernez was quoted in a local newspaper as saying Elizabeth was “smart, strategic and collaborative.”

Less than two weeks before she was supposed to begin her new job, City Manager
Rod Gould discovered that, in 2006, Ms. Riel had done two things of which he disapproved: wrote a newspaper column critical of the City’s refusal to release public documents as required by state freedom of information laws; and ▫ made a
legal contribution to the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City (SMCLC) to-
ward the cost of a mailer that criticized City Council member Pam O’Connor’s re-
ceipt of thousands of dollars from the Macerich real estate development firm to
help retire her campaign debt, urging voters to “tell Pam O’Connor and developers that Santa Monica is NOT for sale.”

The lawsuit explains that, after learning that Ms. Riel had expressed these opin-
ions in 2006, Mr. Gould admonished Ms. Riel that she had created a “gnarly polit-
ical issue” and he ultimately rescinded her employment contract because she ex-
pressed opinions that he didn’t like. The Complaint states that Mr. Gould called
Ms. Riel over the Memorial Day holiday – while she was spending time with her
family – in order to fire her:

[Gould] told her that he was terminating her employment contract because the situation created “severe political problems.” He told Riel that although her
column was written and her SMCLC contribution was made ‘eight years ago, there
are the same City Councilmembers, the same interest groups and the same players
on the field . . .”

After she was terminated, City Manager Gould hired Debbie Lee, former Vice Pres-
ident, Business Development, of the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau,
to serve as the City’s Communications Director. Mr. Gould hired her without
going through the comprehensive recruitment process that was used when Ms. Riel
was hired. Ms. Lee was not one of the 220 persons who had initially applied for
the position.

PRISON BOSSES PROPOSE DRACONIAN TESTS FOR VISITORS

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Claiming the need for emergency passage of new visiting policies, the California Department of Corrections (CDCR) is proposing the use of canines and ION scanners that would subject visitors to prisons to humiliating and traumatizing strip searches.

The proposal has been condemned by prisoner advocacy organizations and groups
that work with prisoners, including the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coal-
ition (PHSS).

If the proposals are enacted, canines would be trained to signal the presence of drugs (including prescriptions), tobacco and cell phones. If the canine alerts
or scanner tests are positive, “the visitor shall be required to submit to an “un- clothed body search as a condition of visiting.”

Both canines and ION scanners are notorious for troubling rates of false positives, triggering litigation challenging the legality of their use. In 2008, the Federal Bureau of Prisons was forced to abandon its use of ION scanners, owing to the num-
ber of false positives and the hundreds of complaints by family members who were wrongfully denied visits.

Refusal to submit to these humiliating tests will result in the visitors being
denied entrance. If non-contact visiting areas are available (unlikely), the per-
son may have a non-contact visit. Anyone refusing to submit to the searches,
even if they have no contraband, will result in visiting privileges being sus-
pended for a year after three refusals. Any visitor found with drugs or cell
phone is subject to possible arrest and criminal prosecution, and will have vis-
iting privileges suspended for one year the first time, and permanently the sec-
ond time.
However, prison employees, contractors, and volunteers, although also subjected to the dogs and scanners, will only have to endure a pat-down search if there is a positive sign. Imprisoned people under the new regulations will also be subject to these canine searches.

Anticipating widespread reaction from family and friends of prison visitors, the
CDCR has only given five calendar days for public comment about this policy, in contrast to the typical 30 days. Defining these harsh steps as emergency regula-
tions and allowing only five days for public response is both disrespectful and inhumane in the extreme.

“As a family member, it is a serious violation of my human rights to be forced to
be humiliated in order to see my brother and give him family support” said Marie Levin of the Prison Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition.

Here and now, a greater percentage of the American people are in prison than the percentage of people in any other country.

These proposed regulations would further stigmatize and criminalize family members and friends of people in prison and subject them to humiliating, overly intrusive treatment. The thought of being exposed to sniffing dogs, scanners and possible
strip searches will be a deterrent to some visitors and may further weaken priso-
ners’ ties to the community. PHSS demands that it be deleted from proposed regulations entirely, and is asking supporters to send a message of opposition to CDCR’s proposal by visiting http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/51040/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=14857.

See the proposed new regulations as written by CDCR here: http://www.oal.ca.gov/res/docs/pdf/emergencies/new%20emergencies/2014-0918-01EON.pdf

L.A. REGISTER SHUTS DOWN

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OC Weekly editor Gustavo Arellano says the final blow to the Los Angeles
Register came when the company could no longer pay the LA Times to distr-
ibute the paper. “Enough was enough…and the Times had essentially told
Kushner he had 30 days to pay up–or else,” Arellano posts. “That else
came last week, when someone or someones convinced Kushner that the Times
refusal to distribute the LA Reg would be the prime moment to pull the
plug on the paper once and for all.”

Arellano, by the way, isn’t surprised the LA Register folded and maybe a
little relieved: “I remember promising in one of my KCRW-FM 89.9 ‘Orange
County Line’ commentaries that I’d eat an entire issue of the paper if it
went past its one-year anniversary.”

Owner Aaron Kushner announced late last night that the Los Angeles Register
would shut down immediately — just over five months after the paper debuted.
* Update: Register staffers are starting to be notified of layoffs this mor-
ning, Arellano reports.