675 posts
  • 2018 election
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (Dylan Stewart / HS Insider)

California's effort to get 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote has now enlisted 100,000 teenagers, according to information released on Friday by Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

“This is a big milestone,” Padilla said. “I’m optimistic it’s going to translate into action at the ballot box.”

The program, which began in the fall of 2016, automatically activates the teen’s registration at age 18. State officials reported that more than 10% of the total number of pre-registrations have come in just the last few weeks.

(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Compton Mayor Aja Brown said Thursday night she is withdrawing her candidacy in California’s 44th Congressional District, a week after conservative celebrity Stacey Dash dropped out of the race.

They each were trying to unseat freshman Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-San Pedro), who is running a well-funded campaign. The district is overwhelmingly Democratic. 

Brown said she is expecting her first child. “My family commitments supersede my ability to expand my level of service,” the mayor said in a statement.

Sen. Kamala Harris
Sen. Kamala Harris (Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Kamala Harris told a Sacramento crowd Thursday she was grieving with them over the death of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man whose shooting by police nearly three weeks ago has roiled California’s capital city.

Hosting a town hall at a church, Harris addressed the shooting at the outset and touted training for law enforcement to counter implicit bias, telling the audience that Clark’s life “is a life that should not have been lost. That is a loss that should not have been taken.”

The Democrat, who had been criticized by some black lawmakers during her previous job as California’s attorney general for not taking stronger action on police shootings, spoke of her work to establish implicit-bias training while serving as the state’s “top cop.”

Construction workers hold up signs in Los Angeles in 2016.
Construction workers hold up signs in Los Angeles in 2016. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

California has a shortage of homes, which is a key factor in the state’s affordability crisis

To fix that problem, a lot more building will need to happen in the state. But there’s another issue: an ongoing shortage of construction workers.

On this episode of Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Pod, we talk about the labor shortage and how that is affecting homebuilding across California. We also debate the influence of the state construction workers union at the Capitol and the significance of union-level wages for building new houses. 

  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher was already having a tough election year.

The Orange County Republican has drawn more than half a dozen Democratic challengers, some of whom have raised more cash than the 15-term congressman.

Election have handicappers declared his race a toss-up, protesters have shown up at his home and district office, and Rohrabacher's name has frequently come up during the investigation into Russian election meddling because of his connections to key figures in the inquiry.


In a legislative hearing packed with criminal justice experts and former youth offenders, California lawmakers pushed forward a bill this week to keep minors who commit crimes out of adult courts.

Three gubernatorial candidates are talking about issues affecting Latino-owned businesses at a forum hosted by the Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce in downtown Los Angeles. 

Participating are Democrats Antonio Villaraigosa, John Chiang and Delaine Eastin. Front-runner Gavin Newsom is not attending

  • California Legislature
  • 2018 election
Democrats Jesse Gabriel and Luz Rivas were the top vote-getters in respective special elections
Democrats Jesse Gabriel and Luz Rivas were the top vote-getters in respective special elections (Jesse Gabriel for Assembly; Luz Rivas for Assembly)

Contests to replace two Democratic San Fernando Valley state assemblymen who resigned amid accusations of sexual misconduct are headed to a June primary with Democrats favored to keep both seats.  

Democrats Luz Rivas and Jesse Gabriel each won the most votes in their respective races to fill the remaining terms of former Assemblymen Raul Bocanegra and Matt Dababneh in the heavily Democratic districts, according to initial but still unofficial results.

Rivas, a 44-year-old science educator and Los Angeles Public Works Commissioner, beat out four other Democrats on the ballot with 41% of the vote. She will face No. 2 finisher Republican plumbing and electrical contractor Ricardo Benitez, 60, who claimed 21% of the vote in the race to replace Bocanegra. 


Flanked by civil rights advocates, California lawmakers announced new legislation Tuesday designed to make it easier to prosecute police officers who kill civilians.

  • California Legislature
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats
Sydney Kamlager was elected to the California Assembly in a special election on Tuesday.
Sydney Kamlager was elected to the California Assembly in a special election on Tuesday. (Sydney Kamlager Twitter photo)

Sydney Kamlager, a Los Angeles community college trustee, was elected Tuesday to the Assembly in a special election while candidates in two other nearby vacant seats are headed to a June 5 runoff.

Kamlager, 45, will serve the remaining seven months in the term of former Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, who cited health issues in his resignation late last year.

Unofficial returns on Tuesday showed her winning almost two-thirds of the votes cast for any of the four candidates on the ballot in the 54th Assembly District — more than enough needed to win the job outright without a runoff election.