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(Los Angeles Times)

An ambitious effort to raise commercial property taxes through revamping California’s Proposition 13 will no longer be aimed at earning a spot on this fall’s statewide ballot, supporters said on Friday.

“The longer that we have to explain this issue, the better that we're going to do,” said Mac Zilber, a political strategist working with the coalition of community and labor groups behind the plan.

Long discussed among liberal and Democratic activists, the proposed initiative would redefine Proposition 13’s limits on property taxes to focus mostly on homeowners. Commercially owned properties would be assessed at market values — a change the group believes could generate as much as $11 billion a year for local services and schools.

  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis walks with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom before announcing that she is endorsing him for governor.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis walks with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom before announcing that she is endorsing him for governor. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

After facing criticism for not taking part in a Latino business group’s gubernatorial forum, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has rolled out an endorsement from one of the most prominent Latino politicians in the state.

Hilda Solis, a former member of the Obama administration who now serves on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, announced Thursday that she was backing Newsom at a campaign event in East Los Angeles.

"Gavin Newsom is a true champion for all Californians," Solis said in a statement, pointing to his record on healthcare and city finances as mayor of San Francisco. "There's no question that on issues that matter to families — from providing quality health care and good paying jobs to standing up for immigrant families and protecting Californians from Donald Trump's attacks — Gavin's the leader we need sitting behind the Governor's Desk.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel detain a man during a raid in Southern California.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel detain a man during a raid in Southern California. (Charles Reed / Associated Press)

As the fight over California’s immigration policies intensifies, so have the attacks from opponents who argue its landmark “sanctuary state” law is allowing the release of violent criminals into the streets.

The California Values Act, which was signed into law last year, prevents law enforcement officers in many cases from holding and questioning people at the request of federal immigration agents, and limits them from sharing the release dates of some county jail inmates who are in the country illegally.

The law has set off a tense showdown over public safety. But some officials who oppose the measure have distorted its scope.

  • 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