Political Landscape: Schiff to hold windstorm forum

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) will host a forum from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 12 to look at the response to the windstorm that did tens of millions of dollars worth of damage to Pasadena and surrounding cities on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

The event will be held in Courtroom 3 at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, 125 S. Grand Ave., Pasadena.

Several issues will be examined, Schiff said, such as the nature of the damage, response times, whether the utilities responded to the most damaged neighborhoods first and whether they have the capacity to handle a larger disaster.

His main concern is why it took so long to restore power to some areas.

“What does this say about our readiness for a disaster of much larger significance?” he said. “We were lucky it wasn’t an earthquake that could result in massive destruction of structures and major fires.”

Schiff has asked the California Public Utilities Commission to provide an update on its investigation of Edison’s response to the windstorm, which knocked out power to nearly 434,000 customers.

Representatives from Southern California Edison, Pasadena Water & Power, Glendale Water & Power and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power have been asked to attend, Schiff said.

Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and California Emergency Management Agency are expected to give an update on their efforts to help businesses and homeowners.

“We need a cool-headed, after-the-fact analysis of how we did,” Schiff said.

Sherman, Berman to attend town hall

Reps. Howard Berman (D-Valley Village) and Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks) will take part in a town hall meeting from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Jan. 5, along with GOP challengers Mark Reed and Susan Shelley, who have all expressed interest in running for the newly drawn 30th congressional district.

The event, sponsored by the Woodland Hill-Tarzana Chamber of Commerce, will be held in the former Dick’s Sporting Goods store on the basement level of the Westfield Promenade Mall in Warner Center.

The new district, which includes a small portion of Burbank, pits Sherman and Berman, two prominent longtime members of the U.S. House of Representatives, against each other because they now both live in the same district.

Audience members won’t be able to directly ask questions of the candidates. Questions should be posed using the chamber’s website at www.woodlandhillscc.net or by filling out a question form at the event, said Sean McCarthy, chairman of the chamber’s governmental affairs committee who will serve as moderator at the meeting.

McCarthy said organizers went with that format because of the limited amount of time for the event.

“It’s not the best way to do it. It’s the most efficient way to do it,” he said.

Admission is free.

Schiff communications director joins Sony

Maureen Shanahan, communications director for Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) in Washington, D.C., will be moving west soon to join the international publicity team at Sony Pictures Entertainment in Los Angeles.

She has worked for Schiff for three years.

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