close up of two flute glasses filled with sparkling wine wuth ribbons and christmas decor

Happy 9th Anniversary from JIMBO TIMES!

From my newsletter this morning:

This Saturday, August *19th* at 7:45 AM, JIMBO TIMES turned 9! ūü•≥

Cheers! If you’ve already donated to my fundraising campaign for the anniversary, thank you so much! If not, I can now confirm that each supporter who makes a donation of $10 or more will get 5 Los Cuentos stickers in the mail, which go well on laptops, microphones, and much more.

To keep up with the campaign, make sure you’re following J.T. the L.A. Storyteller Podcast via Apple¬†and¬†Spotify. And thanks again to the people of Los Angeles for helping to make it all happen.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

J.T.

**This has been updated from an incorrect date noted in an earlier newsletter for the 9th anniversary of JIMBO TIMES.**

A NEW SOURCE FOR NEWS IN L.A.

Mariah Casta√Īeda is the co-founder of Los Angeles Public Press, “an independent, non-profit newsroom advocating for a better Los Angeles.” In this chat, we discuss her upbringing through Adelanto, California and Huntington Park, as well as her hosting work for one of the bests podcasts in recent memory for L.A., The Sellout. Mariah also tells us about key goals for the L.A. Public Press as a fledgling news organization in L.A. County, and even shouts out the brand-new Smogland Radio podcast!

To make a one-time donation to my fundraiser for the 9th anniversary of JIMBO TIMES, please do so through jmbtms.com. To support the production of J.T. the L.A. Storyteller Podcast, please see my new page at PATREON.

J.T.

city skyline during night time

Read the full report recommending the expansion of L.A. City Council from 15 to 25 Representatives

The “Interim Report of the L.A. Governance Reform Project,” published this June 2023 by a team of researchers and academics from USC, UCLA Luskin, and Cal State, among others, says about the leaked recording from October 2021 of L.A. City officials discussing the city map’s redrawing:

“At the time of the conversation, the city council was exercising its charter authority to draw lines after an advisory redistricting commission had presented its report. (emphasis mine)”

The report also notes about current calls to expand the council that:

“Such a wave of reform energy does not occur very often. Sometimes decades pass between reform eras. Los Angeles is in the midst of one such moment now, and it is not to be taken for granted.”

Regarding the question of exactly how to expand the number of representatives at L.A. City Hall, the report states that this is most likely best advanced through an amendment to L.A.’s city charter, or the city’s homemade version of the U.S. constitution:

“Passed by the voters in 1924 and implemented in 1925, the charter, as amended, has been the city‚Äôs governing document for nearly a century. The charter can only be changed by a vote of the people. Charter amendments can be placed on the ballot by the city council or by an initiative based on the signatures of registered voters.”

As to when this and other changes to L.A.’s governing structure might be pursued, the report leaves no room for misinterpretation:

“Our first overall recommendation is that a package of governance reforms be placed on the November 2024 ballot.”

And on the question of how to pay for more offices and salaries, the report points out that the city budget’s current share for funding the council is already a small share of the total annual city budget, which this fiscal year is roughly $13 billion:

“Our research shows that it is a very small share of the city’s budget. A cap on the share of the budget that goes to the council‚Äôs operations could be part of the ballot measure as well as a pro-rated reduction in council salaries. A cap on the share of the budget that goes to the council (including member and staff salaries, and offices at city hall and in the field) could be part of the ballot measure.”

Last but not least, the report contends that increasing the number of L.A. City Council Representatives from 15 to 25, including with the introduction of 4 “At Large” offices, should bolster representation for more of the people who make up L.A.’s neighborhoods:

“Communities with a likelihood of gaining representation include those of Korean, Filipino, Guatemalan, and Salvadoran origin.”

J.T.