Connecting state and local government leaders
STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Republican members of Michigan legislative committee issue election subpoenas … Two census workers say they fudged reports … Stockton mayor behind in election returns.
For the first time in its 150-year history, all five members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will be women. The powerful board oversees a local government with a budget of $35 billion serving 10 million people. The all-female make up of a board historically called the “five little kings” was cemented on Wednesday, when state Sen. Holly Mitchell bested L.A. City Councilman Herb Wesson to fill an open seat. Women previously held four of the five positions. Mitchell told the Los Angeles Times she first decided to run for office years ago after watching a group of male lawmakers cut child care funding in the state legislature. Mitchell emphasized that residents of the district she will now represent, including communities like Compton, Carson and parts of the city of Los Angeles, are experiencing multiple crises, such as economic hardship. “This was a community-driven campaign based on creating a more equitable, inclusive, and prosperous LA County," Mitchell tweeted. "Now is the time to turn our vision into action.” [Los Angeles Times; KABC]
MICHIGAN SUBPOENAS | A state legislative committee in Michigan controlled by Republicans voted over the weekend to issue subpoenas related to the presidential election, saying they had a duty to get to the bottom of unsubstantiated fraud allegations. But Democrats criticized the subpoenas as highly unorthodox for the legislature and merely an attempt to undermine confidence in the outcome of the election in the state, which was won by President-Elect Joe Biden—he had almost 150,000 more votes in Michigan than President Trump as of Sunday. “This is nothing more than political theater,” said Rep. Cynthia Johnson, a Democrat from Detroit, who argued legislators were buying into lies spread by the president. Republicans defended their actions as potentially resolving concerns people might have. “I want to assure all concerned the premise of these hearings is not to overturn the will of the people of this state, and not to overturn right and fair and honest elections,” said Senate Oversight Chair Ed McBroom, a Republican from Vulcan. “The public right now is at a fever pitch of interest, and the opportunity we have to do our jobs, our very legitimate jobs, I don’t think could ever be more intensely needed.” [Bridge Michigan; Detroit News]
FAKE CENSUS | Two census workers described to the Associated Press being pressured by supervisors to make up information about households when they couldn’t reach anybody during the recent count. “It was all a sham. I felt terrible, terrible,” said Maria Arce, who knocked on doors as part of the 2020 census in Massachusetts. The Census Bureau said it would look into the allegations. [Associated Press]
SPOTTED OWL | The U.S. Forest Service agrees that it will monitor the Mexican spotted owl in Arizona and New Mexico through 2025, ending a long legal dispute over the bird. The owl is categorized as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. “Without monitoring, you’re driving blind. You can make all types of decisions without any consequences because there is no data,” said John Horning, executive director of WildEarth Guardians. [Arizona Republic]
STOCKTON MAYOR | Michael Tubbs, the mayor of Stockton, California who became a rising star in the Democratic party, is behind in his re-election bid. Tubbs, who got 70% of the vote in 2016 when he first ran for mayor, on Saturday was trailing Republican candidate Kevin Lincoln by about 2,000 votes. But Tubbs emphasized that more than 40,000 mail-in ballots still needed to be counted and he expected to win a majority of those votes. Tubbs gained a lot of prominence in recent years for his pilot program with universal basic income, providing $500 a month to 125 residents to see if the cash infusion provided them with more economic stability. Lincoln said Tubbs hasn’t been focused enough on local problems. But some in Stockton said Tubbs has been hurt by unfounded attacks by a social media page created by a political opponent at a time when the local newspaper isn’t providing comprehensive coverage. [Associated Press; Los Angeles Times]
Laura Maggi is the managing editor of Route Fifty.
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