Tag Archives: Jasmin Dalton

Every Vote Counts!

Both Democrats and Republicans have had long and well-publicized campaign seasons for this Presidential election, and both of the front-runners have yet to acquire enough delegates to win on the first ballot at the convention.

California will likely be the state that will secure the amount of delegates for the front runners for both of the major political parties. Still, many voters are saying they’re dissatisfied and confused by the long process.

“Political parties are not democratic institutions,” said former mayor of Thousand Oaks and Pierce College Political Science professor Ed Jones. “It gives the impression that they are when you see all these primaries.”

The party rules governing the system have been slowly developed in the course of our country’s history.

“Political parties are not mentioned in the United States Constitution, the only major political element that isn’t,” Jones said.

The nomination process has evolved, from party leaders choosing the candidate they believe has the best chance to win the election, to voters having their voices heard in a primary.

“The process has become more representative,” said Los Angeles Valley College Political Science Professor Anthony O’Regan. “It has become more democratic. It does reflect the will of the people, but it is the will of the people within the political party.”

California’s registration deadline is May 23, giving voters more time, not only to register, but also pick a party affiliation. This should help avoid the problems of voters being disenfranchised because they are not registered or registered improperly, as has happened in other states.

“We won’t have necessarily the issues that they had in New York, because in New York you had to be registered six months prior to the election date in order for you to cast a ballot,” said Los Angeles Democratic Party Vice-Chair Mark Gonzalez.

The California primary election takes place on June 7. California residents can find out how they can register and where to vote on the California Voter Information Guide at http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov.

“Your voice is your vote,” Gonzalez said. “We still have time for folks to register. People are engaged; they’re excited; they’re at rallies and events. And I think it’s important for everybody to just realize: it’s just simply about the vote.”

Moderator: October Primavera

Anchor: Glenna Dixon

Producer: October Primavera

Social Media Editors: Jasmin Dalton and Kiara Draper

Reporters: Harry Abelson, Jasmin Dalton, Kiara Draper, Anna Logan and October Primavera

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Touchdown in Inglewood

Ever since the Los Angeles Lakers left the Forum for Staples Center in 1999, the city of Inglewood has been missing a sports team.

But now, the Saint Louis Rams are returning to the sunny state; NFL owners voted voted 30-2 in favor of the move, and announced the team’s comeback to settle in Inglewood, California.

“All of those things came together,” said Marc T. Little, President of Inglewood/Airport Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Board of Directors. “The Forum being sold to Madison Square Garden, which sent a message to the development community that anything can happen in Inglewood; Mayor Butts leading and uniting a divided city council, that sent another message that deals could get [made]; and then ultimately, the moxie of the owners of Hollywood Park: getting that property entitled was no small feat.”

In the past couple of years, many groups were working to bring football back to Los Angeles, arguing that a football team is good for fans and for the economy.

“Potentially there could be a fair number of jobs for the local area,” said CSUN Department of Urban Studies and Planning Robert Kent. “[But] it’s important to note that the benefits are [often] over-promised, and sometimes there’s not as many jobs as the hype would have it.”

Still Inglewood offers a lot to any team. LAX is nearby, and three freeways, the 405, the 110 and the 105, are also in the area to help traffic flow to football games.

“Inglewood is ideal for a lot of reasons for the stadium: the proximity to LAX, the proximity to three freeways, a city that is known for sports,” Little said, ” and a community that has voted to allow it. All of those things together make football very, very promising for our city.”

The Rams’ return to Inglewood offers more than jobs, business, and sports for area residents.

“It gives them role models,” Inglewood High School Football Coach James Sims said. “You’ll have some Rams [players] that will definitely come be a part of the [high school] program, to do public speaking…to run a camp at the high school. And that’s my main concern with the Rams coming in, how will the schools benefit from it.”

The Rams are expected to start next season at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and play there until the new $2.6 billion stadium in Inglewood is complete.

The NFL owners’ vote also included a provision to allow a one-year option for the San Diego Chargers to join the Rams at the new stadium.

“The community is behind it,” Little said. “And I think we’re all looking forward, and we’re all excited.”


Moderator: Harry Abelson

Anchor: Anna Logan

Producer: Harry Abelson

Social Media Editors: Glenna Dixon, October Primavera

Reporters: Harry Abelson, Jasmin Dalton, Glenna Dixon, Kiara Draper, Anna Logan, October Primavera

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Gas Destruction

On February 18, SoCal Gas announced that it had permanently sealed the largest methane leak in US history – but not before thousands of Porter Ranch residents had been exposed to the leak for four months.

Some residents were evacuated, while others suffered with nausea, dizziness, nosebleeds and other physical illnesses related to the methane in the air.

“Nobody knew what was going on,” said Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council member Cheri Derohanian. “In fact, my 12-year-old twin girls, who were seventh graders at Porter Ranch Community School, were running the mile daily, and I was wondering why a school would let kids do that when everyone smells gas in the community. It was frustrating, it was frightening.”

One of the most frustrating aspects of the incident for residents was how preventable the leak was from the beginning.

“This well that leaked, had a safety valve on it that was taken off by choice,” said Dr. Loraine Lundquist from the CSUN Institute for Sustainability. “If that safety valve had been in place, it would have stopped the leak within hours.”

The leak has led to a lawsuit by residents, against SoCal Gas, that some experts believe will take years to complete.

“We’re just trying to help [Porter Ranch residents] band together to be able to advocate for themselves and get the compensation they deserve,” Frantz Law Group attorney Regina Bagdasarian said. “We want [SoCal Gas] to be responsible, not just by acknowledging responsibility, but by compensating people for the harms they suffered.”

Although it’s been almost a month since the leak was sealed, the problems for residents are not over. Some residents have started moving back, but a judge recently ordered SoCal Gas to pay expenses until mid-March for those who want more time. This week, crews have begun inspecting and cleaning up Porter Ranch playgrounds after spots of sticky and potentially toxic substances were found.

And some believe, as big of a problem as the gas leak was, it was just a small part of an even bigger issue.

“We are suffering from this incredibly urgent problem of imminent climate change, that literally does threaten to destabilize human civilization within the course of less than a century,” Lundquist said.

There may be an upside to all this, however – as some believe that the Porter Ranch gas leak offers an opportunity for change.

“I think people have to be their own advocate,” Bagdasarian said.

“This is an excellent time for residents of Los Angeles to band together, and demand that our city pledge to go to 100 percent renewable energy,” Lundquist said.

Moderator: Jasmin Dalton

Anchor: October Primavera

Producer: Jasmin Dalton

Social Media Editors: Anna Logan and October Primavera

Reporters: Harry Abelson, Jasmin Dalton, Glenna Dixon, Kiara Draper, Anna Logan and October Primavera

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Boycott the Oscars

“# Oscars So White” is the hot topic again this year as preparations get under way for the 88th Academy Awards. This is the second year in a row that all of the nominees in major categories are white.

A Los Angeles Times study found that Oscar voters have a median age of over 60 years old, and are 94 percent Caucasian, and 77 percent male.

“This [year’s group of nominees] is a literal reflection of the members who make up the academy,” actress and comedian Alexandra Karova said. “They are old school dinosaurs; they do not reflect what the people are feeling at all.”

UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies Studies looked at movies, television and digital platforms in 2012 and 2013 in its recent Diversity Report, and found that minorities had only half as many acting roles as whites, and are proportionately under-represented in writing and directing as well. Over the course of its 87 years, only 35 awards have been given to African American actors and actresses, and Halle Berry is the only African-American woman to win best actress, in 2002.

CSUN Africana Studies Professor Marquita Pellerin-Gammage, author of “Representations of Black Women in the Media: The Damnation of Black Womanhood”, said many of the roles offered to African American actors and actresses reflect negative stereotypes.

“African Americans are pigeonholed into these stereotype roles,” she said.  “They almost validate the reason why they are not nominated for these types of awards, when they’re only granted such narrow representations.”

Many movie-goers are expressing their concern about the lack of diversity among the nominees on social media platforms, calling this year’s Academy Award nominations ‘a controversy’.

“This is not a controversy, because it has been happening for so long,” Cinema Television and Arts Professor Nate Thomas said. “They need to stop talking and do something about it.”

Some minority actors and actresses are choosing to boycott this year’s Academy Awards ceremony. Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith and director Spike Lee have vowed not to attend this year’s award show.

Karova said she believes that Oscar nominees should not be the only ones who boycott the Oscars this year.

“Do not give them the ratings,” she said. “Let’s give it to the other shows, [who give awards] that are based on talent, not based on appearance. Stop giving [the Oscar telecast] our eyes and money…and start paying attention to shows where people are paying attention to us.”

Moderator: Glenna Dixon

Anchor: Anna Logan

Producer: Harry Abelson

Social Media Editors: Harry Abelson and Jasmin Dalton

Reporters: Jasmin Dalton, Kiara Draper, Anna Logan and October Primavera

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