The Thorn West

The Thorn West is a state and local news roundup compiled by members of DSA-LA. Our goal is to provide a weekly update on the latest developments in state and local politics, and to track the issues that are most important to our membership.


Issue No. 167 - July 28, 2023


State Politics

  • A statewide public ballot measure to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act has qualified for the 2024 ballot. If the measure succeeds, it would allow local municipalities to expand rent control locally; Costa-Hawkins, as state law, dramatically restricts municipalities’ ability to do so.


  • Have an opinion on currently proposed statewide legislation? California DSA invites DSA members to recommend legislative endorsements, both in support and in opposition.

City Politics

  • Protesters briefly shut down a meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, to demand the closure of Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall, where conditions are inhumane. Los Padrinos was recently reopened only after two other juvenile facilities were ordered to close by the state due to unsuitable conditions.

Health Care



  • In-N-Out Burger recently announced a policy to prohibit its workers from wearing face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but California regulations prevent them from implementing it here.


  • At a rally this Tuesday, striking WGA workers will deliver a petition with over 25,000 signatures demanding justice from NBCUniversal, which has attempted to thwart picketers by closing down sidewalks and has repeatedly ignored instructions from the city to install pedestrian protections. Details here!

Police Violence and Community Resistance

  • The Los Angeles city controller’s office has released a database of all LAPD arrests from the last four years, searchable by race, geographic area, and type of arrest. Among the audit’s findings were that Black and brown people were disproportionately the target of arrests.


  • Streetsblog LA thoroughly documents the outrageous contradictions between a report from LAPD Chief Michel Moore on an incident last year in which an officer shot an unarmed man and bodycam footage of the same incident.


Housing Rights

  • Tenant protections enacted in response to COVID-19 gave many tenants until August 1 to pay off rent debt accrued between March 1, 2020, and September 30, 2021. With that deadline now here, many anticipate a wave of evictions. For anyone with concerns about tenant protections moving forward, Councilmember Nithya Raman published a breakdown of rights, protections, and requirements on Instagram, as well as in a subsequent bulletin jointly released with Mayor Bass.


  • A lawsuit initiated by the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles aims to immediately end the freeze on rental increases that applies to LA rental housing currently subject to the Rent Stabilization Ordinance. The rent freeze on RSO units will expire on February 2024 even if the lawsuit is unsuccessful. Currently, this ren freeze is the only thing legally preventing rental increases as high as 8.8%. The maximum allowable increase has recently spiked because it's indexed to inflation.

Environmental Justice

  • CalMatters breaks down the battle between Big Oil and environmentalists over a law that bans new oil and gas wells near homes and schools. Though Governor Gavin Newsom signed the law last year, it's been on hold since oil companies qualified a measure for the November 2024 ballot that would overturn it.