CA Advocates for Working Families Push to Keep State-Based Savings Accounts

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Advocates for working families are fighting to keep a proposed state-sponsored retirement savings program called Secure Choice, even as some in Congress are trying to undermine this type of plan.

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote soon on a bill to reverse Labor Department rules that establish a state’s right to run “work and save” programs. Designed for people who don’t have workplace retirement plans, the state deducts money from workers’ paychecks and selects a firm to invest it.

Marisabel Torres, a senior policy analyst for the National Council of La Raza in California, said she’s disappointed that the U.S. House already voted to gut the rules. She said they could help California’s working poor salt some money away for their golden years.

“Regardless of where they work, they’ll be able to save long-term for retirement,” she said, “and that policy could really go a long way in helping to stave off the retirement crisis.”

An estimated 7 million Californians and 55 million Americans work for companies that don’t offer retirement plans. Opponents of the state-run plans have said government should stay out of the financial sector and have noted that people are free to open their own 401(K) plan with a private investment firm.

Torres said lawmakers who voted to repeal the Labor Department rules are really favoring Wall Street over small businesses and their employees.

“This would really allow businesses to be competitive, who maybe don’t have the manpower or the financial means of providing retirement accounts as a benefit for their workers,” she said. “It allows workers to work for someone and not have to make that tradeoff.”

The Secure Choice program in California has been in the works for many years and is supposed to be open for enrollment within the next two years.

Los Angeles events calendar for 2016

You’ve undoubtedly been bombarded with the same tired questions from non-Angelenos: How do you celebrate Christmas without snow? Don’t you wish you had real seasons? With unwelcome weather patterns out of the equation, we like to think that LA’s amazing events set milestones for us to look forward to. From homegrown festivals like FYF, CicLAvia and LA Pride to blockbuster bashes like Coachella, we’ve rounded up our favorite events throughout the year. Whether you’re looking for something to do today, this weekend or in the coming months, look no further than our Los Angeles events calendar for 2016.

august la events

Continue reading “Los Angeles events calendar for 2016”

Best outdoor theater in LA

Los Angeles has plenty of beautiful performing arts centers to see theater in, but during summer, Angelenos want to be outside, and there are lots of options, from rooftop bars to the best beaches in Los Angeles. So why shouldn’t we be able to see theater outdoors too? Well, we can. Here are the best outdoor theater options in LA, whether in an amphitheater in the Valley or at an annual tradition in a cemetery.

outdoor theater in LA

Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum’s Summer Repertoire Season takes place in its authentic wooden amphitheater, making it the perfect setting for classic Shakespeare productions or world premieres. Summer 2016 will see the Bard’s Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Titus Andronicus, as well as the world premiere of Tom (adapted by Ellen Geer) and The Imaginary Invalid.

Built to Thrill

Tell us about your cool job.
I work as a painter/sandblaster at a shipyard. I’ve been doing it for the past five years! It’s definitely one of the most dirty and difficult jobs I’ve had. But I’ve learned a lot and it’s always entertaining to see the reactions of people who ask me what I do for a living.

What are the artistic aspects to your gig? Has it affected the way you interact with tattooers and vice versa?
Honestly, it’s not much of an artistic job. We go into an area of the boat, sandblast/prep the metal for paint, and then paint. But I feel that my job makes tattooers respect me more. I’m not your typical girly girl.

What made you get a back piece?
I didn’t intend to get a full back piece. I started with my mermaid—which was part of a cover-up I got when I was younger—and just went from there. My favorite movie is The Little Mermaid and I decided I wanted to go with an “under the sea” theme. I was obsessed with the movie and even wanted to change my name to Ariel.

Continue reading “Built to Thrill”

Helping Actors Build Tools For Today’s Workforce

Have you guys heard of The Actors Fund? Nope? Me neither. So when a friend forwarded me a link

to check them out, of course I had to.

The Actors Fund was created back before tabloid magazines and society newspaper pages created actor celebrities. Actors were lowlifes; just as bad as gypsies, tramps, and thieves, and when they died, no one wanted to bury them in sacred grounds, cause, again, ewww! Actors. Gross. Also, they were usually broke (doing 99 seat theatre in LA? KIDDING), so they died with no money.

The Actors Fund was created to help bury the dead. And once it got going, people thought, you know, maybe we can help actors when they’re alive too!

Continue reading “Helping Actors Build Tools For Today’s Workforce”

Crybaby Presents L.A


Crybaby Presents is the brainchild of childhood friends and fellow RISD graduates Dakota Salt and Lisa Ziven. Estranged after graduation, the ladies were reunited when Dakota attended Lisa’s holiday party in Los Feliz. Their rekindled friendship has resulted in a much-needed addition to L.A.’s predictable retail and artist community.

Crybaby is a permanent travelling installation of art and design that will change locations each season. Their present home is at 171 S. La Brea, a hop and skip from niche shops like Union, Undefeated, and American Rag Cie. The clothing and accessories are undoubtedly hip and fresh from brands like All For The Mountain, Postalco and sis loves me videos. Everything in the minimal space has its pulse on design and art with Areaware dinner plates by Jason Miller and original works by artists Leo Fitzpatrick, Adam Marnie, Glen Baldridge, and Kevin Zucker.

Continue reading “Crybaby Presents L.A”

Brian Wood

Brian Wood

NY based designer Brian Wood continues to push the envelope with his fashion forward designs while aiming to raid your closet (and some panties) in the process.

The Elizabeth, NJ native has been non-stop in the fashion industry since 2005 with an innovative high-end menswear line along with a street wear line known for its vibrant and conceptual designs. He also recently collaborated with liquor brand Crown Royal Black where he designed a series of luxury bags for their 2011 marketing campaign.

Continue reading “Brian Wood”

Class Actress

CY gets in tune with synth-pop songstress Elizabeth Harper, the Angelino turned Brooklynite who’s bringing a  new beat to the “bleeps and blops” of Pop.


Elizabeth Harper, the front woman for Brooklyn-based synth-pop trio Class Actress, is no stranger to the music industry. The budding Pop star has been around the block before, releasing a self-titled solo debut in 2004. Although years have past and Harper has traded in her acoustic guitar for a synthesizer, she has not left behind her substance

When asked to describe her transition from acoustic songwriting to dance music, Harper said, “It wasn’t hard. It was sort of the whole system of self-discovery, where I grew up dancing to dance music, I grew up listening to Hip Hop… that was what I loved. Then, I had this weird depressing phase where I was listening to Elliot Smith, so I learned guitar by learning his songs.”

In the age of the Pop machine, mastering the acoustic element of her craft gave Harper the tools she needed to distinguish the group’s sound from watered-down Pop acts who know nothing about songwriting.

“I’m not trying to put down a lot of modern artists, but it’s such a lot of bleeps and blops, and I’m not into that. I’m into songwriting. I’m into Prince. I’m into fucking forreal songs, and so I wanted to learn how people wrote songs. So you have to learn the Beetles and all of that stuff just to learn how that works, and that’s how I transitioned,” Harper said.

Continue reading “Class Actress”

Party Monster: DON’Tblink

We celebrated the art of the video — after the End Of The World — at Zhou B Art Lounge.

The nights soundtrack was courtesy of DJ FreezeRock who did double duty as “video DJ” on the small screens. The big screen featured some the best in video from some of the Midwest’s leading artists and brands including  Kasia Koniar, Psalm One, The Cool Kids, The Hood Internet and Pro BMX’er Brian Kachinsky. Complimentary small bites were on hand and a full cash bar from Zhou B Art Lounge in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood.  An limited edition bottle of Hennessy found its way into the party as well! Continue reading “Party Monster: DON’Tblink”