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How to Vote in Los Angeles in 2022

Image: Knock LA

Here at Knock LA, we’re big fans of voting. We even wrote a whole progressive voter guide about it. We know it’s not the only form of civic engagement one should practice, or, debatably, the most important, but as Sonya Renee Taylor puts it, “voting should be a tool in your toolbox.”

And that’s especially important at the local level, and it’s especially important this year. (We know, they say that every election, but it’s true! No one wants a billionaire anti-abortion mayor like Rick Caruso.) This year also brings a lot of concerns: What’s happening due to COVID? Should I vote in person or by mail?

It’s never been more stressful to vote, but also never more important. These are strange times indeed, but when the times are strange, Knock LA‘s got you covered. (And to answer one of those questions above right off the bat: yes, you should vote by mail rather than in-person. Your community will thank you).

HOW TO VOTE IN LA COUNTY

Vote-By-Mail:

First things first, you must register to vote by May 23, 2022. Every registered voter will be sent a mail-in-ballot, but you obviously must be REGISTERED to get one! Ballots were mailed in the first week of May. Vote-by-mail ballot requests must arrive by no later than May 31, 2022. Check your registration, update your registration, or register here.

Q: I’ve finished filling in my ballot. Am I done?

A: Make sure to properly read the instructions on your ballot, but MOST IMPORTANTLY, you must sign your ballot (that means signing the outside of the envelope). This is crucial to making sure your vote is counted. You’ll also need to be certain that your signature matches the one you used when you registered to vote.

Q: When should I drop off my ballot?

A: The earlier the better! But, as long as it’s postmarked by election day, June 7, 2022 (or dropped in a ballot box), your vote will be counted. And you can check out our progressive voter guide to start your research for the election.

Q: I’m worried I haven’t received my ballot yet. Is there a chance it won’t arrive?

A: Chances that it won’t arrive are very low, but there’s a nifty tool this year where you can track the status of your ballot: wheresmyballot.sos.ca.gov.

Q: My ballot arrived in English and I need a different language.

A: Call the Registrar’s Multilingual Services Program: 800–815–2666, + [option 3] to request a ballot in a non-English language. Additionally, if your ballot is damaged or lost (after checking the “Where’s my ballot” tool above if suspected missing), contact the registrar’s office at 800- 815–2666 + [option 2].

Q: Who can drop off a ballot?

A: ANYONE can drop off a ballot (it used to have to be specifically the voter or the voter’s family). As long as the ballot is signed by the voter, anyone can drop it off.

Q: Where can I drop off my ballot?

A: You have three options:

1. In the mail (no postage necessary)

2. At your voting center.

3. A ballot drop box. There will be 400 ballot drop boxes across the county, including all voting centers.

Q: But what about problems with USPS?

A: Anticipating delays, any ballot that arrives before June 14 (as long as it’s postmarked on election day) will be counted. Still, definitely drop off your ballot AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. No postage is required.

In Person Voting:

Q: Will there be in-person voting, despite COVID-19?

A: Yes. However, we STRONGLY recommend voting by mail to ensure the safety and health of our community. We are lucky that LA has taken great steps to ensure that voting by mail is as easy and effective as possible.

If for any reason you simply cannot vote by mail, however:

Q: Is there early voting?

A: YES.

Voting centers in LA county will be open 11 days before the election, starting on Saturday, May 28. You can find your closest vote center at this link. The hours are 10 AM — 7 PM, and then 7 AM — 8 PM on election day (June 7).

Additionally, the voting center at Norwalk Headquarters is open for early voting 29 days before the election. Voters can either go to vote in-person or drop off ballots at the drop box on the north side of the building (facing Imperial Highway). Norwalk headquarters are located at 12400 Imperial Highway, Room 3201 Norwalk, CA 90650. Hours for Norwalk Headquarters are as follows:

  • May 9 – May 27: 8 AM – 5 PM (excluding weekends)
  • May 28 – May 30: 10 AM – 7 PM (including Memorial Day)
  • May 31 – June 3: 8 AM – 7 PM
  • June 4 – 5: 10 AM – 7 PM
  • June 6: 8 AM – 7 PM
  • June 7 (election day): 7 AM – 8 PM

Q: Ah, voting centers. Those are still a thing?

A: Yes. Anyone in LA can vote at any voting center in the county. No more specific polling places!

Q: So should I just show up to the same place I went to last time?

A: NOT NECESSARILY — voting centers can sometimes change, so make sure to check if your closest voting center is still going to be used. Again, check at this link.

Q: Will voting centers have same day voter registration?

A: Yes. There will be same day voter registration at all voting centers.

Q: So I should just wait and register there, right?

A: No. We recommend registering beforehand, to make the process of getting in and out quicker and to stop lines from forming. It also takes like 30 seconds to register online. Just do it right now.

Q: Do we still have 11 days before election day to vote?

A: Yes. Voting in person starts on May 28, and is already available at Norwalk Headquarters.

Q: Okay, so I didn’t listen and forgot to register to vote and it’s June 7 and I really want to cast my vote. Can I?

A: Yes. Life happens, and when it does, we’re lucky to live in California where you can register on election day and cast a provisional ballot.

HOW TO VOTE SAFELY IN LA COUNTY

If you plan on voting in person, make sure to take advantage of early voting — again, voting centers start opening at large on May 28 so be sure to go as early as you can to avoid the chance of crowds and lines on June 7.

If you do end up going to the polls on June 7, know that LA County actually does (sort of) have a plan for you. While no longer enforcing mask mandates, masks and gloves will be available upon request, hand sanitizer will be available upon entry and exit (as well as key points along the way), and devices will be sanitized after each voter.

On top of that, it’s on you to be respectful, maintain social distance, sanitize regularly, and STAY HOME if you feel symptomatic. In that case, be sure to keep your mail-in ballot so you can still fill that out and drop it off in the mail or a voting center up until election day, June 7.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FOR LA COUNTY VOTING IN JUNE 2022

  • Vote early.
  • Vote by mail.
  • Vote early by mail.
  • Sign your ballot.
  • Election day is June 7. If you can’t vote by mail, voting centers open in LA starting on May 28. You can also vote right now at Norwalk Headquarters.
  • Stay vigilant (track your ballot, follow instructions on your ballot, return your ballot as early as possible)
  • Stay safe (wear a mask, sanitize, socially distance yourself from other voters)
  • Do your research.
  • Vote Early!! By mail!!

But perhaps most importantly, take some time to volunteer for a local or federal candidate you are excited about. Voting is important, but it is only a small part of strengthening (or, um, salvaging) our democracy. Getting involved in a campaign is a great step in becoming more active in your community, as you’ll meet neighbors and organizers working on all kinds of critical issues.

LA is a community of passionate individuals working together to make change, and while the scariest part may be diving into the work, you’ll be so glad you did (especially since you’ve made it this far in an article about electoralism).

It may take a bit of effort to really plug in, but after just a short time being engaged, you won’t even think about your daily involvement in local politics — cyberbullying the mayor, donating to mutual aid funds, organizing your fellow tenants into a neighborhood pod, doing a water bottle dropoff to an encampment — it’s all just a part of your everyday life in LA.

And then, all of a sudden, it’s election day, and as you look through the massive California ballot, you’ll find your choices aren’t as blind as they once were. Suddenly you’re the type of person who says things like: she’s the one running that progressive challenger campaign with the kickass community safety policy! Or: that guy’s a former cop who deliberately blocked the bill that would end qualified immunity and he needs to go.

Look at you! Take it from us, it’ll happen quicker than you think.

At the time of publishing, there are a few weeks until election day. So, now that you know how to vote, what will you be doing until then?

Knock LA is a journalism project paid for by Ground Game LA. This article was not authorized or paid for by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.

The post How to Vote in Los Angeles in 2022 appeared first on Knock LA.

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Newsom Says CA Is An Abortion ‘Sanctuary.’ But For Who?

A masked woman holds a microphone and addresses the crowd at the pro-abortion rally in downtown LA.
Speakers at the pro-abortion rally. (Image: Sean Beckner-Carmitchel | Knock LA)

This month, Politico broke the news that the US Supreme Court had decided to overturn the historic abortion rights decision Roe v. Wade, according to an initial draft majority opinion. In response to the leak, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a Reproductive Health Package to expand abortion access and attract businesses from anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ+ states. Even before the leak, California legislators introduced a dozen bills during this session that support reproductive justice and access to abortion care. These bills would benefit people already living in California, as well as those from other states seeking abortion care. This could make California a “safe haven” for those seeking abortion care, but California still has its issues with accessibility. 

“It’s motivating to see people rising up in this moment, and trying to channel their rage and anger into the movement,” says Jessica Pinckney, executive director of Access Reproductive Justice, the only statewide fund operation outside of clinics in California. “But it’s also really frustrating because we’ve been raising this red flag for quite some time, and it’s unfortunate that it took a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court to get some folks to realize that this moment is coming.” 

Access Reproductive Justice operates a healthline in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday. About a third of callers are from outside of California, and in 2021 the organization helped people from 18 other states. Though California is expected to receive people from out of state seeking abortion care, people already in state still face challenges. 


Cynthia Gutierrez, a reproductive justice activist, was on a leave of absence from school at UC Santa Cruz when she found out she was pregnant in 2012. She was in an abusive relationship, and did not want to raise a child with her partner at the time. In order to get a medication abortion, Gutierrez drove from Santa Cruz to San Jose, which is an hour by car.  

“Santa Cruz is a college town. A lot of students don’t have cars. Thankfully I had a car, because if you don’t have a car, going from Santa Cruz to San Jose can take like two hours, one way, just one county over,” said Gutierrez.

Reproductive justice activist Jessy Rosales faced many challenges when seeking her abortion using student health insurance as a student at the UC Riverside. As a leader for a reproductive justice group on campus, Rosales knew the steps she needed to take for an abortion, but was met with bureaucratic hurdles when it came to using her student health insurance. 

Rosales confirmed the pregnancy in fall 2016 at her university’s student health center. However, the facility did not have an ultrasound machine to tell her how far along she was. The student health center referred her to a family planning clinic to terminate the pregnancy. When she reached out for services, she was informed they did not offer abortion services. In fact, the clinic had previously informed the student health center of this. The school continued referring students anyway. 

“That conversation is still burnt in my memory. It was just the realization that, ‘damn, I’m not the first student that’s going through this. My student health center has a system that is setting us up to fail here,’” Rosales tells Knock LA

Next, she tried a second referral with another family planning clinic, who gave her an appointment a month later in November. The facility called shortly before her appointment to tell her that because she was still on her family’s insurance, her father — the main policy holder —  would surely see the bill. Despite her advocacy work in promoting condoms and Plan B on campus, Rosales still felt the stigma weigh down on her. Her boyfriend at the time asked her to keep the situation a secret because he was embarrassed. She hadn’t disclosed her sexual activities or pregnancy to her family, much less that she was getting an abortion. 

“It was just too much to drop at once,” she says.

Rosales finally called Planned Parenthood sobbing. She was finally able to have an abortion in December, but she was well past the first trimester, through no fault of her own. Under the stress of navigating the confusing referrals that went nowhere, Rosales failed that entire first quarter. 

“My body was changing,” she says. “It was such a crazy, wild time to feel that I have no control over my body, my future, my current present, and all the while feeling like everyone’s just trying to tell me ‘No don’t go ahead with this.’” 

After the procedure, Rosales said she felt instant relief when she was able to sit in the waiting room knowing she no longer had to worry about getting an appointment, or live in secret.


In 2019, the College Student Right to Access Act (SB24) became law, requiring all public California universities to provide abortion medication on campus. Rosales said that after testifying at the state capital in favor of the bill in 2019, a student also from UC Riverside approached her and shared that a similar situation had occurred in her quest to receive abortion care. California public universities have until January 2023 to comply. Students without medication abortion options on campus are still tasked with going off campus and possibly missing class or work, to seek these services.

In California, Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid healthcare program for low-income people, does cover cost of abortion for Medi-Cal recipients, but there’s still travel, housing, and childcare costs one must consider when planning to take time off for an abortion. Jessica Pinckney of Access Reproductive Justice receives a high volume of calls from Medi-Cal recipients who need help other than paying for the procedure itself, as 40% of California counties have no abortion providers.  

“Folks do have to travel what can be a significant distance even within their own state, particularly folks living in the more rural part of the state,” says Pinckney. 

Procerdural funding can be used to fund the abortion procedure itself, and practical support includes transportation to get to and from clinic as well as lodging for appointments that require overnight stays. Volunteers can provide rides to callers and, in pre-pandemic times, sometimes even housed callers  who had to travel a long distance for an appointment. 


Pinckney says the areas of California that are most out of reach for people seeking abortion care are the Central Valley, and Northern California in the areas beyond Sacramento and the Bay Area. Rachael Lorenzo, executive director of Indigenous Women Rising, an abortion fund based in New Mexico open to Indigenous and undocumented people across the United States and Canada, says they have also noticed that when it comes to funding people seeking abortions in California.

“California is so vast that seasonal migrant workers are not able to leave their work to get abortion care,” said Lorenzo, who is Laguna Pueblo and Mescalero Apache. She recalls that one recipient of the fund in California missed appointments because they couldn’t leave town in the Central Valley to get to a clinic on the coast.

Lorenzo has also noticed misinformation causes an uptick in callers. 

“It’s very intentional that lawmakers make abortion laws complicated so that only a select few can understand them. Not to insinuate that working families are incapable, but they’re trying to have their needs met. How are they supposed to take their time to read a document that could be 500 pages long?” they said.

When new policies around abortion are introduced, part of Lorenzo’s work is also doing political education, contacting attorneys to make sure they’re understanding the policy correctly, and sharing the information with their community. 

Roe is already not a reality for so many people. That’s how we’ve been operating, as if Roe doesn’t exist. While we understand how scared people are, there are already systems that exist, networks that exist to help people.”

Pinckney said she is concerned for the communities we don’t hear about enough. 

“Undocumented people are not going to be able to travel across state lines. They may not feel safe traveling across state lines or going to a clinic with security or police waiting outside — young people who need parental consent, and the LGBTQ community who need culturally congruent healthcare,” she said. 

While the country has been waiting for the president of the United States to even utter the word “abortion” for at least a year (there’s even a tracker), activists are pushing for policies that make abortion accessible for everyone in the state. 

“We’re making sure we’re built to weather what comes next. We know there may be a legal risk in the future to do what we do. We have seen firsthand how we cannot count on the government to protect our rights, whether it’s abortion rights or any other right,” Lorenzo told Knock LA

To support a local abortion fund, visit the website of the National Network of Abortion Funds, which has listings for funds throughout the United States.

The post Newsom Says CA Is An Abortion ‘Sanctuary.’ But For Who? appeared first on Knock LA.

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Striking NoHo Strippers Vote to Unionize

Two strippers stand back to camera on either side of a white board on a busy street. The whiteboard is divided in two sides, the left reading 'Customers who heart us:' with 15 tally marks. Beneath is reads customers who went inside with 5 tall marks. On the right, headlines 'messages to Steve', various handwritings spell out messages. Some read "It doesn't have to be this way bro", "This could have been an email", and "Respect for other sis free, don't be a Scrooge."
Dancers protest unfair labor practices outside of the Star Gardens strip club. Photo by Brendon Lott.

A labor movement for better working conditions is taking place across the country, and here in Los Angeles. For the last eight weeks, strippers at Star Garden in North Hollywood have been demanding safety and privacy protections as well as the negotiation of fair contracts. In March, they delivered a petition to management outlining their concerns. 

Since then, the strippers have voted to unionize with Strippers United, an organization founded in 2018. The Star Garden workers asked the owners to certify their newly formed union with a voluntary recognition agreement.

According to Antonia Crane of Strippers United, this would make Star Gardens the first unionized strip club since the Lusty Lady, a San Francisco club that unionized in 1997. The Lusty Lady closed its doors in 2013.

After the Stripper Strike NoHo began on March 18, strippers who walked off the job were unjustly fired for voicing concerns about safety, wage theft, and exploitation. Strippers have also called the current owners out for alleged anti-Black racist hiring practices that violate the Civil Rights Act.

Knock LA reached out multiple times to current Star Garden owners Stepan “Steve” Kazaryan and Yevgenya “Jenny” Kararyan for comment on racial discrimination in their hiring practices, but they have yet to respond. 

Steve and Jenny Kararyan are also the current owners of Blue Dreams in Long Beach. They became owners of the Star Garden in July 2021. 

Since the delivery of the strippers’ petition demanding management and security take their concerns seriously, Star Garden security guards have called some of the striking strippers by their legal names in front of customers while on the picket line. 

Laws protecting sex workers are practically nil to none, and violence against sex workers is under-reported. Treatment from management often includes wage theft disguised as “stage fees.” 

Velveeta, a stripper on the picket line, told Knock LA that strippers working in clubs are often misclassified as independent contractors. This is against California labor laws, including AB5, which recognizes strippers as gainfully employed by clubs. Star Garden’s owners also started enforcing a $200 tip quota, causing grounds for termination if quota isn’t met — which is also illegal and against AB5.

In 2019, Velveeta sued the prior Star Garden owner Akop Gasparyan for wage theft, misclassification, and retaliation. Yet, clubs in LA and beyond continue to steal wages from strippers. 

Velveeta hopes their newly formed union can eventually own a strip club establishment. 

“Once we own a club, we can implement anti-discrimination practices… which is important to all of us. I have Brown and Black friends who are amazing strippers turned away the second they come into audition [at Star Garden]. It’s so messed up,” Velveeta said. “I think the reason why sex workers and strippers haven’t been able to organize is because of stigma. It’s hard to organize with a very changeable group. It’s a turnover because of the lack of protection.”

Sex worker organizing has sprouted in recent years post-FOSTA/SESTA, and isn’t just limited to Los Angeles. Sex worker organization efforts across the nation include include Women With Vision, BARE of New Orleans , and Bay Area Worker Support, as well as Stripper Strike Portland, New York, and Philadelphia

“There are a lot of things a unionized stripper workforce could fight for and win,” said Reagan, an organizer of the NoHo Stripper Strike. “We started this fight just asking for basic safety in the workplace, and management responded with retaliation and disrespect. We want it all. We want a union.”

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Episode 148: What Makes Man Lower Than A Turtle? His Ego!

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Repulsive Replacement Theory and Economic Delusions

In the latest Reason Roundtable, editors Matt Welch, Peter Suderman, Katherine Mangu-Ward, and Nick Gillespie debunk the “great replacement theory” and highlight some particularly awful responses to recent economic woes.

1:31 – The Buffalo mass shooting and “great replacement theory”

28:34- Weekly Listener Question: Matt’s prompt this week to evaluate why the audience listens to the Roundtable podcast pushed me to pose a question that’s been on my mind for a while: *What is one general principle, or area of practical politics, that each of you feels you disagree with the most of the others on the Roundtable about?* I regularly listen to several political roundtable podcasts to help me triangulate my views on issues, and to my ear your podcast—which I do enjoy—can often be summarized as follows: “[Insert name here], is such-and-such action by the government a good idea?” “No.” I don’t identify as a libertarian, so there are very likely subtleties to your views that I don’t pick up on as a layman. But I would be curious to hear in your own words how you feel your viewpoints are distinct.

37:19 – Bad responses to current economic hardship

49:05 – Media recommendations for the week

This week’s links: 

The Replacement Theory—And Terrorist Practice,” by Cathy Young

Bad Policy Creates Inflation and Opens the Door to Even Worse Ideas,” by J.D. Tuccille

The Demented – and Selective – Game of Instantly Blaming Political Opponents for Mass Shootings,” by Glenn Greenwald

Buffalo Shooting Will Prompt Measures ‘To Combat Domestic Terrorism,’ Says Pelosi,” by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Send your questions to roundtable@reason.com. Be sure to include your social media handle and the correct pronunciation of your name.

Today’s sponsors:

  • This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp online therapy. People don’t always realize that physical symptoms like headaches, teeth-grinding and even digestive issues can be indicators of stress. And let’s not forget about doom-scrolling, sleeping too little, sleeping too much, undereating, and overeating. Stress shows up in all kinds of ways. And in a world that’s telling you to do more, sleep less, and grind all the time, here’s your reminder to take care of yourself, do less, and maybe try some therapy. BetterHelp is customized online therapy that offers video, phone, and even live chat sessions with your therapist, so you don’t have to see anyone on camera if you don’t want to. It’s much more affordable than in-person therapy. Give it a try and see if online therapy can help lower your stress. This podcast is sponsored by BetterHelp and The Reason Roundtable listeners get 10% off their first month at BetterHelp dot com slash roundtable. That’s BetterHelp.com/roundtable.
  • We all want to make sure our family is protected in a medical emergency. What many of us don’t realize is that health insurance won’t always cover the full amount of an emergency medical flight. Even with comprehensive coverage, you could get hit with high deductibles and co-pays. That’s why an AirMedCare Network membership is so important. As a member, if an emergency arises, you won’t see a bill for air medical transport when flown by an AMCN provider. Best of all, a membership covers your entire household for as little as $85 a year. AMCN providers are called upon to transport more than 100,000 patients a year. This is coverage no family should be without. Now, as a listener of our show, you’ll get up to a fifty dollar Visa or Amazon gift card with a new membership. Simply visit AirMedCareNetwork.com/reason and use offer code REASON.

Audio production by Ian Keyser

Assistant production by Hunt Beaty

Music: “Angeline,” by The Brothers Steve