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John Mirisch
John Mirisch currently serves as Vice Mayor on the Beverly Hills City Council, where he has the distinction of being the first Swedish citizen to ever serve on the Council. John grew up in Beverly Hills as a 4th generation resident, having graduated from both Hawthorne and Beverly Hills High School. Working in international film distribution, John lived in Europe for over 20 years, where he regularly took the subway to work in such cities as Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Munich and his other home town, Stockholm. As Mayor, John created the Sunshine Task Force to increase transparency and public participation in local government.

Entries by John Mirisch

Astroturf Environmentalists: Anatomy of a Bad Bill

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2015 | 1:20 PM

Since state government severely restricts the ability for non-Big 5 legislators to be able to think for themselves and effect actual change, it seems that a major goal of Sacramento politicians is to get their name on as many pieces of legislation as possible. The Sacramento version of Dodd-Frank and...

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The Mendoza Line on Transparency: Bringing Darkness into Labor Negotiations

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2015 | 6:31 PM

Earlier this month the LA Times published an editorial with the headline "Los Angeles could use more COIN." COIN stands for Civic Openness In Negotiations and it's a transparency ordinance that a number of cities, including Beverly Hills, have adopted. The ordinance aims at increasing transparency and public...

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The Big Refugee Picture: Seven Conclusions From a Swedish-American Perspective

(6) Comments | Posted September 7, 2015 | 9:40 PM

The heart-rending image of Alan Kurdi, the 3-year-old whose dead body washed up on shore, had to be one of the saddest pictures anyone has ever seen. There is absolutely no meaning in his death, but let's take this one terrible picture, as black and as difficult as it is,...

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The Sweden Democrats: How to Deal with a One-Issue Party

(27) Comments | Posted August 31, 2015 | 11:02 PM

They're now up to over 20 percent or maybe even 25 percent. The Sweden Democrats might be a "one-issue party" and there may be numerous people who agree that there are more important issues in Sweden, but evidently there are enough Swedes who think that the immigration debate should be...

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The Ojnare Forest: Sweden's Hetch Hetchy?

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2015 | 11:39 AM

(The original Swedish text follows the English translation).

In the ongoing debate about the future of the Ojnare Forest on the Swedish island of Gotland, Anders Ferbe, head of the metalworkers' union, suggested a compromise. In an article on Swedish public broadcaster SVT's website, he talks about a...

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The Swedish Government's Teddy Roosevelt Moment

(1) Comments | Posted August 26, 2015 | 3:59 AM

(The original Swedish text appears at the end of the article).

Beverly Hills, Aug. 26, 2015. Earlier this year we were forced by the State of California to reduce our water usage by more than 30%. We have taken a number of different measures to reach this goal. It hasn't...

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In a Post-Deal Iran: What Now?

(3) Comments | Posted August 25, 2015 | 6:54 PM

What now?

The Iran deal will stand, at least until the next presidential election. Despite disapproval by a non-partisan majority of both houses of Congress, not to mention the American people, because of the incredibly low threshold to sustain a veto, not to mention White House arm-twisting and purely partisan...

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Judge Judy for President

(48) Comments | Posted August 11, 2015 | 3:51 PM

Now that the draft Elizabeth Warren movement has petered out, I'd like to propose an alternative. A better alternative. Her name is Judy Sheindlin, and if you like Elizabeth Warren's intelligence, Donald Trump's straight talk and Bernie Sanders's sense of fairness, you're going to love Judy Sheindlin, aka Judge Judy.

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Worlds Apart on Kathryn Steinle: When Political Opportunism Reigns Supreme

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 4:28 PM

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN. The small Swedish Jewish Museum is tucked away on a side street. Discreet signage instructs would-be visitors to push a button which activates a camera, so they can be screened before they are granted entry. The museum's permanent exhibition fills one fairly small room. Most of the objects...

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Ready for Condi (as VP)

(1) Comments | Posted May 5, 2015 | 11:56 AM

I'm not ready for Hillary. I'm not ready for a coronation. I believe -- as Barbara Bush is reported to have said at some point -- there are more families in this country than the Bushes and Clintons.


But America has increasingly become a country of brand equity and,...

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Water-wise in Beverly Hills

(3) Comments | Posted April 17, 2015 | 11:08 AM

With headlines like "Big water users like Beverly Hills, Newport hit hardest by Brown order," Beverly Hills is being portrayed in the media, including the LA Times, as a water hog in our drought-stricken state. Beyond such headlines, this impression is only strengthened by such false information as...

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Through the Looking-Glass With Obama on Iran

(0) Comments | Posted April 13, 2015 | 8:05 PM

It would be a grave mistake to ignore the Holocaust in any serious discussion of the P5+1 Iranian nuclear "deal."

Let's be clear. Godwin's law is not applicable here for one simple reason: this isn't an apples-to-oranges situation, in which the bludgeon of the Holocaust is used to try to...

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High Time to Hold Metro to "One Person, One Vote"

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2014 | 4:13 PM

Last week the Southwest Corridor, representing the South Bay and Westside cities, selected the sub-region's Metro Board representative for the next four years. Mayor James Butts of Inglewood overwhelmingly defeated incumbent, Santa Monica council member Pam O'Connor, who had served on the Metro Board for 13 years without ever having...

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NIMBYs vs. Devstos and Denzos in Malibu

(4) Comments | Posted October 29, 2014 | 12:22 PM

It was the NIMBYs vs. the Devstos and Denzos on Sunday night in Malibu. A battle for the ages, defining the soul of California's most famous beachfront town. (For the acronymically challenged, NIMBY stands for "not in my backyard," while Devsto is short for "developer stooge" and Denzo for "density...

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UK's Pro-Union 'Better Together' Unveils Future Plans

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2014 | 12:00 AM

For all of us Californians fascinated by the recent Scottish independence referendum and the developments in the UK, the following article from the "Westminster Daily News," which, unfortunately, is not widely available in the Golden State, gives us an inside view of history-in-the-making. "Divide or unite" remains the question, and...

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The 'J' in LA County's Measure J Stands for 'Joke' -- And It's on Us

(22) Comments | Posted October 31, 2012 | 4:59 PM

Oscar Wilde once described a cynic as somebody who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. So what do you call someone who knows the purported "value" of something without discussing the price?

How about "an L.A.-area politician"? The L.A.-area politicians and political hacks who are...

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The Fullerton Police Saga: From Reality TV to Reality?

(0) Comments | Posted September 27, 2012 | 4:20 AM

I don't generally make it a habit of watching other cities' council meetings. It's not a question of lack of interest; I just don't have the time. Initially, I found it a bit surprising that there seem to be a devoted number of people who watch our own council meetings....

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3 Characters in Search of Pension Reform

(2) Comments | Posted September 9, 2012 | 11:45 AM

We've all had a little bit of time now to digest Governor Brown's pension reform proposal, along with the various reactions. As an elected official who has recognized the need for systemic change when it comes to municipal salaries and benefits and has pushed for it since being elected in...

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Thanks to Kelly Thomas, Fullerton's Future Is Now

(6) Comments | Posted July 25, 2012 | 9:11 AM

Kelly Thomas changed everything.

As someone who believes that local government is the best form of democracy -- after all, it's the closest to the people -- I recognize that it can be among the most frustrating forms of government when it fails us. We almost have come to expect...

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Fault-y Towers: Don't Mention the Core!

(6) Comments | Posted November 21, 2011 | 2:03 PM

The initial Metro Century City seismological studies were released in October. To nobody's surprise, they showed that it would be "impossible" for Metro to build a station along Santa Monica Boulevard, but "perfectly safe" to build the station on Constellation, a few hundred feet to the South.


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