Dean Gary Segura is interviewed by anchor Ana Kasparian of The Young Turks Network.
The Right Jobs? | KCBS Radio For its Labor Day weekend coverage, the San Francisco all-news station spoke with Chris Tilly, professor of urban planning, about recent job creation numbers and whether the United States is creating the right types of jobs for a sustainable and prosperous economy. Two news pieces based on the interview can be found here.
‘City Rising‘ documentary | KCET The Los Angeles public television station includes Gilda Haas, an urban planning expert at UCLA, in its new multi-platform documentary series about California communities that are fighting gentrification. Check local listings to see when the documentary is airing, or view it online. “The question isn’t whether everybody has the right to a house,” Haas says during a video interview. “The question is whether everybody has the right to a home.”
Mike Dukakis: From brink of the presidency to a quiet life of significance | Boston Globe Catching up with former Massachusetts governor and U.S. presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, a Globe columnist asks about Donald Trump as president. The statesman-turned-educator draws upon his experience teaching at UCLA Luskin and at Northeastern for an answer. “Most of my students in both universities — at least the ones taking my courses — think he’s crazy,’’ Dukakis said of Trump. “But he has in a funny way dramatically increased interest in public service on the part of these students. They now understand that elections matter.’’
Urban Designers Look to Nature as Solution for Flood-Prone Cities | Voice of America News Kian Goh, assistant professor of urban planning at UCLA Luskin, says flooding in Texas neighborhoods near dams and levees as a result of Hurricane Harvey is an example of America’s inability to control how developers build. “Many urban designers have acknowledged that leaving out natural systems is actually a big problem, and the reasons why these cities are flooding is because we have taken away wetlands; we have paved over rivers, we have largely ignored the interaction between physical and natural systems,” Goh says in a text piece accompanying video story.
Charles Young in Sonoma may be most overqualified school chief in U.S. | The Press Democrat Professor Emeritus of Public Policy and former UCLA Chancellor Charles Young has kept plenty busy during his retirement. His latest challenge? Running a K-12 school district in his adopted hometown. “I wouldn’t have taken a job anywhere else,” said Young, who is now 85. “I did this because I thought it needed to be done and I could do it.”
How affordable housing in LA reinforces economic segregation | KPCC and scpr.org KPPC spoke with UCLA Luskin Urban Planning expert Michael Lens for comment on reporters’ analysis of records that show nearly two-thirds of projects funded by a tax credit program were built in L.A.’s poorest neighborhoods. “You can look at it innocently and say there are plenty of cities that feel like they don’t have much of a housing supply problem,” said Lens. “But on the flip side there are many places that just don’t want low-income people living within their boundaries.”
Crenshaw Line shows transit cuts both ways in housing crisis | KPCC and scpr.org Research about gentrification by UCLA Luskin’s Paul Ong is cited in an online story and accompanying audio piece about the challenges of providing high-density housing near transit lines. For example, Metro’s future Crenshaw rail line is already raising concerns about home prices and displacement of current residents. “There’s no question. There is a link between public investment in transit and gentrification and displacement,” says Ong, a professor of urban planning.
Growing pains of incarcerated youth | BYU Radio In an interview with BYU Radio, Laura Abrams, chair of Social Welfare at UCLA Luskin, discussed the challenges for young people who have been incarcerated in the juvenile justice system and then released back into society. For those trying to leave their criminal pasts behind — which social scientists call “desistance” — the way forward is even more fraught and confusing. Abrams discussed her new book, “Everyday Desistance: The Transition to Adulthood Among Formerly Incarcerated Youth,” during the interview.
‘Linkage fee’ to spur affordable housing production clears city committee | Curbed The Los Angeles City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2017, to charge developer fees to help pay for affordable housing. In a letter to City Council members, assistant urban planning professors Paavo Monkkonen and Michael Manville warned that the linkage fee, as drafted, might backfire. They proposed four amendments, including swapping the fees paid for by commercial and residential developers, so that commercial developers pay more.
Is congestion pricing fair to the poor? | Medium.com In an op-ed written for Medium.com, Michael Manville, assistant professor of Urban Planning, addresses the question of whether charging tolls for roads is punitive for the poor. “Many low-income people do drive, and tolls may burden them. Fortunately, tolls also come with a built-in solution to this problem: revenue. Toll revenue can offset costs for low-income drivers. This is how we help low-income people afford other forms of priced public infrastructure, like heating, gas, electricity, and public transit.”
Leaving town at rush hour? Here’s how far you’re likely to get from America’s largest cities | Washington Post How far can you get in one hour if you leave at rush hour in some of the biggest cities in the U.S.? The Washington Post decided to do the math on this, with help from measurements from cellphones and traffic sensors. Los Angeles, of course, is one of the areas covered, but L.A. is “particularly tricky,” said Madeline Brozen of UCLA Luskin’s Institute of Transportation Studies, because it’s “a city of a thousand villages without a center.” She noted that jobs have cropped up in the adjoining coastal towns without affordable housing in those areas, exacerbating the problem.
In California’s economy, north trumps south for now | San Francisco Chronicle Michael Storper, professor of urban planning, is quoted in a story about how the Bay Area’s technology-centered economy is far surpassing the Los Angeles region’s lackluster economic performance. Storper likens what happened in Los Angeles to the decline of the industrial upper Midwest. “Across these larger cities, Los Angeles most closely resembles Detroit,” he said.
As inland toll lanes boom, why are new freeway lanes rarely free? | Riverside Press-Enterprise The growth of toll lanes in the Inland Empire reflects a national trend in which transportation agencies are turning to toll lanes to finance freeway improvements and manage congestion. Martin Wachs, professor emeritus of urban planning, explains why toll lanes are booming. “The only way to ensure that traffic is moving more swiftly is to charge people for it,” Wachs said. “It can always reduce congestion because you can raise the price higher and higher until some people choose not to use it.”
The federal government may inadvertently be helping MS-13 to recruit | The Economist Is the Trump administration making it easier for the notorious MS-13 gang to recruit new members? That’s the premise of a story in The Economist. Jorja Leap, adjunct professor of social welfare, says MS-13 targets undocumented immigrants because it knows they may hesitate to report crimes for fear of deportation. “They might threaten to kill an aunt, an uncle, a grandma back in El Salvador or Honduras,” Leap says.
Can the Valley’s Orange Line—the nation’s most successful BRT—get any respect? | Curbed Los Angeles There’s talk of converting the Orange Line bus rapid transit system that connects Chatsworth to North Hollywood into light rail. But Juan Matute of UCLA Luskin’s Lewis Center says the existing bus line is a success on multiple levels, moving more than 25,000 daily riders at speeds that are 30 to 50 percent quicker than conventional L.A. buses. “The Orange Line has been an extremely cost effective transportation amenity,” he says. “You could build five Orange Lines for the cost of a light rail corridor.” The article also cites research by Anne Brown, a PhD candidate in urban planning who studied neighborhood change around the Orange Line.
Should We Be Listening To Academics? | GlobeST.com GlobeSt.com continues to highlight the thinking of UCLA Luskin’s Donald Shoup, professor of urban planning. A recent piece asks for his thoughts about why local governments and lobbyists seem to miss important academic research and the potential solutions therein related to L.A.’s housing shortage. “Academics are not the most convincing people to elected officials. I think it really takes interest from journalists, who can spread ideas in simple terms,” Shoup says in the article, which can be read in full by those who register for the site.
What to know about gentrification before buying a house in LA | Curbed Los Angeles Writing about her own search for a new home, CurbedLA writer Danielle Directo-Meston worries about contributing to gentrification and seeks advice from UCLA Luskin’s Dana Cuff, director of cityLAB and professor of architecture and urban design at UCLA. “The displacement issue is absolutely critical in defining [gentrification],” Cuff says. Most people want to see their neighborhoods improve, but Cuff notes that “the problem is people are displaced unwillingly and they’re priced out of the market in one way or the other.” Also quoted in the article is Rudy Espinoza MA UP ’06: “It’s a system that helps people who already have money,” he says about the current local housing crunch, “and it’s leaving the majority of us behind.”
Mark Peterson, professor of public policy, is quoted in a Voice of America story about President Trump’s vacation in New Jersey. Discussing Trump’s proclivity for using Twitter, even while he’s on vacation, Peterson said: “I doubt that anyone is surprised that President Trump would continue his use of Twitter or has not shifted away from the tone and style that have come to define the way he usually communicates with that medium.”
Zev Yaroslavsky, director of the Los Angeles Initiative at the Luskin School, is quoted in a story about what impact the 2028 Olympics might have for L.A. Yaroslavsky provided some context for the issue by looking back at the 1984 Olympics. “In 1978, we had no term limits in the City Council,” Yaroslavsky said. “We would be held accountable for success or failure of the Games. There was a political survival instinct to protect us from a fiasco that would be detrimental to us.”
Ian Holloway, assistant professor of social welfare, is co-author of an op-ed appearing in the Take Care blog focusing on President Trump’s tweets about transgender service members. “In 417 characters, he jeopardized the livelihoods of committed soldiers serving our country at home and abroad,” Holloway and co-author Jody L. Herman of the Williams Institute wrote. “While the numbers may seem small, the impact of President Trump’s tweets could be quite large in their toll on service members, their families, and the progress that has been made toward inclusion. … The President’s decision is not supported by credible scientific research or facts.”
J.R. DeShazo, chair of public policy and director of the Luskin Center for Innovation, is quoted in this story/podcast about the debate over whether electric vehicles are responsible for as much pollution as internal combustion engines. “If driving electric vehicle reduces the number of people exposed to harmful pollution, then that improves people’s health and society’s well-being,” DeShazo said.
Prostitution Decriminalized: Rhode Island’s Experiment | Newsworks Manisha Shah, vice chair of public policy, was quoted in a story/podcast about efforts to decriminalize prostitution in Rhode Island. “I think more people should be talking about Rhode Island,” Shah said. “I think, for me, the biggest takeaway is that decriminalization really does improve public health outcomes.” For Shah, the Rhode Island experience was pure gold in terms of its research opportunities. “I was like, we can do really, really great research from, you know, from this natural experiment.”
Jorja Leap, adjunct professor of social welfare, was quoted in The Weekly Standard’s story about the MS-13 gang in Los Angeles. “It is neither completely disorganized nor highly structured,” says Leap, an anthropologist at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs who studies gangs. “When we go beyond the main story and look at processes and the dynamics and the hierarchy, MS-13 is very reminiscent of a fraternity or a start-up business.”
Mark Peterson, professor of public policy at UCLA Luskin, is quoted in a story about President Trump’s threat to pull health insurance for members of Congress. “Stripping away this subsidy would mean that members of Congress and congressional staff would be treated entirely differently from almost every other person in the nation working for a large employer,” Peterson said.
Zev Yaroslavsky, director of the Los Angeles Initiative at UCLA Luskin, is quoted in ESPN’s story about L.A. being awarded the 2028 Olympics. “[LA2024 chairman Casey Wasserman] and the mayor, they know their success will not be measured against Tokyo [in 2020] or Rio, but rather that of Peter Ueberrot,” said Yaroslavsky, who spent 40 years as an elected official in Southern California, including 19 on the L.A. City Council. “They know that, and they want to do an even better job than Ueberroth.”
In a story aboutraising the minimum wage in Los Angeles, Chris Tilly, professor of urban planning at UCLA Luskin, said the minimum wage law won’t trigger any big impact that many business owners are anticipating. Business owners in other states that passed minimum wage increases were nervous, Tilly said, but once the laws went into effect, they found ways to adapt to the increases.
An op-ed piece by UCLA Luskin’s John Villasenor and Lara Bazelon of the University of San Francisco School of Law addresses an effort by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to revise current federal policy regarding the handling of sexual assaults on college campuses. The legal scholars detail various shortcomings of the current policy and call for a major overhaul that will ensure fairness to both sides after a sexual assault accusation. “Due process must be the core component of any campus adjudicatory system,” the authors write. “Otherwise, on-campus sexual assault proceedings will continue to be rightly challenged as lacking in fairness and legitimacy.”
No discussion of urban America’s parking woes is complete without UCLA Luskin’s Donald Shoup, and Vox provides a particularly creative summary of his research on the topic in a new video produced through Mobility Lab. Meanwhile, another online news outlet, GlobeSt.com, cited Shoup in a piece about land use and zoning.
A study by UCLA Luskin’s Gregory Pierce in conjunction with C.J. Gabbe of Santa Clara University is cited in a piece about the negative impact of requiring developers to provide a set number of parking spaces for every new unit of housing. Parking should be thought of as an equity issue, according to the authors. “The provision of parking supply without associated demand can only be characterized as wasteful,” they write. “While many households might have chosen to pay for on-site parking in a free market, this proportion is surely lower than what has been mandated.” The same study is also cited by Wired in a recent story about a reduction in parking spaces in Mexico City.
Joan Ling, lecturer in urban planning at UCLA Luskin, answers five questions about the livability of major cities in a piece that offers a statistical comparison of 62 U.S. cities regarding factors such as affordability, quality of life and safety. What is the biggest mistake that people make when moving to a new place? “Not having a job lined up,” Ling says.
In a story about a young Riverside woman who is converting a school bus into a home, Vinit Mukhija, who chairs UCLA Urban Planning, says the small home concept has evolved beyond its roots in environmental activism. Although the overall cost of such homes is low, Mukhija explains that necessary customizations can lead to a cost per square foot that is higher than in a standard home.
The New York Times turned to UCLA Luskin’s Jim Newton as part of its coverage of the decision to release O.J. Simpson on parole. “When I first started covering the LAPD in the early 1990s, officers would not hide their racism, even from a reporter from the Los Angeles Times,” said Newton, who covered Simpson’s murder trial and 1995 acquittal. “The short code for a spousal abuse episode involving a black couple was N.H.I., which stood for ‘No Humans Involved.’ That was something they transmitted to each other on police radio.”
In its coverage of the suicide death of Chester Bennington from the band Linkin Park, the San Jose-based news outlet repeats an earlier quote to the Guardian from UCLA Luskin’s Mark Kaplan. “Suicide is a big problem, but it’s under-resourced and under-funded,” said Kaplan, a professor of social welfare.
Writing together in an op-ed piece, three UCLA Luskin urban planning experts argue that the best way to address Los Angeles’ housing affordability crisis is to tax land, not development. The mayor’s plan to finance subsidized affordable housing with a “linkage fee” is well-intentioned, write Michael Manville, Paavo Monkkonen and Michael Lens. But it won’t raise as much money or produce as much benefit as would a nominal land tax. “Land taxes put the responsibility for solving our housing crisis where it belongs — on every property owner in the city,” the article notes.
In an Associated Press story picked up by multiple news outlets, UCLA Luskin’s Laura Abrams talks about the lack of consistency in a California practice that impacts juvenile offenders. In an effort to keep juveniles out of detention centers, judges can instead sentence the youths to wear GPS ankle monitors and abide by rules set by probation officials. But those rules vary by county, and some young offenders end up back behind bars for minor offenses as a result. Centralized probation systems in some smaller states ensure that juvenile offenders follow the same rules, said Abrams, a professor and chair of Social Welfare. “I’m not sure disparities are this large in other states, partly because California is so diverse,” she said.
In an op-ed column for the Los Angeles Times, UCLA Luskin’s Zev Yaroslavsky and co-author Salam Al-Marayati write: We are an American Jew and an American Muslim. Because our communities are well versed in the pain of discriminatory and exclusionary policies, we are fiercely committed to protecting, defending and upholding the American democratic ideals under threat by President Trump’s travel ban. … Muslims and Jews together are derived from the stock of Abraham. Drawing on our shared roots, we look on with trepidation at the risks facing our country.”
In a Slate story about how the only thing that Bay Area tenant activists hate more than high rent is each other, UCLA Luskin’s Michael Manville is mentioned in a discussion about housing growth in Los Angeles. “Everyone wants more affordable housing,” Manville, a professor of urban planning who says the fee is a bad idea, told the Los Angeles Times. “On this policy issue, there just isn’t a clear consensus on whether this is the way to get there.”
In a Los Angeles Times story about how water is looming as the defining economic problem in the coming years, UCLA Luskin’s J.R. DeShazo talks about the lack of a state program to guarantee the affordability of water for all California residents. “We have lifeline rates for electricity, weatherization, even telephones,” says DeShazo of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, “but we do not have a statewide program that ensures that people have affordable water.” The recent drought, he observes, “has thrown that need into relief.”
In a story about the tactics of President Trump when dealing with other world leaders, UCLA Luskin’s Mark A. Peterson compares him to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who also lacked political experience before taking office. Eisenhower “knew how to compromise, negotiate with people. Trump has none of that capacity,” said Peterson, an expert on the interaction among the president, Congress and interest groups. “That’s going to be a problem with Congress [and] the G-20,” a group of world leaders. “Already our allies are feeling pretty uncomfortable about his positions and approaches.”
Fact check: MS-13 gang members deported ‘by thousands’ | Washington Post UCLA Luskin’s Jorja Leap, whose research focuses on gang activity, said conviction and deportation of MS-13 members can take up to two years to build, and warned of rhetoric that makes it seem like deportations can happen overnight. “I was at a community gathering [last week]. No one is being swept up and deported. In the traditional hot spots with gang activity, there’s nothing going on,” Leap said. “They’re acting like there are these overnight deportations of thousands of people. The law does not operate that way.” (Also: The Atlantic)
DWP contract could spark costly demands | Los Angeles Times
“Every time you give a pay raise to Water and Power employees, you know you’re going to get a knock on your door from the city employees, saying, ‘Us too,’” said Zev Yaroslavsky, director of the Los Angeles Initiative at UCLA Luskin. Yaroslavsky has served both on the City Council and the county Board of Supervisors.
Research by UCLA Luskin’s Mark Kaplan is cited in a roundup story about gun violence statistics and the likelihood that children are involved. The story includes quotes from a presentation by Kaplan on the topic that took place in January 2017.
UCLA Luskin’s Jorja Leap provides history and context in a story about a South Los Angeles church that has become a gathering spot for a local gang. The Playboys began in Central Los Angeles in the 1950s, she said, and later fanned out across the city. “They’re a fairly entrenched group,” Leap said, adding that the gang has ties to the Mexican Mafia. “You have youth who are looking for their identity, and they are drawn by the reputation of the gang.”
In an Ask the Experts section of a story about teenage drivers, UCLA Luskin’s Madeline Brozen responds to several questions. “Set a good example all the time for your kids,” Brozen advises parents of teen drivers. “Do not use your cellphone while driving — show them you should pull over if you need to use a device while driving.” She also notes that parents tent to focus on how their children are driving but “neglect to observe and reflect on how their own driving behavior may be influencing their kids.”
In a commentary piece, Brozen writes about growing congestion on roadways in the Minneapolis area, where she grew up. She point out that traffic can be a byproduct of a strong local economy and suggests that it’s time for the region to begin planning in earnest for its transportation future.
Donald Shoup, a research professor of urban planning at UCLA Luskin, said a bill under consideration in Sacramento is about giving low-income Californians a break. “It’s just bringing traffic fines into line with everything else we do about helping poor people,” Shoup said.
“Everyone wants more affordable housing,” said Michael Manville, a professor of urban planning at UCLA who objects to the fee. “On this policy issue, there just isn’t a clear consensus on whether this is the way to get there.”
It will likely take more than a decade for the new casuals to land a union position, said Chris Tilly, who studies labor markets at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. “It used to be that you were a casual for maybe three to five years and then you moved up into the permanent full-time ranks. At this point, people have been waiting a dozen years or more,” he said.
Donald Shoup, a professor in urban planning at UCLA Luskin who has received national attention for his parking-reform advocacy, supports imposing parking fees to solve capacity woes. Transit leaders should study local commuters’ habits to determine the right price to free up space, but still keep demand high, he said.
Five years ago, the California legislature passed a landmark law guaranteeing the right to “safe, clean and accessible water.” That provoked a practical question that has always dogged the noble ideals of the right-to-water movement: how does a state government or municipal utility ensure clean and affordable water for all? The Water Board contracted with UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation to run an economic analysis and help develop the options for the program structure. The Luskin Center came up with four options that range from simple to intricate.
Laura Abrams, professor of Social Welfare at UCLA Luskin, provides insight for a story about legislation introduced to the California State Senate aimed at juvenile justice reform. “I never quite understood the philosophy of charging families for an involuntary confinement. To charge a person is just adding salt to a wound,” said Abrams in support of SB190, which would eliminate court and administrative fees for juvenile offenders. Abrams also noted the significant positive impact of another bill, SB 395, which would require minors to talk to lawyers before waiving legal rights during questioning by police officers.
In a brief article in Popular Science, Michael Manville, assistant professor of urban planning, suggested that reducing congestion is the most effective way of clearing parking spaces. “We all want to park on the street. It’s so cheap,” said Manville. To remedy the low supply and high demand for prime parking spaces, Manville proposed instituting surge pricing during peak times.
A Sacramento ABC TV affiliate recently covered the housing affordability crisis in many of California’s cities and looked to Paavo Monkkonen, associate professor of urban planning, for insight. “We have small cities — in many cases in a big metropolitan area — where there’s a collective-action problem … so they’re fighting development and pushing it elsewhere,” he said. Homeowners typically would not resist construction projects if it meant keeping land prices high, Monkkonen noted.
Local elections that included some L.A. City Council representatives opting out before the ends of their terms worried residents in some districts. “I think there is just a yearning in that district for some longer-term representation than they’ve gotten,” said Zev Yaroslavksy, director of the Los Angeles Initiative at UCLA Luskin and former member of both the City Council and County Board of Supervisors. “When people aren’t around for a long time, there isn’t a lot of long-term thinking,” Yaroslavsky said. “Right or wrong, in politics you try do things you can cut the ribbon on while you’re still in office.”
Paul Ong, director of the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, and his study, “1992 Revisited,” was included in a story about a gathering to reflect on the 25th anniversary of the 1992 civil unrest in Los Angeles, which included a teach-in and a candlelight vigil. Ong’s study tracked socioeconomic changes between the time of the civil unrest and the present. “This will require a comprehensive, inclusive and coordinated effort, one that cuts across silos and institutional layers, and guided by a common vision anchored in a commitment to social justice,” Ong said of efforts to address the continued economic marginalization of South Los Angeles.
In an Op-Ed Piece by contributor Thomas B. Edsall that includes reaction from policy scholars around the country, UCLA Luskin’s Mark A. Peterson provides his perspective on the passage by the U.S. House of a bill to roll back the Affordable Care Act. Peterson’s thoughts from an email exchange are quoted, in part, to say, “The Medicaid cuts and caps would withdraw coverage from large swaths of the poor, the working poor, and lower-paid working class individuals who do not have access to affordable employer-sponsored insurance.”
Zev Yaroslavsky, director of the Los Angeles Initiative at UCLA Luskin, was recently a guest on KPCC’s Airtalk with Larry Mantle to discuss proposed changes to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. “This is about structure, not about the people [on the Board]. The public suffers when you have to govern a large governmental entity like L.A. County by committee,” said Yaroslavsky in support of the addition of an elected chief executive of L.A. County and two more spots on the Board of Supervisors. He favors the changes to the California constitution, but Yaroslavsky expressed concerns about the decision resting with the Legislature and not those elected in Los Angeles County.
Brian D. Taylor, UCLA professor of urban planning and director of the Institute of Transportation Studies, offered his expertise to a USC Annenberg Media piece on Los Angeles bus delays. Taylor advised that knowing when the next bus arrives is even more important to riders than is a schedule. This has led to the development of next bus indicators and apps. Overall, Taylor deemed public transport in the U.S. as inferior — but even if there are chronic delays, many who ride buses have no other option.
“The decision to participate in a protest appears to be driven by normal people taking cues from each other, not from elites,” according to a Phys Org item that quotes from Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld’s paper analyzing social media activity during the Arab Spring uprising. Steinert-Threlkeld, assistant professor of public policy at UCLA Luskin, also talks about his research, which may be the first large-scale, systematic evidence of individual behaviors in each country during the Arab Spring. “This paper demonstrates the contributions big data can make to understanding processes of social influence in social networks.”
In a recent interview with Popular Science about Elon Musk’s proposed tunnel system to alleviate dense traffic conditions, Michael Manville, assistant professor of urban studies at UCLA Luskin, expressed doubt about the viability of the idea. “Politically, we can barely build a subway tunnel,” Manville said. Although it is an attractive idea, Manville does not believe the proper technology exists to realize such a plan. Other traffic-easing ideas, such as dynamic tolling on roads, can be more immediately feasible and cost-effective, he said.
CNN reporter Tal Kopan spoke with Jorja Leap, adjunct professor of Social Welfare at UCLA Luskin, about Persident Trump’s efforts to go after the MS-13 gang. “This attitude that there’s a brand new threat and it’s new and it’s all immigration, there is not a piece of that narrative that is accurate,” said Leap, an anthropologist and longtime gang researcher at UCLA.
The communities most affected by the L.A. Riots have seen little, if any, economic growth during the past two-and-a-half decades, according to a study by UCLA Luskin researchers. In some neighborhoods, unemployment and poverty have worsened despite efforts by community leaders to boost economic development. “People who are in the neighborhood — the residents, small business owners, the churches — they ought to be part of the process in defining what we ought to be doing and how we prioritize the use of our resources,” Paul Ong, director of UCLA Luskin’s Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, said.
In a conversation with Brad Pomerance of Charter Local Edition, Zev Yaroslavsky, director of the Los Angeles Initiative at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, discussed the results of the Quality of Life Index released earlier this year by the L.A. Initiative. The interview focused on the results of the survey revealing the serious concerns L.A. residents have about deportation.
Irvine’s Great Park is an unusual case in the modern era, said Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, professor of urban planning and associate provost of academic planning, in a Register story about the long-running development project. Irvine is working with private entities to find revenue sources to build and maintain Great Park, while keeping it open to everyone, she said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Irvine pulls it off because it’s a wealthy community,” Loukaitou-Sideris said. “It would be a great example for other cities.”
In an NPR story about a California bill designed to use the Cap-and- Trade system to control other pollutants, the efficacy and impacts of this possible increase in emissions regulation were discussed. “This is the first time that the design of a greenhouse gas policy has been manipulated in the service of trying to solve another problem,” advised J.R. DeShazo, professor of public policy, urban planning and civil and environmental engineering. DeShazo would rather see stronger local regulations instead of an expansion of current policy to cover something it was not designed to do.
“Gangs do not flourish because of weak immigration policies. Gangs flourish because of economic disenfranchisement,” cautioned UCLA Luskin lecturer Jorja Leap in a story fact-checking President Donald Trump’s tweet about the supposed rise of MS-13 gangs under the Obama Administration. “It’s no surprise that gangs are developing in Central America. As long as people are poor we’re going to have gangs,” Leap said in the factcheck.org story, which details the history of MS-13 in the United States and uses the expert advice of Leap and others to gauge the tweet’s factual basis.
In an interview with Canada’s CBC News, Mark A. Peterson, chair and professor in the Department of Public Policy, talks about the multifaceted role of Jared Kushner in the White House. “Jared Kushner seems to be providing a significant oversight over a very large number of issues, on both the domestic and foreign side. He’s supposed to be the point person on the Middle East peace process; the point person on our relations with China; now he’s in Iraq,” Peterson said in a story posted April 4, 2017. Peterson questioned the wisdom of giving such an expansive role to Kushner, a political neophyte. “Now he’s going to be running this office of American innovation? We had whole commissions in the past where the person was running that and not anything else,” Peterson noted.
In a story about the rush to develop driverless cars and takeout food delivery robots, the Journal talks about sidewalk robots that will soon be tested on the streets of San Francisco. There are still some obstacles and skeptics, however. “I’m not sure what pressing problem these robots are supposed to solve for us,” says Michael Manville, assistant professor of urban planning. If the goal is to ease traffic congestion, Manville offers other means by which cities could tackle this problem, including tolls on busy roads or higher gas taxes, plus improvements to bicycle lanes.
In a story by UCLA Magazine, Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, professor of urban planning and associate dean of the Luskin School, and Paul Ong, professor of urban planning, social welfare and Asian American studies, shed light on the ramifications of the expansion of transit in Los Angeles. Along with urban planning graduates Eugene Kim Ph.D. ’00 and Chancee Martorell M.A. ’93, the researchers talk about the toll on vulnerable neighborhoods and communities that have undergone rapid transformations as a result of gentrification and population displacement.
Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999, and so have sales, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Officials have come up with new guidelines regarding palliative care and the safest ways of controlling intractable pain and setting a required opioid dosage. However, Barbara Nelson, professor emerita of public policy, social welfare, urban planning and political science, writes that the dosage recommendations in the CDC guideline do not do justice to patients in need of palliative care and higher dosage of opioids. The CDC could simply resolve the matter by producing “an appendix for all prescribers, not just primary care doctors, that would help them provide fully adequate pain relief to palliative care patients with life-long pain rather than near-death pain,” Nelson suggests.
One district’s answer to the Bay Area’s affordable housing crisis could also mitigate teacher attrition rates. Casa del Maestro, a project in recruiting and retaining teachers through housing accommodation in Santa Clara Unified School District’s 822, has set a precedent that other school districts could follow. The passage of the 2016 Teacher Housing Act, enabling districts to provide low-income housing subsidies to teachers and district employees, has raised red flags for some, however. “This pick and choose mentality about professions that we value and professions that we don’t seems kind of crazy,” says Paavo Monkkonen, associate professor of urban planning at UCLA Luskin, in a story about the issue. Affordable housing subsidies are limited, and most teachers might not not qualify for subsidized units. The easier thing to do, Monkkonen said, is to ask an obvious question: “Why not pay them more?”
The proliferation of cars guarantees a convenient way to commute, but free parking has become a major conundrum for government officials to provide. Donald Shoup, distinguished research professor in the Department of Urban Planning, says in a story by The Economist that the negative outcomes of parking requirements include high costs to meet parking minimums, thus hindering housing redevelopment. The scarcity of street parking with permits is another major issue touched on by Shoup. In tiny cities where the demand for parking is high such as Westwood village in Los Angeles, drivers cruising around for spaces has led to traffic congestion and air pollution, damaging our environment.
Mark Peterson, chair and professor in the Department of Public Policy, is quoted in a story about how 44 Democrats sent a letter to President Trump urging him to drop his opposition to the Affordable Care Act and join them in making adjustments to it. “It’s at this point a political strategy more than a policy strategy,” Peterson told the Monitor. “For President Trump to accept this invitation would, number one, mean that he would have to declare that he wasn’t going to do something that he made big promises about. And two, he’d have to work up a coalition built almost entirely around Democrats and some moderate Republicans.”
Donald Shoup, Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Urban Planning, is quoted in a story about how reducing the number of parking spaces west of the 405 might reduce congestion. Shoup argues that cities should eliminate free parking and roll back off-street parking requirements because more parking only contributes to automobile dependence. “The only people who should pay for parking are the drivers,” Shoup told The Argonaut. “It just makes the city worse, because we have the worst traffic congestion and the worst pollution in the country.”
Sarah Reber, assistant professor in the Department of Public Policy, writes a column for Econofact.org about the pros and cons of a school voucher program touted by President Donald Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. “The effects of any new voucher programs the federal government might fund — who benefits educationally and financially and who may be harmed — will depend critically on how such programs are designed,” Reber wrote.
Donald Shoup, distinguished research professor in the Department of Urban Planning, is quoted in a Washington Post story about how some employers are trying to create incentives to encourage workers to find a more sustainable mode of transportation. “People who walk or ride the bus get nothing. It is unfair,” Shoup said.
Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, professor in the Department of Urban Planning, is quoted in a BBC story about how benches are starting to appear in urban centers — part of a movement called tactical urbanism. “American cities have an excess of roadway space,” says Loukaitou-Sideris. The street seats movement aims to reclaim some of that road for the pedestrian. The seats “make public space more vibrant,” she added.
In a recent news article published by the Los Angeles Times about the recent rise in violent crime in Los Angeles, Jorja Leap, an adjunct professor of Social Welfare at the UCLA School of Public Affairs and director at the Health and Social Justice Partnership, said, “People don’t want things to go back to the way they were.” She cited finding employment and deportation fears as more of an issue for the residents of South L.A. than crime.
In a recent op-ed to the Los Angeles Times Herbie Huff, a research associate and communications manager at the UCLA Institute for Transportation Studies and the Lewis Center, said, “Nobody likes paying for anything they are used to getting for free, and freeway tolls are no exception. But why are we willing to pay for electricity, gasoline or air travel, but not for roads?” Huff argued for increased use of “dynamic tolling” and High Occupancy/Toll (HOT) Lanes on the congested highways of Los Angeles.
“Anyone who thinks otherwise is living in La La Land,” says Zev Yaroslavsky, director of the L.A. Initiative at UCLA Luskin and a former Los Angeles city councilman and county supervisor, in a story about whether President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric potentially threaten L.A.’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics. The International Olympic Committee will decide between Paris and L.A. this September. “I don’t think it’s fair to say L.A.’s bid is dead in the water,” Yaroslavsky says. “I think it is fair to say the bid has been dealt a blow not of its own making.”
In recent weeks, discussion of Measure S has escalated much like traffic builds up around the city. The rhetoric regarding the pros and cons of the measure are tackled in an op-ed piece by Martin Wachs, distinguished professor emeritus of urban planning at UCLA Luskin. He says that Measure S is unlikely to mitigate L.A. traffic congestion; in fact, denser development helps traffic because it reduces urban sprawl. “Voters should not be fooled by specious arguments that it will reduce traffic congestion. This would require a set of measures not addressed on the ballot,” Wachs writes.
The spirit of NIMBYism that permeated recent protests related to the North Dakota Access Pipeline is reaching Los Angeles for a somewhat different reason. With Measure S on the March ballot, Paavo Monkkonen, associate professor of urban planning at UCLA Luskin, is cited in an article related to his recent white paper about the negative impacts of NIMBYism on housing developments and affordable housing. It can lead to serious economic instability, as well as exacerbating income and spatial inequality, Monkkonen writes. He also suggests a set of policy recommendations to address the issue and enhance public awareness of what NIMBYism really is.
In a live interview with HLN host Michaela Pereira, Mike Manville, assistant professor of Urban Planning at UCLA Luskin, weighs in on a plan by Elon Musk to start digging a tunnel under Los Angeles to ease traffic congestion. Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, said he plans to start digging the tunnel in a month but Manville says that the proposed plan isn’t very practical and probably wouldn’t help traffic.
The judiciary has often checked presidential authority in foreign affairs, security and immigration, UCLA Luskin’s Mark Peterson tells the Economist in a story that focuses on the court battles that followed the President’s executive order barring banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. Immigration is the area “most prone to such a judicial role,” Peterson says. Although all presidents encounter some resistance from judges, so far only Andrew Jackson has challenged the authority of the courts, Peterson notes.
In a story about a decline in overall ridership on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s bus and rail system, UCLA Luskin’s Michael Manville talks about the opening of four new rail extensions in Los Angeles since 2009. Although rail ridership has soared 21 percent since then, bus trips — a much larger share of overall ridership — has dropped 18 percent. “We’ve made a lot of investments, and we’re going forward to make a lot more investments,” said Manville, an assistant professor of urban planning. Metro may have lost a small group of dedicated riders who formerly took transit for multiple trips per day, he said. Such riders can have an outsize impact on overall ridership. Manville, an expert on transportation issues, was also recently quoted by Real Deal magazine and its website in a story that looked at parking requirements in big cities.
Research by UCLA Luskin’s Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris that shows gender is the single most significant factor explaining transit-based fear and anxiety is cited by the website in a story about women’s transportation safety around the world . In car-centric Los Angeles, Loukaitou-Sideris says, gendered harassment is more common on buses, which draw ridership primarily from low-income communities rather than “the well-to-do areas of the city. This is affecting a subgroup of the city. Often they’re immigrant women,” she says. “They don’t report it to the police.”
In a piece responding to White House efforts to block access to the United States by citizens from seven countries, UCLA Luskin’s John Villasenor notes America’s reputation as a global leader in technology innovation and mentions tech companies co-founded by immigrants such as Google, Yahoo, eBay and Facebook. Villasenor, professor of electrical engineering, public policy and management, concludes by writing that he understands the desire to keep Americans safe from terrorist attacks. “But that mission can be pursued with tools that are far less blunt than the recent executive order, which among its many other consequences will lead to less technology talent in American universities and companies, less technology innovation, and fewer job opportunities for all Americans, whether native born or naturalized.”
Today’s technology is an advantage for organizers of protest rallies, says Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld, a UCLA Luskin assistant professor who studies mass protests and authoritarian regimes. “Like almost all things computer based, it speeds up the process,” he told Wired magazine. The varied nature of the impromptu protests against policies announced by President Donald Trump also may be an indication that such rallies will become a routine aspect of his term in office. “This is a pretty new phenomenon,” Steinert-Threlkeld says of the multi-pronged approach that organizers have taken. “If anti-Trump protests are driven by sub-issues, then that has the potential to last much longer.”
In a study of rural communities in five countries, researchers found that women provide far more hours caring for others in their daily lives than do their male counterparts. Leyla Karimli, assistant professor in the Department of Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, is lead author of the report published by the UK-based international organization Oxfam. “Care work is essential for personal well-being and for maintaining societies,” stated Karimli and her co-authors. “But across the world, it is overwhelmingly the preserve of women, and it often restricts their opportunities for education, employment, politics and leisure.”
In an op-ed column in Zocalo, Daniel J.B. Mitchell, a professor in the UCLA Luskin Department of Public Policy, argues that financier Warren Buffett’s 1987 proposal for a market-based system based on the cap-and-trade arrangements currently being used to control greenhouse gases and other pollutants might be the best solution to our trade troubles with China. “In short, it’s time to dust off the Buffett plan of three decades ago before the U.S. embarks on a road to frictions with China and other trade partners,” Mitchell said.
In a story about the Women’s March on Washington planned for Jan. 21, the day after the inauguration, Mark Peterson, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy, is quoted as saying that, unlike a protest march after the election of George W. Bush in 2001, the Jan. 21 march appears to be focused entirely on the incoming president. He also said that logistical challenges, including heightened security during presidential inaugurations, could hamper the women’s march.
In a story about how immigrants are beginning to change their public transit habits, writer Tanvi Misra cites a graphic presented at a 2016 transit conference by Evelyn Blumenberg, professor of Urban Planning. “It (the graphic) shows that immigrants experienced the highest decline in transit ridership (16 percent to 10 percent) between 1980 and 2014, whereas the trend for other groups is more or less flat.,” Misra wrote.
In a column for The New York Times opinion page, John Villasenor, a professor in the Department of Public Policy, joins Nancy Chi Cantalupo, a professor at Barry University in Miami, in debating the question of whether there should be a higher standard for campus sexual assault. Villasenor makes the point that “Title IX tribunals that have proliferated on U.S. college campuses since 2011 have been enormously problematic.”