By Adeney Zo
UCLA Luskin Student Writer
“It all started with one conversation,” explained Wendy Greuel, former Los Angeles City Controller, proud UCLA graduate and founder of the UCLA Luskin School's annual City Hall Day.
This one conversation eventually transformed from paper to reality, and the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs' City Hall Day has become an annual event for the past nine years. This event allows Luskin students from all three departments to spend a day in L.A. City Hall, engaging in current issues while simultaneously learning about the workings of city government.
In honor of Greuel’s role in starting this project, a group of students, alumni and professionals, along with Dean Franklin D. Gilliam Jr., gathered together on Wednesday afternoon for an appreciation luncheon.
During the luncheon, Greuel emphasized how her first trip to LA City Hall “sparked” a desire to become increasingly active in government and politics, and she hoped to similarly stimulate students’ interests for a field that may hold some negative connotations within modern-day contexts.
Greuel’s career in public service can be traced back to high school, when she won Mayor Tom Bradley’s Youth Leadership Award and was subsequently offered a position on the Mayor’s Youth Council. During her time at UCLA, Greuel continued her work in the Mayor’s office, first as an intern and then as a staff member. She went on to become City Controller and was a candidate in the LA Mayor election of 2013.
Dean Gilliam also spoke briefly about the importance of the Public Affairs Day emphasizing that while the School can provide the academic learning in the classroom, the students also need experience applying this knowledge to the outside world. The UCLA Luskin City Hall Day provides the opportunity every year to enrich students’ learning through direct interaction with LA City Hall, and this valuable experience is available much in thanks to Wendy Greuel’s efforts and guidance throughout the years.
the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
Founded in 1994 and dedicated in 2011, the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs is a leading institution for research and scholarship in the areas of public policy, social welfare and urban planning. Based in the global metropolis of Los Angeles, UCLA Luskin develops creative solutions and innovative leaders that confront challenges in immigration, drug policy, prison reform, transportation, the environment, and other areas vital to the continued health and well-being of our global society.