Alisa Belinkoff Katz

ALISA BELINKOFF KATZ served for nearly 30 years as Chief Deputy to Los Angeles City Councilmember and County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. Among her many accomplishments in that position, she served as

— Leader of the team that envisioned, designed and won Board of Supervisors approval for the Zev Yaroslavsky Family Support Center, an award-winning $175 million county building in Van Nuys. The Center houses seven county departments, offering clients integrated, “one-stop shopping” for much-needed social services (2012)

— Author of numerous ballot measures that have improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Los Angeles City and County residents, including the Safe Neighborhood Parks Proposition (Prop A) that generated over $1 billion for parks and park improvements (1996); and Measure B, “Preservation of Trauma Centers and Emergency Medical Services; Bioterrorism Response,” which saved the county’s emergency room and trauma center system (2002)

— Manager of the effort to design and build the Santa Monica Boulevard Transitway in West Los Angeles, working with the Metropolitan Transportation Agency’s design team, neighborhood associations and property owners to resolve complex issues associated with the reconfiguration of this iconic roadway (2007)

Since retiring from county service in 2014, Alisa has served as Associate Director of the “Los Angeles Initiative” at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. In this capacity she co-authors the UCLA Luskin Los Angeles County Quality of Life Index Survey, which measures personal satisfaction with life in our area. She also co-teaches courses in both the Luskin School and the UCLA Department of History, exploring leadership, public policy and the development of the Los Angeles region. She is a Fellow of the UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy where she served as lead author of a history of rent control in Los Angeles.

Her academic credentials include a Bachelor of Arts in History from Brandeis University and a Master of Arts in Urban Studies from Occidental College. Between degrees, she participated in the Coro Foundation Fellows Program in Los Angeles.

Karen Kaufmann

Karen Kaufmann is a lecturer in the department of Public Policy in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.  She received her Ph.D. in political science from UCLA and was an Associate Professor in Government and Politics at the University of Maryland before returning to California.

Kaufmann’s research on urban politics explores the nature of power in American cities and the ever-present challenges that political leaders face with respect to enacting policies that aid the poor. Kaufmann (with collaborator Thomas Holbrook) was awarded a $750,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study race relations and political behavior in American cities.  Her work examines local politics in the context of diversity, with an eye to the roles that competing interests and incentives play in undermining successful minority coalitions. She is the author of numerous articles and two books — “The Urban Voter: Group Conflict and Mayoral Voting Behavior in American Cities” (University of Michigan Press) and “Unconventional Wisdom: Facts and Myths about American Voters” (with John R. Petrocik and Daron R. Shaw, Oxford University Press).

Kaufmann teaches classes on urban poverty and public policy, urban politics and U.S. housing policy.

 

SELECTED BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS

The Urban Voter: Group Conflict and Mayoral Voting Behavior in American Cities
University of Michigan Press, 2004
The Consequences of Marriage and Motherhood: How Gender Traits Influence Voter Evaluations of Female Candidates
Journal of Women, Politics and PolicyFebruary 2015, 6:1:1-21 (with Melissa Bell).
Turf Wars: Local Context and Latino Political Development
Urban Affairs Review, January 2012, Volume 48:1:111-147 (with Benjamin Bishin and Daniel Stevens).
Political Behavior in the Context of Racial Diversity: The Case for Studying Local Politics
January 2011, 
PS: Political Science and Politics (with Antonio Rodriguez).
Battleground States versus Blackout States: The Behavioral Implications of Modern Presidential Campaigns
Journal of Politics, August 2007, Volume 69 (3):786-797 (with Jim Gimpel and Shanna Pearson-Merkowitz).
Immigration and the Future of Black Power in American Cities
Du Bois Review, (spring) March 2007, Volume 4 (1):79-96.