Lens on More Renters as Elected Officials in L.A.

Michael Lens, associate professor of urban planning and public policy, was interviewed by NPR about a shifting trend in the demographics of elected officials in Los Angeles, where more are identifying as renters as opposed to homeowners. Residents of Los Angeles rank housing affordability as one of their biggest concerns, with 30% of renters spending over 50% of their income on rent. As more renters are elected to office, they may do a better job of representing the voices of fellow renters who have gone unheard for years. Lens explained that attempts to diversify politics in Los Angeles have in the past focused on race, gender and sexuality. The renter demographic has not been represented until recent elections. “It does, I think, matter to have representation along that axis,” Lens said. “It’s a pretty fundamental part of who we are and how we live in a city.”


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