JANUARY 28, 2021

Virtual Luskin Summit

continuing through February as a series of twice-weekly webinars your own text

Luskin Summit 2020 launches with, clockwise from top left, Deans Ron Brookmeyer and Gary Segura; moderator Adrienne Alpert; and UCLA Luskin board member Wendy Greuel.

Videos from the 2020 virtual Luskin Summit series are in a Showcase on the UCLA Luskin channel on Vimeo. 

June 10:  Leaders of Los Angeles’ philanthropic community discussed current issues in the city, including how the upcoming Olympic Games can serve as a “bright line” goal to address the challenges of the region’s disadvantaged well beyond the COVID-19 era.

June 9: A surge in domestic violence amid shelter in place orders has been reported around the world. Global advocates, policymakers, funders and others heard from experts on emerging trends and data as they discussed the evidence and how it can lead to informed solutions, interventions and strategies. Hosted by Manisha Shah, founder and professorGlobal Lab for Research in Action at UCLA.

May 22: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, policymakers have drafted the largest economic stimulus packages in history. These policies offer a tremendous opportunity to invest in environmental sustainability-related initiatives.

This session was co-hosted by the Luskin Center for Innovation and the USC Schwarzenegger Institute.

May 20:  Anti-immigrant sentiment continues to reverberate throughout our economy, and within the public health, education, political and criminal justice systems. This session focused on Latino community mobilization in the Trump era.

May 15: The role and usage of public transit in America has changed much over the past century, past decade, and even past few months in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In this webinar, faculty affiliated with the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies  discussed the evolution of transit and its implications for the weeks, months, and years ahead.

May 13: Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, social workers still walk Skid Row. They still go to homes where children are in need. They still report to work at hospitals where some patients die alone and families need to be located and told. It’s their job — their essential job. Laura Abrams, professor and chair of social welfare, spoke with alumni of the Luskin School’s Social Welfare program about how the coronavirus pandemic has affected their work with vulnerable clients and communities.

May 12: In his new book, “Man of Tomorrow: The Relentless Life of Jerry Brown,” award-winning journalist and bestselling author Jim Newton explores the unconventional arc of former California Gov. Jerry Brown’s career. Newton reveals the complex and often contradictory nature of Brown’s personality and politics– and how his leadership stood up to the Trump White House on policies related to climate change, immigration and more. Newton and Brown discussed Brown’s career, his impact on national politics and his take on the future.

May 7:  This discussion focused on housing in the era of coronavirus and how today’s challenges might shape future policy. It was presented as part of the Housing, Equity and Community Series, a collaboration between the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate.

May 4:  This session hosted by Professor Ron Avi Astor featured four panelists who are leading efforts to assist schools in dealing with the reality of educating during the COVID-19 crisis.  They described strategies and programs in Los Angeles as well as in Israel, Chile and other countries.

April 30: Representatives from the Voting Rights Project and the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative at UCLA Luskin talked about the importance of vote-by-mail programs during the November general election.

April 29: In conversation with Assistant Professor Kian Goh of UCLA Luskin Urban Planning, author Geoff Manaugh discussed his forthcoming book on the history and future of quarantine. The book, due out in spring 2021, was co-written with Nicola Twilley of The New Yorker. [Video release pending publication of the book.]

April 27: This webinar examined a constellation of structural determinants of health (e.g., poverty, homelessness, lack of health insurance) and co-occurring health issues (e.g., HIV, HCV, tobacco use) on opioid users. An overview of current social welfare programs and policies to promote health equity during these unprecedented times was provided.

April 23: Longtime Los Angeles political stalwart Zev Yaroslavsky revealed the results of the fifth annual Quality of Life Index, which annually polls a cross-section of Los Angeles County residents on their satisfaction with up to 40 aspects of  their lives across nine categories.

April 22: Dean Gary Segura of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and Dean Ron Brookmeyer of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health discussed  public policy and health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2020 Sponsors

A Look Back at Luskin Summit 2019

On April 24, 2019, the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs held the inaugural Luskin Summit. Its theme was “Livable L.A.”

Congresswoman Karen Bass, who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2011, provided the keynote address. She said that “Democrats and Republicans actually do work together” in the nation’s capital. “We don’t hate each other.”

Providing a framework for the day’s discussions was the unveiling of the fourth Quality of Life Index, a project at UCLA Luskin that is supported by The California Endowment under the direction of longtime Los Angeles political stalwart Zev Yaroslavsky, director of the Los Angeles Initiative. The survey asks county residents to rate their quality of life in a range of categories and to answer questions about important issues facing them and the region.


Dealing With Disruption: From Public Transit to Public Mobility

Faculty Presenter: Brian Taylor, UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies Director and Professor of Urban Planning

Moderator: Richard Katz, Board Member, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs


  • Conan Cheung, Senior Executive Officer, Metro
  • Seleta Reynolds, General Manager, L.A. Department of Transportation

Preparing to Thrive in a Hotter Los Angeles

Faculty Presenter: Jisung Park, Luskin Center for Innovation Scholar and Assistant Professor of Public Policy

Moderator: Liz Koslov, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability Scholar and Assistant Professor of Urban Planning


  • Mark Gold, UCLA Associate Vice Chancellor for Environment and Sustainability
  • Elizabeth Rhoades, L.A. County Public Health
  • Seth Jacobson, Senior Director, Climate Resolve

Why Access to Safe, Affordable Water Is Still a Challenge in Los Angeles

Faculty Presenter: Greg Pierce, Associate Director of Research, Luskin Center for Innovation

Moderator: JR DeShazo, Luskin Center for Innovation Director and Professor and Chair of Public Policy


  • Caryn Mandelbaum, Water Director, Environment Now California Program, Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation
  • David Nahai, David Nahai Consulting Services; former CEO, L.A. Department of Water and Power; Board Member, Luskin Center for Innovation
  • Angel Jennings, Reporter, Los Angeles Times

A Housing-Oriented Look at Understanding Rising L.A. Inequality

Faculty Presenters: Mike Lens, Associate Faculty Director, Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies; Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy

Moderator: Evelyn Blumenberg, Director, Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies; Professor of Urban Planning


  • Becky Dennison, Executive Director, Venice Community Housing
  • Leonora Camner, Director, Abundant Housing LA

Census 2020 and Los Angeles

Faculty Presenters: Matt Barreto, Latino Policy and Politics Initiative Faculty Co-Director and Professor of Political Science and Chicana/o Studies

Moderator: Sonja Diaz, Latino Policy and Politics Initiative Director


  • Erica Bernal-Martinez, Chief Operating Officer, National Association of Latino Elected Officials
  • Berenice Nuñez Constant, Vice President of Government Relations, AltaMed Health Services Corporation

Can ‘Decarceration’ Policies Make Los Angeles Safer?

Faculty Presenter: Laura Abrams, Professor and Chair of Social Welfare

Moderator: Bryonn Bain, Scholar-Artist, UCLA African American Studies


  • Isaac Bryan, MPP ’18, Million Dollar Hoods
  • Patricia Soung, Children’s Defense Fund
  • Susan Champion, Stanford Three Strikes Project

Closing Session

A panel discussion about civic issues was moderated by Adrienne Alpert of ABC7 in Los Angeles. It featured: 

  • Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy – Burbank
  • Mayor Thomas Small – Culver City
  • Mayor James Butts – Inglewood
  • Mayor Tim Sandoval – Pomona

2019 Sponsors