Opening session: January 28
additional sessions to follow, including several in February

Registration is now open for the sessions listed below with dates. As other sessions are confirmed, details will be made available on this web page and in follow-up emails.

The 2021 Luskin Summit will be a series of webinars focusing on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other important public policy issues. Here are the confirmed sessions for which registration is now available:

2 p.m., Jan. 28: Keynote Address — Kickoff session with Anthony Rendon, speaker of the California Assembly since 2016. He was first elected in 2012 to represent the 63rd Assembly District in southeast Los Angeles County. Read Rendon’s full biography here.

Feb. 4: Preparing for Even Wilder Wildfires — Wildfires ravaged an unprecedented amount of California in the past 12 months. This session will explore the impacts of wildfires on health, low-income housing and small water systems, as well as highlight innovative tactics to increase resiliency, especially for populations that are most vulnerable to wildfire.

Feb. 10: The Threat of Mass Evictions and an Opportunity to Rethink Housing — The economic slump precipitated by COVID-19 has led to evictions in California and across the country, and the problem seems likely to get worse. This crisis calls for an immediate response, but it also offers an opportunity to rethink housing policies and our housing system, addressing longstanding failings.

Feb. 17: A Landmark Opportunity for Park Equity — The pandemic has proved the importance of public parks for our physical and mental well-being, as well as the environmental health of communities. During this watershed moment, new funding offers an opportunity to improve access to public spaces for all. This discussion will illuminate pathways to increase park equity in Los Angeles and beyond.

Feb. 22: Transit Impacts: Fewer Riders, More Homelessness — The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically affected public transit systems. Fewer people are riding, public health protocols and workforce reductions are complicating operations, more people experiencing homelessness are turning to transit for shelter, and financial shortfalls loom large. This panel will explore these challenges as agencies struggle to recover.

Feb. 24: Sexual Health: Hooking Up With Home-Based Testing and Telemedicine — Investment in home-based testing, telemedicine and partner-delivered therapy for sexually transmitted infections are among the options to deliver sexual health care remotely. Implementation of these strategies in L.A. County has traditionally been slow, but the uptick in remote delivery of medical services amid the pandemic presents an opportunity to integrate more remote practices for sexual health care.

Planned but not yet open for registration: 

February or March: A micro-summit with at least three sessions in one day focusing on adaptive reuse of commercial properties and public buildings to benefit people experiencing homelessness or facing pandemic-related eviction from their homes.

April: Unveiling of the 2021 Los Angeles County Quality of Life Index

2021 Sponsors to Date

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Email Nicole Payton, executive director of external relations, or call (310) 206-3059.

A Look Back at Luskin Summit 2020

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.

June 9: Global trends and use of evidence to support informed solutions, interventions and strategies. Hosted by Manisha Shah, founder and professor, Global Lab for Research in Action.

May 22: How economic stimulus packages offer opportunity to invest in environmental sustainability-related initiatives. Co-hosted by the Luskin Center for Innovation and the USC Schwarzenegger Institute.

May 20:  As anti-immigrant sentiment continues to reverberate, this session focused on Latino community mobilization in the Trump era.

May 15: Faculty affiliated with the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies discussed the evolution of transit and the pandemic’s implications for the weeks, months, and years ahead.

May 13: Laura Abrams, professor and chair of social welfare, spoke with alumni social workers about how the pandemic has affected their work with vulnerable clients and communities.

May 12: In “Man of Tomorrow: The Relentless Life of Jerry Brown,” author Jim Newton explores the unconventional arc of former California Gov. Jerry Brown’s career. 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. Co-hosted by the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies and the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate.

May 4:  A session hosted by Professor Ron Avi Astor that discussed how schools can deal with the reality of educating during the COVID-19 crisis in Los Angeles and in countries such as Israel and Chile.

April 30: The Voting Rights Project and the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative at UCLA Luskin led discussion on the importance of vote-by-mail during the 2020 elections.

April 29: Author Geoff Manaugh discussed his forthcoming book on the history and future of quarantine with Assistant Professor Kian Goh of Urban Planning. The book is due out in spring 2021.

April 27: This session focused on opioid users and the structural determinants of health, such as poverty and homelessness, and co-occurring health issues, such as HIV and tobacco use.

April 23: Zev Yaroslavsky revealed the results of the fifth annual Quality of Life Index, highlighting the satisfaction of Los Angeles County residents with their lives across nine categories.

April 22: Dean Gary Segura of UCLA Luskin 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