LUSKIN SUMMIT 2023: Our Research in Action

The fifth annual Luskin Summit featured a keynote session, the unveiling of our annual poll about life in Los Angeles and a closing session, plus six breakout discussions. The keynote speaker for this year’s Luskin Summit was Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian.

The half-day event took place at the UCLA Faculty Club on Wednesday, April 19, 2023.


Quality of Life Index
Former public official and current UCLA professor Zev Yaroslavsky unveiled the results of his eighth annual poll of Los Angeles County residents on their satisfaction with their lives across nine categories.

Closing Session: The Local Housing Emergency
Ever-rising homelessness has been designated as an emergency by both the city and county of Los Angeles, yet roughly 70,000 unhoused people continue to sleep outside or in vehicles. Mayor Karen Bass and other elected officials have pledged to work together to address this complex issue in a compassionate, effective manner. But what is actually being done? Attendees were able to get answers from decision-makers at the state, city and county levels who are directly involved in ensuring that shelter and supportive services are getting to the people who need them most.


Six breakout sessions took place. Here are summary descriptions:

  • CALIFORNIA’S ZERO EMISSIONS VEHICLE PLANS— NECESSARY, BUT INSUFFICIENT: California plans to phase out new gasoline vehicle sales starting in three years and will eliminate all sales by 2035. It’s a necessary step toward public health, equity and climate goals. But is it sufficient? The Institute of Transportation Studies at UCLA will lead a panel discussion about the consequences of rapid transportation electrification without addressing driving activity — and who is most likely to get left behind.
  • THE CRISIS OF RESILIENT WATER SUPPLY IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The Los Angeles area is developing and accelerating radical programs to bolster its local water supply and reduce reliance on imported water sources, which are being cut dramatically. This panel discussion organized by the  UCLA Human Right to Water Solutions Lab will highlight ways to address uneven adaptive capacities and examine barriers to progress across the region’s fragmented water landscape.
  • CREDIT WORTHINESS AND ETHNO-RACIAL DISPARITIES IN HOMEOWNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: The mortgage industry plays a central role in ethno-racial stratification in the real estate market. This presentation led by UCLA faculty expert José Loya will demonstrate that even when debt-to-income levels are similar among ethno-racial groups, results vary tremendously, with loan rejections and high-cost loan originations far higher for Blacks and Latinos when compared to white or Asian applicants. In fact, Blacks and Latinos with excellent credit perform similarly to whites and Asians with below-average credit worthiness.
  • HOMELESS EXCEPT FOR A VEHICLE? UNIQUE NEEDS, HUMANE RESPONSES: People who live in their vehicles experience homelessness differently than those living in shelters or outside. The experience also differs between dwellers in cars and RVs — as do the responses by neighbors and policymakers. The Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies will lead a panel discussion about the unique circumstances of vehicular homelessness in Los Angeles County and suggest ideas for humane transitions back into housing.
  • CLIMATE ACTION, INFLUENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS: Climate change experts at the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation will lead a panel discussion about ways to generate popular support for climate action. How can political support for further climate infrastructure investments be influenced progressively, building momentum based on current local and national efforts?
  • VOTING RIGHTS, REDISTRICTING AND A LOOMING SUPREME COURT DECISION THAT MIGHT CHANGE EVERYTHING: In 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments to decide whether protected minority groups will continue to have a right to representation in the redistricting process. UCLA’s Voting Rights Project has set forth the important protections of the Voting Rights Act in an amicus brief to the court, and its authors will be joined by leading voices for voting rights among minority advocacy groups to discuss the uncertain future of voting representation.


  • Laura Shell, chair of the committee
  • Wendy Greuel, chair of the Luskin School’s Board of Advisors
  • Kafi Blumenfield, member
  • Stephen Cheung, member
  • Michael Fleming, member
  • Richard Katz, member
  • Jeff Seymour, member
  • Vivian Rescalvo, member
  • Ann Cattalini Sinclair, member