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Nothing Uglier Than Redistricting, Yaroslavsky Says

Los Angeles Initiative Director Zev Yaroslavksy spoke with KPCC’s Airtalk about the process of redistricting in relation to recent corruption charges against suspended City Council member Jose Huizar. Every 10 years, district lines are redrawn to reflect changes in population based on the census, and some have noted that the shuffling of districts gave Huizar a large swath of Los Angeles’ asset-rich downtown. “There’s nothing uglier or more difficult than the redistricting process every 10 years,” said Yaroslavsky, who described the political and sentimental factors at play. Most elected officials “want to keep as much of their district as they can” and some have close ties to the neighborhoods and constituents they may have represented for a decade or more. When politicians redistrict for themselves, self-interest can play a role, but Yaroslavsky also noted that there are “unintended consequences of so-called independent commissions.” He concluded, “There is no perfect system for redistricting.” 


Yaroslavsky Remembers L.A. City Council Advisor Ron Deaton

Los Angeles Initiative Director Zev Yaroslavsky spoke to the Los Angeles Times in remembrance of his longtime friend Ron Deaton, who died this week at 77 years old. Deaton worked in L.A. government for over 40 years, including serving as the city’s chief legislative analyst from 1993 to 2004. He advised the 15-member City Council on ballot measures, public works projects and the protracted fight over whether the San Fernando Valley should secede from Los Angeles and become its own city. When the mayor and council were at odds, or council members weren’t speaking to each other, Deaton served as a valuable go-between, Yaroslavsky said, adding, “People trusted him because, at the end of the day, he loved the city. He loved governance.” Deaton showed newly elected council members how the city worked and how they could be more effective. “If you wanted to get something done, you went to [Deaton],” Yaroslavsky said.


Boyle Heights, Gentrification and Beyond

The UCLA Luskin Center for History and Policy hosted a panel discussion on Nov. 1, 2017, focusing on the current state of Boyle Heights as a microcosm for a larger conversation about the rise of gentrification and the slew of other issues to which it contributes in Los Angeles. “Gentrification and its Discontents: Boyle Heights and Beyond” included Rina Palta of KPCC News as moderator; Professors Abel Valenzuela and Eric Avila, whose appointments include positions in UCLA Luskin Urban Planning; Cecilia Estolano MA UP ’91, co-CEO of Estolano LeSar Perez Advisors; and Steve Lopez, a Los Angeles Times columnist. The discussion was followed by an enthusiastic Q&A that included a detailed political history of rent control in Los Angeles from Zev Yaroslavsky, director of the Los Angeles Initiative. Access a Flickr gallery of photos by Aaron Julian from the event below.

Boyle Heights and Beyond

Luskin Center sets out to make L.A. a greener place to live, work The Luskin Center for Innovation has set a goal to produce research that will help Los Angeles become more environmentally sustainable

By Cynthia Lee

Green power. Solar energy incentives. Renewable energy. Smart water systems. Planning for climate change. Clean tech in L.A. For the next three years, the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation has set an ambitious goal to produce research that will help Los Angeles and state and federal agencies reach the Holy Grail of environmental sustainability.

Five Luskin scholars are working on initiatives that could change how residents, businesses, industries and government meet the challenge of living more sustainably. The Luskin center is carrying out a mission that was broadly outlined by Chancellor Gene Block in his inaugural address on May 13, 2008: to marshal the university’s intellectual resources campuswide and work toward intense civic engagement to solve vexing local and regional problems. “I believe that UCLA can have its greatest impact by focusing its expertise from across the campus to comprehensively address problems that plague Los Angeles,” the chancellor told an audience in Royce Hall.

With an agenda packed with six hefty research initiatives, the center is diving into that task under the leadership of its new director, J.R. DeShazo, an environmental economist and associate professor of public policy who also heads the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies. DeShazo took the reins in October when the center moved from the Chancellor’s Office to the School of Public Affairs, a move that took advantage of the school’s outward orientation. “It’s focused on policy solutions, so this is a natural place for us to grow,” DeShazo said. “But even though the center is located here, we’re very cross-disciplinary. We have researchers from chemistry, public health, engineering, the Anderson management school, the Institute of the Environment (IoE) and public policy.”

The five scholars working on the six initiatives are DeShazo; Yoram Cohen, an engineering professor and director of the Water Technology Research Center; Magali Delmas, professor of management and the IoE; Hilary Godwin, professor of environmental health sciences; and Matt Kahn, professor of economics in the departments of Economics and Public Policy and IoE. “We started off by identifying problems that our community is facing and that it can’t solve,” DeShazo said. Then, they asked two questions: “Does UCLA have the research capacity to address this deficit? And can we find a civic partner who can make use of this new knowledge?” Proposals were prioritized by a 16-member advisory board with a broad representation of business and nonprofit executives, elected officials and a media expert. Among the high-profile board members are State Senators Carol Liu and Fran Pavley; Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board; Los Angeles Council President Eric Garcetti and Controller Wendy Greuel; Assemblymember Mike Feuer; John Mack, chairman of the Police Commission; and William Ouchi, professor of the Anderson School and chairman of the Riordan Programs.

“We take our research ideas and develop real-world solutions that can be passed on to a civic partner with whom we can engage and support,” DeShazo said. “We let them carry through with the politics of policy reform as well as the implementation. We don’t get involved in advocacy.” An array of local green research DeShazo recently completed Luskin’s first initiative with his research on designing a solar energy program for L.A. that would minimize costs to ratepayers. His research – the basis of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s new energy policy – proposes a solar feed-in tariff that would help everyone from homeowners and nonprofits to commercial property owners buy solar panels and be able to sell their solar energy to utility companies for a small profit.

Other Luskin research initiatives involve creating smart water systems for Southern California with water reclamation, treatment and reuse (UCLA researcher Cohen will work in partnership with the Metropolitan Water District); helping local governments plan for climate change (DeShazo with the California Air Resources Board and the Southern California Association of Governments); and reducing toxic exposures to nanomaterials in California (Godwin with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.) In another initiative in partnership with the Mayor’s Office and the California Air Resources Board, researchers are compiling a database of jobs created by clean tech activities in L.A. County and will document best practices that other cities have used to attract and support clean tech development. Luskin’s Kahn is working with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District to pinpoint what determines how much electricity is used by residential and commercial consumers and how the district can market its major green energy programs to increase participation.

Finally, Delmas is looking into whether the Green Business Certification Program approved recently by the City Council will reduce the overall carbon footprint of small businesses. The program offers incentives and assistance to small business owners in L.A. to become more efficient and less wasteful in their everyday practices. Those businesses that meet certain “green” criteria will be certified as being environmentally friendly. Her partner in this venture is the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Events

Meet the Mayoral Candidates Series: Mike Feuer

The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs is a promotional partner with the Los Angeles World Affairs Council and Town Hall for a series of events relating to the upcoming election of a new mayor for Los Angeles.

The series will continue at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 15, with a session featuring candidate Mike Feuer, the Los Angeles city attorney.

This event and other sessions in the series will feature the major candidates live, in front of a public audience, to discuss why they are qualified to be Los Angeles’ next leader.

Feuer has been L.A.’s chief lawyer and prosecutor since July 2013. According to his bio on the city attorney’s website, he has brought an innovative, problem-solving focus that combines fair and effective prosecution with initiatives to improve public safety and the quality of life throughout the city. Feuer’s office also has been at the forefront of key national issues ranging from gun violence prevention and consumer protection to justice system reform and successful challenges to Trump Administration policies relating to public safety, and the fair allocation of federal funding and political representation.

Each session in the series features a live audience Q&A moderated by series host Dan Schnur, a professor of political science and former political consultant.

Sessions are free of charge with registration; proof of vaccination for COVID-19 is also required.

Free of charge with REGISTRATION


CORONAVIRUS SAFETY PROTOCOLS: The Ebell of Los Angeles has a visitor policy in accordance with the City of Los Angeles vaccination ordinance. In order to attend this event, all visitors ages 12 and up are required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination along with a valid ID.

PARKING: There is free parking for guests of The Ebell of Los Angeles at the lot located on Lucerne Boulevard, directly across from the venue. ADA parking is available in The Ebell of Los Angeles lot located on Fremont Place.


CO-SPONSORS FOR THE SERIES

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Meet the Mayoral Candidates Series: Karen Bass

The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs is a promotional partner with the Los Angeles World Affairs Council and Town Hall for a series of events relating to the upcoming election of a new mayor for Los Angeles.

The series will continue at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 24, with a session featuring candidate U.S. Rep. Karen Bass.

This event and other sessions in the series feature the major candidates live, in front of a public audience, to discuss why they are qualified to be Los Angeles’ next leader.

The six-term congresswoman from Los Angeles represents the 37th Congressional District, serving on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs where she is the chair of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights. She also serves on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, where she is active in working to craft sound criminal justice reform policies. She was chair of the Congressional Black Caucus in 2019 and 2020. Her political career also includes experience in Sacramento as a member of the California State Assembly. Bass made history in 2008 by becoming the first African-American woman in U.S. history to serve as speaker of any state legislature. Prior to elected office, she founded Community Coalition, a community-based social justice organization that empowers the African-American and Latino community across generations to address substance abuse, poverty and crime in South Los Angeles

Each session in the series features a live audience Q&A moderated by series host Dan Schnur, a professor of political science and former political consultant.

Sessions are free with registration; proof of vaccination for COVID-19 is also required.

Free of charge with REGISTRATION


CORONAVIRUS SAFETY PROTOCOLS: The Ebell of Los Angeles has a visitor policy in accordance with the City of Los Angeles vaccination ordinance. In order to attend this event, all visitors ages 12 and up are required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination along with a valid ID.

PARKING: There is free parking for guests of The Ebell of Los Angeles at the lot located on Lucerne Boulevard, directly across from the venue. ADA parking is available in The Ebell of Los Angeles lot located on Fremont Place.


CO-SPONSORS FOR THE SERIES

 

 

 

 

 

 

Register Now

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the Mayoral Candidates Series: Joe Buscaino

The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs is a promotional partner with the Los Angeles World Affairs Council and Town Hall for a series of events relating to the upcoming election of a new mayor for Los Angeles.

The series will kick off at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 15, with a session featuring candidate Joe Buscaino, a member of the Los Angeles City Council.

This event and future sessions in the series will feature the major candidates live, in front of a public audience, to discuss why they are qualified to be Los Angeles’ next leader.

Councilman Buscaino represents the 15th District, which includes the communities of Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, San Pedro, Watts and Wilmington, as well as the Port of Los Angeles. He has served as the chair of the City’s Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee since 2017. The committee oversees the Port of Los Angeles — the busiest container port in the United States— as well as LAX, the second-busiest airport in the United States, plus the L.A. Tourism and Convention Board.

Each session will feature a live audience Q&A, moderated by series host Dan Schnur, a professor of political science and former political consultant.

Sessions are free of charge with registration; proof of vaccination for COVID-19 is also required.

Free of charge with REGISTRATION


CORONAVIRUS SAFETY PROTOCOLS: The Ebell of Los Angeles has a visitor policy in accordance with the City of Los Angeles vaccination ordinance. In order to attend this event, all visitors ages 12 and up are required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination along with a valid ID.

PARKING: There is free parking for guests of The Ebell of Los Angeles at the lot located on Lucerne Boulevard, directly across from the venue. ADA parking is available in The Ebell of Los Angeles lot located on Fremont Place.


CO-SPONSORS FOR THE SERIES

Register Now