Tilly on Labor Needs Met by Relocated Migrants

The New York Times and NewsNation spoke to Urban Planning chair Chris Tilly for an article about immigrants who found steady work and a fresh start after being moved from Texas, Florida and Arizona to Democratic strongholds. While the high-profile relocation of thousands of migrants has created a burgeoning humanitarian crisis, straining the resources of cities trying to provide social services, it has also cast light on the economics of supply and demand. Many of the migrants are Venezuelans who have applied for asylum, allowing them to receive employment permits while their cases are pending. Others remain in the shadows, trying to find work without legal documentation. Many have found jobs in construction, hospitality, retail, trucking and other sectors facing worker shortages in an economy still recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. “In most big cities, including the ones where governors are shipping migrants, employers are scrambling to find workers,” Tilly said. “They are meeting a need.”

Jim Newton Receives 2022 Carey McWilliams Award Editor-in-chief of UCLA Blueprint magazine receives honor recognizing journalistic contributions to society’s understanding of politics  

By Les Dunseith

UCLA’s Jim Newton is the winner of the Carey McWilliams Award, which honors a journalist or organization each year for intellectual forthrightness and political independence.

Newton is the founding editor-in-chief of Blueprint magazine, which is based at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. He’s also a lecturer in the departments of public policy and communications studies.

The McWilliams Award has been given since 1982 by the American Political Science Association in memory of a California lawyer who became an influential political leader, author and editor. McWilliams edited The Nation magazine from 1955 to 1975 and wrote landmark books that focused on migrant farm workers in California and the World War II internment of Japanese Americans.

“I’m deeply honored by this prize and especially by the thought that it binds my name, in some small way, to that of McWilliams, who has long been a personal polestar of integrity and wisdom,” Newton said.

The award, which recognizes Newton’s work at UCLA and other accomplishments, was officially presented Sept. 14 in Montreal at the association’s annual meeting. He has written several books about historical figures of political importance with a California connection, including former CIA chief and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren and former Gov. Jerry Brown. At the Los Angeles Times, he was a reporter, editor, columnist, bureau chief, editorial page editor and editor-at-large.

Past recipients of the award include well-known broadcast journalists such as Judy Woodruff, Bill Moyers, Lesley Stahl and Nina Totenberg; other respected newspaper writers such as Seymour Hersh, Molly Ivins and Ronald Brownstein; authors and professors; plus chroniclers of political discourse from a diverse array of outlets that includes the New York Times, Washington Post, Cook Political Report, the Congressional Quarterly, National Public Radio and the Huffington Post.

UCLA Luskin colleague Zev Yaroslavsky first became aware of Newton’s tough-but-fair journalistic approach during his time as an elected official in Los Angeles.

“Jim’s coverage of the LAPD — and the reforms spawned by the Rodney King beating and the Rampart scandal — is still the gold standard” for news reporting in Los Angeles, Yaroslavsky wrote in a letter recommending Newton for the McWilliams award.

Henry Weinstein, a former L.A. Times colleague who is now on the faculty at UC Irvine Law, also wrote an award nomination letter. “He is a potent and graceful practitioner of what I call ‘the Journalism of Illumination’ — articles and books that take a reader deep into important subjects, regardless of whether they occurred yesterday or 75 years ago — just as McWilliams did in an earlier era.”

A third recommendation letter came from a former Times colleague who has continued to work with Newton as a frequent writer for UCLA Blueprint, Lisa Fung. She praised Newton’s ability to build connections among the worlds of politics, journalism and academia.

It’s become increasingly difficult to understand the motivations of government and policy officials, but through his work as a writer, editor, author and educator, Jim is leading the charge to bring about change and to show people why they should care,” Fung wrote.

Newton said his appreciation of McWilliams grew while writing his book about Warren, the former chief justice of the United States. In fact, as governor of California, Warren clashed with McWilliams and actually fired him from a government job in part because he was an outspoken critic of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

“McWilliams is the only principled person at the time who stood up and said, ‘This is a bad idea,’” Newton said.

He founded Blueprint magazine, which is based at the Luskin School and distributed online and in print twice yearly, as a way to connect intellectuals to policymakers in light of what he perceives as a growing need.

“The policy universe, in particular, had really been stripped of a lot of its research apparatus just over the time that I had been covering it,” Newton said. “It’s true at the city, county and state levels — legislative analysts just don’t have the firepower they once did.”

Filling that gap was the germinating notion of Blueprint, which often highlights academic researchers who are tackling policy questions.

“Let’s make policymakers aware of the research that might inform policy, and let’s also engage researchers in what’s going on in the policy universe,” Newton said.

He imagines an elected official facing a difficult policy issue and eager to find a fresh, independent perspective.

“Instead of just listening to labor or business, you realize that there’s some thoughtful, nonpartisan research that’s being done that can help guide you to a good answer,” said Newton, whose goal is making scholarly research accessible to a non-academic audience.

 “We don’t want it to be an academic journal,” he explained. “That’s why it’s brightly colored, and it’s designed the way it is, with illustrations and graphical presentations in print and online.”

UCLA scholars are often featured, but the magazine’s focus extends beyond the university.

“So, we write about Norman Lear or David Axelrod or Joe Stiglitz or Jerry Brown — people who are broadly interesting and who are concerned with culture and politics and civic life,” Newton said.

Blueprint’s press run has been reduced in recent years amid financial constraints, and a plan to publish quarterly instead of twice-yearly was shelved in part because of pandemic-related challenges. But Newton is hopeful for a return to the magazine’s full reach — and even expansion. Meanwhile, production has endured, and reporting for the fall edition is currently underway.

“It’s themed around fear,” said Newton, who noted that fear can be constructive when it drives urgency of action around issues like homelessness or climate change. But, of course, fear also has the potential for harm as a tool for some politicians.

“Immigration would be a good example of the kind of illogical fear of other people that results in policy that’s profoundly misguided,” he said.

The theme is particularly timely with political rhetoric heating up as midterm Congressional elections and races for mayor of Los Angeles and the governor of California loom in November. Fear not, the next edition of Blueprint will be available in mid- to late-October to shed light on the political shadows. 

UCLA’s Jim Newton receives the Carey McWilliams Award from Lisa Martin, president-elect of the American Political Science Association. Photo from APSA



Weekend Event Harnesses the Power of Service Public Policy hosts aspiring public servants from across America for workshops focusing on policy issues and solutions

Twenty-nine undergraduates from across the nation came to UCLA in mid-August for three days of study and discussion as UCLA Luskin Public Policy returned to in-person programming for its third Public Service Weekend.

“Harness the Power of Action-Oriented Public Service” provided aspiring public servants an in-depth look at a diverse array of career opportunities, policy developments, and social issues such as environmental justice, inequality, homelessness and immigration reform.

The program, which was produced in cooperation with the not-for-profit Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) organization, included a tour of a Los Angeles clean technology site and workshops conducted by UCLA faculty, alumni and staff.

“Additionally, we aimed to inspire students by sharing the life stories and successes of UCLA graduate students, alumni, policymakers and faculty doing the work on the front lines of advocating for policy reform and social change,” said Kenya Covington, a senior lecturer at UCLA Luskin who coordinated the program.

Speakers included Dean Gary Segura, as well as alumni William “Rusty” Bailey, the former mayor of Riverside, and Dan Coffee, a project manager for the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation. Second-year MPP student Elliot Woods, chair of the School’s Black Student Caucus, shared educational and personal insights. He said experiences with the foster care system early in life have sharpened his determination to improve society through a career in public service.

A site tour of the La Kretz Innovation Campus exposed participants to creative clean technology ideas seeking to decrease the emissions that cause climate change. Participants learned about pilot projects involving lithium battery recycling, for example, and they witnessed how welding workspaces, 3D printing technology and chemistry labs can all play a role in developing green technology solutions.

The student participants were challenged by Covington to identify pressing societal problems, and faculty and staff facilitated learning exercises that helped them to define values that have been violated and the scale of problems to be addressed. The students wrapped up the Public Service Weekend with mock professional presentations that focused on potential solutions.

“The presentations were impressive,” Covington said. “Future social change depends largely on the development of leaders capable of taking on the most pressing social problems that we face in the world. With partners like PPIA, the Luskin School is doing just that.”

View photos on Flickr:

Public Service Weekend 2022

Assessing the Health of American Democracy

A Washington Post article on different assessments of the stability of American democracy cited the 2022 Berggruen Governance Index, which tracks quality of life, governance and democracy in countries around the world. The article noted that the U.S. political status quo has triggered pessimism and despair, yet several countries still regard the United States as a bulwark of liberal democratic values. The recently released Berggruen Governance Index, a collaborative project of UCLA Luskin and the Los Angeles-based Berggruen Institute, identified significant declines in U.S. “state capacity” and “democratic accountability” over the past 20 years. “The steepness of the U.S.’s drop is unusual: Its path parallels Brazil, Hungary and Poland much more closely than that of Western Europe or the other wealthy Anglophone countries,” according to Markus Lang and Edward Knudsen, researchers who work with the governance index’s principal investigator, Adjunct Professor of Social Welfare Helmut Anheier.


Heed the Data Behind Criminal Justice Measures, Leap Says

Adjunct Professor of Social Welfare Jorja Leap spoke to the San Francisco Chronicle about decisions awaiting the city’s next top prosecutor after the recall of District Attorney Chesa Boudin. During his time in office, Boudin changed policies relating to cash bail, charging minors as adults and California’s “three strikes” law, among other reforms. Leap, an expert on gangs, criminal justice and prison reform, pointed to research on the effectiveness of different approaches to deterring crime. For example, there is little research to back up the claim that cash bail provides an incentive for people to return to court so they don’t forfeit what they paid. In addition, the use of gang enhancements, which can add time to defendants’ sentences if they are proven to have been motivated by gang ties, are ineffective and do nothing to address the causes of crime, she said. “We have no accountability for how this is done — no research studies, no nothing,” Leap said.

Yaroslavsky on Deep Dissatisfaction Among L.A. Voters

A CNN analysis about the potential for a right-tilting backlash among California voters who are discontented with public disorder cited Zev Yaroslavsky, a longtime public servant who now directs the Los Angeles Initiative at UCLA Luskin. Yaroslavsky said the level of voter frustration is reminiscent of the late 1970s, an era of high inflation and soaring property tax bills that produced California’s Proposition 13 and helped propel Ronald Reagan to the presidency in 1980. He cited this year’s UCLA Quality of Life Index, a poll of 1,400 residents that showed deep dissatisfaction with life in L.A. County. The region’s struggle to meet the basic housing needs of its people is “a billboard that says failure,” Yaroslavsky said. “I think homelessness is both a real issue but it’s also a metaphor for everything else that’s gone wrong in society and government’s ability to address something that is so visible and so ubiquitous in the county.”


Wray-Lake Finds Differences in Youth Development During Trump Era

Associate Professor of Social Welfare Laura Wray-Lake spoke to PsyPost about the findings of her recent study “Youth are watching: Adolescents’ sociopolitical development in the Trump era.” Wray-Lake and her colleagues gathered survey data from 1,433 students over five years to better understand how the Trump era may have affected youth’s political development differently depending on their political orientation, as well as how historical moments shape adolescents’ development in lasting ways. “The Trump era was a volatile and highly politically polarizing time for the country,” Wray-Lake said. She found that adolescents who disapproved of Trump exhibited increases in race consciousness, deliberation skills and awareness of inequality. Adolescents who approved of Trump, in contrast, exhibited declines in awareness of inequality and race consciousness but increases in voting intentions. “These findings may be reflective of growing political divides, especially around acknowledging racism and other inequalities,” Wray-Lake said.

Yaroslavsky on the Importance of County Government

Director of the Los Angeles Initiative Zev Yaroslavsky spoke to KCRW’s “Greater L.A.” about the race for Los Angeles County supervisor. The Los Angeles mayoral primary is getting most of the attention from voters and the media, but the race to represent L.A. County’s Third Supervisorial District, stretching from the Westside to the far northern San Fernando Valley, is consequential. “The County Board of Supervisors is a place where virtually every issue that matters to the general public crosses your desk every day,” said Yaroslavsky, who served as an L.A. County supervisor from 1994 to 2014. “Historically, a lot of people, especially middle-class voters, haven’t grasped the importance of county government and its services to millions of people — services that can literally mean the difference between life and death.” The Board of Supervisors oversees a $40 billion budget that acts as the human service arm of society, focusing on people who are economically marginalized, he said. 

Gilens on Stalled Attempts to Tax the Rich

A story in The Hill about the forces preventing adoption of new taxes on super-rich Americans quoted Public Policy chair Martin Gilens. Polls show that a majority of voters — both Democrats and Republicans — believe the country’s billionaires should pay more in taxes. Democrats in the White House and Congress have put forth several proposals for progressive taxation on the wealthy, but their chances are “slim to none in the short term and even perhaps the medium term,” said Gilens, co-author of a 2014 study showing the outsize influence of rich people and trade groups on U.S. government policies. Elected representatives spend an enormous amount of time with wealthy constituents or potential donors, and this “creates a sense of distortion about both what the public wants and what seems reasonable,” he said. “Whether taxing wealth seems like a reasonable thing to do might depend on whether you spend a lot of time hanging out with wealthy people.” 


Former Governors Wilson, Davis Discuss Housing, Crime and More at Luskin Summit The two leaders, a Republican and a Democrat, express their differing perspectives on 'The State of California'

By Les Dunseith

Former California governors Pete Wilson and Gray Davis headlined the closing session of Luskin Summit 2022: Research in Action on April 22, often tackling political issues from starkly different perspectives.

In a session moderated by UCLA Blueprint Editor-in-Chief Jim Newton and titled “The State of California,” the former governors explored topics such as the economy and inflation, housing, environmental issues and rising crime during a discussion that mostly reflected a tone of respectful disagreement.

The governors spoke during a half-day event at the Luskin Conference Center at UCLA to close out this year’s Luskin Summit, which is a series of research-informed, cross-sector explorations of the major issues facing Los Angeles and California. The day’s agenda also included the unveiling of the annual Quality of Life Index led by Zev Yaroslavsky, a well-known former elected official in Los Angeles who, like Newton, is now a faculty member associated with the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.

Yaroslavsky’s session, which was moderated by news anchor Phillip Palmer of ABC7, explained why the rating in his survey of Los Angeles County residents fell to its lowest point in seven years of existence. A majority of respondents said they are dissatisfied with the overall quality of their lives as reflected in nine categories, including cost of living, education, the environment and public safety. And those topics were also front of mind during the governors’ discussion.

Wilson, a Republican who was California governor from 1991 to 1999, took note of the current $80 billion revenue surplus in California, saying that if current lawmakers can’t solve the state’s shortcomings, it won’t be for lack of funds.

“The state is rolling in money. That’s not the problem,” he said when asked by Newton to speculate on the public’s downbeat mood. “The way it is spent is what’s causing a lot of the dissatisfaction. There are people who are very much concerned about crime because they’ve seen a dramatic shift, a really discernible shift. And they’re concerned about their children’s education, and they should be.”

Davis, a Democrat who was governor of California from 1999 to 2003, took a different tack on Californians’ current mood in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There’s a lot of good news globally, nationally and in California as it relates to people working again, and lower unemployment rates,” he said. “The bad news is that people have been through a very tough time. This has been two-and-a-half years where we’ve been told we can’t do this, we can’t do that. … People don’t like to be told what they can’t do.”

Solving society’s problems will require innovation, Davis said, and California is the right place. The number of U.S. patents that originated in California in recent years, he said, is roughly four times the number originating in the state that comes in second, Texas.

“If you want to invent something, this is the place to do it, in California,” he said. “We invent, we design, we create.”

Davis took note of the setting, a public research university in a state that is widely respected for its institutions of higher education. Mentioning that UCLA Chancellor Gene Block was in attendance, Davis continued, “There is nothing better about California than its 10 UC campuses. Nobody in the country has anything close to this.”

Block provided the introduction for the session, noting that Los Angeles faces substantial challenges relating to public safety, the ongoing pandemic and a shortage of affordable housing.

“These issues are bearing down on people all across the state. We’re not alone,” Block said. “Addressing them is going to require scholars, businesspeople, community leaders to really work together and devise and enact solutions.”

Noting the presence of the two former governors, Block continued. “Wisdom is gained by experience, and we have a vast amount of that here.”

Newton, a former reporter and editor at the Los Angeles Times whose books include a recent biography of two-time governor Jerry Brown, asked Wilson and Davis to talk about their approaches to public safety.

Davis acknowledged crime rates are on the rise, although not to “where they were in the ’90s when Pete Wilson and I were a governor.”

One solution, he said, lies in effective law enforcement.

“Police have to be part of the equation,” said Davis, acknowledging past abuses by some officers. “Anyone who saw the video of the George Floyd murder knows it was appalling, not acceptable, and should never happen again. But there are some common-sense reforms that I think most law enforcement agree with.”

He called for a balanced approach. “The police have to behave in a respectful way, treat people with dignity, in a way that commands respect.”

Wilson echoed the sentiment. “It’s called community policing. And it makes great sense, as does treating people respectfully when you stop them as a police officer.”

In his view, however, effective law enforcement is too often undermined by a lenient criminal justice system, especially regarding violent crime.

“I think I was the first governor in the country to sign — what was also subsequently in the same year, an initiative measure — that was called three strikes. And what it did was to focus on recidivism, on the people who were career violent criminals. … It’s not fair to play with people’s lives by letting people out on the street who are known violent criminals.”

Davis countered by pointing to a shortcoming of taking a hard-line approach to crime — overcrowded prisons that tend to perpetuate societal and racial inequities. Incarceration without rehabilitation doesn’t work either.

“Getting people to transition from prison back to productive life requires an extraordinary amount of help,” he said.

Perhaps no public policy issue better represents the divide between the haves and have-nots in California than the housing crisis. At a time when many homeowners are sitting on a fortune in housing equity, millions of people in the state struggle to pay rent. Some end up homeless.

“The California legislature has to get serious about making housing more affordable,” Davis said.

He pointed to legislation pending in Sacramento that would allocate $25 billion to an agency that could help potential homebuyers with a down payment and closing costs. Another effort in the private sector is offering 10% of a home’s down payment in exchange for 25% of the homeowner’s future equity.

“I’m not saying it’s perfect, but that’s on the right track,” Davis said.

Wilson pointed to the California Environmental Quality Act, known as CEQA, passed in 1970 and signed by then-governor Ronald Reagan, as a major hurdle to building more affordable housing in the state.

“The best single thing that could happen is for CEQA to be reformed because that has held up the construction of homes,” said Wilson, who decried the long wait that developers often face to clear the environmental protection review process. “It has hugely added to the delay in providing housing. And that has cost a fortune in terms of the ultimate buyer.”

But the legislation still has value, Newton said. “It is protective of the environment. No?”

Davis jumped into the discussion.

“Look, the original idea was: If Caltrans was building a freeway, the public should comment on it, and it should be thoroughly debated before it occurs,” he said.

Today, circumstances have changed, and the focus has turned to building homes for the state’s large population. Environmental reviews and public hearings about land use take time, but there are ways to shorten the process.

“The good news is we are making some progress,” Davis said. “When it comes to the homeless — anything for the building of shelter for the homeless and for all the services attended to in mental health and social services — all those buildings should be exempt [from CEQA].”

Newton also asked the governors to weigh in on another hot button topic, giving some of the state’s budget surplus back to Californians.

“Absolutely. I mean, gas prices are near a record high,” Davis said.

“Well, I think that it’s not bad, but it’s like dipping into [the country’s] petroleum reserve, it’s not the answer,” Wilson said.

Newton pressed forward, seeking to clarify that both former governors think the current governor, Gavin Newsom, should send a portion of the California surplus back to the state’s residents.

“We have a big surplus. It should be used for one-time expenditures like this,” Davis said.

“If it’s a one-time, modest solution, that will help,” Wilson said.

“You do agree,” Newton said, smiling. “I was surprised.”

Soon after, Newton thanked the former elected officials for their years of government service and their willingness to participate in a public discussion of political issues seen from their different vantage points.

“We all will disagree on things,” Newton said to the in-person audience and those watching online. “I think it’s too commonplace these days to assume that disagreement is [just cause] to be enemies. And it’s heartening to have the both of you here to show otherwise.”

Watch a recording of the session:

See additional photos from both April 22 sessions on Flickr:

Luskin Summit 2022 Closing Sessions


Conference: 2022 Berggruen Governance Index

In partnership with the Berggruen Institute. 

About this event

Two-day gathering focusing on scholarly implications of this landmark project, which analyzes the relationship between democratic accountability, state capacity and the provision of public goods to better understand why some countries fare better than others at providing a high quality of life.

Details will be announced closer to the event date.

Toward Understanding: The 2022 Berggruen Governance Index

In partnership with the Berggruen Institute. This event will be recorded and posted online.

About this event

Join us for lunch as we unveil a landmark project that analyzes the relationship between democratic accountability, state capacity and the provision of public goods to better understand why some countries fare better than others at providing a high quality of life.

10:30 a.m. Check-in and Continental Breakfast
11:00 a.m. Welcome and Introductory Addresses

  • Gary Segura, dean of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
  • Dawn Nakagawa, executive vice president of the Berggruen Institute

11:10 a.m. The 2022 Berggruen Governance Index

  • An overview by UCLA adjunct professor Helmut K. Anheier, former president of the Hertie School in Germany, and Markus Lang, a researcher for the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
  • Presentation of the visualization and analysis application by D. Vinay Dixit of Stamen, a San Francisco data visualization firm

11:30 a.m. Panel Discussion

  • A discussion of democracy, public policy and global challenges featuring an esteemed panel of UCLA experts, including:
  • Alexandra Lieben of UCLA’s Burkle Center for International Relations (chair)
  • Steve Zipperstein, an attorney and lecturer in global studies at UCLA
  • Veronica Herrera, an associate professor at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs who studies political development in the Global South
  • Cesi Cruz, an assistant professor whose research intersects political science and economics at UCLA
  • Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld, an assistant professor at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs focusing on subnational conflict, statistics and advanced data analysis

12:00 p.m. Q & A with the audience
12:10 p.m. Closing Comments

  • Michael Storper, a professor at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and an internationally recognized urban geographer
  • Andrew Apter, a professor of history and anthropology at UCLA whose research expertise includes Afrocentric cultural dynamics

12:30 p.m. Outdoor Lunch


Public Transportation: Blue Bus and Metro

Ride-hailing Zones: Uber/Lyft designated locations available, for nearby locations and map visit


Pay-by-space parking is available for $3.00 – $14.00 (1 hour – All Day) in Parking Structure 4: 221 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

COVID Protocols

UCLA COVID protocols are in alignment with guidance from the California and Los Angeles County public health departments and in some cases surpass state and county requirements.

  • Masking is required for attendees, including UCLA affiliates and external guests. Guests may remove their mask to eat or drink.
  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, negative COVID-19 test, or UCLA Symptom Monitoring Survey (SMS) clearance certificate will not be required.
  • Speakers/panelists may remove their mask while on stage.

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.


Register Now

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.








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.


Register Now

Analyzing the Latino Vote in the 2020 Elections

America’s largest and diverse non-white voting bloc has made it clear that they are important actors in American politics, from Pennsylvania to Arizona.

Effectively mobilizing the Latino electorate is critical to the success of any campaign, from the White House to down-ballot. As we continue to confront our nation’s intersecting crises on our path to economic recovery, understanding the electoral preferences of Latino voters is essential to highlighting the nation’s policy priorities in a new decade. This conversation will highlight how record levels of Latino turnout impacted the outcome of key races, including in this cycle’s marquee battleground states, and what it means for the coming year.

Join us virtually for a powerful conversation moderated by María Elena Salinas, award winning-journalist.


Matt Barreto, professor, Political Science & Chicana/o Studies, UCLA

Tom Perez, chairman, Democratic National Committee

Mercedes Schlapp, senior advisor, Trump-Pence 2020 Campaign

Rudy Soto, former Democratic nominee for Congress

RSVP today.

Presented by the Aspen Institute’s Latinos and Society Program and the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative based at UCLA Luskin.

Luskin Launch Event With Steve Kerr


Join the Luskin School as we begin the new academic year with an exclusive discussion and Q&A with Steve Kerr, a former NBA star and current head coach of the Golden State Warriors.

This invite-only event will take place on Oct. 7 at 5 p.m. for the entire UCLA Luskin community — graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and staff, and alumni.

Learn more about the history of the Kerr family at UCLA, Steve Kerr’s commitment to social justice and his global perspective on issues of public importance.

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. Email invitations are being sent, but if you have not received yours by early October, please reach out to


Steve Kerr, an eight-time NBA champion as a player and coach, is an outspoken public figure whose commitment to social justice and global perspective on issues of public importance is deeply rooted in the Kerr family’s history at UCLA.

Few athletes have had careers as varied or successful as Kerr — a sharpshooting guard who played on the USA Basketball team that captured the 1986 World Championship title in Madrid, the last American men’s team composed strictly of amateur collegiate players to capture a gold medal. As a pro, he won five championships while playing with the Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs, posting a 45.4% career three-point field goal percentage that is the highest in NBA history.

Kerr, 54, has 30 years of NBA experience, not just as a player and coach, but also as a television analyst and front office executive. In his six years as head coach of the Golden State Warriors, Kerr has guided the club through five of the most prolific seasons in NBA history, winning three NBA championships and making five-straight NBA Finals appearances. He has coached or teamed up with many of the greatest of the great in the NBA: Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, Dennis Rodman, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.

His perspective on life was shaped not just by his storied sports career, but also by his worldly childhood. Kerr was born in Beirut, and he lived in France, Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East as the son of UCLA-based academics. When in Los Angeles, the Kerr family lived in Pacific Palisades, and young Steve Kerr was a ballboy in 1978 and 1979 at UCLA, where his father, Malcolm, was a political scientist and professor specializing in the Middle East.

Malcolm Kerr accepted a job as president at the American University of Beirut in 1982. Tragically, two years later, when Steve Kerr was a freshman at the University of Arizona, his father was assassinated by members of a radical Islamic group.
Steve’s mother, Ann Kerr, has worked at the International Institute at UCLA since 1991, coordinating the Visiting Fulbright Scholar Enrichment Program for the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area.

Steve Kerr is known for supporting progressive political causes, with an emphasis on access to education and gun control. He earned a degree in general studies from Arizona with an emphasis in history, sociology and English in 1988 and serves on the board of directors for Peace Players International, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that uses basketball as a means to bridge cultural gaps in areas of political, racial and religious conflict.

Steve Kerr and his wife, Margot, have two sons, Nicholas and Matthew, and one daughter, Madeleine.



Careers in Public Policy Panel

In collaboration with the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Southern California Chapter and UCLA’s Master of Public Policy program, this panel will showcase PPIA and UCLA MPP alumni who are now working as policy professionals in government agencies, non-profits/NGOs, research centers and/or think tanks. Participants will be able to hear about diverse experiences in policy career trajectories and receive valuable advice on how to prepare themselves for the career they want. The panel will include a Q&A section for participants to further engage with the panelists. RSVP to receive a link in the days prior to the event.

Luskin Summit: Former Gov. Jerry Brown

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, the editor-in-chief of UCLA Blueprint magazine, 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 will discuss Brown’s career, his impact on national politics and his take on the future.

This event is being organized and sponsored by the Los Angeles World Affairs Council & Town Hall in coordination with Writers Bloc, Los Angeles. Registration is being handled by those organizations.