Zev Yaroslavsky, director of the Los Angeles Initiative at UCLA Luskin, was featured in a Los Angeles Times column about his spring public policy graduate course, which shifted to an online seminar because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The former L.A. county supervisor and city councilman typically focuses the course — co-taught by his former chief deputy Alisa Katz — on regional institutions and leaders and how they influence policy and quality of life. The change has allowed guest speakers, including those on the front lines of leadership during the crisis, to participate. Guests have included county supervisors Kathryn Barger and Mark Ridley-Thomas. Most recently, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health, broke away from their daily press briefings and other public appearances to chat directly with students via Zoom. “What better way to counterbalance their theoretical and quantitative training than to show them real-world, life-and-death decision-making in the moment?” Yaroslavsky said.