“Mr. Brown” Takes His Act to City Hall

city-hall-entrance

Stephen Box: It has been 59 years since the Ralph M. Brown Act was passed by the California State Legislature and it guarantees the public’s right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies.

LA City Hall: The Great Pabulum and Placebo Dispenser

los angeles city hall

Stephen Box: From medical marijuana to fast food to code harassment, LA is the Capital of Moratoriums, demonstrating that there is nothing as attractive as the opportunity to kick an issue down the road and to leave it for the next round of elected officials.

Dealing with City of LA: Get It in Writing

parking ticket

Stephen Box: The City of LA is fast to find fault with its residents and slow to accept responsibility for its mistakes, a pattern that is demonstrated by its reluctance to put things in writing when it puts the City of LA in an unfavorable position.

Walking Works for LA

students walking

Stephen Box: One of the simplest ways to reduce the traffic congestion that surrounds LA’s schools in the morning and in the afternoon is to support children as they walk and bicycle to school, yet the City of LA continues to engage in a charade that’s all talk and no walk (or ride!)

As Feds Abandon Cities, Corporate Clout Grows

farmers field

Randy Shaw: The federal government’s slashing of funding for urban America has made all cities more dependent on corporate investment than at any time since the 1930’s, raising new challenges for urban progressives.

The Sixties Student Movement and the Working Class

columbia strike

Mark Naison: During the 1960’s, New York city was the scene of an incredibly powerful anti-war and student movement. Like Occupy Wall Street, this movement was often attacked for being unrepresentative of the city’s working class. In reality, this movement was far more diverse in class and race than critics at the time, or historians, realized.

The Fix Is In: A Tale of Two Bans

plastic bags

Stephen Box: As community activists continue to fight for a ban on city park advertising, the Mayor is pursuing an overhaul of LA’s sign ordinance that will create “innovative revenue sources” such as wilderness advertising.

Tech Tip: Occupy Sim-City

simcity

Robert Link: As we think about the difference, say, between Irvine and Davis, both in California, it is natural to wonder if we really know enough about the different cities to understand why things unfold one way at one place but so differently at another.

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