Los Angeles City Hall: Everybody’s Talking, Nobody’s Listening

casino la city hall

Stephen Box: Veterans of the bureaucratic jungle typically develop tracker instincts that allow them to monitor the subtle signs of City Hall activity and stay informed of impending actions on behalf of the people.

“Mr. Brown” Takes His Act to City Hall

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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

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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.

After Redevelopment: Creating Real Investment in Our Cities

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Madeline Janis: While the death of California’s redevelopment agencies is a blow to cities, this could also be a moment of opportunity to create a more vibrant, equitable and sustainable future for all Californians and a model for the country.

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

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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.

LA’s Scandalous Housing Authority: For Better or For Worse

corruption

Stephen Box: The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) is the latest department to fall victim to the oversight and accountability scrum that starts when the media shines a spotlight and concludes when the public gets bored.

The New Culture of Making Nothing Out of Something

herb wesson jan perry bernard parks

Anthony Samad: The Los Angeles taxpayer would be astonished with the number of unexcused absences council members have, but these two small-minded council persons — Parks and Perry — wanted to send a message and get some press out of it—and they did.

LA Fights to End Corporate Personhood

move to amend flag

Los Angeles Poised to Be the First Major U.S. City to Call for an End to Corporate Personhood. Grassroots Momentum Builds Toward Passage of Vote on December 6th

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.

Occupy LA: Time to Get Off the Lawn?

occupy la ginger liu

Stephen Box: It’s time that we stop looking to the tents at City Hall Park and instead look inside City Hall and ask the Mayor and the City Council the tough questions, “Where is the leadership and what is the plan?”

Occupy Wall Street Shut Down

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Sharon Kyle: In a surprise sweep in New York City, while many of the Occupiers were asleep, the New York City Police Department entered the Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park and cleared it out.

Occupy LA: Writing on the Wall

occupy la fuse

Stephen Box: Occupy LA is slowly discovering that City Hall’s welcome mat has disappeared, that the Mayor’s gift of ponchos during the first rainstorm was more of a bon voyage gift than a welcome.

Occupy LA’s Greatest Opportunity: The Polls

occupy la

Stephen Box: Occupy LA’s greatest opportunity to impact the policies and actions that are responsible for eviscerating the middle class, for destroying our economy, for unleashing predatory greed and for selling political access to the highest bidder is to mobilize voters at the polls on election day.

Shutting Cities Down: Now and Then

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Lee Fang: The American political and economic system is falling apart. No matter who wins an election, in many cases, the outcomes are the same: well-heeled corporate interests dictate policy.

Occupy LA Faces the Ultimate Opponent: A Jaded Audience

occupy los angeles

Stephen Box: Occupy LA should be thanked for challenging the turf lawn status quo and for giving City Hall an opportunity to rethink its commitment to unsustainable landscaping.

Billionaire Bagger Bamboozles L.A. Downtown Dems

farmers field

Brad Parker: With no plan in hand, the city leaders of Los Angeles are chortling about how a new Football Stadium for an imaginary NFL Team will usher in an era of jobs, jobs, jobs for all Angelenos.

Kansas City, Here It Comes: A New Nuclear Weapons Plant!

nuclear weapons protest

Should the U.S. government be building more nuclear weapons?  Residents of Kansas City, Missouri, don’t appear to think so, for they are engaged in a bitter fight against the construction of a new nuclear weapons plant in their community. The massive plant, 1.5 million square feet in size, is designed to replace an earlier version, [...]

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The City of Second Chances

julie gutman

Julie Gutman: On Labor Day, Let’s Celebrate L.A.’s Status as a Bastion of Human, Immigrant and Workers’ Rights

Why Must Visa Applicants Go to Mexico’s Most Dangerous City?

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Andrea Nill: Has the U.S. purposefully chosen to put the only consulate in Mexico with the capacity to issue immigrant visas in the country’s most dangerous city?

Municipal Bankruptcy Threatens Workers, Communities…

caitlin vega

Caitlin Vega: The same people who want to make personal bankruptcy impossible now want state and local governments to use it strategically to screw workers.

Stephen Box: Balancing Budgets on Labor’s Back

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Stephen Box: The City of Los Angeles is experiencing a Crisis of Leadership, one where the people of Los Angeles are being asked to pay more for less and the people who deliver the city services are being treated as if they are expendable. They’re not.

Is Parks’ Representation Worth The $2.3 Million Paid Over The Next Four Years?

ernard Parks

Anthony Samad: Ask yourself the question if you’re an 8th District voter, “Am I getting $50,000 a month value out of the leadership (the) Parks provide in this district?”

Why Won’t Cities Fight Real State Budget Cuts?

Jerry Brown

Paul Hogarth: While some may see Jerry Brown’s proposal as a “power grab” by the state that tells local governments how to spend their money, the truth is that it can prevent some devastating budget cuts that have been afflicting localities for years.

Istanbul: Ancient City, Throbbing Metropolis

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Steven Hill: Muslims, Christians, and Jews live in relative harmony here, yet it’s as if its too-jumbled history pulses within the walls, the monuments, the winding streets, indeed within each individual Turk now inhabiting this ground zero zone.

Sanctuary Cities and the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program: Two Things that Do Not Go Together

golden gate bridge

Michele Waslin: Despite the clear facts, radio-show hosts, politicians, and immigration restrictionists still want you to believe that cities receiving SCAAP reimbursements are providing “sanctuary” to criminals. Maybe next they’ll try to convince you immigrants are responsible for global warming and teenage obesity—wait, been there, done that.

Time to Rebrand Haiti’s Tent Cities as Tomas Approaches

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Georgianne Nienaber: Haiti’s Potemkin village, the Camp Corail-Cesselesse relocation camp, is not safe. With the approach of Tomas, which is morphing daily from tropical storm to hurricane and back again, Haitian officials are urging the 7,850 residents of its flagship camp to evacuate and “find different locations.”

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