Sun05242015

Last updateThu, 21 May 2015 9pm

LOS ANGELES Sunday, May 24th 2015 6:11

ONE MOTHER'S PERSPECTIVE

  • WHO WE ARE-Women did it again. The annual Memorial Day tradition of placing flowers on graves of fallen soldiers was begun by women in the South after the Civil War. Who knew? Who now remembers that it was originally Decoration Day? Or that it is a day to decorate the graves of soldiers who fought for a better future. Memorial Day is a great deal…
  • 453 Days Later...

    Tom Rubin
    OFFENSIVE BUT PROTECTED SPEECH-Welcome news this week from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. By a vote of 11 to 1, the court overturned its injunction against the controversial video called "Innocence of Muslims" that it had ordered off YouTube back in February 2014. Here's the background. Actress Cindy Lee Garcia (photo below) was…
  • What LA Educators Should Learn From Bell Gardens High School’s Shocking Turnaround

    Jay Mathews
    VOICES FROM THE SQUARE-Bell Gardens High School in east Los Angeles County was a sorry mess when science teacher Liz Lowe arrived in 1989. It was overflowing with trailer classrooms and graffiti. More than 3,000 students crowded into school buildings surrounding a concrete quadrangle with patches of grass and some trees. Expectations were low. Not…
  • The Clean Sweep Election Finally Happened

    Bob Gelfand
    GELFAND’S WORLD- A few years ago, a group calling itself Clean Sweep argued that the voters of Los Angeles should defeat all the incumbents and replace them with fresh blood. On Tuesday, the results came close. There are two distinct lessons, one of which is quite ominous for elected officials. This election demonstrated the end of voter patience…
  • What Did Tuesday’s LAUSD Election Results Prove?

    Paul Hatfield
    PERSPECTIVE-Did the LAUSD election results signal a change for charter schools? Perhaps. Possibly. Maybe. You can make a decent case that Ref Rodriguez’s victory in District 5 points to strong support for charters. It was a battle between two well-funded candidates with diametrically opposed views on the issue. The effectiveness and fairness of…
  • (Train)ing Ourselves to Confront Modern Mass Transit

    Ken Alpern
    GETTING THERE FROM HERE-It's great to learn that Metro has an excellent new CEO with the hiring of Phillip A. Washington who comes to us from Denver. Following in the footsteps of his predecessors, Roger Snoble and Art Leahy, Mr. Washington has a first-rate reputation to maintain--but his first job will be to pass Measure R-2. Measure R-2 (perhaps…
  • City Controller’s Grandstanding DWP Audit is the Real Waste of Ratepayer Dollars

    Dennis Zine
    JUST THE FACTS-City Controller Ron Galperin’s Grandstanding DWP Audit results were finally released. Unfortunately, the conclusion and political spin that came afterwards from the controller was misleading. Here are the FACTS: The DWP’s Joint Training Institute and Joint Safety Institute are administered by DWP managers and representatives of the…
  • A Place Where ‘Special Interest’ is NOT a Dirty Word

    Denyse Selesnick
    MY TURN-We need to have a new word to differentiate the villainous “Special Interest” that everyone is always complaining about and the “Special Interest” that almost all of politicians and civic and social activists have adopted as a cause. It is impossible to have passion about multiple issues. I know I have mentioned this before, but it seems…
  • Alert! America’s Small Businesses are Being Screwed by Big Business

    Robert Reich
    THE ECONOMY-Can it be that America’s small businesses are finally waking up to the fact they’re being screwed by big businesses? For years, small-business groups such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses have lined up behind big businesses lobbies. (Photo: small businesses in Studio City) They’ve contributed to the same Republican…

 

  • Can Strawberries Help Fight Cancer?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-There have been a number of studies over the years that could show evidence of strawberries fighting off cancer. Tong Chen lead a study…
  • Study: The Best Way to Quit Smoking … Bet On It

    Francie Diep
    WELLNESS-Oftentimes, money speaks louder than words. Apparently, that aphorism applies to cigarettes too. A new study finds that money incentives…
  • Exercise Can Help Anxiety … Here’s How

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-Statistics show that over 3 million American adults suffer from anxiety and there is no evidence that number will be declining any time…




Memorial Day 2015- Freedom Isn’t Free

J. Cole raps on the Letterman show: “Be Free’

The Star Spangled Banner … like you’ve never heard it before

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

After Redevelopment What? How About Creating Real Investment in Our Cities?

OUT OF FRYNG PAN - On December 29, 2011 the State Supreme Court dealt California’s 400 redevelopment agencies an unanticipated death blow.  This includes the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, where I have served as a commissioner since 2002.  Based on the court’s decision and the legislation that eliminated redevelopment agencies in California, the LA CRA and all other agencies will shut their doors on February 1, 2012.

The demise of redevelopment agencies, however, does not mean that we have to abandon the noble and necessary goal of public investment in distressed communities. To do so would punish those most in need and make it virtually impossible to address the poverty and unemployment currently faced by millions of Californians.

It is now up to the state legislature to act quickly to give cities a new tool to create good jobs, affordable housing and more sustainable communities. Here are three steps the legislature and Governor Jerry Brown can take to make this a reality.

First, scratch the word “redevelopment,” which has made many well-meaning neighborhood groups bristle at the thought of big developers coming in to “redo” things.  In 2012, California neighborhoods —while distressed — are by and large “developed” and don’t need to be flattened, cleared or re-created, as the word redevelopment implies.  

In fact, many distressed communities are actually cultural landmarks and have numerous historic structures that simply need some investment.  So let’s create a Community Revitalization Program that gives cities a set of practical tools to renew and improve what’s already there.

Second, let’s make this new program fit our collective vision for 21st Century sustainable cities.  The legislature has created a new framework for sustainable urban development that has yet to receive any significant funding.  

Senate Bill 375, championed by Senate Pro Tem leader Darrell Steinberg, mandates that cities and regions develop plans to integrate mass transit with housing development and create more sustainable urban environments.  

Assembly Bill B32, California’s celebrated climate change amelioration bill, requires all Californians to reduce our carbon footprint during the next 18 years.  

On top of these groundbreaking laws, we have the LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s projected $72 billion investment in the build-out of 12 new transit lines in LA County, with hundreds of new transit stops projected for LA’s neighborhoods. Let’s give cities a tool to bring all of these mandates together — doing so would go a long way toward creating the sustainable urban environments California needs.

Finally, let’s give cities a tool to help get us out of this Great Recession.  As economist Joseph Stiglitz recently argued, [link] we need government investment to help incentivize the kinds of things that the private market will not deliver on its own. That means living-wage jobs and careers for the people in greatest need, public infrastructure and affordable housing.

This new tool should be precision-crafted so that everyone understands what the terms are:  Public dollars can only be spent on projects that create construction careers, permanent living-wage jobs and affordable housing units for people who live in or near the areas where the development is proposed.  Investors and developers who don’t want to be part of the solution should use private banks, not scarce public dollars.

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.

(Madeline Janis is co-founder and executive director of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy. She is also a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Affairs. This piece was posted first at fryingpannews.org) -cw

Tags: CRA, Community Redevelopment, investment, California, neighborhoods, communities











CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 8
Pub: Jan 27, 2012

 

Share