MY TURN-Last month the City of Los Angeles celebrated "Women's Equality Day" and I wondered what century I was living in? I had seen this movie before and I didn't like it the first time! The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was proposed as a means to adjust the U.S. Constitution and make gender equality a Constitutional right. It was first introduced to Congress in 1923, although it did not pass. In 1972, it passed both houses in Congress and was submitted to the states for ratification. By 1979, the deadline for ratification, it had been approved by 35 states – but that was three short of the 38 required. 

FOCUS ON THE FOOTNOTES-California pension worries most often focus on CalPERS and CalSTRS, the state’s two multi-employer behemoths. But the state has many other underfunded plans, and these city and county systems pose significant challenges for governments that contribute to them. 

KILLING A CULTURE-In cities around the world, gentrification has long been a threat to culture — and Los Angeles is no exception. Just take the recent L.A. Times article on the plight of mariachis in Boyle Heights. Yet in a piece that’s clearly about gentrification, the Times doesn’t once use the word. What’s going on? 

BELL VIEW--I have outrage overload. I know I’m supposed to write about issues facing the City here – but I can’t keep up with the president. From Nazis to Sherriff Joe to DACA, the outrage just keeps coming. The march in Charlottesville – which seems like a strange interlude from a distant past, for example – took place in August. 

ALPERN AT LARGE--After having just gone through a nightmarish post Labor Day two weeks with the fight over the Venice Blvd reconfiguration (loss of one car lane, and creating a protected bicycle lane, in Downtown Mar Vista, among other changes) as part of Mayor Garcetti's Great Streets Program, the good news is that the City still values Transparency.  Ditto with Sincerity and Efficiency.

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