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  • Issue: Minority Recruitment Still Lacking at LAFD

    CityWatch

    Date: Jan 23, 2015 

    More outreach is needed to increase the number of women and minority firefighters in the Los Angeles Fire Department, according to a report released Thursday by a Santa Monica-Based think tank. 

    Female athletes and recent military veterans belonging to a minority racial group, such as Hispanic, Asian and black, should be targeted for recruitment, Rand Corp. researchers recommended in the 150-page report. 

    Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered the $270,000 study from Rand last year in an effort to improve the city’s firefighter hiring process amid criticism that the LAFD’s recruitment tends to favor relatives of existing employees, resulting in less diversity. 

    The Rand report also suggests that city leaders increase the fire department’s budget for recruitment efforts, which are currently being carried out by four individuals. (Read more here.) 

    -cw

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Optimism, It’s Our Only Choice!

MOVING LA FORWARD - This past week, I was at a political event that was disguised as a holiday party, or maybe it was a holiday party disguised as a political event, but either way I found myself elbow to elbow with candidates running for office and the political operatives who wage the battles and stage the campaigns.

It was against this background that I found myself talking with a candidate for citywide office who had just welcomed a newborn child into his home two weeks ago. Surrounded by the din of political aspirations and machinations, we ended up comparing notes on our experiences with the nocturnal feeding habits of our infants, firmly putting the travails of the world in perspective.

As I traded “new father” anecdotes with one of the most powerful men in Los Angeles, I realized that our experiences contained within them the lessons that could move LA forward.

Here are five things I’ve learned as the proud father of a newborn baby boy:

Pay Attention: A heightened state of awareness can be an exhausting experience, but it actually results in greater energy and productivity. “More effort takes less effort” may seem counterproductive but it works!

Keep Close: Babies raised in cultures that favor contact over separation cry less. It’s true no matter how old we are, social connections are the key to happiness.

Give Thanks: To hold a newborn baby is to connect with the powerful energy of thankfulness. I count my blessings as I look my newborn son's perfection and as I experience the overwhelming support of our community of friends and family.

Keep Moving: Nothing brings a smile like going for a walk, even if it’s just a small journey around the neighborhood, and it’s a reminder that we were born for action.

Be Positive: Our energy is contagious and to see a baby mimic our attitudes and emotions is to experience the incredible responsibility that demands our optimism. After all, it’s our only choice, that and then delivering on our promise to make it come true.

As for the party, I’m sure the food was great and that lots of good work was done, but from where I stood, it all faded into the background as two fathers slowed down, just for a moment, and connected with the power of optimism and its rightful place in our immediate future.

(Stephen Box is a grassroots advocate and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)
–cw

Tags: Stephen Box, optimism, politics, candidates, Los Angeles





CityWatch
Vol 9 Issue 104
Pub: Dec 30, 2011

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