Fri07312015

Last updateThu, 30 Jul 2015 7pm

LOS ANGELES Friday, July 31st 2015 12:20

 IF IT'S BROKEN...FIX IT

Getting Serious about LA’s Sidewalk Repairs: A Five-Point ‘Let’s-Get-On-with-It’ Plan

Ken Alpern
FIXING LA-Last Tuesday night's City Council Board of Public Works and Budget Committees met and allowed a lot of good public input to a series of concerned and available Councilmembers and City officials. The attendance and input were both outstanding--I want to thank Councilmember Mike Bonin, in particular, for allowing the outreach and advice to…

Latino Politicians Putting Climate Change Ahead of Constituents

Joel Kotkin
POLITICS-Racial and economic inequality may be key issues facing America today, but the steps often pushed by progressives, including minority politicians, seem more likely to exacerbate these divisions than repair them. In a broad arc of policies affecting everything from housing to employment, the agenda being adopted serves to stunt upward…

Worlds Apart on Kathryn Steinle: When Political Opportunism Reigns Supreme

John Mirisch
MUSING WITH MIRISCH-The small Swedish Jewish Museum in Stockholm is tucked away on a side street. Discreet signage instructs would-be visitors to push a button which activates a camera, so they can be screened before they are granted entry. The museum's permanent exhibition fills one fairly small room. Most of the objects on display are Jewish…

Garcetti Passes, Wesson Fails

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-Our Los Angeles Times has issued midterm letter grades for Controller Ron Galperin (B-) and City Attorney Mike Feuer (B+) and will be posting grades for City Council President Herb Wesson this Sunday and Mayor Eric Garcetti the following Sunday. Our City is facing many difficult issues, ranging from a lagging economy, relatively high…

What LA Really Needs: A Part-time City Council and a Part-time Mayor!

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-There are so many serious and pressing problems facing the City of Los Angeles and few if any real solutions are being proposed or implemented by our elected and appointed leaders at City Hall. I will start with the current city budget. Former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had a $7.7 billion total budget in the 2013-2014 fiscal year.…

Why Don’t the City’s Women Managers Hire More Women?

Denyse Selesnick
MY TURN-Perusing the web is a little like the soap operas of yesteryear. You get suckered in! One link leads to another link and then one is exposed to a barrage both facts and idiocy. The reason for this discussion was my attending a July Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils (VANC) meeting with the Department of Water and Power. General…

Cleaning Up LA City Hall: ‘It’s What’s Legal That’s the Problem’

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-Everyone understands that developers own our city government. Sure, there are some officials here and there who are upright and independent, but recent history shows that the developers typically get their way in spite of public opposition. Whether it is a zoning change for an office tower or the required permits for a new mall,…

Not So Fast LA! Let’s Consider the Real Costs of Hosting the Olympics before We Jump In

Greg Nelson
SPORTS POLITICS-On Monday, Boston withdrew from its offer to be the nation’s bidder for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. In January, Los Angeles finished second to Boston when the U.S. Olympic Committee made its decision. After Boston was selected to polish up its bid before submitting it to the International Olympic Committee for a final decision,…

Party Crashing for Political Access: Schwarzenegger and My Pantsuit

Charlotte Laws
CALIFORNIA ACCESS POLITICS-Party crashing—or gate-crashing, as it is sometimes called—is an art form that I stumbled upon as a teen. I taught myself how to finagle into any event, anywhere, anytime. It required being part private eye, part actress and part chutzpah machine. I had to think outside of the box, throw myself into the role, and whip my…

 

Reynolds Rap Video: Joey has hope for the pope in Philly.





Art or Ad? LA’s mural law written in gray ink

Escape the Room-Conan goes for the record … and the laffs


LADWP Rates Overview

 

 

  

 

 

 

Sex, Singles and the Presidency

POLITICS - By all accounts both President Barack Obama and his likely challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, are ideal family men, devoted to their spouses and their children. But support for the two men could not be more different in terms of the electorate’s marriage and family status. An analysis comparing the results of the 2008 election and the most recent Gallup surveys with data by demographer Wendell Cox shows a remarkable correlation between the states and regions with the highest proportion of childless women under 45 –  the best indicator of offspring-free households — and the propensity to vote Democratic. Overall, the most child-free regions were nearly 85% more likely to vote for Obama in 2008. And according to the most recent Gallup survey, they are  similarly inclined to vote Democratic today.

At the top of the list, with 80% of its women under 45 without children, stands the rock-solid blue District of Columbia. Just behind that taxpayer-financed paradise the six states with the highest percentages — Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Vermont and California — also skew Democratic.  In each of these states the percentage of childless women exceeds 55%.

The highest percentage of offspring-free women under 45 can be seen as well  in such Democratic metropolitan areas as Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and New York In each of these metropolitan areas  the percentage of childless woman reached a minimum of 60%  well above the national average of 53%. In the urban cores of these regions the percentage can approach Washington’s 80% figure. To a large extent, childlessness correlates with high density and a less affordable housing stock.

The top child-bearing regions are almost all deep-red Republican, both in 2008 as well as today. The top five child-bearing states — Mississippi, Idaho, Wyoming , Oklahoma and Arkansas — all generally tilt toward the GOP. So do the metropolitan areas that have the lowest percentages of childless women:  the Texas metros of Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston, Mormon stronghold Salt Lake City and Memphis.  The next five include right-leaning Indianapolis, Charlotte, Louisville, Riverside-San Bernardino and Oklahoma City.

These numbers would be more striking if not for the somewhat higher propensity for child-bearing among African-Americans and Latinos, two core Democratic constituencies. As other surveys have shown, Republicans gains in recent years have come largely  from married white families. In contrast, Democrats have lost the support of married people overall  since 2008, even while gaining among the unmarried. If Republicans can lose their obsession with opposing homosexual families, they might even garner additional support.

A growing part of the Democratic base — aside from ethnic minorities — consists of white, childless couples and, in particular, single women. There’s much good news for Democrats here. According to the pro-Democratic advocacy group Women’s Voices, Women Vote, almost two-thirds of this demographic group voted for John Kerrey in 2004; in 2008 they went for Obama by nearly 70%. In 2010, a generally unfavorable political climate for Democrats, unmarried women helped power Democratic victories, particularly in Colorado and California, in the latter case against female Republican candidates.

Demographically, at least in the short and even medium term, betting of singles and the childless couples seems like a no-brainer. In the past 30 years the percentage of women aged 40 to 44 who have never had children nearly doubled to 19%. At the same time singletons of both sexes are on the rise, numbering over 31 million strong today, up from 27 million in 2000,a growth rate nearly double that of the overall population.

The increasing role of the childless may already be shifting the Democratic Party toward the kind of post-familalistic secularism generally associated with Europe or parts of East Asia.  This could partly explain why the Obama Administration has been so willing to challenge the Catholic Church — a traditional home to many working class Democrats — on the issue of offering contraception to its employees. Simply put, in Democratic calculations, secular singletons may now outweigh religious Catholic Democrats.

The importance of singlehood and childlessness is amplified by location. The greatest bastions of non-families are found in the centers of the country’s media, cultural and intellectual life. Single households already constitute a majority in Manhattan and Washington, and they are heading in that direction in Denver, Seattle and San Francisco.

The growing self-confidence of these post-familial constituencies is evident  in recent articles and books hailing not only the legitimacy but even the preference of this lifestyle option. Kate Bollick’s much celebrated and well-argued portrayal in the Atlantic of attractive matchless, and childless, 40-something females celebrates the coming of age of this new perspective on family life.

Bollick , citing the degraded condition of today’s males, openly embraces “the end of traditional marriage as an ideal.”  One of her heroines, California psychologist Bella DePaulo, dismisses the traditional family unit as a kind of mental malady she labels “matrimania.” Oh well, there goes the primary basis for four thousand years of civilization.

The Atlantic piece serves as a kind manifesto for this key emerging  Democratic constituency. But it’s not just single women now swarming into the Democratic Party. NYU Professor Eric Klineberg’s recent ode to singleness in the New York Times follows a similar narrative, but has room for left-leaning male singletons as well. This  trend is even more pronounced in demographically disintegrating  Europe, a fact that only increases its appeal to the sophisticated denizens of the single zone.

Are there any risks to Democrats — and advantages to Republicans — in this new post-familial tilt? Author and New America fellow Phil Longman argues that in the long run  the  “greater fertility of conservative segments of society” could allow the palpably brain-dead GOP to inherit the country. Childless singletons may be riding high now, he writes, but as non-breeders their influence ends with their own lifespans.

To win the future, according Democratic activists and millennial chroniclers Morley Winograd and Mike Hais, Democrats must all appeal to the next generation of families. Many of today’s childless millennials are still under 30 and plan to have kids, according to Hais and Winograd’s survey research. Reflecting their own experience with divorce as children, 50% consider being a good parent their highest priority in life. A strong plurality also see themselves ending up in the suburbs.

That means Democrats could pay a big price for disdaining homemakers, the often unaesthetic chores of child-raising and particularly suburbia, because that’s precisely the place where many of today’s urban millennials will likely end up in the next decade.

To address the future millennials, Democrats don’t need to adopt the often Medievalist views of their Republican rivals. But they will have to craft a message that appeals to  a demographic that looks, at least somewhat, like the current First Family.

(Joel Kotkin is executive editor of NewGeography.com … where this piece was first posted … and is a distinguished presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University, and contributing editor to the City Journal in New York. He is author of The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050, released in February, 2010. Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson.)
-cw

Tags: Mitt Romney, Barack Obama









CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 13
Pub: Feb 14, 2012

Share