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 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

 

 

  

 

 

 

The Class of 2012's Choice: Change the World or Flip Burgers

OTHERWORDS - Millions of college graduates will soon walk across the stage to accept their diplomas. Given the harsh reality of today's economy, here's the commencement speech I'd like to deliver to the class of 2012:

Congratulations on your degrees. And sorry about all those student loans.
Nearly half of you will soon find jobs that will launch you on your careers. The rest will probably spend the coming years as baristas, sommeliers, maitre d's, and famed mixologists. Your offices will be Starbucks, three-star restaurants, or the high-end cocktail bar down the street.

Or perhaps you could be like Winona Ryder's character in the iconic Generation X movie Reality Bites. It was filmed around the time you were born, but recessions come and go. After her job at The Gap didn't pan out, her mom suggested she try fast food.

"Why don't you get a job at the Burgerrama?" asked her mother, played by Swoosie Kurtz. "They'll hire you!"

It's not fair. But the world just isn't ready for you. It either doesn't have enough jobs or it doesn't have the right kind of jobs. So what are you to do?

I think you have to change the world. You must help build an economy that works for all of us to save yourselves from Starbucks.

A successful economy doesn't look like the one we've got today. It's an economy where all Americans have good job and can educate their kids, support their families, and retire with security. It's an economy where college is affordable.

Successful economies aren't built by accident. They require strong public policies and public investments that are accompanied by corporate responsibility. Unfortunately, the road to rebuilding our economy and our shattered middle class is blocked.

The biggest roadblock today was erected by the CEOs of corporations that are too big to fail. Greedy Wall Street speculators and the lobbyists and elected officials who do their bidding are also out there throwing wrenches in the works.

You really can change the world. You belong to the largest and most diverse generation our nation has ever seen. You have the power to take back our democracy and set the terms of the national debate. Although you face profound challenges in today's economy, I wouldn't want to bet against you.

Of course, you can't change the world overnight. One good place to start would be to change something already hitting your wallet hard — those staggering student loans. Student debt has now, for the first time, surpassed $1 trillion in our country. Two out of three of you owe student debt. Or your parents do. A total of 37 million Americans are struggling under the weight of these loans that won't be easy to pay back if half of you can't get decent jobs. On average, you each owe at least $25,000.

Some members of Congress would now like make to make it even harder for students to afford higher education. The House of Representative has approved a budget that would eliminate Pell Grants for more than 1 million college students. That would cause students to borrow more, not less. And unless Congress acts by July 1, nearly 8 million college students will see the interest rates on their Stafford loans double, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. That would cost the average college student $1,000 for each year Congress doesn't act.

College should cost Americans less, not more. Just making our nation's student debt burden more manageable won't be enough to build the type of economy that works for all of us.

But we have to start somewhere. It's time to rein in runaway student debt. You'll have to lead the way.

(David Elliot is communications director for USAction, a progressive federation of 22 state organizations. www.usaction.org OtherWords cartoon by Khalil Bendib. (Donald Kaul lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan and writes for OtherWords.org. This column was provided to CityWatch by OtherWords.org a project of The Institute for Policy Studies.)
-cw

Tags: Student Loans, economy, graduation, graduates, jobs






CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 35
Pub: May 1, 2012




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