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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

 

 

  

 

 

 

Why We Should be Worried about LA’s Flat-Lining Population

RECLAIMING LA’S MOJO - The 2010 US Census revealed a remarkable but not surprising truth: From the year 2000 to 2010, and for the first time in 100 years, California’s population grew no faster than the nation as a whole.

Also for the first time in a century, the population of Los Angeles actually shrank when you net out people born here in the past decade. A fresh Census update shows the same: Other US cities have more mojo than LA, baby!
Among the cities growing faster than Los Angeles are Austin, Texas and Atlanta. Of course they’re both considerably smaller, but they have advantages at the moment that are attracting new residents at a faster clip (more on the reasons why in a future CityWatch column).

I don’t want more people sitting on the 405, either, but here’s why we should still care about LA’s flat-lining population numbers: The tax base. Los Angeles needs a stable, if not growing, tax base to deliver core services, and to make investments and improvements … not to mention help fund massive liabilities confronting the city in the next few years, including labor and benefits costs and aging infrastructure.

Yes, there is additional fat to be trimmed from the city budget to fund core services, better collections to be undertaken, more efficiencies (including through technology) to be wrung out of the system, and all the ridiculous corporate welfare to be ended, but that doesn’t discount the larger point: A few more peeps around here could help pay the bills, and would certainly support residential and commercial property values.

We know people have been leaving Los Angeles for 20 years, but they’ve been replaced at a reasonable rate. Only more recently has inward migration really sputtered. Why? Top of the list are lack of investment in public infrastructure (though Measure R is making a dent), low-performing schools and high unemployment. Throw in the gross receipts tax on businesses and the general perception that LA is hostile to business, and it becomes clear why other cities are attracting more residents and private investment.

Sadly, a loss of mojo perpetuates itself.

But for all the evidence of decline (high unemployment and broken streets, sidewalks, trees), there are signs of hope all across Los Angeles: Good schools in the West Valley that attract families from Ventura … reduced crime, and more small parks, in Northeast LA neighborhoods where home prices are rising … a more livable downtown at the center of an expanding public transit network … repaired sidewalks in Sylmar … new corporate locations in Venice.

The challenge for LA is to multiply and accelerate the momentum — to make the good things happening writ small happen writ large, and to fix what remains seriously broken, including lagging Fire service that jeopardizes the health and safety of our people, and a corporate welfare system that’s so depleted the municipal treasury and spoiled some private investors that they won’t invest in the city without handouts that most of the time simply are not needed.

A relentless focus on reclaiming LA’s mojo can make it so … to the benefit of the residents and the businesses that call Los Angeles home.


(Cary Brazeman, a contributor to CityWatch, is a neighborhood council board member, founder of LA Neighbors United, and a candidate for City Controller of Los Angeles. Contact him at cary@carybrazeman.com.)
-cw

Tags: Cary Brazeman, population, Los Angeles, Los Angeles population, business





CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 57
Pub: July 17, 2012

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