Archive: Nov 2012

  1. Adapting to the New Normal

    Leave a Comment

    After a drought-plagued summer and the recent havoc wrought by super storm Sandy, scientists, policymakers, and the public are looking for long-term strategies to minimize the damage caused by Mother Nature. Strictly speaking, there is not enough evidence to fault global warming for any one extreme weather event. However, scientists warn that as temperatures rise, we can expect to see these types of events occur with more frequency. (more…)

  2. Pay for Success Bonds

    Leave a Comment
    Image from Darby / John-Michael Maas: http://vimeo.com/41784209

    Image from Darby / John-Michael Maas: http://vimeo.com/41784209

    Governments are looking at new financing tools to entice private investment to fund social service programs. The financing scheme, in theory, works like this: (1) a social service innovation promises to ameliorate a social ill in a way that reduces costs for government agencies and taxpayers; (2) an investor, wooed by the promise of said program forks over cash to fund the effort; (3) the program promises to deliver results at a minimum quantitative threshold (e.g., reduce chronic homelessness in a neighborhood by 5%); (4) if the program meets the minimum threshold, then investors recoup their initial investment; and (5) if the program exceeds the minimum threshold, then the investor sees a return, based on the overall savings to the government. In a nutshell, that’s how Social Impact Bonds should work. (more…)

  3. Play Fair at Farmer’s Field Scores a Big Win

    Leave a Comment

    The “Play Fair at Farmer’s Field” Coalition, comprised of the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN), Physicians for Social Responsibility, Legal Aid Los Angeles and others, scored a major win this month. The Coalition announced that it had agreed to settle a lawsuit filed against Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), one of the world’s leading sports and entertainment companies. You can read the details of the settlement here, but among the notable gains: $15 million for a Housing Trust Fund to preserve and create extremely low-income housing in the surrounding communities, $1.9 million for additional air quality and bus rider improvements, a City living wage requirement for all on-site jobs, a 40% of all local hires in permanent jobs will be for “disadvantaged workers,” and other assorted community benefits. The measures are aimed at protecting low-income communities that will undoubtedly be affected by the construction of Farmer’s Field.

  4. “Bah! Humbug!”

    Leave a Comment

    Kevin Judd received no candy this Halloween. His home’s Party Rock Anthem Halloween light show spectacular went viral last year but this season his home was dark. Citing the ruckus caused by curious onlookers and passersby, Judd’s Home Owners’ Association put the old kibosh on “extreme” home displays back in March. But fear not, Judd plans to find a different venue for his light show next year.

  5. Crenshaw/LAX Corridor Film Series

    Leave a Comment

    Metro has commissioned video maker Mobolaji Olambiwonnu of Dreamseeker Media to produce six short videos that illustrate the historical context along the Crenshaw/LAX Corridor. The first short video features two local elders reminiscing about Los Angeles’ bygone Red Car Trolley System (“Everyday is Saturday”). The video series offers a welcome glimpse at average Metro transit riders and their needs.

  6. New Study on Affordable Housing Benefit Fee

    Leave a Comment

    The Economic Roundtable has released a new study documenting “the connection between property development and demand for affordable housing.” The study notes that if an affordable housing benefit fee had been in place from 1997 to 2007, “it could have generated an average of $35 to $110 million a year in revenue.” Download the report here.