Archive: Nov 2013

  1. Data Nerds & Delta Fixes

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    Image from ohad*: http://www.flickr.com/photos/63209261@N00/61004512/

    Image from ohad*: http://www.flickr.com/photos/63209261@N00/61004512/

    As we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday, let’s take a moment to reflect on the things for which we are thankful. First, we’re thankful that the California State budget is on track to enjoy at least a $2 billion surplus this year. After years of wandering in the deficit desert, California’s finances are back on track and we have Gov. Brown to thank for his unwavering commitment to fiscal discipline. With a healthy surplus in the bank, maybe 2014 will be the year that the Gov will be ready to support legislation for new economic development tools for cities? Or maybe a permanent source of funding for affordable housing? We know we’re ready.

    Second, and this may be a surprise, but we are thankful for the Affordable Care Act. By mid November, nearly 60,000 Californians had secured health care insurance and that number will only rise. That’s good for our state, good for our economy and good for the health and wellbeing of families across California.

    We’re thankful for the Dodgers giving Los Angeles a taste of baseball greatness again.

    We’re thankful for the 33% of voters in San Diego who turned out for a Special Election to fill the vacancy left in the wake of Bob Filner’s implosion. While it may not have met the prediction of 50% voter turnout it puts LA’s 23% dismal turnout for a general election to shame.

    We are thankful for our friends and families who have encouraged us through the journey of launching a public policy consulting firm in the midst of the worst recession in 70 years.

    We’re thankful for our talented staff of analysts, associates and principals who have grown and learned with us in this venture. And we’re thankful for our clients who have given us the opportunity to advise on important and difficult issues as together we try to build healthy, vibrant, sustainable communities.

    Sincerely yours,

    Cecilia V. Estolano | Jennifer LeSar | Katherine A. Perez-Estolano

  2. From a Thirst for Growth to a Thirst for Security

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    Image from Praveen: http://www.flickr.com/photos/14471472@N00/8315334410/

    Image from Praveen: http://www.flickr.com/photos/14471472@N00/8315334410/

    The LA Aqueduct turned 100 earlier this month. This gravity-fed engineering feat set the stage for Los Angeles’ explosive growth in the 20th Century and the celebration of its centennial has spawned a slew of articles, celebrations and news stories. Separating fact from fiction may not be as gripping as watching Chinatown, but we hope that a few more Southern Californians may have learned just how far those drops coming out of their tap have traveled to quench their thirst, or water their California-friendly landscaping. (more…)

  3. The Redevelopment Wind Down Continues

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    Image from Alex Proimos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/34120957@N04/7581237364/

    Image from Alex Proimos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/34120957@N04/7581237364/

    It’s been more than two years since Governor Brown signed the death knell for California’s 400-odd redevelopment agencies, but that hasn’t meant that things have been any less contentious when local government interests conflict with the state’s objectives. Here’s where we are in the process, a snapshot of some of the battles that are being waged, and a look at what’s to come in the ongoing saga of the demise of redevelopment in the Golden State. (more…)

  4. Supporting Manufacturing in the “Next” Economy

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    Image from GORE-TEX Products: http://www.flickr.com/photos/45916722@N08/5476126784/

    Image from GORE-TEX Products: http://www.flickr.com/photos/45916722@N08/5476126784/

    The City of Newark, New Jersey has a rich history as one of the “birthplaces” of manufacturing in the United States. Today, some 400 small manufacturers still reside in Newark, but are subject to different constraints and opportunities than their predecessors. To address these challenges, the City of Newark launched the “Newark Manufacturing Initiative” a partnership between the City and the Brookings Institute. (more…)

  5. Community Scholars 2014: Call for Applicants

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    Image from francisco_osorio: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30330906@N04/8672905493/

    Image from francisco_osorio: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30330906@N04/8672905493/

    The Community Scholars Program is a joint-initiative of the UCLA Department of Urban Planning and the UCLA Labor Center. Each year, Urban Planning graduate students and community and labor leaders of diverse backgrounds come together to participate in a unique applied research project for two academic quarters. (more…)