Archive: Aug 2015

  1. We Don’t Need Another Superhero

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    It’s the dog days of summer, when the heat drives you indoors and the superhero movies drive you to tedium. But lots of good work is still being done even in the triple digits. While Los Angeles hopes for Olympic Gold in the Summer of 2024, we draw your attention to thoughtful education and support programs that are giving the formerly incarcerated a real chance to remake their lives and break out of the recidivism trap. Likewise, we highlight the fine work of our friends at USC’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and their roadmap on how to link high tech growth to high need areas in San Diego. Many of their recommendations touch on the need to invest in quality education and career pipelines. In much the same way, the California Community Colleges Strong Work Force Task Force just released its recommendations on how the nation’s largest college system can better prepare students for high-value jobs in regions throughout the state. Hollywood box office notwithstanding, all this great policy stuff makes us think we don’t need more superheroes — just hard work, thoughtful leadership, and the courage to take risks and do the right thing.

    Sincerely,

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

  2. LA’s Olympic Bid: Is the Third Time a Charm?

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    An unsupportive public, the absence of a cohesive vision, and the prospect of taxpayers footing the bill for cost overruns doomed Boston’s 2024 Olympic bid. Now, with the U.S. Olympic Committee scrambling to find a replacement, it looks like Los Angeles is poised to win the nomination. Although hosting the international competition is nothing new for the City of Angels, how will L.A. avoid the pitfalls that ultimately sank Boston’s bid? And, if selected, will the city be able to emulate its success as the host of the 1984 games? (more…)

  3. Making Life Easier on the Outside

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    The United States is home to more prisoners than any other nation on earth. And with close to 700 out of every 100,000 residents in prison, the nation has the highest prison population rate in the developed world. Our prison system is expensive and highly punitive. At the same time, recidivism rates show that our model isn’t particularly good at deterring crime. Recognizing the failures of the nation’s decades-long tough on crime stance, a rare bipartisan discussion of corrections reform has gained national momentum. With a renewed focus on investing in programs, services, and initiatives that equip formerly incarcerated individuals with the skills they need to navigate the world outside, we take a look at some of the more successful national models, staring here in California. (more…)

  4. New PERE Report on Equity in San Diego

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    Steady growth in high-tech sectors, including biotech, cleantech, and medical technology, have been a boon to the San Diego region. Between 2000 and 2010, employment in these high-skilled fields increased over 20 percent in spite of the Recession. However, this prosperity fails to reach a majority of San Diego residents. According to PolicyLink’s National Equity Atlas, San Diego ranks #62 in income inequality among the largest 150 metro regions in the United States. Higher paid, higher skilled jobs are increasingly out of reach for a growing segment of the population, and lower skilled jobs in sectors like hospitality and tourism, offer stagnant wages and little opportunity for advancement. (more…)

  5. Bringing Community School Parks to LA Neighborhoods

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    Los Angeles nonprofit, People for Parks, just launched its fundraising campaign to start two new Community School Parks. These neighborhood parks are schoolyards that are opened up to the community as playgrounds and parks when school isn’t in session. To reach its goal of opening two school playgrounds every weekend for one year, People for Parks needs to raise $24,000 in the next 30 days. (more…)