Tag Archive: Los Angeles County

  1. 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…)

  2. Industrial Land is Too Valuable to Lose

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    The popularity of higher density urban areas has led to an uptick in real estate development in many of the nation’s metros. In the quest to provide housing, offices, and retail establishments to would-be urbanites, many cities are sacrificing lands that housed industrial activity. But local governments may be squandering an economic development opportunity by sacrificing job-producing land that can strengthen the local economy. In cities where real estate markets are thriving, the balancing act between preserving industrial lands while meeting housing, commercial office, and retail needs is a precarious one. But some regions are exploring policies that aim to address this challenge, and the early results are promising. (more…)

  3. Los Angeles Homeless Count

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    This year’s 2015 Greater Los Angeles County Homeless Count kicked off with the participation of 6,000 volunteers.  The three day effort, hosted by the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA), gave volunteers the option of participating in one of the 87 deployment sites located in Service Planning Areas. (more…)

  4. Mapping Los Angeles County’s Urban Agriculture

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    A group of graduate students in urban planning at UCLA, including former ELP employee Jaemi Jackson, has created the first map of urban agricultural activity in Los Angeles County. The group utilized public records, personal interviews, and sophisticated surveying methods to produce an interactive map of every formal urban agriculture site in the county. The group found 1,261 “verified urban agricultural sites,” with over half of the sites located in schools. The other sites include community gardens and commercial agricultural operations. (more…)

  5. Community Resilience and Social Vulnerability to Disasters

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    Disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and pandemics can devastate communities in both the short- and long-term. Recent catastrophic events like Hurricane Katrina, the Joplin tornado, and Hurricane Sandy reinforce the need for adequate disaster planning nationwide. While federal agencies undeniably serve a significant and pivotal role in disaster preparedness and response, it’s local agencies, organizations, and community groups who will help federal officials implement disaster plans and deliver critical services.  (more…)

  6. Stormwater Parcel Tax on Hold

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    Image from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District: http://www.flickr.com/photos/losangelesdistrict/4755714576/sizes/o/in/photostream/

    Image from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District: http://www.flickr.com/photos/losangelesdistrict/4755714576/sizes/o/in/photostream/

    The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing  [PDF, Item #40] earlier this week for the Clean Water, Clean Beaches Fee, a proposed parcel tax on to mitigate stormwater runoff pollution in the county.  The revenue would be used to capture, filter and reuse stormwater before it ever makes it to a sewer. Single family homes would pay around $50 annually, but parcels with large portions of pavement  (think parking lots, big box retailers, schools) stand to pay a lot more.  The hearing comes just a few days after a Supreme Court ruling allowing the Los Angeles County Flood Control District to temporarily avoid responsibility for the high levels of water pollution found in the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers. After hours of testimony from concerned property owners, elected officials, and school board representatives, the supervisors decided to continue the hearing until March 12, 2013 and directed their staff to explore other possible ways to raise the money needed for stormwater runoff control.

  7. Los Angeles: Measure J – Accelerate Traffic Relief and Job Creation

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    We’ve covered this measure before, so this will be brief.

    THE PROPOSAL: If approved, this bill would extend the half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 2008. By extending the sales tax, the local transportation authority will be able to qualify for new financing options and can accelerate the timeline for completing a series of transit projects. (more…)

  8. LA County Wants Your Opinion on Housing

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    The Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning is preparing an update of the County General Plan’s Housing Element. The Housing Element “examines current and future housing needs and identifies public and private solutions to increase safe, decent and affordable housing and housing choice in the County’s unincorporated communities.” The County is soliciting input from the public to inform the planning process. You can fill out the bi-lingual (Spanish and English) survey here.

  9. New Directions in Stormwater Management

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    In Los Angeles County, the finger pointing about who is responsible for cleaning up polluted stormwater has bubbled up to the United States Supreme Court.

    In 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court found that the County and its Flood Control District were in violation of the Clean Water Act by allowing the release of untreated water into the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers. The Flood Control District claims that it cannot be held responsible for the polluted waterways, since it is not the source of the pollution. The County is hoping that the Supreme Court agrees, and finds that the County’s Flood Control District is not responsible for mitigating pollution from urban runoff that ends up in local waterways. (more…)