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One Serious Problem Gone (Jewish Journal, February 1, 2012)

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The City Council's Shameless Pander (The Wide Angle, October 20, 2011)

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Stout Awards Honors Olney, Morrison and Mantle (The Wide Angle, October 20, 2011)

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Dance With Who Brung ‘Ya (Jewish Journal, September 28, 2011)

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Jury Got It Right in the ‘Irvine 11’ Case (The OC Register, September 23, 2011)

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'Irvine 11' Muslim student protesters found guilty on both charges (KPCC’s Airtalk, September 23, 2011)

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Voting Rights Act Outdated in Modern Day LA (The Daily News, August 21, 2011)

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What Los Angeles Can Teach the UK (BBC News World, August 15, 2011)

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When Did Carrying An ID Become A “White Thing”? (The OC Register, August 15, 2011)

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Bill Crafts Disneyland Version of History (The Sacramento Bee, July 14, 2011)

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An Education Game Changer (The Wide Angles, July 12 2011)

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A Flotilla of Fools (The Wide Angle Blog, July 8, 2011)

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Advocacy, the Academy and Mushy Thinking (The Wide Angle Blog, July 1, 2011)

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Tragic Fiction comes to Life (The Wide Angle, June 23, 2011)

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Coalition Sues to Keep Circumcision Ban Off Ballot (The Jewish Journal, June 22, 2011)

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The Circumcision Wars (The Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2011)

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Male Circumcision Ban Proposed in Santa Monica (The Jerusalem Post, May 25, 2011)

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Right Goal, Wrong Strategy (The Wide Angle Blog, May 11, 2011)

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The Bus Has Left the Station (City Journal, April 1, 2011)

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UCLA Leads the Pack (The Wide Angle Blog, March 29, 2011)

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Mixed Race Marriages and Our Attitudes (The Wide Angles, March 25, 2011)

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The Uncle Tom Accusation, Again (The Wide Angle Blog, March 18, 2011)

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A Forward Looking Decision in Civil Rights (The Wide Angle Blog, March 9, 2011)

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A Rising Wave of Anti-Semitism (Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2009)

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The Wide Angle, A Community Advocates Blog (July - September, 2009)

July… August… September…

Israeli Consul General, Palestinian Lobbyist Reach Mock Peace Agreement (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 6, 2009)

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Critical Issues Seminar—Mock Peace Summit in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, April 29, 2009)

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In Battle Between Teachers, LAUSD, It’s the Kids Who Lose (Daily News, March 6, 2009)

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L.A. at the Tipping Point (www.RonKaye.LA, February 13, 2009)

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Theatrics by the Teachers (Daily News, February 8, 2009)

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Chicago Vs. Los Angeles Their Supe Is Obama’s New Education Man. Our Supe is Nice But… (LA Weekly, January 23, 2009)

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Critical Issues Seminar—Millennials Remaking America with KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, January 21, 2009)

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The Good News About Gaza in America (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, January 21, 2009)

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What Oakland Should be Protesting (Los Angeles Times, January 19, 2009)

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Calling All Radical Reformers to LAUSD (Daily News, December 14, 2008)

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Attention Politicians: Pandering Won’t Fly (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, November 12, 2008)

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Presentation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali of Ziegler Prize for Courage of Conviction (Japan American Theatre, October 22, 2008)

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The Problems and Potential of South L.A., A Dust-Up Exchange between Joe R. Hicks and Earl Ofari Hutchinson (Los Angeles Times, August 11-15, 2008)

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Find Fresh Ideas to Battle Hate, Letter to the Editor (Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2008)

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Fast Food Freeze is a Good Choice for South LA by Jan Perry, Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2008)

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Do You Want Poppycock With That? by Tim Rutten (Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2008)

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Fast-food Moratorium is Meddling (Los Angeles Times, July 31, 2008)

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Critical Issues Seminar on the Role of Race in the 2008 Elections in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, June 27, 2008)

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Shalom is not Funny (Letter to the Editor, Los Angeles Downtown News, June 23, 2008)

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A Dangerous and Precedent Setting Intrusion (Jewish Journal, June 13, 2008)

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“Ziman and Lee” (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 16, 2008

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We Don’t Need More Gabfests on Diversity (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, May 2, 2008)

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Families Deserve More than a Moratorium (Los Angeles Times, Blowback, April 10, 2008)

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On Any Given Sunday, Rev. Wright is Wrong (www.theroot.com, March 26, 2008)

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Obama’s Minister (KPCC’s Airtalk, March 18, 2008)

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LA Gang Violence Spikes (Associated Press, March 6, 2008)

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Critical Issues Seminar on The State of the Black Civil Rights Movement Today in conjunction with the Los Angeles Public Library and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, February)

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Asking Too Much (Los Angeles Times, January 31, 2008)

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Playing a Frayed and Faded Race Card (Jewish Journal, January 18, 2008)

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Limiting Fast Food Outlets---Path to Better Health? (KCET’s Life & Times, December 20, 2007)

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The State Bar and Revealing Data on Minority Passage Rates (KCET’s Life & Times, December 18, 2007)

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Divisions in the Jewish Community—Talking About Jerusalem (KCET’s Life & Times, December 12, 2007)

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Do Los Angeles’ Anti-Gang Programs Work? (KCET’s Life & Times, December 6, 2007)

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Sharpton Leads Call for Federal Investigation of Hate Crimes (Los Angeles Times, November 17, 2007)

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Race Card Backlash (Los Angeles Times, October 30, 2007)

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Critical Issues Seminar on Charter Schools in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, October 5, 2007)

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The Private Lives of Public Officials (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, October 2, 2007)

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“Smart Growth” and Los Angeles Planning (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 20, 2007)

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Civil Rights in Louisiana (To the Point, KCRW-FM, September 20, 2007)

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The Racial/Ethnic Educational Achievement Gap (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 12, 2007)

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Board Vote Not Aimed At Students (Los Angeles Daily News, September 9, 2007)

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Healthcare Reform and Politics (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, September 5, 2007)

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The Constitution and Sex Offenders (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, August 30, 2007)

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‘Profiles in Courage’ ( Jewish Journal, August 24, 2007)

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Where’s the Fire? (Washington Post, August 2, 2007)

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Race and Politics in a Changing South LA (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 20, 2007)

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Gangsta Rap and its Impact (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 13, 2007)

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Mexican Americans and Drunk Driving (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, June 6, 2007)

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Baseball and the Decline in African-American Players (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 30, 2007)

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Los Angeles Unified’s New Board (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 23, 2007)

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Hollywood and its Impact on Political Discourse (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 16, 2007)

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New Times and the NAACP (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 9, 2007)

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Downtown Homeless and the LAPD (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, May 2, 2007)

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Immigration and the new Sanctuary Movement (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 25, 2007)

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The Teachers’ Union and School Reform, (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 18, 2007)

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Drop the Race Card (Washington Post, April 15, 2007)

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The Takeover of the Times (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, April 11, 2007)

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The Governor’s Health Care Plan (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, March 28, 2007)

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Racism in the LA Fire Department? (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, March 14, 2007)

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Critical Issues Seminar in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, February 26, 2007)

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“Has the Nanny State Gone Too Far?” (KCET’s Life & Times, Kitchen Table Conversation, February 28, 2007)

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“Justice Takes A Beating In Long Beach Racial Hatred Case” ( Jewish Journal, February 16, 2007)

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“Gang ‘Marshall Plan’ - Will It Work?” (KCET’s Life & Times’ Kitchen Table Conversation, February 14, 2007)

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“Living Wages or Dying Businesses?” (KCET’s Life & Times Kitchen Table Conversation, January 31, 2007)

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“Gangs of New York and LA” (Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, January 26, 2007)

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KCET’s Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “The Future of the Middle Class in Los Angeles” (Life & Times, January 17, 2007)

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“Does Abe Foxman Have An Anti-Anti-Semite Problem?”, (New York Times Magazine, January 14, 2007)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Military Recruitment on Campus---Right or Wrong?” January 3, 2007

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Is There An Assault on Christmas?” December 13, 2006

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Racism Claims a Stretch" (Daily News, December 1, 2006)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “What is Racism Today?” November 29, 2006

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"Racism in Entertainment", (KCRW's "Which Way LA?", November 27,2006)

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KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding “Border Fence---Boondogle or Barrier?” (life & Times, November 15, 2006)

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“LA’s Jews and Other Minorities---Oh How They Danced” (Los Angeles Jewish Journal, November 11, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Racial Profiling and a National ID Card" (Life & Times, October 18, 2006)

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Critical Issues Seminar in conjunction with the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and KPCC (KPCC's Airtalk, October 9, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Immigration Debate Divides Conservatives" (Life & Times, October 5, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Drugs in Sports" (Life & Times, October 3, 2006)

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Award Dispute", KPCC's Airtalk, September 15,2006

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"Two Faced On Terrorism", Los Angeles Times, September 14, 2006

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Award to Islamic Leader Hathout Stirs Dispute", KCRW's Which Way LA?, September 14, 2006

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "California's High School Exit Exam?", ( Life & Times, August 23, 2006)

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"4 Los Angeles Latino Gang Members Convicted of Anti-Black Conspiracy" (Los Angeles Times, August 2, 2006)

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"Muslim Council's Bias All Too Clear" (Los Angeles Daily News, August 1, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "UCLA's Minority Admissions, (Life & Times, July 19, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding "Celebrity Causes--Ego or Altruism?", ( Life & Times, July 13, 2006)

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Did Anti-Semitism Take Root at the South Central Farm? (Jewish Journal, June 23,2006)

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KCET's Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversations regarding Immigration and Employment (Life & Times, June 21,2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of news segment on the South Los Angeles Farm controversy (Life & Times, June 6, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kithcen-table Conversation regarding the Mayoral takeover of the Los Angeles Unified School District (Life & Times, June 6, 2006)

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Letter to the Editor regarding Race, Religion, and Demographic Change (Los Angeles Times, June 4, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Hybrid Cars and Energy Conservation (Life & Times, May 23, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Teen Sex (Life & Times, May 18, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Black Brown Tensions in LA (Life & Times, May 2, 2006)

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Debate education policy, not race (Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Fatherless Parenting (Life & Times, April 11, 2006)

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Border Protests Not Fight for Civil Rights (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, April 7, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Black-Brown tensions (Life & Times, April 4, 2006)

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Civil Rights? How About Lawlessness? (Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2006)

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KCET's Life & Times transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding Immigration (Life & Times, March 30, 2006)

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Differing Views of Race in L.A. Collide in 'Crash' (Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2006)

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Disputed Film Draws Muted Response (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, February 10, 2006)

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Blacks vs. Latinos at Work (Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2006)

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The Munich Concern Is Us--Not Film (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, January 20, 2006) with Dr. Michael Berenbaum

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NAACP Leader Turned Heads By Backing Tookie (Baltimore Sun, January 15, 2006) Joe Hicks quoted

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Munich Portrays Real World Issues (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, December 23,2005), with Dr. Michael Berenbaum

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New Farrakhan Embodies Old Message (Los Angeles Jewish Journal, October 21, 2005)

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Levees Let Loose An Ugly Flood of Black Paranoia (Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2005)

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Lessons From the Ruins (LA Weekly, August 12, 2005)

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Let's Make A Diploma Mean Something (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2005)

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Police Beating of Minister Disputed (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 2005)

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We Only Burned Ourselves, Baby (Los Angeles Times, August 7, 2005)

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Knee-jerk Activists and Their Tantrum Politics (Los Angeles Times, July 24, 2005)

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"Crash" Is No Picture of the Real Los Angeles (Los Angeles Daily News, June 24, 2005)

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Hit Film Paints Inaccurate Picture of Diverse LA (89.3 KPCC Perspectives, June 23, 2005)
Joe Hicks, the vice president of Community Advocates, says the hit movie Crash ...
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Jackson Trial Reaction Shows How Unimportant Race Is in US (Los Angeles Daily News, June 19, 2005)

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"Reel Life" (Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, June 10, 2005)

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Joe Hicks talks about the election results (89.3 KPCC AirTalk, May 18, 2005)
with KPCC's Larry Mantle and reporter Adolfo Guzman Lopez, Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, Raphe Sonenshein, Bill Rosendahl, Rick Caruso, Antonia Hernandez, , Joel Kotkin and D.J. Waldie.
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  David A. Lehrer
Joe R. Hicks
 
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“Smart Growth” and Los Angeles Planning
KCET’s Life & Times Transcript of Kitchen-table Conversation regarding, September 20, 2007


Val Zavala>> Many southern California neighborhoods are going through dramatic changes. Developers are building up and along with the rise in density are thousands of new apartments and lofts. Many urban planners call this smart growth, but many of us are wondering how smart is it really?

For a look at growth and quality of life, we brought three people together at our Kitchen Table. Gail Goldberg is head of Planning for the city of Los Angeles. Bob Stern is with the Center for Governmental Studies. And kicking off our conversation is David Lehrer of CommUnity Advocates.

David Lehrer>> There's been lots of focus on growth in Los Angeles even in an Op Ed in The Wall Street Journal. What seems to be going on and why is there so much attention paid to this issue now, Gail?

Gail Goldberg>> Well, it's not totally clear to me that there's a lot more attention being paid to it than there has been for some time. I think people in Los Angeles are tired of the traffic. They're tired of getting stuck on the freeways. They're tired of their neighborhoods being overcrowded and not enough facilities. I think it's very frightening when people hear the growth projections, given sort of what the quality of their life is right now.

Robert Stern>> People are very concerned about traffic obviously. I mean, the governor just deleting a whole bunch of money for mass transit and saying, in the county and the city, you've got to do it on your own basically. Go out and get your own financing. People are very upset. People are not going downtown at night because of the traffic and everybody's sort of changing their way. They're all concerned what's going to happen in the future?

David Lehrer>> What's the problem here?

Gail Goldberg>> Well, I think the problem is that we don't have really good plans that guide development. We don't have the kind of plans that can give communities any kind of assurance about what their community is going to evolve into and I think that's very problematic.

Folks today, if you say that in the next twenty years, we're going to get another half million people in the city, I mean, "Where? Where are you going to put a half million people?" They have no idea where, so I think the "where" is the important discussion that we're going to have to have.

David Lehrer>> Well, why haven't we had the discussion?

Robert Stern>> Because people, in a sense, are selfish or maybe self-interested. We all want other people to take the bus. We all want other people to take the train. But we want to be in our car. We want to have that luxury. And the politicians are conflicted. The politicians get campaign money from developers. They believe in growth. Nobody wants to be in a city that's losing population. At the same time, there are large groups of people out there saying, "Stop. Slow growth."

Gail Goldberg>> But help me understand. If you want to stop growth, you don't stop growth by stopping building. That doesn't help you. I mean, stopping growth is a whole other issue and nobody has had that discussion in this city.

I mean, stopping growth? What are the components of growth? It's people living longer. It's more babies being born. It's migration either foreign or domestic. What are the things you can do to stop growth? You can shut down your economy.

Robert Stern>> Yeah, I know. That's right. I think if you talk to some nimbys, not in my back yard people, they would say, "Stop the growth. We don't want any more people coming in. We don't want any more development."

David Lehrer>> Well, that's not going to happen, so let's take that off the table. Acknowledging that California and Los Angeles in particular is going to be growing, how do we then accommodate to that growth in a smart way?

Gail Goldberg>> That then has to become the beginning of a conversation. If we are convinced that people here get it, that the growth is going to happen whether we want it or not, then the next question is what do we do about it? Do we plan for it? Do we not plan for it? And not planning for it is, okay, stop development. Don't build the high-rises.

David Lehrer>> But there's the notion that seems to be fairly popular that, even if we plan for it, the big guys come in and they'll go around the plan and get what they want anyway because they know how to work the system, the big developers and the big builders.

Gail Goldberg>> I think there is absolutely that sense right now in Los Angeles. Los Angeles has a long history of having a fairly political land use environment and, what's more, we have a long history of not having great plans that guide development either for the developers or for the community members.

So I think, if we're going to convince folks in this city that we should plan for growth, then we are going to have to commit to them to give them real plans and the process has got to be a good deal less political than it is now.

David Lehrer>> How political is it?

Robert Stern>> Oh, it's very political. Of course, each council member has his or her own fiefdom and the other council members tend to defer to that fiefdom. The question is sort of the overall plan for the city and for the area and that's not always looked at.

Each city such as Santa Monica might have its own plan, Los Angeles might have its own plan, and there's not enough communication among the cities, among the council districts, to have an overall coordinated plan.

But you can have all the plans in the world and people might not agree with those plans and people might just decide, you know, they're going to live out in Palmdale or they want the single family house.

You can have the mayor who says, "No more single family houses." Well, try to tell that to people who have kids. They're not going to want to be stuck in apartments or condos. So there is a demand that has to be met as well and the question is that we have no land to meet the demand.

Gail Goldberg>> Right, and so a lot of the growth is not going to happen, interestingly, in the city of Los Angeles over the next twenty years. It's for the very reasons that you mentioned. If folks want to have less expensive housing and if they want to have a single family house, they probably are going to have to live outside the city limits.

David Lehrer>> Which only will increase traffic.

Gail Goldberg>> It absolutely will. It absolutely will increase traffic. If we don't do really good plans that begin to put jobs and housing closer together, that begin to create mixed-use environments where people can walk for some of their daily needs instead of driving, and places where people can get on transit and maybe get to and from work, anyone who thinks that your goal is to have manageable traffic in your downtown doesn't understand vibrant urban environments. Every vibrant city has horrible traffic in their downtown area. So what?

Robert Stern>> I guess the worst thing would be if there was no traffic. There would be no economy (laughter).

Gail Goldberg>> Absolutely. But that's the problem every city wants to have, that kind of a vibrant downtown where traffic is your problem.

David Lehrer>> To pull back a little bit, do you sense that the political stars are aligned now so that there can be serious planning in Los Angeles? Are the mayor and the City Council so inclined?

Gail Goldberg>> If I didn't believe that, I would not be here. I honestly would not be here. I think that this city has finally reached the point where the old system, the old culture, isn't working for anyone. The developers can't afford the time it takes to figure out which political winds are blowing and what it is they can build. They need plans to direct them.

The communities are desperately in need of some assurance of what's going to happen. And I think that we can say from what's happened in the eighteen months since I've been here that there is a commitment.

The fact that the City Council gave the Planning Department a huge increase in our budget to do plans and to hire people to process development in a more efficient way, I think that's a commitment to the beginning of a change of a culture that sometimes --

David Lehrer>> -- as a dispassionate observer, do you agree?

Robert Stern>> Well, I'm hopeful. I'm hoping that Gail is right. I'm fearful that she's not. Economy turns down, taxes go down, assessed values go down, the federal government decides it's not going to help fund transit programs anymore, and the question is going to be "Can Los Angeles sacrifice enough to do it?"

Will we pay more taxes to have rapid transit? Will we pay more taxes to improve our roads? That's the real question. If we just rely on the federal government, if we just rely on other people, it won't happen.

David Lehrer>> Well, on that questioning note, I want to thank you, Bob, and thank you, Gail, for joining us at the Kitchen Table.

 

 
   
 
 
   

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