LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa began his career as an organizer for the United Teachers of Los Angeles. But last week he called UTLA leadership "one, unwavering roadblock to [5 years of education] reform." Union leaders have called him a turncoat who sounds like a conservative Republican. We talk with the Mayor about that and new leadership at the DWP. Also, Governor-elect Jerry Brown holds a forum on the education budget at UCLA. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, President Obama's hope that direct talks would bring Middle East peace in a year seems less likely than ever. The US failed to persuade Israel to freeze settlements in East Jerusalem, and no talks are occurring at all. What went wrong? What might happen next?
FROM THIS EPISODE
The Los Angeles Unified School District is in for change. State money is dwindling, and there will be a new superintendent next spring. Four school board seats will be up for election, and AJ Duffy will step down as head of United Teachers of Los Angeles. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa got his start as an organizer for that union, but now says that schools "once synonymous with excellence" have become "dropout factories." In a major speech last week in Sacramento, he called the teachers' union, "the most powerful defender of the status quo…"
Also, Governor-elect, Jerry Brown is making good on his campaign promise to hold a series of public discussions to define California's problems. Last week in Sacramento, it was the state budget. Today at UCLA, he talked to educators about the education budget.
President Obama said renewing direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians might produce peace in a year. But just three months later, they aren't talking at all and it's back to shuttle diplomacy. Last Friday, Hillary Clinton said the US would continue peace efforts, even after Israel turned down a controversial American offer of billions in high-tech fighter planes in exchange for a three-month freeze on settlement-building in the West Bank.
Daniel Kurtzer, Princeton University
Daoud Kuttab, Al Monitor (@daoudkuttab)
Efraim Inbar, Director, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies
Peter Beinart, City University of New York / Atlantic (@PeterBeinart)
More From Which Way, L.A.?
Which Way, LA? The Question that Won't Go Away 23 years ago, the fires of the Rodney King riots were burning and the sirens wailing when KCRW first asked, WWLA? We've been through fires, floods, earthquakes and massive social, cultural and economic change. While this is the last program titled WWLA? the question still needs to be asked. We talk with a group of important and thoughtful people about what LA has become and about the challenges to be faced in the future…as we continue.
Then and Now: Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? Urban planners got some bad news today. Ridership on public transit in Southern California is on the decline, despite the billions being spent in recent years to build light rail and subway lines. Why aren't more drivers leaving their cars at home, as traffic gets more congested than ever? Meantime, there's a shortage of money to repair aging roads, bridges and other parts of the infrastructure. We look at the impact on the state's economy.
Does California Have a Double Standard for the Public's Protection? Porter Ranch and Vernon are mirror images of each other. In one, schools have been closed and thousands of residents are being moved away by the polluter—just months after a natural gas leak was discovered. In the other, residents complained for years about health risks to school children from exposure to lead and arsenic from a battery recycling plant— until the federal government finally stepped in.
Is 'Warfare' a Thing of the Past at the LAPD? Video of police misconduct wasn’t as common 25 years ago as it is today. The spectacle of LAPD officers beating Rodney King was a wake-up call, but didn’t persuade a jury in Simi Valley. When the cops received not-guilty verdicts, the city exploded. We hear from veteran officers who say they’ve changed. What about their tactics? Have they gained the trust of marginalized communities and people of color?
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Weird and wonderful movies to get you in the Christmas spirit You know the classic holiday movies, such as ”It’s a Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Story.” There are less traditional favorites like “Home Alone” and “Love Actually.” But maybe you’re… Read More
Cartoonist Roz Chast on Manhattan: ‘I feel more alive when I’m there’ Part of the pleasure of reading Roz Chast’s cartoons in the New Yorker is realizing your life isn’t so miserable after all. Her characters live in a world filled with… Read More