At the end of June, current L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will have to leave the official residence and find a new place to live. To help him with the move, Zocalo reached out to their readers to ask for essays about which neighborhood would be the right fit. From Zócalo Public Square:
When he leaves office at the end of June, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will need a place to live—and a community to call his own. On June 30, he will lose his current residence, the Getty House, the official mayoral home in Windsor Square. And he can’t go back to his house in Mount Washington, because his ex-wife got that one in the divorce.
So who will adopt him? Where real estate agents might see the mayor’s predicament as an opportunity for a commission, Zócalo saw it as an opportunity to help a mayor in need and to get Angelenos talking about their communities. We wanted to find out what people think makes their neighborhoods distinctive, why they love their corner of Los Angeles, and how they and their neighbors welcome newcomers.
Angelenos from across the city answered our call and made their best cases for why their L.A. communities should adopt Mayor Villaraigosa. People wrote to us from San Pedro to South L.A., Porter Ranch to Pico-Union, and from points in between. Our favorite entries, which we’re publishing today, touted the wildlife of Hollywood Oaks and the auto shops of Wilshire Vista; they waxed poetic on the big things happening downtown and proclaimed the hipness of Palms. They touted the history of Granada Hills, the rise of the South Carthay post office’s Yelp score, and the convenient commutes from North Hollywood. And we were impressed by some of the more offbeat suggestions: that the mayor forgo picking favorites among the neighborhoods of the City of L.A. and head instead to Culver City, or that he downsize and move into micro-housing.
But the winner, in the end, is Village Green, a historic planned community in the Baldwin Hills neighborhood that not only had two strong supporters among our entrants but also elicited the most compelling response we received, from longtime resident D. Malcolm Carson. We’re delighted to publish his piece and award him our 10 current favorite books on community—the finalists for the 2013 Zócalo Book Prize.
We’ve published a selection of the Zócalo essays here.