A new survey of Angelenos reveals that we worry a lot about housing and schools. What else does it reveal about the quality of life in the city? Then, a look at a new measure that would legalize so-called bootlegged apartments. In our weekly web roundup, topics include arms sales on Facebook and a new Reddit tool for blocking trolls. Writer Melissa Broder talks about her new essay collection, “So Sad Today.” And finally, some California lawmakers are floating new measures to protect fashion models from unhealthy standards.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Los Angeles might be celebrated for its sunny weather. But the same cannot be said of its residents’ feelings about their city. The first quality-of-life survey of L.A. is out, and it turns out that Angelenos are anxious. Nearly a third are worried about becoming homeless, including people who earn a six-figure salary. Also high on the list of worries is the public education system. On the plus side, people seem to like their neighborhoods, and they think race relations are pretty good. We hear from a former L.A. County supervisor who now directs the school that conducted the survey.
Housing in Los Angeles is notoriously expensive. One way to address that is to create more supply, and the city council is considering a plan that would do that. The proposed measure would legalize so-called bootlegged apartments in the city. These are unpermitted units that are otherwise safe. The law would provide amnesty for those who built units without proper approval, provided the landlords guarantee some units would be affordable for 55 years. Some property owners, however, call that requirement a “dealbreaker.”
On July 5th, 2012, Melissa Broder tweeted “sad today.” She did it anonymously under the handle So Sad Today. That was the first of many raw, honest and often funny tweets she posted on the account. She quickly drew a Twitter following of more than 300,000 and she remained anonymous for several years. She revealed her identity last year when she decided to write a book of essays. The resulting book is called, “So Sad Today,” just like the Twitter account, and Melissa Broder talks to Madeleine about it.
Ever-thinner fashion models, often Photoshopped to look even more waifish, have been worrying health advocates for years. Many in the fashion industry have begun to embrace healthier models, sometimes coined “plus-size.” But most high-end designers still want the clothes hanger look when it comes to model casting. Now lawmakers in many fashion capitals have started to regulate the industry to encourage healthier standards and California may be next. There’s a bill moving through the legislature that would give more workplace protections to models.
More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand
Veterans against arming teachers Some veterans are coming out against the idea of arming teachers. They say they know from experience what semi-automatic weapons can do. They’ve been writing blog posts and op-eds, and tweeting with #VetsForGunReform. Bob Bateman and Joe Plenzler started the movement. They served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Inside the job of a border patrol agent The hardening of the U.S. border means more migrants taking dangerous paths from Mexico to the U.S., traveling through deserts -- sometimes with little water. We talk with a former border patrol agent about what he saw and why he quit.
LA high school senior fights gun violence After the mass school shooting in Florida, many young people are taking action against guns. We talk about the growing protest movement with an 18-year-old activist in LA. We also look at what other countries have done to prevent shootings, like mandatory training and age restrictions.
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