FROM Eric Garcetti
LA Mayor: Our work isn’t 2020 yet, it's in flipping the House in 2018 Eric Garcetti talks about his call to end homelessness and what that looks like. He wants to put emergency shelters in every council district, and disputes criticism that 1500 beds is a drop in the bucket. Also: why won’t he call LA a sanctuary city, and what about running for president in 2020? M ayor Eric Garcetti at KCRW by Amy Ta.
LA gets its first-ever chief design officer Longtime Los Angeles Times architecture critic, Christopher Hawthorne has left the paper to take a new position, at the invitation of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, of Chief Design Officer for the city. In his last column for the Times, he wrote about his aspirations for this position, emphasizing a “a clear central focus: the public realm,” as well as initiatives such as supporting young talent through design competitions, enabling better quality of housing and amplifying the design presented to us by the 2028 Olympics. He starts this job on April 16. DnA spoke to Garcetti and Hawthorne about these goals — and the practicalities of achieving them in a city of complex politics. The top of LA City Hall.
Is driverless technology ready for the roads? Imagine driving your car and you look over at the car next to you -- and there’s no driver at the wheel! It sounds like science fiction, but this is already becoming a reality. This week the California Department of Motor Vehicles can begin issuing driverless testing and deployment permits for autonomous vehicle manufacturers. One manufacturer already decided not to apply for this permit: Uber. The company is still investigating last month’s fatal crash in Tempe, Arizona involving a self-driving car. DnA spoke to Grayson Brulte, who advises the city of Beverly Hills about autonomous vehicles, about what the Wright Brothers and the music industry can teach us about innovation and adaptation, why truck drivers will benefit from autonomy, and why “we're on the cusp of one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of society.” Grayson Brulte, an autonomous vehicle consultant in Beverly Hills, says “autonomy will change every single aspect of the economy.” Photo credit: Avishay Artsy. John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog is far less enthusiastic, telling us that “the push for complete autonomy may be misguided and selected applications might make more sense.” Meanwhile Matt Petersen, head of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, is concerned about autonomy’s role in creating a cleaner, more sustainable future, saying it has to go hand in hand with electrification, as well as meeting safety needs. And Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says the city is preparing for a self-driving future, telling DnA, “it's a real exciting opportunity, but we have to do it right.”
Does LA have tunnel vision? The tunnels of the Downtown Regional Connector in Los Angeles Photo by Avishay Artsy There is a tunnel currently under construction 60 feet below Little Tokyo. It's an S-shaped tube and it's finished in curving concrete, parallelogram-shaped panels that are so elegantly arranged that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called it a "sexy tunnel." It's called the Downtown Regional Connector and it will link the Expo, Blue and Gold lines. The tube is being created by a computer controlled machine that drills through the earth and then positions concrete rings in five foot segments. And all this is being done in a way that the project manager says creates very little ground movement. But this is not the only tunnel project in LA. Also in the pipeline are the Crenshaw/LAX Line and two segments of the Purple line (running from downtown west towards Santa Monica). Meanwhile, Elon Musk and his Boring Company are busy boring his own tunnel. Musk has complained loudly about his own LA commute and has suggested various concepts for speeding it up. He once told DnA he wanted to put another deck over the 405. Now he is aiming for a "3D" tunnel network in which vehicles would be lowered down onto rails on an electric skate that would then shoot underground at about 130 miles per hour. "There's no real limit to how many levels of tunnel you can have," Musk explained at a TED Talks event. "You can go much further deep than you can go up... so you can alleviate any arbitrary level of urban congestion with a 3-D tunnel network." Musk recently tweeted out an image of a stretch of tunnel under the parking lot of his company SpaceX in the city of Hawthorne. He says it is 500 feet and should be two miles long in three or four months; and adds that it will hopefully stretch the whole 405 north-south corridor from LAX to the 101 in a year or so. Is it a coincidence that if built -- and it's a big if since this project would involve multiple cities and jurisdictions -- it would run conveniently near his own home in Bel Air? DnA talks to the mayor and a city engineer about LA's boom in tunnel building.
Mayor Garcetti joins Governor Brown for affordable housing bills signing On Friday, Governor Jerry Brown signed a package of more than a dozen bills aimed at easing California’s affordable housing crisis. The bills include a $4 billion statewide housing bond that will appear on the November 2018 ballot. There’s also a bill that would make it harder for cities and counties to stand in the way of certain housing projects. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined Governor Brown for the bill signing.
In DC, LA mayor weighs in on Trump classified intel story LA Mayor Eric Garcetti is in Washington, where he spoke at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank. Other Democratic leaders are there, including Senator Kamala Harris and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. It’s seen as an early vetting forum for possible presidential candidates.
Mayor Garcetti on the future of LA and his leading role in California LA Mayor Garcetti explains what the city must do to create more affordable housing and get the homeless out of tent encampments. We also ask whether he considers LA a sanctuary city, and whether he’s eyeing higher office.
A New Hope for Lucas Museum in LA The Star Wars creator has been looking to build a home for his collection of Narrative Art Museum for several years. And the saga has nearly as many sequels as Star Wars itself. Now Lucas has set his sights back on the West Coast and has pit LA and San Francisco against each other. And he has offered each a design by Ma Yansong. But along the way art critics have been dismissive about the "narrative art" collection itself. We will hear from a San Francisco Chronicle art critic who argues it could just be the "core of a great museum."
Mayor Garcetti on housing politics Housing affordability and homelessness are among the most urgent crises facing Los Angeles right now. That’s led to not one but three ballot measures coming up in November and March. Two take aim at developers. Backers say builders need to do more to lower housing costs. The third, put on the ballot by the City Council, would raise property taxes to fund new housing for the homeless.
Riding the Expo Line The last time Los Angeles residents were able to take a train to the beach, it was the Red Car in 1953. But on May 20, Angelenos will be able to board an Expo Line train in downtown LA and take it to downtown Santa Monica, just blocks from the pier. The extension was delayed for decades over safety, environmental and funding concerns. But now Metro, the train's operator, is hailing this and other subway extensions as a "transit renaissance" for the region. Is LA moving toward a less car-dependent future? LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, train operator William Smith, and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti Photo: Rob LaFond
L.A. Sees Another Rise in Homelessness, Garcetti Reacts Homelessness increased in the last year ,it’s up 5.7 percent in Los Angeles County, up 11 percent in the city of L.A. Visible homelessness, people living in tents, encampments, and in their cars, has more than doubled in the county since 2013. Veteran homelessness, however, is down. That’s all according to findings released this week by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, based on research conducted in January 2016. Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged to end veteran homelessness in the city and has made homelessness a central issueduring his tenure.
A New Price Tag For L.A.'s Homeless Crisis In a new report , the city’s top financial adviser says it’s going to cost to nearly $2 billion to house our homeless over the next 10 years. City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana says it’ll take at least $1.85 billion to house the 26,000 people who live on L.A.’s streets over the next decade, and that most of the money should go to new housing. It sounds like a tall order and it’s up to our elected officials to decide how to fill it. We get the mayor’s reaction.
All LAUSD Schools Closed Due to Terror Threat Almost 700,000 students in America's second largest school district were told to stay home today -- when almost 1000 schools were closed because of a terrorist threat deemed "credible" by Superintendent Ramon Cortines.
Garcetti in Paris World leaders are gathered in Paris this week to work on what’s been called the planet’s best, last hope for slowing climate change. The United Nations Conference on Climate Change — or COP21 — is supposed to produce a landmark agreement on global warming.
Mayor Garcetti on Homeless Veterans L.A. has more homeless vets than any other county in the country. Last summer, Mayor Eric Garcetti pledged to end veteran homelessness in Los Angeles by the end of this year. Garcetti has since had to extend that deadline to next summer — and the most recent count shows that veteran homelessness has actually gone up over the past two years in L.A. County.
Black Lives Matter Protesters Shut Down Mayor’s Community Meeting Black Lives Matter protesters shouted and turned their backs on Mayor Garcetti at a community meeting held last night at the Holman United Methodist Church in South LA. The meeting was meant to help improve the mayor’s relationship with the community there. The meeting was shut down early.
Hua Hsu: A Floating Chinaman Author Hua Hsu stops by to discuss his book A Floating Chinaman, recounting the life of 1930's actor/writer H.T. Tsiang and his struggles entering the American literary world.
Previewing James Comey's blockbuster testimony Former FBI director James Comey testifies Thursday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, but his opening statement has been released. In it, he says he felt pressured by Donald Trump to declare loyalty to him and publicly clear him of any wrongdoing in the Russia investigation.
Gov. Jerry Brown: California and China will fight climate change together President Donald Trump reportedly wants the U.S. to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, and he’s expected to announce a decision soon. California Governor Jerry Brown heads to China to strengthen climate and clean energy ties.