Our first response is always to remind everyone that the vast majority of Angelenos don’t believe that change is even possible. If you’re wondering what change, you’re at least three steps ahead of the average Angeleno. We have to bring the public, the whole public, along.
It doesn’t matter what change we, or anyone else is promoting, if no one believes that change is possible. So that’s our prime mission and focus.
Second, if you believe in change, the question is not what solutions exist, but who will put them into place. We’ve evaluated more than 40,000 pages of materials, research, and study—everything under the Los Angeles sun.
The solutions are there. What’s missing is the will to implement them.
So what makes us different? You, the public.
We’re all tired of people discussing what policies they want in back rooms. We’re all tired of people pretending like solutions don’t exist. The time is now for us to have a real conversation that includes the public, talking with them instead of at them. We are the only organization focused on engaging the entire body public.
That’s democracy. Real democracy. That’s what’s been missing from LA, and what we’re working to restore: a public conversation about what to do, on the merits, and on the facts.
It would be silly for us to say, let’s involve the public, now let’s dictate to them what to think. But we do have plans…lots of them, to share. Here’s just a few.
Homelessness: Prevent homelessness and house everyone, cost-effectively.
Removing the Housing First vs. Services First debate. We must do both. Housing means nothing without addiction and mental health resources, and the lack of these is a chief contributor to rising homelessness. Let’s stop talking about what we “let” people do and help them be and do their best.
Shifting a focus from Permanent to Transitional Housing. The city is obsessed with creating “permanent supportive housing,” (PSH) forever homes for the homeless. But the vast majority of homeless people don’t need forever homes, and they take too long to build and are too expensive. We need to focus on immediate triage housing with services, and quick-build interim housing for 1-3 years. That gets people off the street, the help they need, and buys us time to really determine what permanent resources are needed.
A 24/7 Hotline to prevent homelessness. We need a hotline with real, immediate resources and case workers who can show up with the help you need, when you need it. If you’re about to become homeless, our priority has to keep you in your home.
Affordability: Build for the future while preserving communities today.
Create a market through increased supply. Any market needs both supply and demand, and we’re missing almost 500,000 units from our supply. We have to build at scale.
Preserve our communities. We do not need to disturb any community or their culture to build what we need to create a real housing market. Keep people in their homes, protect tenants, and preserve existing inventory.
Build ethically, responsibly, and quickly. The long-awaited 10-year re-zoning process in LA needs to be done within 18 months. We need guidelines for the 21st century, not 1946. We need incentives, not mandates; opportunities, not over-regulation. We need sensible, permanent affordable housing in mixed-income level communities; we need to preserve single-family neighborhoods while leaning into commercial and high-density opportunities.
Crime: Build a more just system while protecting citizens and reducing crime.
Implementation of the 2015 Department of Justice Community Policing policies. A fairer, more community-based policing system reduces crime, focuses our priorities, and builds better relationships between the police and the communities they serve.
Every dollar to where it does the most good. The right people need to show up at the right place at the right time, and we should fund accordingly. The police need to be able to focus on policing. Mental health, dispute resolution, and other experts need to be available citywide, not in limited pilot programs.
Additional Areas: More will always be needed, there’s no end to what we can address Just a few include…
Allocate infrastructure to protect our city from disaster – repair every pipe over 80 years old (90% of pipes); focus street repairs on those that need it most (contrary to existing city policy), and creative private incentives to contribute to sidewalks and speed humps.
Ensure a minimum percentage allocation per student of total budget in schools. If we’re spending $26k per year per student, a minimum of 80% must be spent directly on classroom-attributable expenditures.
Mandatory forensic auditing for any vendor or non-profit receiving over $100,000 in city funding.
A citywide innovation fund to drive business creation, a home for startups, and permanent long-term revenue opportunities for the city.
A dedicated veteran’s “Victory Company” that provides full-time paid re-entry training and programs that serve our veterans, and communities.