UCLA Study: $583 In Housing Funds Could Be in Danger

September 14, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Los Angeles could miss out on hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue if Mayor Eric Garcetti’s goal of building 100,000 new units of housing by 2021 is not met, according to a study released Tuesday by the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

“This study illuminates the need to reform and streamline the city of L.A.’s housing development process now,” said Paul Habibi, who lectures on finance and real estate at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and is also a lecturer at UCLA School of Law. “To ensure that the mayor’s 100,000-unit goal is met, the city must enact reforms that allow us to make the most of a strong market, and help us weather the years ahead as the current development cycle runs its course,” or risk the loss of $583 million in housing revenue.

A number of recent studies have ranked Los Angeles among the most unaffordable housing markets in the nation, as rent and real estate prices have skyrocketed due to a housing shortage. As a result, some city leaders have been pushing numerous ways to speed up the development of housing, including a “linkage fee” on developers being touted by Garcetti.

The UCLA study, which was produced in partnership with the Los Angeles Business Council, concluded that L.A. is on track to hit the 100,000-unit goal, but more reforms are needed to reach the included goal of 15,000 affordable units and to ensure that development continues at its current pace.

“We see Mayor Garcetti’s 100,000-unit goal as a floor for our city’s housing needs and believe we have a ceiling closer to 500,000 units based on our regional housing needs assessment,” said Mary Leslie, president of the Los Angeles Business Council. “Developers conservatively cite a five- to six-year timeline for building one affordable housing project. That is far too long if we’re going to build our way out of this housing crisis.”

While the study does not recommend a linkage fee, it does recommend funneling a portion of the money generated by new housing through tax revenues and fees back into the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

The study also recommends that the city take action to decrease processing times for development proposals by 25 percent, expand expedited processing to include projects that require new environmental impact reports, and raise the city’s site plan review requirement above its current threshold of 50 units.

“The city has available mechanisms to cut down pre-construction processes, but they are not broad enough in their scope to be effective,” said City Councilman Gil Cedillo, who is chair of the Housing Committee. “That is why I have introduced a motion to expand L.A. City Planning’s expedited
processing section, which allows applicants to pay a fee to reduce up to 50 percent of the time it takes to process entitlement applications. I’m also working on increasing the city’s site-plan review threshold, which has added an additional deterrent to increasing our affordable and workforce housing stock by adding additional bureaucratic hurdles to an already burdensome process.”

Although the city is on pace to reach 100,000 units by 2021, the study predicts a number of factors that could throw it off its pace, including that at least one economic downturn is possible by 2021 and that the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety projects a decline in future development
activity over the next two fiscal years.

Another factor the study cites is Build Better L.A., a ballot measure approved by voters in November that requires developers seeking special approval for projects bigger than zoning laws allow to include a number of affordable units, which the study authors said adds significant regulation to future development projects.

L.A. Council Committee Approves Fee on Developers

August 24, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

A Los Angeles City Council committee Tuesday supported one of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s top priorities, requiring real estate developers to help fund the construction of affordable housing through a “linkage fee.”

Although two members had expressed some reservations about the proposal at a meeting in June, the committee approved without objection some new recommendations that would create a tiered fee structure depending on the market rate of the neighborhood.

“We are very proud here today to bring this very important proposal before the committee for action,” said Councilman Jose Huizar, who is the Planning and Land Use Management Committee’s chair, at a news conference before the meeting.

“We want to come away with as many dollars as possible with a committee and council vote and create what we have not had in the city of Los Angeles for a number of years now — a steady, funded revenue stream specifically earmarked for affordable housing.”

Garcetti first proposed the idea for a linkage fee two years ago and called on the City Council to pass it during his State of the City speech in April, but the fee has proven to be divisive.

“This is by far one of the most divided subject matters, depending on who you talk to that are in this space. Everybody’s got a different opinion,” Councilman Mitchell Englander said.

“This is like navigating a live mine field, that if we make it through it somehow, we’ll live. But if we misstep at all, we don’t, and the consequences are devastating.”

Some key business groups, including the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, have also come out against the linkage fee and argued it would slow the construction of affordable housing by increasing the cost of building.

“The business community strongly supports affordable and workforce housing, but this proposal will make low- and middle-class housing more expensive to build and more expensive to rent or own,” according to the chamber.

The fee approved by the city’s Planning Commission in February would have charged $5 to developers for every square foot of new commercial construction and $12 per square foot for new residential projects. On Tuesday, however, the committee instead voted to approve a tiered structure, ranging from $8 to $15 per square foot for residential and $3 to $5 for commercial, depending on the market value of the neighborhood.

The vote, if approved by the full council, directs the city attorney to craft an ordinance creating the fee. The ordinance would then need to be voted on and signed by Garcetti before it could become law.

When Garcetti first proposed the idea, he estimated the linkage fee could raise up to $100 million per year for affordable housing, but a staff report approved by the commission downgraded the estimate to $75 million to $92 million per year.

A Department of City Planning and Housing and Community Investment Department report estimated the fee could raise between $93.7 million to $114.3 million per year with the tiered structure.

Garcetti set a goal in 2014 for construction of more than 100,000 units in Los Angeles by 2021 as a way to combat a housing shortage that has contributed to rising rents and an increase in homelessness in the city.

However, not all city leaders are convinced the linkage fee will help affordable housing or that it won’t lead to other problems.

Englander in June expressed worry that the fee could end up harming low-income people because developers and landlords will just pass the cost on to tenants.

“Everybody wants to stick it to the developer,” Englander said. “Hey, that would be a great option. At the end of the day we are sticking it to the nurse, the teacher, the firefighter and they can’t afford it and they are moving out of Los Angeles and they are commuting two hours.”

Councilman Curren Price said at the same meeting that a “one size fits all” fee could end up harming low-income neighborhoods.

However, Englander and Price both ended up supporting the new tiered fee, and Englander said he has always supported a linkage fee, it has just been a question of finding the right “sweet spot” that doesn’t slow development.

The fee would have various exemptions, and the committee recommended adding a few more, including exemptions for all hospitals and nonprofits, although it asked staff to report back on what the fiscal impact would be.

Although he is not on the committee, Councilman Gil Cedillo, who chairs the Housing Committee, has also expressed doubts about the fee.

“If we think this is the whole solution we are really making a mistake,” Cedillo told City News Service in June

“There’s a sense — and I’ve said this publicly and in forums — I don’t want people to think we are solving the problem. And people get attached to process and to the battle and they’re not looking at how we should approach the war.”

The report from the departments of planning and housing and community investment concluded that the fee would not result in a significant increase in housing prices.

The report also concluded that developers are unable to pass on the costs of new housing impact fees to tenants and home buyers because most developers are introducing a relatively small number of units into a community, where the price has already been set by the marketplace.

The idea for a linkage fee to fund affordable housing is not new. Other California cities such as Oakland, San Diego and San Francisco have one, as do other cities around the nation.

“I’m from New England. I went to school in Boston,” Councilman Mike Bonin said at the news conference.

“When I was in college, Boston established an affordable housing linkage fee. When they were talking about it, I remember the headlines in The Boston Globe — the sky was going to fall and the world was going to end, housing would stop and the boom in Boston would end. It didn’t happen.”

París y L.A. Acogerán los Juegos Olímpicos de 2024 y 2028

July 13, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

El Comité Olímpico Internacional votó el martes por unanimidad para otorgar los Juegos Olímpicos de Verano 2024 y 2028 simultáneamente en septiembre – lo que significa que Los Ángeles es seguro que se le otorga una serie de juegos, probablemente en 2028, mientras que París recibe el otro.

Los Ángeles y París son las únicas dos ciudades que compiten por los ’24 Juegos y ambos hicieron presentaciones formales al COI el martes pasado en Suiza. Boston, Roma, Budapest y Hamburgo habían expresado su interés por los Juegos, pero luego se retiraron de la competición.

El alcalde Eric Garcetti dirigió la delegación de Los Ángeles mientras que el de París fue liderado por el presidente francés Emanuelle Macron e incluyó a la alcaldesa de París Anne Hidalgo. Garcetti y Hidalgo agradecieron al COI después de su voto, según informes de Lausana.

Ahora que el COI ha aprobado la concesión simultánea de ambos Juegos, se espera que el movimiento asegure el año 2028 para Los Ángeles porque la delegación de la ciudad ha sido receptiva a la idea mientras que los organizadores de París han insistido en ’24 porque su aldea olímpica prevista no estará disponible en ’28. Varios medios de comunicación, citando fuentes anónimas, han dicho que los funcionarios del COI están a favor de París para el ’24.

A pesar de las declaraciones flexibles de los funcionarios de LA 2024 en los ’28 en los últimos meses, Garcetti insistió en que la decisión sobre qué ciudad será la sede en ’24 no es un trato hecho.

“No estoy siendo tímido, no hemos deducido quien va y cuando. Sólo tengo la confianza de que lo hará. Ambas ciudades tienen que evaluar ahora que las reglas han cambiado y siempre he dicho que no puedo tomar un hipotético”, dijo Garcetti en una conferencia de prensa después de la votación del COI. “[El martes fue] el primer momento, literalmente minutos atrás, donde esto ya no es un hipotético. Nos sentaremos con nuestro equipo, París se sentará con su equipo. Y, por supuesto, ya sea ’28 o ’24, ambas ciudades tienen que mirar cuáles son sus necesidades dentro de sus ciudades y las posibilidades de cómo mejor puede hacer los Juegos”.

L.A. 2024 también elogió la decisión del COI de otorgar ambos Juegos.

“Este es un día orgulloso para Los Ángeles y para los Movimientos Olímpicos y Paralímpicos en América. Estamos encantados con la decisión del COI, que es un gran paso adelante para hacer realidad el sueño olímpico de Los Ángeles”, según una declaración de L.A. 2024 hecho el martes. “Hoy, dos de las ciudades más grandes del mundo, con propuestas pendientes pero diferentes, están listas para servir y avanzar los movimientos olímpicos y paralímpicos y sus valores. Esperamos con interés trabajar con el COI y París en las próximas semanas para convertir esta oportunidad de oro en un futuro dorado juntos”.

La delegación de L.A. en Suiza incluye a Garcetti, LA 2024 presidente Casey Wasserman, director general Gene Sykes y vicepresidentes Janet Evans y Candace Cable, entre otros. El grupo, el martes por la mañana, dio al COI una presentación de 45 minutos sobre la candidatura de la ciudad, incluyendo una sesión de Q & A de 30 minutos.

Utilizando los lugares existentes como el Coliseo Memorial de Los Ángeles y los ya planificados por inversionistas privados, LA 2024 presentó un presupuesto equilibrado de $ 5,3 mil millones para los Juegos.

“L.A. posee una enorme variedad de instalaciones deportivas existentes y modernas”, Janet Evans, cuatro veces campeona olímpica y vicepresidenta del comité de L.A. 2024 que encabeza el esfuerzo de la ciudad para ser seleccionado como anfitrión, dijo el COI, repitiendo lo que ha sido un recurrente en la candidatura de Los Ángeles. “La Comisión de Evaluación llamó a nuestros lugares ‘alucinante’ – y lo son”.

El presidente del COI, Thomas Bach, hizo eco de un reciente informe de la Comisión de Evaluación de la COI, que concluía que las ofertas de L.A. y París estaban en línea con reformas que el comité ha estado luchando durante los últimos años.

La Agenda Olímpica 2020, aprobada en 2014, tiene como objetivo combatir la corrupción y mejorar la transparencia y la buena gobernanza.

“Estamos muy impresionados con la forma en que ambas ciudades han adoptado las reformas de la Agenda Olímpica 2020”, dijo Bach en vísperas de la presentación de la delegación de la Liga Americana.

Garcetti trató de reforzar el punto al cerrar la presentación de la ciudad.

“En primer lugar, somos una ciudad joven, llena de nuevas ideas”, dijo el alcalde. “En segundo lugar, no estamos enfocados en los últimos 100 años, estamos enfocados en los próximos 100. La pregunta que cada ciudad candidata debe responder es: ‘¿Qué dejamos atrás después de los juegos, no sólo para nuestra ciudad, sino para el movimiento?’”

“Hemos pensado mucho sobre esto. Nuestro objetivo es ofrecerle algo diferente, algo único – no más de lo mismo. Ninguno de nosotros puede permitirse más de la misma”.

Garcetti dijo que “así como los griegos usaron el sol para encender la llama, queremos usar la luz solar de nuestra creatividad para iluminar el futuro de sus grandes juegos”.

También en la delegación de L.A. estaba el cuatro veces olímpico Allyson Félix, una Angelina que quien destacó que los Estados Unidos es una buena elección como sede de los Juegos Olímpicos a pesar de una turbulenta historia.

“Míreme. Mi patrimonio es africano. Y el camino de mis ancestros a mi condado era de esclavitud, no de libertad”, dijo. “Pero de ese doloroso pasado, nuestra nación se adaptó, y cambiado para mejor – y lo hará de nuevo. Creo en eso con todo mi corazón o yo no estaría aquí hoy apoyando nuestra oferta”.

La selección de la ciudad anfitriona para ’24 y ’28 tendrá lugar en Lima, Perú, en septiembre. Si se concede con uno de los Juegos, será la tercera vez que Los Ángeles será sede de los Juegos Olímpicos después de haber sido anfitrión en 1932 y 1984.

El presidente Donald Trump, mientras tanto, twitteó que está “trabajando duro” para llevar los Juegos Olímpicos de Verano a Los Ángeles, pero exactamente lo que está haciendo no fue inmediatamente claro.

Trump se reunió en la Oficina Oval el mes pasado con Bach y “prometió su apoyo total” a la candidatura de Los Ángeles, según la Casa Blanca.

L.A. Zoo Admission Goes Up Saturday

June 29, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Admission to the Los Angeles Zoo will go up by $1 starting Saturday, under action taken today by the City Council.

The council formally approved the hike, which was outlined in the 2017-18 budget passed by the panel and signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti last month.

The new prices mean general admission will be $21 for adults, $16 for children ages 2 to 12, and $18 for seniors age 62 and older.

The general admission fees for groups of 15 or more will also be increased by $1 per person, from $17 to $18 for adults and from $14 to $15 for children.

The city has not raised the admission fee at the zoo since a $1 hike was instituted in 2015, but had raised it by $1 every year for eight straight years before then.

Mayor Garcetti Pushes L.A. Olympic Bid as “Creative, New”

April 6, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Mayor Eric Garcetti took a swipe at the French capital Tuesday, arguing before an audience in Denmark that Los Angeles would be a better host than Paris for the 2024 Summer Olympics because it can offer ‘something creative and new – not more of the same” at this “important time” for the Olympic Movement. The mayor was delivering part of a presentation that LA 2024, the panel spearheading the effort to be selected by the International Olympic Committee as the host of the Olympic Games in seven years, gave in Arhus, Denmark, to the General Assembly of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations.

Other members of the L.A. delegation were LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman, LA 2024 CEO Gene Sykes and LA 2024 Chief Strategy Officer Angela Ruggiero.

Garcetti set out why Los Angeles, the summer Olympics host in 1932 and 1984, represents the “ideal partner” for the Olympic Movement today.

“It’s important we draw a distinction in our vision here today, because although many believe the two bids in this race are quite similar, they are, in fact, very different, the mayor said. “LA 2024 offers the Olympic Movement something creative and new – not more of the same.”

“First, we don’t have to build a single permanent new venue. That’s very important because it means a no risk, no surprises” budget. Next, we can harness the 100 million people under 25 in America, and the power of our $250 billion-dollar sports market for your sports.

“And finally, we can help create a new Olympic connection to the world’s youth with the incredible intersection of new media, technology and Hollywood storytelling found only in California.”

Garcetti also touted his city’s status as an international melting pot.

“…We’re a city that is not defined by a single culture; almost 40 percent of my fellow Angelenos were born outside the United States – that, my friends is unity, not simply diversity. We’re the face of the world today, and of our country tomorrow.”

And the mayor pointed to popular support for the games in his city – an element bidding cities have not always enjoyed.

“What’s so different about LA 2024? Well, for starters, we have an incredible level of 88 percent public support,” he said. “LA is a city in love with the Olympics – it’s part of who we are because it’s in our DNA.”

Ruggiero, in her presentation segment, revealed LA 2024’s plans to give international sports federations a greater role in the planning and presentation of their sports.

“Our commitment to the IFs is not just for the 16 days of the Games in 2024; it is for the seven-year build-up and beyond,” she said.

Wasserman closed the presentation by describing why Los Angeles is the 2024 candidate City that promises the Olympic and Paralympic Movement new ideas and creativity, credibility and stability, and reduced risk for the next seven years and beyond.

“LA 2024 is not a government project, with all the risk and uncertainty that implies in today’s world,” he said.

“Just like our bid, our Games will be privately funded and privately managed, free of government interference. LA 2024 will achieve two very important goals: minimize financial and execution risk, and maximize the experience for each of your sports at the Games.”


March Election Filing Period Opens

November 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The filing period opened Monday for people interested in running for office in Los Angeles’ March election.

Aspiring candidates will have from Nov. 7-11 to submit their declarations of intention to run, and about a month – from Nov. 12 to Dec. 7 – to submit nominating petitions.

The declaration and petiation filings should be submitted to the Office of the City Clerk’s Election Division at the Piper Technical Center, 555 Ramirez St., Space 300, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

The March primary and May general elections include races for mayor, city attorney and city controller. Also open are the eight City Council seats representing odd-numbered districts, and the even-numbered seats on the Los Angeles Unified School District and Los Angeles Community College District boards.

Resource Centers Assist Students with College Apps

October 13, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

High school students can now get college application help by visiting FamilySource Centers throughout Los Angeles.

Each of the city’s 16 resource centers will have an area staffed by college students who can help applicants find out about what classes they need to take, where and how to prep for tests and assist in filling out financial aid forms. The “college corners” also offer scholarship listings and college readiness programs.

Mayor Eric Garcetti, who took part in an event last week to promote the college corner resource, noted that “understanding college admissions requirements and filling out complicated forms can intimidate even the most motivated people.”

“It doesn’t have to be that way, and our College Corners put resources within reach so that knowledge and access can be turned into achievement,” he said.

College applicants can start submitting financial aid forms earlier than in previous years, with the date moved up to Oct. 1 and paperwork due March 2.

To find a nearby FamilySource Center, visit http://hcidla.lacity.org/family-source-centers.


L.A. Declares Homelessness Crisis

September 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Saying a “state of emergency” exists in Los Angeles due to rampant homelessness, Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Council members said Tuesday they plan to spend $100 million or more to battle the problem.

Garcetti said the homeless people who sleep on the lawn of City Hall lawn are a “symbol of our city’s intense crisis,” and said he wants the city to immediately put $13 million into services and rental subsidies for the city’s homeless.

More than 25,000 people are homeless within the city of Los Angeles, according to the latest 2015 count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Countywide, homelessness has risen 12 percent since 2013’s count, from 39,461 to 44,359 people homeless.

Several City Council members introduced motions Tuesday to declare an emergency around homelessness and ask for a plan to spend up to or more than $100 million in city funds to address the issue. Council members said they have yet to figure out where they will find the money, or whether the money will be spent annually or spread out over time.

The declaration of an emergency is a tool that has been used by California government agencies, including cities, to ease rules around the use of city facilities and private property as shelter for the homeless. The city of Los Angeles declared a state of emergency following the 1994 Northridge

earthquake in order to more quickly shelter displaced residents, Councilman Mike Bonin’s spokesman David Graham-Caso said.

The city’s annual winter shelters are also made possible through a declaration of a shelter emergency, he said.

This latest proposed emergency declaration would not only make it easier to set up shelters in Los Angeles, but could also allow the city to speed up the construction of affordable homes in the city.

The motions will be discussed by the Homelessness and Poverty Committee, which is meeting next on Oct. 7.

Garcetti, who has promised to release a “battle plan” on homelessness, said he wants the city to spend $100 million per year on services, according to a letter he sent Monday to City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana. Garcetti wrote that he has been working with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Home for Good, the Los Angeles Homeless Services

Authority and others to develop a “separate but coordinated” approach for the city and county that will be rolled out over the coming weeks.

“My goal is for these strategies to yield the necessary investments, including $100 million each year for permanent supportive housing, rapid re-housing, and interim housing for homeless people, Garcetti wrote.

While these efforts are expected to be concluded in the winter, “we cannot wait until we finish this critical planning process,” according to Garcetti’s letter.

“We must do everything we can now to get people off the streets and into housing with the resources we have available,” the mayor wrote.

He instructed Santana to plan for a potential $5 million to be spent on providing short-term rental housing subsidies that could “rapidly re-house” about 1,000 homeless people for six to nine months, along with another $5.1 million to do the same for homeless veterans.

He also proposed spending $665,000 to help open winter shelters a month early, keep them open a month longer and offer round-the-clock services when it is raining.

Garcetti also proposed putting $1 million into helping to create regional facilities where the homeless could store their belongings, do their laundry, take showers and get referrals to services.

Another $1 million should pay for data entry work for a “coordinated-entry-system” that helps manage resources for homeless individuals so that emergency response teams can spend more time doing homeless outreach.

He said these and other initial steps could “give us the momentum needed to make real progress over the coming year.” He also said they are also needed to prepare for the expected “severe weather conditions from El Nino this year.

City Council President Herb Wesson said members of the council’s Homelessness and Poverty Committee, which is co-chaired by councilmen Jose Huizar and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, will introduce a motion at this morning council meeting calling for $100 million to be dedicated to services for the homeless, particularly permanent supportive housing and shelter programs.

The motion is also expected to call for a study of how the funding could be leveraged “to ensure an ongoing revenue stream to support the program,” according to Wesson’s office.

Santana recently released a report stating that the city already spends an unplanned $100 million due to homelessness, the bulk of which is used for law enforcement responses to the issue.

Garcetti and other council members have recently come under pressure from advocacy groups to move away from using police officers and other enforcement measures in remedying homelessness, and to instead put more funding into housing. An ordinance recently adopted by the council would make it easier for the city to dismantle homeless encampments and confiscate belongings.

Wesson Tuesday addressed those concerns, saying that “as a moral society, we have an obligation to provide shelter for the shelterless.”

According to Harris-Dawson, “a substantial infusion of resources is the only way to deal with the emergency we face.”

He said the $100 million “investment, along with commitment and coordination with Los Angeles County, neighboring cities and the private sector can set us on a path to sustainable recovery.”

Pete White, a co-founder of Los Angeles Community Action Network, which has been pressing city leaders to spend more money on housing and to reduce the use of law enforcement to address, said the announcements Tuesday were “an important step,” but the only money that was actually promised was the $13 million proposed by the mayor.

He said he is concerned city money would still largely go to Los Angeles Police Department to staff heightened programs in areas such as downtown’s Skid Row, with as many as 50 officers patrolling a small, 50-block area with a high homeless population.

The $87 million that is spent in the police department to address homelessness should instead be used to help fund the $100 million that city leaders Tuesday vowed to commit to homelessness, he said.

“We have got to stop wasting so much money on enforcement and begin to apply those resources to things that actually work,” he said.

The Broad Museum Opens in Downtown Los Angeles

September 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Broad contemporary art museum opened its doors to a curious public Sunday eager to get a peek at the new $140 million home of the 2,000-piece art collection built over several decades by billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad and wife, Edye.

With more than 105,000 advance tickets already booked through to the end of the year, large crowds are expected to continue flowing in over the coming months, museum officials said.

The Broad’s inaugural exhibit features works by Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha, Kara Walker and Takashi Murakami – all part of a collection that the Broads have been loaning out to other venues around the world for the past 30 years.

Also on display is one of the Broads’ latest acquisitions, Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrored Room – the Souls of Millions of Light Years Away.” The piece, made up of multi-colored LED. lights reflected by mirrors inside a 200-square-foot room, can only be viewed one person at a time.

In addition to the art, the museum’s architecture will likely be a highlight for patrons. The design, by the firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, features a white latticed exterior wrapped around a cool subterranean-like interior.

Architect Elizabeth Diller, the principal at Diller Scofidio + Renfro, said the “porous and matte” feel of The Broad creates a “relationship of contrasts” with the “smooth and shiny” attributes of its neighbor, the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The three-story building includes 50,000 of gallery space and a 21,000 square foot “vault” – seemingly suspended at the center of the structure – that house all 2,000 or so pieces of The Broad’s collection, with the exception of a life-sized fire truck.

Curator and founding director Joanne Heyler said she took a “straightforward, wide-lens chronological approach” to showing off the Broads’ art collection in the inaugural show.

She said the museum provides an opportunity to offer a comprehensive look at a collection that has only “been seen in fragments over the years.”

The collection includes a “deep concentration” of pop art from the 1950s and 1960s, providing “a truly unique opportunity to experience these rare master works free,” she said.

Broad said the art collection stored and shown at the museum was built over nearly 50 years and fueled by an interest in art acquisition that became “not only a passion, but also an addiction.”

It was particularly important for the museum to bring more recent art to a wider audience, Broad said.

“Contemporary art is the art of our time,” he said. “It reflects an important social, political and cultural commentary on the world in which we live.”

To illustrate this point, Broad cited familiar Warhol pieces depicting pop culture icons like Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Kennedy, and Barbara Kruger’s feminist statement piece “Your Body is a Battleground” that served as “a symbol of the 1980s women’s march on Washington.”

Also on display is a charcoal drawing by Robert Longo showing a hazy scene of riot police in Ferguson, Missouri, providing commentary that is especially relevant in the present day, Broad said.

The Broad, at 221 S. Grand Ave., will be open from11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. Doors open at 10 a.m. on weekends, closing at 8 p.m. on Saturdays, and 6 p.m. on Sundays. The museum will be closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Goal: Zero Traffic Fatalities

August 27, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Sitting at a desk in the middle of a Boyle Heights street, Mayor Eric Garcetti Monday signed an executive directive aimed at cutting traffic fatalities in the city to zero by 2025.

The directive calls for reaching the goal, dubbed “Vision Zero,” by creating safer streets, enforcing traffic laws and conducting more public education.

No money has been allocated for the effort, which at this point is a study of policies and practices the city can add to future public works and other projects that move Los Angeles closer to the Vision Zero goal.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, center, signs an executive directive at a desk in the middle of a Boyle Heights street Monday. (Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, center, signs an executive directive at a desk in the middle of a Boyle Heights street Monday. (Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti)

The mayor’s action sets up a steering committee consisting of mayoral, police, fire, public works and county public health staff that will target areas most in need of safety upgrades. Those officials are to report back on Dec. 1 with suggestions for cutting traffic fatalities 20 percent by 2017.

City officials say more than 200 people a year die in traffic collisions, with about 44 percent of all deaths and severe injuries involve pedestrians and bicyclists.

Each year there are about 30,000 collisions in Los Angeles, and about 65 percent of pedestrian deaths and severe injuries taking place on 6 percent of the city’s streets, officials said.

Garcetti said he is “determined” to bring the 200 a year fatality figure “down to zero.”

“We have to think big and work hard when it comes to keeping people safe,” Garcetti said. “With more people walking and biking than ever before, we must use every available tool to save lives.”

Transportation Department General Manager Seleta Reynolds, city engineering officials and others joined Garcetti for the signing of the executive directive.

“Mistakes happen, but the stakes are too high,” Reynolds said. “We must transform our city so that our youth and older adults aren’t risking their lives just to get around town.”

The Vision Zero goal was originally detailed in the “Great Streets for Los Angeles” report released last fall.

The Vision Zero initiative has its origins in an effort started in Sweden in 1997. It has also been adopted in Boston, Seattle, Portland, San Jose and San Diego.


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