• With the 2024 election season upon us, Americans feel political despair. The president and his leading challenger, a former president, are deeply unpopular. Huge majorities, in both parties, tell pollsters that the two-party system is broken. So, where can we find the inspiration and ideas to fundamentally repair our democracy, climb out of this political rut, and turn the mood around?

    Maxwell L. Stearns, constitutional law professor and author of Parliamentary America: The Least Radical Means of Radically Repairing Our Broken Democracy visits Zócalo to outline a three-part plan to turn the United States into a multi-party parliamentary democracy that could make our politics less maddening, more collaborative—and perhaps even more fun. This event is moderated by Los Angeles Times columnist Erika D. Smith.

  • Poetry

    by Christie Williamson

    faddom du dis fur me
    da lies o da feddir​​​ …

  • Essay

    What Is a Fun Palace?

    How a Once-Defunct Idea for Community-Driven Joy Springs to Life Every Year

    by Amie Taylor

    For one weekend in 2014, my local community and I came together and took over Brockwell Lido …

Where I Go

Where I Go: L.A.'s Oldest Standing Black-Owned Bar

I Didn’t Know How to Make a Cadillac Margarita. The Living Room Still Offered Me a Job—And a Community

by Shivonne Peart

The Living Room is the oldest standing Black-owned bar in Los Angeles. Located in the heart of the West Adams district and previously known as Barry’s Cocktail Lounge, the bar has silently woven itself into the fabric of South L.A. since its founding in the 1940s.
  Though I’ve lived in the same neighborhood as the Living Room my whole life, I didn’t learn of its existence until I was 30.
  It began with a simple Yelp search.
  That year, I decided to leave behind the inertia of my corporate career in hospitality to pursue a dream: returning to school to study journalism …


In Mexico, a New Vocabulary for Grief and Justice

Most Murders in the Country Go Uninvestigated. Activists and Writers Are Coming Together to Demand Accountability

By Natalia Villanueva-Nieves

“Almost everyone lost someone during the war,” writes Cristina Rivera Garza in The Restless Dead: Necrowriting and Disappropriation.
  In 2006, Mexican president Felipe Calderón initiated the country’s War on Drugs, which she describes as “a military crackdown on the brutal narcotrafficking gangs that had presumably maintained pacts of stability with previous regimes.” Its toll is estimated to be 360,000 homicides and more than 60,000 disappeared. Rivera Garza refers to it not as the drug war but the guerra calderonista—the Calderón war.
Violence has changed not only life in Mexico …

  • The Foundation for a Shared Tomorrow Is Built on Hard Truths

    Panelists for ‘How Does Confronting Our History Build a Better Future?’ Help Us Imagine How to Pave a Hospitable Path Forward

    by Talib Jabbar

    Confronting America’s history is like fixing or maintaining an old home: acknowledging the parts that are in disrepair, and those that are rotten to the core. This is the metaphor historian William Sturkey opened the fourth and final program in the Zócalo/Mellon Foundation series “How Should Societies Remember Their Sins?,” …