Christine Margiotta is vice president of community impact at United Way Greater Los Angeles, a nonprofit on a mission to fight poverty and end homelessness. Before participating in a UCLA/Zócalo panel discussion about homelessness in cities, she talked in the Zócalo Green Room about Obama, pugs, and her son’s dinosaur Halloween costume.
Who inspires you?
The first person who came to mind is President Obama. I’ve found his courage around what I feel are the most important issues in our country so inspiring.
Your Twitter profile has a picture of you with your son, who’s dressed as a dinosaur. Where did he get the cool costume?
He got that from the downtown Macy’s. It was for his first Halloween.
What’s a good under-the-radar place to eat in downtown Los Angeles?
Blossom, for Vietnamese. And Perch is really good.
Where do you go to get away from L.A.?
I really love Ojai. That’s one of my favorite beautiful, serene places.
If you weren’t fighting to end homelessness, what would you be doing?
Homelessness would have to be over for me not to be fighting it. But I feel really passionate about a whole range of social justice issues. The reason I don’t live in Ojai is that I couldn’t imagine not fighting for social justice causes.
If you had to be a gymnast, which event would you do?
I was a gymnast! I was always torn between floor and beam. I liked beam, because it terrified me, and there was something wonderful about being terrified but doing it anyway. Yet I also liked floor, because you couldn’t fall off.
You have a pug. What do you like about the breed?
I’m the stepmom of a pug, so I don’t have the passion of a primary owner. Her named is Esther. You never have to worry about the house being too quiet.
Who was the last person to leave you a voicemail?
My son’s pediatrician.
When’s the last time you got a traffic ticket?
I’ve had a lot of parking tickets, so if those count, last week?