Small Towns Can Create Big Change

From Banning Private Prisons to Universal Broadband and Pre-K, Necessity and Opportunity Allow California Communities to Punch Above Their Weight

Before answering the question of the evening—“What Makes a Good Small Town?”—the panelists at a Zócalo/California Wellness Foundation event had to choose a definition. What, asked moderator and Los Angeles Times staff writer Diana Marcum, is a small town?

Would it be a population of about 30,000? By that definition, two of the three local leaders on the panel—former West Sacramento mayor Christopher Cabaldon and Coachella councilmember Megan Beaman Jacinto—live in communities of approximately 50,000, and would not qualify.

Gonzales city manager René Mendez, whose Central Coast town has a population of …

More In: The Takeaway

A Complex Homelessness Crisis Requires a Complex Response | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

A Complex Homelessness Crisis Requires a Complex Response

L.A. Needs Coordination and Cooperation—Plus More Resources—to Solve Its Most Urgent Problem

Homelessness is the biggest crisis Los Angeles faces today—one that only expanded in urgency during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In search of solutions to the problem and its root causes, Zócalo, …

This Period of Crisis Can Help Lead Us ‘Closer to the Good’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

This Period of Crisis Can Help Lead Us ‘Closer to the Good’

From Studying Ancient Wisdom to Learning From Modern Emergencies, We Have the Tools to Be Better 

The final Zócalo/University of Toronto The World We Want event, “Can We Still Find the Good in the World?,” delved into a wide-ranging discussion of what finding the good in …

If You Want to Change L.A., You’re Going to Need Artists | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

If You Want to Change L.A., You’re Going to Need Artists

When Policy Making Falls Short, Creativity Is a Catalyst

From giving communities a voice in land use and zoning to creating mutual aid networks, Los Angeles artists and arts organizations are finding ways to imagine a better future for …

Leaving No One Behind—Interpreters Included | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Leaving No One Behind—Interpreters Included

As Troop Withdrawal Looms, U.S. Military Veterans Call to Get Allies Out of Afghanistan and Iraq Safely

Four months before the last American servicemembers withdraw from Afghanistan, retired U.S. Army Colonel Steve Miska spoke at a Zócalo/Pacific Council/USVAA event the day after Memorial Day. The topic: what …

Boyle Heights Is Where Democracy Happens | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Boyle Heights Is Where Democracy Happens

Celebrating a Los Angeles Neighborhood Nexus for New Arrivals, Community Organizing, and Creativity

The Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights has long demonstrated the resiliency, openness to immigrants, and commitment to democratic action that the United States desperately needs now, said speakers at …