What Makes A Good Small Town? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What Makes A Good Small Town?

California’s smaller cities are pitied, when they’re thought about at all. Media coverage of towns, especially in rural areas, emphasize their poverty, their lack of amenities and people, or their supposedly clannish cultures or peripheral politics. But the reality is that small towns stand at the center of California’s biggest challenges—climate, energy, inequality, public health, education, water, broadband access, and …

What Will It Take to End Homelessness In L.A.? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What Will It Take to End Homelessness In L.A.?

Today, more than one-quarter of all unsheltered people in the United States live in L.A. County. And of all Angelenos experiencing homelessness, more than 70 percent are sleeping in the streets, or in makeshift structures, tents, or vehicles. Homelessness has always been a public health and humanitarian crisis, but the crisis has been exacerbated by the continued lack of affordable …

Can We Still Find the Good in the World? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can We Still Find the Good in the World?

It feels like such a dark time. The planet is burning with hatred, disease, and environmental degradation. And, between the confusing nature of our societies and our own biases, traumas, and privileges, it’s become increasingly difficult to be sure we will know the good when we see it. What does it mean, when the bad urgently demands our attention and …

How Do Artists See the Next L.A.? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Do Artists See the Next L.A.?

As Los Angeles emerges from pandemic and tumult, Angelenos are looking for new and bigger visions of the city’s future. But where will we find ideas and practical methods for transforming institutions, reimagining public policy, or reinvesting in communities? Business leaders are consumed with recovery. Elected officials aren’t trusted, because they have long failed to deliver on their biggest plans …

What Does America Owe To Veterans Of Its 21st-Century Wars? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What Does America Owe To Veterans Of Its 21st-Century Wars?

We may never know the full toll of the post-9/11 wars. The staggering cost of the two-decade-long conflict, and its future consequences, are only just beginning to be understood as the United States prepares to fully withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. As the final chapter of America’s longest war nears, what …

Can Boyle Heights Save America? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can Boyle Heights Save America?

Boyle Heights may be divided up by L.A. freeways and thoroughfares, but its people have a remarkable record of maintaining solidarity across racial and ethnic lines. What explains the ability of Boyle Heights residents to stick together while constantly integrating immigrants and incorporating newcomers? How has Boyle Heights kept its distinctive identity in the face of social upheaval, political transformation, …