Is This What Direct Democracy Looks Like? With Shirley Weber | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian
Los Angeles In-Person | Streaming Online

Is This What Direct Democracy Looks Like? With Shirley Weber

Direct democracy is supposed to be a people’s process, allowing everyday citizens to enact their own ideas for laws or constitutional amendments. But does California’s system live up to that promise? Qualifying a measure for the ballot costs so many millions of dollars that only the richest people and interests can bring their proposals forward. Elected and appointed officials have …

Can We All Live in the Best Version of Los Angeles? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian
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Can We All Live in the Best Version of Los Angeles?

Food, art, culture, weather, beaches, mountains—and people, from all over the world and with a broad range of talents and dreams—make Los Angeles an amazing place to live. A homelessness and housing crisis, drought, traffic, inequality, and political dysfunction can make Los Angeles an impossible place to live. The county is home to areas with the lowest and highest rates …

Zócalo Presents: How Immigrants Composed L.A. | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian
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A Special Zócalo Music Presentation: How Immigrants Composed L.A.

In 1933, Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg immigrated to the United States, settling in Los Angeles; he would spend the rest of his life writing music and teaching composition at USC and UCLA. Following him, in 1940, came Russian-born composer, pianist, and conductor Stravinsky, who settled in Hollywood after making the move from France. Then, in 1942, fellow Russian-born composer, pianist, …

How Can Our Communities Escape Polarizing Conflict? with Amanda Ripley | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian
Los Angeles In-Person | Streaming Online

How Can Our Communities Escape Polarizing Conflict? with Amanda Ripley

Growing homelessness has fueled bitter conflicts in hundreds of neighborhoods across California. The drought is renewing generations-old local wars over water. Schools have become political and cultural battlegrounds, with parents and teachers at odds. And fights over pandemic response, from Shasta to Orange Counties, have escalated into violent threats between citizens and local officials. Why are so many Californians falling …

What Would The End Of Mass Incarceration Mean For Prison Towns? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian
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What Would The End Of Mass Incarceration Mean For Prison Towns? with Keri Blakinger

California is turning away from mass incarceration. After generations of opening prisons and increasing the number of inmates inside them, the state government is planning to close a number of institutions. But many state prisons are located in struggling rural communities dependent on the jobs and health care infrastructure these facilities provide. The Newsom administration’s announcement of its intention to …

Could Immigration Unite Americans? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian
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Could Immigration Unite Americans? with Ali Noorani & Miriam Jordan

Survey after survey suggests Americans strongly support immigration. Yet fear dominates the politics around immigration. Elected officials and pundits routinely use the rhetoric that immigrants are threats to culture, public safety, and jobs—not only to justify restrictions on migrants’ rights, but also to divide communities and gain power at the expense of democracy itself. What makes this fear-mongering so effective, …