New at Zócalo

  • Essay

    People, Not Politicians, Should Reshape Direct Democracy

    After Sitting on Four Commissions Over 30 Years, I’ve Discovered Why Legislator-Led Efforts Are Almost Always Bound to Fail

    by Joel Fox |

    Lawmaking by voters through the ballot initiative process has been popular in California for more than a century.

    So why is there near constant talk of altering or limiting California’s direct …

  • Poetry

    by Khairani Barokka



    because do calls this house an ecosystem

    where straddling folioles tangle mighty-fisted

    along a wire canopy he strung

    above the brick-and-pot garden, and city fox

    coming like a client for bananas they feed it …

  • Essay

    Curing My Daughter’s Colic

    A Pediatrician and First-Time Mom Confronts the Limits of Medicine and Learns the First of Many Parenting Lessons

    by Sarah Ferri |

    I should have seen this coming. I was too lucky during pregnancy, contending only with a few weeks of morning sickness and a bout of sciatica. By week 37, I …

  • The Takeaway

    A Better L.A. Is Possible—If We Create Space for All Angelenos

    Community Organizing, Creativity, and Inclusive Planning Will Improve the City for Everyone

    by Jackie Mansky |

    “Can We All Live in the Best Version of Los Angeles?,” today’s Zócalo/Goldhirsh Foundation event, discussed what Angelenos really need to thrive. Moderated by Joel Garcia, artist, cultural organizer, and …

  • Essay

    Goodbye to the Ideas Man for American Cities

    Bill Barnes, Who Died Last Week, Strengthened and Deepened a 'Republic of Conversations'

    by Matt Leighninger |

    When we think of ideas that change our lives, we often think of a great genius, a single discovery, a major technological breakthrough. But often the greater role is played …

  • Connecting California

    Californians Shouldn’t Need a High School Diploma to Go to a Public University

    To Make Up for the Pandemic-Era Student Achievement Gap, Our Higher Ed Systems Should Skip the Requirement

    by Joe Mathews |

    Why should you need a high school degree to go to university in California?

    In 2020 and 2021, the state’s public schools ditched their students, shutting down K-12 campuses for over …

  • News & Notes

    Eryn Brown Named Editorial Director of Zócalo Public Square

    The Seasoned Reporter and Editor Continues the Meaningful Work of Connecting People to Ideas That Matter

    Zócalo Public Square is pleased to announce the appointment of Eryn Brown as its new editorial director.

    A seasoned reporter and editor, Brown brings her razor-sharp editorial skills, organizational acumen, and …

  • The Takeaway

    The Immigrants Who Composed L.A.

    In the Herald Examiner’s Historic Lobby, the Modern and the Classic Blended Sound and Style

    by Talib Jabbar |

    There was no better space—the grand entryway into a bygone era of downtown Los Angeles—to convene last night’s event “How Immigrants Composed L.A.”

    The special musical presentation in the historic lobby …

  • Poetry

    by Crystal Tettey

    Sundays are for the depressed
    dancing in alleys
    of fiction
    of fructose

    Sundays are for feeling small
    submerged in our dreams

    misty eyes
    mild madness

    green drapes
    country music

    Sundays are …

  • Culture Class

    Why Do We Love ‘Choose-Your-Own-Adventure’ Stories?

    From the I Ching to an Upcoming Netflix Romcom, Interactive Fiction Dares Us to Decide What Happens Next

    by Jackie Mansky |

    The new Netflix original horror movie Choose or Die turns on an interactive computer game called “CURS>R,” which resembles a classic ’80s adventure program in which a user inputs text …