Let’s Make L.A.’s New Charter a DIY Project

The City’s Quasi-Constitution Is Up for Reform. Everyday People—Not the Political Class—Should Control It

If Los Angeles is going to rewrite its city charter, should everyday Angelenos take charge of the effort?

The people who run Los Angeles government are skeptical.

Mayor Karen Bass, City Council President Paul Krekorian, and other city leaders have called for reforming the city’s main governing document—a quasi-constitution that is called the charter—for the first time in a quarter-century.

The momentum for charter change has come from community groups, civic leaders and media who want to see changes to L.A.’s scandal-plagued city council. In recent years, there have been multiple indictments of …

What L.A. and Belfast Have in Common

Should Two Famously Divided Cities Forget or Remember the Past to Move Forward in the Present?

To govern a divided city, you need to balance your remembering with some forgetting.

That was my takeaway after moderating a recent public event that used Zoom to link live audiences …

Why Are L.A. Mayoral Campaigns Getting the Candidates So Wrong?

The Bass and Caruso You Think You Know Are Based on Misperceptions. That’s a Problem for California’s Local Politics

The Los Angeles mayoral campaign has become an exercise in misinformation, clouding the public’s muddled perceptions of how municipal government actually works in this state.

The problem emanates from the upside-down …

Make Me California’s Next Senator | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Make Me California’s Next Senator

The Senate Is an Absurd Institution, so Let’s Put an Even More Absurd Californian in the Office

Dear Governor Newsom,

You’ve complained publicly that you’re overwhelmed with texts and calls, and I understand why. With the election of Kamala Harris as vice president, you must appoint someone to …

Why South L.A. Has Earned the Vice Presidency | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why South L.A. Has Earned the Vice Presidency

Karen Bass Has Led Her Community’s 30-Year Transformation. Who Better to Lead a Nation at Rock Bottom?

Can South Los Angeles teach America how to lead?

That’s the promising question behind the news that Karen Bass is a top contender to be the Democratic vice-presidential nominee.

Bass is best …