Go to Sleep, My City Council

Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Stars, Goodnight to the Government Meetings That Should Close Before the Bars

I hereby propose a new rule to improve the quality of California’s local democracy. When the bars in your city close, so must your city council.

The idea occurred to me while watching recent Santa Monica City Council meetings, including one gathering so long (nine hours plus) and so full of nonsense and hate (from hundreds of public commenters) that it could make you reconsider your support for free speech and self-government.

The bars had shut at 2 a.m., but the council was still going, groggily, at 3:30 a.m. when it logged …

The Fight to Save Stockton

In the Once-Bankrupt City, a Stanford Scholar Finds That People Are Poor Because Their Governments Are Poor

If California wants to curb poverty, its local governments must become richer.

That may be the most important lesson of the recent history of Stockton, as recounted by Stanford Law School …

| Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Public Access Democracy Director Leonora Camner

My Tattoo Is a Kleroterion

Leonora Camner is the director of Public Access Democracy and the executive director of Abundant Housing LA, and served on the Santa Monica Housing Commission from 2019 to 2022. Before …

| Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Weingart Foundation CEO Miguel Santana

I Was the Skunk at the Picnic

Miguel Santana was the city administrative officer for the City of Los Angeles, where he designed the city’s first comprehensive homeless strategy. Santana was appointed President & CEO of the …

| Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

L.A. City Councilmember Nithya Raman

I Miss India’s Street Food

Nithya Raman is an urban planner and member of the Los Angeles City Council representing District 4. She has worked on homelessness for many years, co-founding the SELAH Neighborhood Homeless …

| Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Do You Solve a Problem Like L.A.’s City Council?

In This Moment of Pain and Division, There’s Opportunity to Demand Real Change for Our Democracy

“Do we even need a city council?” That was the provocative title question posed at last night’s Zócalo/KCRW event at the Herald Examiner Building in downtown Los Angeles.

To get at …