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 professor Michelle Wilde Anderson, a scholar of poverty and local government, in her Zócalo Book Prize-winning book, The Fight to Save the Town.

Anderson expertly portrays the challenges of four troubled U.S. localities, including Stockton. Her work is noteworthy for how it connects the dots between the poverty of people and the poverty of our local governments.

Anderson begins by detailing a …

| 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 …

Abolish the California Capital | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Abolish the California Capital

The Pandemic Showed Us the Wonders of a Decentralized State Government

Why bother maintaining a state capital?

Californians certainly shouldn’t. The pandemic demonstrated what things are essential in California, and what things we can live without. Among our superfluous assets: the designation …