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 …