Can Los Angeles Elect a City Council That Reflects Our Values?

It's Hard to Legislate Decency—But Changing Demographics and New Technologies Require New Ethics and Rules

Politics is full of high-stakes battles and strategies concocted behind closed doors. But that’s no excuse for the level of venality, toxicity, self-aggrandizement, condescension, hubris, and racism exposed in the leaked recording on redistricting that recently shook the Los Angeles City Council.

Nothing about the conversation—in which councilmembers Gilbert Cedillo and Kevin de León listened quietly as then-council president Nury Martinez spewed hate—was blatantly illegal. But it was shocking. It revealed deep hypocrisy among leaders who, in a public setting, would be the first to claim that they condemn racism and …

Every Era’s Vampires Require New Blood | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Every Era’s Vampires Require New Blood

A Queer, Multiracial Adaptation of Anne Rice’s Seminal Novel Follows a 200-Year-Old Tradition

For all the puffy shirts, brooding glances, and implicit queerness of Interview with the Vampire, the blockbuster 1976 novel by the late Anne Rice that became the 1994 cult classic …

The 2023 Zócalo Poetry Prize Celebrates Poems of Place | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The 2023 Zócalo Poetry Prize Celebrates Poems of Place

No-Fee Contest Submissions Accepted November 2022–January 2023

Since 2012, the Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize has recognized the U.S. writer of a poem that best evokes a connection to place. Zócalo will begin accepting submissions for our …

Heather McGhee Offers a New Story of American Solidarity

The 2022 Zócalo Book Prize Winner Sees Hope Beyond America’s ‘Zero-Sum’ Mindset

The 2022 Zócalo Public Square Book Prize event’s return to in-person programming for the first time in three years—and the hopeful chord struck by the winning author—arrived at the ASU …

Heather McGhee Wins the 2022 Zócalo Book Prize

The Sum of Us Shows How Racism Costs Us All, and What Americans Can Do to Prosper Together

Heather McGhee, the former president of the think tank Demos and a scholar of economic and social policy, is the winner of the 2022 Zócalo Public Square Book Prize for …

The 2022 Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize Explores Place | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The 2022 Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize Explores Place

Since 2012, We’ve Honored Works That Visit Landscapes Both Real and Imagined

Since 2012, the Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize has recognized the U.S. writer of a poem that best evokes a connection to place. Zócalo is now accepting submissions for our …