Happy Birthday LA!

Posted September 4, 2019 by Team LA 2050

On September 4, 2019, LA turns 238 years young! In honor of our city's birthday we asked 26 leaders, doers, and innovators to share their birthday wish for the City of Angels.

We heard dreams about better transportation, wishes to support local entrepreneurs, and plans to invest in future generations. It looks like this is going to be a great year for LA.

Tell us your wish for LA's birthday using the hashtag #HappyBirthdayLA and tagging us (@LA2050) on your social media platform of choice - we cannot wait to see your ideas!

Book Lovers Day - Recommendations from our Staff

Posted August 9, 2019 by Team LA 2050

This Book Lovers Day we got help from our staff to create a list of our own bookshelf favorites! Here are our must-haves to add to your own book collection:

The Overstory: A Novel by Richard Powers

Goldhirsh Foundation President Tara Roth admitted she cried in public while reading this Pulitzer Prize winning book. “It's just a beautiful and sad story. You become immersed in all the character's stories and truly care about them."

Sula by Toni Morrison

Tara also recommends this novel that chronicles the friendship of two women over their lifetimes. By taking the characters through different paths in life, Morrison shows what it's like to be a black woman in America.

A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-tested Strategy for Successful Investing by Burton G. Malkiel

Social Innovation Coordinator LeAnn Kelch recommends this book about investing. “As someone who is just starting out in my career, I wanted to learn about how I could (and should) be investing my money. This book is helpful for those who are looking for more than just simple advice and want to understand not just what they should do with their investments, but why. I've learned so much!"

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein

LeAnn also recommends this book that traces the history and lasting impact of redlining in America - revealing how the government imposed residential segregation and “contributed greatly to our country's pervasive racial and economic inequality."

Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now by Maya Angelou

From racism, to grieving, to taking time for your own self care, Ms. Angelou gives her raw, real advice to apply to everyday life. “The wisdom, wit, and honesty from her personal experiences helped me learn to love my journey for what it is and take control of it," according to our intern Amanda Guiterrez.

G'morning, G'night!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Amanda also recommends starting your day with Lin-Manuel Miranda's brand of sunshine, “These little affirmations start my day off with motivation and end my night with contentment, and truly make me smile."

Becoming by Michelle Obama

In this book, Obama shares how her experiences growing up in the South Side of Chicago shaped her career and personal life, along with her experiences as first lady. USC Price Fellow Claudia Eccheveria says, “Michelle Obama's memoir is a must read!"

Peace in the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence by Aquil Basheer and Christina Hoag

Claudia also recommends this book that provides guidelines on how to become an interventionist and promote peace in some of LA's most vulnerable neighborhoods impacted by gang violence.

Ask More: The Power of Questions to Open Doors, Uncover Solutions and Spark Change by Frank Sesno

Consultant Julie Lacouture says this book by journalist Frank Sesno “has some amazing advice about how to ask great questions to spark change. I learned the difference between empathetic questions, accountability questions, diagnostic questions, and when to best use them."

Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist by Eli Saslow

Julie also recommends this book that follows a young man who "grew up at the epicenter of white nationalism" (his Dad founded Stormfront and his godfather is David Duke) and came to renounce all of it after attending a small college in Florida. Says Julie: “This is a tremendous story of how small influences can make a huge change and how white-supremacist ideas get repackaged and adopted."

Here (Pantheon Graphic Library) by Richard McGuire

This graphic novel is recommended by intern Amanda Liaw, “It's a surprising book that illustrates the stories that have taken place in the corner of a single room across hundreds and thousands of years. It does an amazing job at drawing out the deep emotional connection we somehow feel to spaces."

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Intern Amy Roth recommends this non-fiction book, “Gladwell's narrative of the complexities of “outliers" in society is gripping and thought-provoking."

The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder

Amy also recommends this detailed analysis to draw parallels between history and the present, as he maps out the road to corruption, censorship, and the suppression of democracy throughout Russia's quest for world domination.

Here to help! Organizations Keeping Los Angeles Strong After Natural Disasters

Posted July 23, 2019 by Team LA 2050

After the back-to-back earthquakes around the 4th of July, Southern Californians realized how important it is to be prepared in the face of natural disaster. It got us thinking about all the organizations that help communities before, during, and after a natural disaster strikes.

  • American Red Cross Prepare SoCal and Disaster Training- Prepare SoCal is an American Red Cross campaign created to address the needs of neighborhoods and encourage community resiliency in the most vulnerable communities. The campaign aims to achieve this through working towards four goals: community preparedness, volunteer engagement, response capacity and communications. The Red Cross also offers free disaster training to communities. These training courses, accessible both online and in person, include the Pillowcase Project Presenter Fundamentals, Shelter Fundamentals, Casework and Recovery Planning Fundamentals, Basic InstructorFundamentals and Public Affair Essentials.
  • Team Rubicon (See their My LA2050 2019 submission here)- Team Rubicon capitalizes on the skills and experience of military veterans by pairing them with medical professionale and first responders. The organization offers incident management, damage assessments, disaster mapping, home repair, and more to affected communities.
  • 211 LA County- 211 LA County partners with the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management to provide timely and accurate disaster information services before, during and after a disaster hits. 211 LA County is also partnered with the L.A. County Department of Public Health to provide Public Health issued warnings and advisories.
  • RYLAN (Ready Your L.A. Neighborhood)- RYLAN is a free service offered by the City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department meant to encourage, empower, and prepare Los Angeles neighborhoods for the next big disaster. The program increases neighborhood readiness by offering ways for communities to organize, practice, connect, communicate, and train.
  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)- The Community Emergency Response Team is a program supported by the Los Angeles Fire Department. Community residents are trained to become disaster first responders to ensure neighborhoods survive and thrive after disaster strikes.

Most of these organizations and more are also a part of the Emergency Network of Los Angeles (ENLA). The ENLA is a coalition of nonprofit organizations that share their knowledge and needed resources throughout the disaster cycle. With the support and resources of all these organizations, communities and the individuals they home can feel more equipped and confident when a disaster strikes.

Volunteer Fun in the Sun: Beach and River Clean Ups around Los Angeles

Posted July 16, 2019 by Team LA 2050

Make memories and make a difference this summer! Beach, lake, and river cleanups are an opportunity to get involved in your community and make public spaces safer and cleaner.

There are plenty of organizations in Los Angeles making a difference for the environment and many hold cleanup events regularly throughout the year:

  • Cabrillo Marine Aquarium - Home to an aquarium display of the largest collection of SoCal marine life in the world, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium holds beach clean ups the first Saturday of every month at Cabrillo Beach Coastal Park. Get involved at the next cleanup events taking place August 3rd and September 7th.
  • Friends of the Ballona Wetlands - A founding member of the Wetlands Restoration Principles Coalition, the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve holds monthly creek cleanup and community restoration events, with the goal of creating a diverse habitat that both improves biodiversity protects rare and sensitive species. You can volunteer at the next events coming up July 19th, July 27th, August 16th and August 24th.
  • Friends of the Los Angeles River - Friends of the Los Angeles River has lead the river movement since 1986, through its devotion to restore the Los Angeles River's natural habitat. This organization holds an annual event named CleanUp. You can sign up for updates on the 2020 CleanUp event or you can book a private clean-up of the River for your corporation through their year-round program called River Makers.
  • Heal the Bay (2015 My LA2050 LIVE Winner) - Heal the Beach has advocated for clean ocean waters in Greater Los Angeles for the past 34 years through their Nothin' But Sand beach cleanups every third Saturday of the month. If you're unable to attend these events, you can do a private clean up through their Adopt-A-Beach and Suits on the Sand programs. Bring your family and friends to the next cleanups taking place July 20th and August 17th.
  • Surfrider Foundation - Since its creation in 1984, the Surfrider Foundation has evolved into the largest non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to protecting the world's oceans. Surfrider LA hosts monthly cleanups on the weekend throughout Marina del Rey and the Ventura County line. Surfrider LA also offers corporate sponsored cleanups and the Sunset Corridor campaign, which is meant to share data around pollution with the LA County Board of Supervisors. Come out to the next events coming up July 28th and August 18th.


"DSC_0039"by DontBeAPassenger is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

4th of July Around LA

Posted July 2, 2019 by

Wishing everyone a Happy Independence Day from your friends at LA2050! From fireworks shows and dance parties to parades and 10K runs, here are some of our favorite ways to celebrate in Los Angeles:

(photo credit: Los Angeles Downtown News)

Grand Park - 4th of July Block Party - For the last seven years, Grand Park + The Music Center have held one of LA's largest 4th of July celebrations. This free, family-friendly block party features live music, games, food trucks, and Downtown LA's biggest fireworks show! The event, held from 3 pm - 9 pm, is Metro accessible, so it's easy to enjoy the celebration.

Exposition Park Community Festival & Fireworks Show - Councilman Curren Price is hosting the annual 4th of July Community Festival + Fireworks Show on the South Lawn at Exposition Park from 11 am–10 pm. There will be games, food, live music, and more for all to enjoy. It's free to attend, metro accessible.

Pacific Palisades 4th of July - There are several ways to celebrate the 4th of July in Pacific Palisades. Early risers can participate in the Palisades Will Rogers™ 5k, 10K and Kids' Fun Run. Starting at 2 pm, the 71st Palisades Parade will start the route at Via de la Paz and end at Alma Real Drive. To end the day, there's the annual Palisades Rocks the Fourth event, which will include food, concerts, games, a pie eating contest, and a fireworks show.

Simi Valley - Ronald Reagan Library 4th of July Celebration - The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, opened in 1991, is the repository of presidential records from the Ronald Reagan administration. On the 4th of July, the library becomes home to an annual celebration that offers games, crafts, face-painting, concerts by the LA Sheriff's Department Band, and more. Guests can even rewrite history by taking a photo with Betsy Ross and even some presidential look-alikes. This family-friendly event starts at 10 am and offers outdoor activities for free.

Warner Ranch Park July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza - Councilman Bob Blumenfield's annual Independence Day party is returning to Warner Ranch Park. This “fireworks extravaganza" brings together over 60,000 people for fireworks, free live entertainment, food from more than 20 local restaurants, as well as arts + crafts vendors.

Proudly Highlighting LGBTQ+ Organizations

Posted June 17, 2019 by

Happy Pride Month! What began as “Gay Pride Day” to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, Pride has grown into a month-long series of events that honor the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community. As the celebrations continue, we want to shine a light on organizations that have applied to the My LA2050 Grants Challenge which build connections, provide safe spaces, and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community:

  • The Los Angeles LGBT Center - Now the largest LGBTQ+ organization in the world, the center provides health services, social services, housing, produces live performances, host exhibitions and leads efforts to help end anti-LGBT bigotry in schools.
  • The C.I.T.Y. x1 Youth Group - Formed in 2005, C.I.T.Y. x1 is dedicated to providing LGBTQ+ youth with a safe space that links them to transitional living, educational programs, emotional support, GED enrollment and HIV & STD Testing.
  • Outfest - Founded by UCLA students in 1982, Outfest promotes equality through creating, sharing and protecting LGBTQ+ stories on screen and in the media.
  • API Equality- LA - One of the most well-established organizations dedicated to the political engagement of LGBTQ+ people of color, API Equality-LA organizes community members to take action on equality issues.
  • Heart of Art Gallery - Run by women in South LA, Heart of Art Gallery serves as a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community to create and present their art.

Los Angeles Wears Orange for gun safety

Posted June 14, 2019 by

On June 7, our timelines looked more orange than usual as thousands of you took a stand for gun safety by participating in the Wear Orange campaign. One of our My LA2050 grantees, the Brady Center to prevent Gun Violence took part and we were touched by this story from one of their employees:

The Wear Orange campaign is an annual collaborative project from hundreds of nonprofits, media organizations, and influencers across the country. The viral campaign picked orange as its color in memory of Hadiya Pendleton, age 15, who was shot and killed just one week after performing at President Obama's 2nd inaugural parade in 2013. After her death, her friends marched in orange, her favorite color, to bring awareness to gun violence.

Here are a few more posts from around Los Angeles:

Everyone In Activates Angelenos Around Real Solutions to End Homelessness

Posted March 4, 2019 by United Way of Greater Los Angeles

Written by United Way of Greater Los Angeles, in partnership with Inner City Law Center and Abundant Housing LA, and provided to LA2050 as part of its mid-year report.

United Way's Everyone In campaign is committed to educating and activating 100,000 residents across LA County to connect the dots between housing affordability and our current homelessness crisis. There are more than 52,000 people experiencing homelessness and thousands more who are just one paycheck, crisis, or emergency away from losing their home. The high cost of housing, stagnant wages, and lack of affordable units only exacerbate the problem. We need to build more supportive housing and bring in those that are at most risk of dying on our streets.

After receiving the LA2050 Activation Challenge award, Everyone In has been ramping up efforts to activate local residents around real solutions to end homelessness. Our field organizing campaign is strengthening our work as we partner with more community-based groups, meet with stakeholders, and receive endorsements from local organizations, faith communities, and small businesses. Each week, more people sign up for the campaign by engaging with us online, participating in trainings, and attending town hall meetings. We have invested more resources in canvassing, phone banking, mass texting, and call-in trainings – tightly coordinated with our digital media and engagement strategy.

EVERYONE IN BY THE NUMBERS as of January 31, 2019

Facebook 31,281

Twitter 12,703

Instagram 2,992

Email 25,013

Online petitions signed 12,525


In the inaugural year of the campaign, most of our efforts in siting and approving interim and permanent housing were focused in the City of Los Angeles. Our organizers have been actively building community support around 23 Proposition HHH-funded supportive housing and 12 bridge housing developments. We are also working on an additional five supportive housing developments in L.A. County.

With the support of the Goldhirsh Foundation and LA2050, we are expanding our organizing and advocacy capacity to reach all 88 cities across the County. This is no small feat. To start, we are targeting seven jurisdictions and building strategy based on their current policies on housing, available resources, and public/political support on the ground.

In the first phase of the LA2050 grant, Everyone In set up planning meetings with our partners, Abundant Housing LA and Inner City Law Center to develop a policy and legal approach to streamlining development and preventing homelessness through a “right to counsel" ordinance for tenants facing eviction. The ordinance would guarantee tenants have access to the information and representation they need when faced with landlord harassment, eviction, and other issues. An average of 54,239 unlawful detainer eviction cases have been filed per year over the last three years in Los Angeles County. The 2018 Homeless Count showed over 9,000 people experienced homelessness for the first time based on the combined impacts of evictions and rental housing unaffordability.









Upcoming: Long Beach, Pasadena, San Fernando Valley, and Hollywood

In the next six months, we will be creating and executing city-specific strategies that will propose policy improvements to increase the supply of affordable and supportive housing. We will conduct a series of workshops to educate elected offices, stakeholders, and residents on policy recommendations that can be made to address homelessness and prevention in each jurisdiction. From there, we will coordinate with the Everyone In organizer team to begin mobilizing the community support necessary to site housing and pass new policies.

To evaluate our progress in the next six months, we will be tracking:







The Brady Center Launches in Los Angeles

Posted March 2, 2019 by The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Written by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and provided to LA2050 as part of its mid-year report.

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is proud to report on the Combating Crime Guns Initiative (CCGI): Los Angeles. Our Combating Crime Guns Initiative (CCGI) is a multi-pronged strategy to stem the flow of crime guns into cities that are heavily impacted by gun violence. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF), 90% of crime guns (firearms that are illegally possessed, used in a crime, or suspected to have been used in a crime) are sold by just 5% of gun dealers. Through CCGI, we are working to identify and reform gun dealers who are flooding cities with crime guns.

The Brady Center is partnering with the Goldhirsh Foundation to bring CCGI to Los Angeles and help ensure that in 2050, Los Angelenos of all ages will enjoy safe homes, safe neighborhoods, and safe places to play. Under LA2050's 'Play' goal, we are focusing on two metrics: per capita crime rate, and perceived safety. Both of these are long-term measures, but we are confident in CCGI's ability to impact them over time.

Progress So Far

After the hiring of our Program Manager Steve Lindley, our work in Los Angeles accelerated significantly. Steve is an experienced community liaison with more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement. In the short period of time he's been with us, he's managed to accomplish a tremendous amount of work. During his first month as Program Manager, he met with the Los Angeles Mayor's Office, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Los Angeles area Brady Chapters to introduce himself and discuss strategies to reduce gun violence in the Los Angeles area.

As a result of these meetings, Steve is now assisting the Mayor's Office and Police Department in drafting three pieces of legislation aimed at providing enhanced oversight of California firearms dealers, mandatory reporting and tracing of law enforcement seized crime guns, and enhancing the gun purchasing public's knowledge of California firearm and firearm safe storage laws. These bills are essential in providing local law enforcement with the ability to effectively engage with the dealers most responsible for the flow of crime guns into Los Angeles.

Steve also met with the Stockton Police Department to discuss crime gun tracing best practices and with the City of San Diego to plan Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) trainings for local law enforcement officials. These meetings helped to establish strategies that can be used in the future when engaging with the LA City Council and law enforcement.

The Brady Center has ties to many local community, faith-based, civic, and academic organizations in Los Angeles, including Women Against Gun Violence, Moms Demand Action, Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los, USC School of Social Work, the UCLA School of Public Health, All Saints Episcopal, Beth Shir Shalom, and First AME. This coalition of Los Angeles community partners has grown since we brought CCGI to Los Angeles. Key new partners include the Youth Council to End Gun Violence, Hope and Heal Fund, and the Urban Peace Institute of LA. These partners are essential to both amplifying our work and activating more individuals in the gun violence prevention movement.


Political and legislative restrictions have been a central hurdle. The corporate gun lobby and gun industry have ensured that there are many limitations to local law enforcement's ability to publicly release information on crime gun dealers. Our legal team has been and will continue to be instrumental in overcoming this challenge.

What's to Come

In the next six months, the Brady Center will work closely with the California Department of Justice and the ATF to obtain crime gun trace data for Los Angeles. We will also be expanding our local coalition through numerous meetings and collaborative community education events. These community education sessions will serve to inform Los Angeles residents about the landscape of crime guns and gun violence in their city and spur grassroots activism within the local gun violence prevention movement.

Additionally, we will continue our work with law enforcement agencies and lawmakers to roll out legislation that will help reduce gun violence. One potential law on the horizon will enforce that all firearms seized from criminals will be entered into the AFS system so that they can be traced back to their source. Once we gain access to Los Angeles gun trace data, our team and our local crime guns partners will share this information with the public and coordinate organized legal and financial pressure against the most notorious California dealers to motivate the reformation of their dangerous business practices.

This is just the beginning. Everyone has a part to play in preventing gun violence in our communities, and we urge Los Angelenos and local community organizations to reach out to Steve Lindley (at [email protected]) to become part of the solution. Let's play, Los Angeles!

Street Vendor Campaign Moving LA Toward a More Inclusive Economy

Posted March 1, 2019 by LA Street Vendor Campaign

Written by the LA Street Vendor Campaign, a collaboration between ELACC, LURN, LA Food Policy Council, and Public Counsel, and provided to LA2050 as part of their mid-year report.

The second half of 2018 was monumental for the LA Street Vendor Campaign with the LA City Council's historic vote to legalize street vending in the City through a permit process. Just a couple months before the City of LA's vote, Governor Brown signed into law SB946 Safe Sidewalk Vending Act (Lara), which legalized vending statewide. These two significant milestones in the street vending movement came after nearly a decade of advocacy from thousands of street vendors and their supporters.

The impact of this legislation is huge. Over 50,000 street vendors operate in Los Angeles alone, representing a $504 million industry. Approximately 80 percent of street vendors are women of color who contribute to the rich, diverse street food landscape through the informal economy — and when allowed to do their work legally and safely — contribute to the vitality of their neighborhoods and LA as a whole.

The Los Angeles Street Vendor Campaign has always been about both protecting the rights and dignity of some of the most vulnerable workers in the city, and providing them with greater economic opportunity.

Our LA2050 activation has three main pathways to engage over 100,000 Angelenos in supporting a more inclusive economy. 1) dynamic public outreach campaign on social media informing Angelenos about street vending; 2) in person participation at public hearings, events and activities; 3) direct action by participating in a #supportLAstreetvendors #buycott.

We connected the #buycott to Small Business Saturday 2018, engaging 40,879 followers on twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. More than 400 street vendors, allies, and supporters filled the LA City Hall Chamber on November 28th, 2018 for the historic vote and then celebrated on City Hall South's steps, chanting “Si Se Pudo."

Through the in-person participation and social media activation led by campaign anchor partners East LA Community Corporation (ELACC), Leadership for Urban Renewal Network (LURN), Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC), and Public Counsel, over 40,000 Angelenos were activated and engaged in making their city a place where street vendors can thrive. The LA Street Vendor Campaign is reaching people across the country with nationwide coverage including the New York Times with a photo journal story: L.A. Street Sellers Outlawed No More.

However, our journey to build an inclusive economy for our community doesn't end with these monumental wins. We will continue to fight for a City that values and supports street vendors with the best possible policies, and sees them as contributors to the economic and cultural tapestry of Los Angeles.

In 2019, we continue our community organizing with street vendors to ensure the City of Los Angeles permit regulations are fair and inclusive. Efforts will include outreach to vendors across the Los Angeles region to ensure they know their rights under SB946 Safe Sidewalk Vending Act (Lara). Additional goals include incentivizing vendors to sell healthy food in neighborhoods without access to fresh fruits and vegetables and developing a stronger non-profit infrastructure to support merchants, such as partnerships that legitimize vendors within farmer's markets across the City.

We have also begun engaging the local business community. Over the last few months, our team has been working closely with the County Health Department and local manufacturers to design affordable food carts that vendors could use as part of the new regulatory system. We've also been working together with our public sector partners to plan how we can make sure there is a clear pathway for vendors to comply with new “rules and regulations" so they can comfortably enter the formal economy and participate in Los Angeles' economy as important stakeholders. This work will be a priority for 2019. To create a truly inclusive economy, we believe we must work with public, private, and nonprofit partners.

In an era where more of our workforce is in the informal economy with zero protections and safety nets for emergencies, organizing for a street vendor movement is critical to building local solutions that can scale up and reach thousands of precarious workers across Los Angeles and beyond. To learn more about how the informal economy is touching the lives of people in California, check out KCET's City Rising, featuring the LA Street Vendor Campaign.

We're thrilled to share this incredible milestone with everyone involved in the LA2050 Activation Challenge. This grant allows us to activate Angelenos to engage in and build an inclusive economy that supports thousands of workers, whose entrepreneurship contributes to our neighborhood economies and cultural landscape.

Keep up with LA2050