NEW GEOGRAPHY-For much of the past century, Southern California has been driven by ever increasing population growth. That era has now ended as the region’s demographics stagnate, a trend that, according to the latest Census numbers, is, if anything, accelerating. This follows a distinct national trend, notes demographer Wendell Cox, where the largest metropolitan areas are losing domestic migrants and growing far more slowly than smaller, often less expensive regions.

SKID ROW, DTLA-For well over a decade, Downtown’s revitalization efforts, which include luxury housing, high-end hotels, and expensive bars and restaurants -- some with celebrity Top Chefs in their kitchens -- have been deemed a success in all places except Skid Row, aka, “the homeless capitol of America.” A map of development projects in DTLA looks like a well-glazed donut -- a whole lotta sweet stuff all around but Skid Row is stuck in the hole in the center with no donut and definitely no glaze! 


Everyone in L.A. knows homelessness is one of the biggest challenges facing our region and last year voters delivered a clear mandate: Help people come off the streets and into homes. An overwhelming majority supported ballot measures to raise nearly $5 billion to tackle the issue. The funds will build housing and provide services to the more than 50,000 people in L.A. who have nowhere to sleep at night. 

FIRST PERSON-Last Thursday at KPCC's Crawford Family Forum in Pasadena guests Fabian Debora, community connection director, Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network; Kim McGill, organizer with Youth Justice Coalition; and Dave Mitchell, deputy director, LA County Probation Department of Residential Treatment Services Bureau, gave an inspired presentation on how using an arts education program has been successful in breaking patterns caused by a dysfunctional, punitive model that has resulted in hyper-expensive often lifelong incarceration and criminal recidivism. 

EASTSIDER-Wow! This is far from the acquiescent Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council I was part of back in the day, quietly controlled by USC’s David Galaviz as Council President. No sir, this NC and Community is spunky, calling out the bait and switch of Measure HHH, a so-called $1.2 billion dollar “Homeless” Measure. 

BELL VIEW-An assassin took the 39-year-old Martin Luther King 50 years ago this week. King came to Memphis to support a garbage-workers’ strike – the one where strikers carried signs proclaiming, "I AM A MAN" – a simple, seemingly uncontroversial message reminiscent of “Black Lives Matter.” 

PLATKIN ON PLANNING-The urban growth machine, including its enablers in public office and academia, dish out endless cover stories to camouflage their hidden agenda of priming the pumps of real estate speculation. When one of their self-serving theories bites the dust, they quickly advance another one, knowing they can depend on the corporate media and “business-friendly” policy experts to quickly pickup the beat. 

CALMATTERS-Just a few weeks before Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized for the “breach of trust” that allowed Cambridge Analytica to access the private social media activity of 50 million people, Facebook plunked down $200,000 to fight a data privacy initiative in California. 

CAL BUZZ--According to the New York Times, “President Trump said on Tuesday that he planned to order the military to guard parts of the southern border until he can build a wall and tighten immigration restrictions, proposing a remarkable escalation of his efforts to crack down on migrants entering the country illegally.” In light of this, we offer here our report from February 2017 predicting exactly this.

For a man who cannot stop talking on Twitter about every single thought that pops into his head, Donald Trump's silence on the killing of Stephon Clark in Sacramento says all you need to know about how the President of the United States of America views the death of young black men. 

IMMIGRANTS’ RIGHTS-Riding a bus while brown is not illegal, of course, but the letter of the law and how laws are actually enforced are not often the same thing. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, having skin that’s darker than pale is an increasingly common reason for U.S. immigration agents to interrogate a passenger — without a warrant, without probable cause — on private buses across the country, far from any border. 

MY TURN--We can almost set our clock around post-Thanksgiving time when we will begin to see the start of the ranting about the prejudice in saying “Merry Christmas”. One has to wonder if it is part of the church sermon schedule and parishioners are given a list of what they think are disparages that fall upon their religion.

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