Wednesday, November 30, 2016


November 8, 2016 was a devastating, demoralizing day for many of us. We learned that many white Americans are either supportive of or indifferent to racist, mysogynist, homophobic rhetoric and actions. We also learned that the GOP's ongoing efforts to destroy voting protections across the majority of states has successfully enshrined that party's power, even as, despite all that, the GOP *still* lost the national popular votes for President, the US Senate, and the House.

For those of us in California, we also learned something else. Here, we voted 2-to-1 for Clinton over her opponent, handing her a 4 million-plus vote margin of victory; our US Senate race came down to two Democrats; we legalized recreational marijuana; we gave overwhelming approval to taxes for progressive causes; and we provided Democrats with a two-thirds super majority in both state legislative chambers to go along with the all-Democratic statewide elected offices. Here, even in notoriously-GOP Orange County, Clinton won the majority of the vote.

For many people across the country, California is going to be the proverbial "shining city upon the hill." We have already been that for many years now for a large portion of the nation's economic engine, most recently in tech, but now we'll have even more attention shed on us, as millions of our progressively-minded brethren, particularly those in the deepest red of states, look to us and see opportunity and, frankly, refuge.

In other words, California could be poised to grow even faster as the nation lurches beyond this destructive election and numerous states regress even further, leaving more and more of their residents in the impossible position of having to choose between their homes and their livelihoods.

California could be that welcoming place for many of our nation's future political refugees. However, if we are to do so, we have two enormous challenges that we must confront, with as much clarity and vision as possible. Those challenges are, in no particular order:
- Housing, and
- The Environment

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


Can someone please tell me what new housing the Coalition to Preserve LA supports? I mean it.

They oppose tall buildings. They oppose short buildings. They oppose homes that would be built near highways. They oppose homes that would be built in neighborhoods and away from highways. They oppose homes that would replace surface parking lots. They oppose homes that would replace strip malls. They oppose homes that would replace auto dealerships. I mean, they even oppose homes that would replace completely empty, vacant land!

What do they support?

Friday, July 8, 2016


Today is witness to still more tragedy in our nation. This time at the hands of someone who has been described as a "sniper," but who I prefer to refer to as, simply, a murderer.

It's got my mind spinning, trying to make sense of what's happening, and one thing keeps pinging in my head - which either means there's truth to it or that I just need to get past it. But I can't help but keep coming back to this idea.

The idea? The monolithic other.

Friday, June 10, 2016


Dozens of people turned out to oppose the new homes, and one of their top complaints was the rooftop decks that were proposed. They expressed concern about the noise from possible parties that would happen on said decks years from now. They demanded limitations on the hours of access to the decks, if not their elimination altogether.

Neighbors complained about the restaurant's proposed outdoor patio. It would only accommodate up to 20 people, but residents from blocks away swore that they'd be able to hear the sounds of drunk revelers until and past two in the morning should the patio be opened.

In both of these instances, the proposed new homes and patio would be located along four-lane streets where cars travel up to 40-45 MPH 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Thursday, June 2, 2016


Mom and dad were in town over the holiday weekend, and we got a little time to visit. I always appreciate our walks and chats, and this occasion was no exception.

They both brought up something that hadn't really struck me before, but as I've reflected on it, I've realized just how profound it actually is. That something? Litter.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


It was a beautiful Los Angeles Saturday morning, pretty much like every other. B and I made our way on foot to one of our favorite brunch places, where we sat outside and watched passersby while devouring our way through a delicious meal. The narrow sidewalk was full of people - both those sitting at the restaurant and those walking past - and Sunset Blvd roared a few feet from us as a row of parked cars provided a "buffer" of sorts between this crowd of people and vehicles zipping past at 30-40 miles per hour. For most Angelenos, this experience of outdoor dining complemented by the constant thrum of engines and smell of exhaust is pretty standard. It's the price we pay for a street system that places automobility above all else. Even with that, however, I was unprepared for what I saw next.

Monday, March 14, 2016


NIMBY = "Not In My Back Yard"

For many proponents of policies that emphasize traffic safety over car throughput, sustainable development over urban sprawl, and economic vitality over parking availability, time and again efforts to create progressive movement are stymied by objections rooted in a consistent ideology. And that ideology appears to be rooted in a fear of change and old, rigid thinking.

So what are good progressives to do? Well, we label the objections and group them together, of course! And thus the "NIMBY" is born.

Monday, February 29, 2016


We all speak in numerous ways every day. Whether by expressing ourselves in the clothes we wear,  the company we keep, or the professions we pursue, we speak. Having a voice, though, having your own perspective that shapes who you are and how the world fits around you... well, that is entirely something else.

Only recently have I found my voice. It is a strong voice, albeit a tenuous one still getting its sea legs. But it is entirely my own.