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Why is it so Hard to Get to The Hollywood Sign?
People travel to Los Angeles from all over the world to see the Hollywood Sign. But once they arrive in LA, will they ever actually be able to get there? Misleading Google Maps directions, false city signage, road barricades, hidden trailheads, and lots and lots of fencing. These are just a few of the obstacles that you will have to overcome if you want to get that perfect selfie in front of The Hollywood Sign. But who is behind this effort to keep people away from the sign? It is the residents of Beachwood Canyon -- the wealthy neighborhood that sits right below the sign. This group of homeowners has been working hard for years to keep tourists out of their neighborhood. And their success has put the Hollywood Sign at the center of an ongoing political battle in Los Angeles. Will the sign be open for all to see? Will it be accessible to tourists? To millions of LA area residents -- from Beverly Hills to Inglewood, Santa Monica to Compton, West Hollywood to the Valley? Or, will it be fenced off, hidden away behind private gates, special parking districts, and miles of confusing hiking trails? These are the questions that have launched an ongoing controversy surrounding the Hollywood Sign. Starting with this video, we are going to dive into this controversy and help you get a better handle on an issue that most people don't even know exists, but that affects millions of lives every year. And while not getting a selfie in front of the Hollywood Sign may be far from the biggest problem in America today, it is also a glaring example of how wealthy citizens can exercise highly disproportionate influence in our government. That said, there are at least two sides to every story, and in the next video, we will speak with some of the Beachwood Canyon residents to learn more about why they feel tourism has become so untenable in their neighborhood. Shot By: Jack Lawrence Mayer http://jacklawrencemayer.com/ Color Post by POST Video Written, Produced, and Edited by: Andrew Murphy Davis A helpful selection of sources on The Hollywood Sign issue: How to really see The Hollywood Sign http://www.awalkerinla.com/2011/06/13/where-to-see-the-hollywood-sign/ The Hollywood Reporter http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/war-hollywood-sign-pits-wealthy-761385 Curbed http://la.curbed.com/2014/8/14/10061634/why-has-the-hollywood-sign-trail-been-closed-for-five-months Gizmodo http://gizmodo.com/why-people-keep-trying-to-erase-the-hollywood-sign-from-1658084644 New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/us/gps-puts-hollywood-sign-on-the-beaten-path.html?_r=1 LA Times http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/18/local/la-me-tourist-site-20110919 Time http://time.com/3659324/hollywood-sign-controversy/
Views: 41214 The Millennial Project
Why everybody's suddenly talking about Universal Basic Income
It seems that wherever you look these days, somebody is bringing up this strange new idea of a Universal Basic Income. So why all the sudden interest? Robots and Artificial Intelligence. New advances in technology are threatening to put millions of Americans out of work, and as policymakers try to cope with this sobering outlook on the future, many are turning back to the once defunct idea of guaranteeing everyone a modest cash income as a basic right.
Tony Castanares: Preserve Griffith Park Access
Tony Castanares, a 35-year resident of Beachwood Canyon and avid hiker, explains why he supports preserving public access to Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign. Credits: Interview shot by Jacob Hurwitz-Goodman: http://jacobhg.com/ B-roll shot by Andrew Murphy Davis Produced and Edited by Andrew Murphy Davis Interview Begins: 3:05 Tony starts the interview by explaining his personal reasons for wanting to preserve access. “I use Griffith Park at least five times a week. It’s a matter of interest to me to preserve our access to Griffith Park because I think the ability to walk out my front door into Griffith Park is one of the really nice amenities of living here.” Tony then validates his neighbors’ concerns about public safety. 3:48 “There’s no question that a number of my neighbors has been inconvenienced by the increased traffic and increased popularity of the sign. Those people definitely have a point. I’m hopeful that relief can be brought to them without necessitating the closure of access to all of us here.” Next, Tony explains why trying to send selfie-seeking tourists to more remote Hollywood Sign viewing locations is unlikely to keep them out of Beachwood Canyon. 5:24 “I think people aren’t happy with pictures that show the Hollywood Sign as a little, tiny thing in the distance and so efforts to make them go get pictures from the Observatory or from Hollywood and Highland…aren’t going to work.” Tony also suggests that those who profit from the Hollywood Sign’s popularity—the city, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and the Hollywood Sign Trust—should commit to helping Beachwood Canyon find viable, tangible solutions to the ongoing sign issue. 6:03 Tony believes that the first step in finding a solution is for the city to conduct a “first rate professional traffic study of the whole situation and the possible solutions” because, according to Tony, most of the arguments put forward—including those about public safety and the necessity of shutting down access to Griffith Park—are “currently based for the most part on speculation and not on facts.” In the next section of the interview, Tony talks about three of the neighborhood’s crisis points (i.e. the neighborhood’s biggest tourist magnets). The points are the Beachwood Drive trailhead 7:45, the top of Deronda Drive 12:32, and the Scenic Vista 13:40. In stark contrast to calls from anti-access residents to shut down all of these crisis points, Tony provides a perspective that embraces keeping these points open. Tony also challenges anti-access residents’ claims that keeping these points open violates state environmental law. Tony then explains that the increased traffic in Beachwood Canyon may have just as much to do with the increased popularity of Griffith Park’s open space as it does with the Hollywood Sign--adding that this increased popularity may be a good thing. 14:55 “This isn’t just an issue of the Hollywood Sign. If I go hiking in this park…on a weekday or a weekend these days, it used to be I’d go up and hardly see anybody. Now, the trails are flooded with people. People want to use this park, and personally, I think that’s something desirable. I have always thought it’s just an absolutely wonderful thing that we have this park--which is about as close to wilderness as you can get [in Los Angeles]--that’s right plunked down in the middle of a city, right in the middle of the urban core. And that’s true despite the fact that the studies seem to show that Los Angeles is one of the least well served cities in terms of park acreage per capita.” Tony next explains how complex solving this Hollywood Sign issue can be, listing the large number of stakeholders invested in the issue 16:21 and expressing regret that the residents of Beachwood Canyon have not conducted themselves more respectfully when interacting with authorities and the media. 17:56 “I think that the approach that we have taken in this canyon so far has been to display anger and loud voices.” Tony says this tactic has given Beachwood Canyon “a bad reputation”, making people think that the canyon’s residents are “all selfish and NIMBYs”. “I think we have been rude and nasty to city councilman and journalists and people who are actually in a position to helps us.” Tony concludes the interview by laying out a different mindset for dealing with the Hollywood Sign issue, advocating that residents leave behind the combative politics Beachwood Canyon has become known for in recent years and instead try to recognize that 1) everybody is making their arguments “in good faith” and 2) that “every interest is a valid interest”. 18:42 “Ultimately we are going to have to come together and try to present a reasonable and unified voice, and I think what we have been presenting--which is loud voices and anger--has been counterproductive to actually solving the problems that we’ve got up here.” 20:31
Tony Fisch: City Illegally Directed Tourism to My Neighborhood
Lake Hollywood Estates resident Tony Fisch explains how former City Councilmember Tom LaBonge illegally developed a public Hollywood Sign viewing area in his neighborhood and how current City Councilmember David Ryu refuses to resolve the issue. Lake Hollywood Estates is located just west of Beachwood Canyon. Like Beachwood, it sits below the Hollywood Sign and is a hot spot in the ongoing battle over Hollywood Sign tourist traffic. According to Tony, conditions in the neighborhood have evolved considerably since he first moved there in the early 2000s. At that time, he says, the neighborhood did get some hikers and tourists, but, “not being overly publicized and of course not having GPS, it was just always really…reasonable”. Tony claims everything changed in 2011, when he says a crew suddenly showed up in the neighborhood from former Councilmember Tom LaBonge’s personal office staff—rather than from the Department of Parks and Recreation—and “graded and leveled” two parcels of parkland in order to create a roadside viewing area along Mulholland Highway where tourist could stop and take photos with the Hollywood Sign. All of this, Tony claims, was done “without any public hearing, without any CEQA [California Environmental Quality Act] review,” and “without any Department of Building and Safety approval”. Even so, Tony says, LaBonge promoted the viewing area—now called the Scenic Vista—with a series of public announcements that invited people to “come up, take pictures, and hike the Hollywood Sign”. As a result, Tony says, the vista is now known by companies like Google and Garmin as an official tourist destination and the neighborhood’s tourist traffic has increased at least ten-fold since 2011. According to Tony, the most serious issue created by this increase in Hollywood Sign tourist traffic is an increased threat to public safety. Lake Hollywood Estates “is a tiny residential neighborhood with 22-foot wide streets that are illegal for commercial traffic,” Tony says, and the congestion created by tourist traffic could prevent fire trucks from reaching homes—or water reserves—in the event of a serious fire. In order to resolve the issue, Tony would like to see the vista site fully restored and Hollywood Sign tourist traffic redirected “to a safe place with infrastructure” so there is both “access” to the sign for tourists and “the assurance of public safety” for Lake Hollywood residents. Tony places the responsibility for resolving this issue on Councilmember Ryu, who Tony worked hard to help elect in 2015. However, according to Tony, Ryu has become unhelpful and less accessible since taking office—leaving Tony feeling “ignored and left behind.” Credits: Shot by Jack Mayer Color Post by POST Video Produced and Edited by Andrew Murphy Davis
How NIMBYs drive up housing prices in California
In this interview, Carson Bruno explains how NIMBYs are making California’s affordable housing crisis even worse by blocking much needed, high-density urban development projects. Carson Bruno is an Assistant Dean at Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy. Twitter: @CarsonJFBruno https://twitter.com/CarsonJFBruno?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor Carson’s Real Clear Markets article on NIMBYism and Affordable Housing: http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2016/03/24/nimby-ism_and_the_california_housing_shortage_102078.html The Millennial Project Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/The-Millennial-Project-1465969280366569/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andrewmurphydavis/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/?lang=en Interview Summary Introduction: California’s affordable housing crisis is primarily driven by supply and demand. More people are moving to California every year and California is not building enough new housing supply to satisfy this increased demand. The result is a price increase. Rents are going up, home buyers are paying more for new houses, and homeowners are paying more in taxes (as property values increase) to hold on to property that they already have. This crisis is especially severe in California’s largest cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego. The cure for this crisis is increasing supply by constructing more housing units. However, NIMBYs are blocking the construction of these new units across the state. Interview begins 1:30 Carson begins the interview by explaining that “NIMBYism by itself isn’t necessarily a problem” because it “isn’t anti-development per say”. However, what has happened in California is that NIMBYism has “merged with residentialism”, which came out of Palo Alto in the 1960s and is very anti-development and very anti-growth. Residentialists, Carson says, seek to block development because they want to preserve the “culture” and “intrinsic feel” of their communities “at the time that they bought into that community”. 2:11 Carson goes on to explain that this is one of the hardest political problems to understand because it doesn’t fall neatly on “partisan lines”. Instead, you can find everyone from Republicans and Democrats to Communists and Libertarians in the Residentialist-NIMBY movement. The locality of zoning decisions also further complicates the issue. 3:16 Next, Carson talks about “the NIMBY toolkit” and how NIMBYs influence local governments to do what they want. According to Carson, development is already a very long process and NIMBYs attempt to further “elongate” or “frustrate” the process until it “kills the process entirely”. 4:56 They do this with three primary tools. The first is “misinformation”. Here, NIMBYs build strawman arguments like the idea that Airbnb—rather than a NIMBY fueled restriction on development—is driving up housing prices. NIMBYs also perpetrate misinformation by exaggerate problems associated with development, like traffic congestion, in order to make those problems seem unsolvable and keep projects from getting approved. 5:50 The second tool is “co-opting the political process”. NIMBYs get their own members elected to local political office or appointed to local planning and advisory boards. They also “flood” city council meetings, committees, and hearings “with their members, making it seem like they are the only voices that really have a stake” in the project. And this strategy can be very effective because, in politics, “the squeaky wheel gets the oil”. 6:49 The third is CEQA—the California Environmental Quality Act. CEQA allows anybody to file appeals against a project on the grounds that it may be harming the environment. NIMBYs utilize this law to gum up the permitting process for projects, by demanding more environmental impact reports and reviews. The goal here, Carson says, is to “stall, stall, stall in the hope of eventually killing” projects. 8:35
Welcome to The Millennial Project
It’s never politics as usual for The Millennial Project. Combining intrepid adventure with sharp millennial insight and vibrant youthful production, this groundbreaking documentary-news series takes viewers on a journey with 25-year-old host Andrew Davis as he works to uncover his generation’s unique political voice. No green-screens were used. Filming occurred across 17 states and many weeks as Andrew left his job on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and traveled to Los Angeles in order to launch The Millennial Project. Special thanks to Production Assistant Taylor Hewes.
Greg Williams: Preserve Historic Hollywoodland
Gregory Paul Williams, the owner of Beachwood Canyon’s main commercial building, talks about how permit parking could kill the canyon’s historic village—jeopardizing both residents’ property values and the preservation of Hollywoodland’s unique cultural heritage. Greg owns the building at the intersection of Beldon Drive and Beachwood Drive that anchors the Beachwood Village. Greg is also a passionate historian and preservationist, and he has written an award winning book on the history of Hollywood. Greg’s books: The Story of Hollywood: http://www.storyofhollywood.com/Author.html The Story of Hollywoodland: https://www.amazon.com/Story-Hollywoodland-Greg-Williams/dp/0963308602 Shot by Jack Mayer Produced and Edited by Andrew Murphy Davis 1:12 Greg begins his interview by reviewing the Hollywood Sign’s little known history. As Greg recounts, the sign originally read “Hollywoodland” and was actually built as an advertisement in the early 1920s for the “Hollywoodland” real estate development—which still exists today and is situated in the hills of Beachwood Canyon. Greg goes on to recognize irony in the fact that the sign, originally built to advertise the “private property” of the canyon’s current residents, has now become a de facto national monument in these residents’ “backyard” that draws hoards of disruptive tourists into their neighborhood everyday. 3:07 Greg places the blame for the neighborhood’s current tourism problem squarely on the shoulders of former City Councilmember Tom LaBonge. According to Greg, LaBonge was very pro tourist and began both setting up and promoting “points for tourists to come see the sign” in Beachwood Canyon’s residential area without doing an Environmental Impact Review, “getting any kind of city approval”, or “getting any community input”. 4:38 One of these points, Greg says, was a new gate leading into Griffith Park (where the Hollywood Sign is located). Labonge opened the gate in 2015, and according to Greg, the once tranquil area of the neighborhood near the gate quickly become clogged with tourist traffic—including so many “cars parked in the middle of the street” that emergency vehicles could not get through. This congestion, Greg says, prompted residents near the gate to request that the city implement residential only permit parking—also known as Preferential Parking Districts or PPDs. While this permit parking took care of the tourist parking problem near the gate, it also pushed the parking congestion further down the canyon. According to Greg, the city is now trying to deal with the residual parking issue by further extending the PPDs into the canyon’s historic commercial village—which “is unfortunate because the commercial area needs parking for customers”. 6:23 For Greg, pushing the PPDs into the village ultimately endangers Hollywoodland’s unique identity as a historic and tight knit community. “It’s really wild to be able to live in a city like LA and be able to stroll to your market with your shopping bag and meet your fellow neighbors,” Greg says, “and you know, this area has been a commercial district for 91 years.” However, Greg worries that the new PPDs will strangle the village’s businesses, killing off the commercial area along with the unique identity it brings to Beachwood Canyon. All of this, Greg says, could also endanger residents’ property values by as much as 30%. 7:44 Turning his thoughts to current City Councilmember David Ryu, Greg recounts a frustrating experience of trying to deal with Ryu’s office on the PPD issue. “They never really told us it was a done deal,” Greg says. “So we had these meetings going, ‘Well this isn’t going to work for us’, and then next thing we know [Ryu’s office] is telling us ‘It’s a done deal. It’s a done deal.’” 10:21 In proposing solutions, Greg says that if the city is “going to let people get close to the sign, they should find a way to do it so [tourists] are not walking through residential streets.” According to Greg, many of the neighborhood’s streets are not only “substandard” and “small”—causing a potential safety issue—but they are also “historic”. In order to preserve the neighborhood, Greg says, the city should funnel tourists to the sign through a different entrance into Griffith Park at Travel Town (near Forrest Lawn), where there is ample parking, easy access to the sign’s hiking trails, and no residential areas. Even with the new entrance, Greg says tourists could still visit Hollywoodland if they wanted to. However, Greg proposes that the city consider implementing a quota system (like the one at Yosemite) where the number of tourists allowed in the neighborhood at any one time would be limited—perhaps to 50 people—and tourists would need to “sign in” at a “visitors center” in order to gain access.
A Conversation with Zainab Salbi
A conversation with Zainab Salbi on Middle East Millennials and The Millennial Project. Often called the Oprah of the Middle East, Zainab Salbi talks about a new generation’s struggle to find its twenty-first century identity in a rapidly changing and tumultuous (yet ever more connected) region. Andrew answers a few important questions about The Millennial Project: What is a millennial? What is the Millennial Project? How much political power do millennials have? Are they aware of this power and do they use it? What events defined the millennial political outlook? What is the show’s editorial angle? What do viewers have to look forward to in 2016? Learn more about Zainab and her inspiring show here: http://www.nidaashow.com/about_en.html
Patriotic Correctness: Political Correctness on the Right
Patriotic Correctness, or political correctness on the right, is a term coined by Alex Nowrasteh to describe how Conservatives are just as guilty of trying to control speech as the liberals they criticize. Instead of prioritizing diversity and inclusion, Patriotic Correctness demands conformity to, as Alex puts it, “a full-throated, un-nuanced, and uncompromising defense of American nationalism, history, and cherry-picked ideals.” Furthermore, it appears that rigid conformity to Patriotic Correctness can create contradictions within conservative ideology in conversations about a diverse range of subjects--including Unions, Black Lives Matter, Transgender bathroom laws, the confederate flag, same-sex marriage, and safe spaces. Furthermore, Patriotic correctness may have given rise to its own vocabulary and language rules as conservatives advocate the use of phrases like Deep State, reverse racism, Merry Christmas (instead of Happy Holidays), and radical Islamic terrorist. Alex Nowrasteh is a policy analyst at the CATO institute CATO Page: https://www.cato.org/people/alex-nowrasteh Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlexNowrasteh Washington Post article on Patriotic Correctness: https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/12/07/the-right-has-its-own-version-of-political-correctness-its-just-as-stifling/?utm_term=.8f111a95adf0 CATO Podcast on Patriotic Correctness: https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast/rights-troubling-patriotic-correctness
Reagan and the Future of the Republican Party - Part 4 - Conclusion
Going back to Reagan is the bedrock of every 2016 Republican Presidential campaign. From Trump, to Rubio and Cruz, they are all mimicking Reagan’s rhetoric, using Reagan’s ideas, and trying to rebuild the Reagan Coalition. But does this obsession with recreating Reagan really make sense almost 30 years after he left office? Music: Throttle - French Kiss https://soundcloud.com/throttle/throttle-french-kiss Shot by: Jacob Hurwitz-Goodman http://jacobhg.com/ Produced, written, and edited by Andrew Davis
Patti Peck: Anti Access Vitriol Killing Beachwood Small Business
As the sun sets in Beachwood Canyon, Patti Peck, owner of the Beachwood Cafe, explains how Beachwood’s small business owners have gotten caught up in the ongoing battle over the Hollywood Sign. Patti starts off the interview by repeating a familiar refrain in Beachwood Canyon—that over the past six years, GPS technology has dramatically increased the number tourists traveling through the neighborhood to visit the Hollywood Sign. Sympathizing with the residents, Patti also talks about how this traffic has created a variety of problems for her business. “There’s no infrastructure here to support the amount of tourism,” Patti says. “So we’ve become the de facto tourist center.” Unfortunately for Patti, being the de facto tourist center has not helped her business. Patti says that, instead of buying coffee or food, tourists “mostly just create a long line to use the bathroom”—which is unattractive to regular customers and has caused her plumbing bill to double. However even with these problems, Patti does not see eye to eye with some of the neighborhood’s most ardently anti access residents. “The residents of Beachwood Canyon are at odds with the businesses because they want to implement permit parking,” Patti says, “and we, the businesses, feel that this is an imposition that will cost us our livelihood, that it will effectively strangle our business.” A few years ago, residents in upper Beachwood who live closest to the Hollywood Sign asked the city to implement permit parking—officially called Preferential Parking Districts—to help alleviate Hollywood Sign tourist traffic. Many in the neighborhood refer to these districts as "PPDs" or "preferred parking districts". Since then, these parking districts have slowly crept further down the hill towards Beachwood Canyon’s historic commercial village. Many of the small business owners in the village, while supportive of the PPDs up the hill, say that PPDs in the village would harm their businesses by preventing regular patrons from parking nearby. “So we can’t afford to have that, and why should we?” Patti says. “This is public streets. This is a public park, and our tax dollars pay for these streets.” Despite the danger to the village’s small businesses, Patti says that the City Council is bending to the will of Beachwood Canyon’s most ardently anti access residents. These residents—some of whom The Millennial Project has interviewed in recent videos—are extremely vocal in both local media and local politics, and they are now demanding that the parking districts be expanded into the canyon’s village in order to further control tourist traffic. “City Council is determined to do something to fix the squeaky wheel,” Patti Says. “My personal difference as a business owner than with the residents is that I want a long-term solution…I don’t want a Band Aid, and so I feel like the parking permits is just going to be a Band Aid, and it’s just going to push [the traffic] further down the hill.” Patti is represented by Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu. According to Patti, these anti access residents have also created fissures in the once tight knit Beachwood Canyon community. “They’re like very vehement and it’s like this crazy vitriol that happens” Patty Says. “It’s gotten people against each other and I hate that because we are all just trying to live here and do business here.” “This is a little community like Mayberry… and Mayberry’s being tore apart by a war over parking? That’s what we’re going to fight about?” she goes on to say in disbelief. In talking about solutions for the larger Hollywood Sign issue, Patti says she wants to see an official visitor’s center built in a location that is more suited for high volumes of tourist traffic. “You go there, you leave your car there, you buy a pass to go into the park, you’re shuttled into the park. You have infrastructure there, you have bathrooms, you have trashcans, you have souvenirs… You have all the things set up that people need when they travel.” However, Patti does not believe in building this visitors center in order to limit access to the sign through Beachwood Canyon. Instead, she sees the visitors center as an additional access option that will offer everyday tourists a more convenient place to go, fund itself by charging for shuttle tickets, and preserve local access to the Hollywood Sign for those who still wish to visit Beachwood Canyon. “I’m a hippie”, she says. “I want access for the people… We need more parks for the people. We live in a big…crowded city. It’s great to have these parks where you can go out in the nature… So I’m not for limiting any sort of access, and my attitude is that there’s better ways to handle it than to shut it down.” Credits: Shot by Jack Mayer Produced and Edited by Andrew Murphy Davis
How to Break Out of Media Bias
Media bias is a major problem in American politics. It keeps us divided and prevents productive conversations about real, tangible solutions for our generation's greatest challenges. Breaking out of media bias is hard, but engaging with think tanks to get information on issues--rather than more sensational news outlets--can be a helpful first step. For the purposes of this video, we look at two types of media bias. The first is political bias, producing coverage that pushes a conservative or liberal point of view. The second is simplicity bias, a bias towards presenting complicated issues in a more simplistic form in order to make the most of coveted page space and make stories more accessible to audiences. These two biases combine to reinforce audiences' worldviews. The result is that somebody who primarily consumes conservative media, like Brietbart, sees a simple world in which conservative solutions are the obvious course of action for fixing problems. But somebody who consumes liberal media, like the Huffington Post, also sees a simple world where liberal solutions are the obvious course of action for fixing problems. Both sides think the other is crazy, irrational, and out of touch. And this prevents us from building a political majority around any set of cohesive solutions to our society's most pressing challenges. So how do we break out of this media bias? Well, The Millennial Project does not have all the answers. However, one great first step is to supplement daily news consumption with content from think tanks, non-profit academic research institutions that provide in-depth analysis on pressing domestic and international challenges. For years, think tanks remained relatively isolated to Washington policymaking circles and university academic circles. However, more recently, think thanks have taken advantage of digital media to make their research and their experts more accessible. Think tanks now offer podcasts, blogs, and recordings of events (where they discuss major policy issues). Most think tanks offer at least two types of podcasts: a public radio styled radio show and an events podcast. The radio show is great for getting a preview of events, research, and experts at the think tank. Then, if something looks interesting, the event podcasts are great for diving deeper into any given issue. Some of the best think tank podcast networks are: The Brookings Institution: Brookings Cafeteria Brookings Events https://www.brookings.edu/podcasts/ The Council on Foreign Relations: The World Next week The President's Inbox CFR Events http://www.cfr.org/publication/by_type/podcast.html The Center for Strategic and International Studies: CSIS Podcast CSIS Events https://www.csis.org/podcasts The CATO Institute: Daily Podcast Events Podcast https://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-daily-podcast American Enterprise Institute: Banter Podcast https://www.aei.org/feature/banter/ Politico: (not a think tank but was mentioned in the video) Nerdcast Global Politico Off Message http://www.politico.com/podcasts
Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris: ‘Privatization of Public Space’ at play under the Hollywood Sign
Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris talks about privatization of public space and how it relates to the Hollywood Sign. Loukaitou-Sideris is an Urban Planning Professor at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs. She has published extensive research on the privatization of public space in Los Angeles. Interview begins: 2:00 Proffessor Loukaitou-Sideris begins defines ‘public space’ and the ‘privatization of public space’. While public space can be a broad term, she says, public space represents an asset for cities and includes streets, sidewalks, parks, plazas, and other public places where you “can meet with people from different walks of life”. American cities, she says, have traditionally valued public space. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, major American cities invested in parks like Central Park in New York and Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Sidewalks were also considered vibrant public spaces as they were used not just for walking but also for “street vending” and “political talks”. 2:57 However, Loukaitou-Sideris says that, “white flight” and “suburbanization” greatly “devalued” traditional public spaces. These spaces became seen as centers of “crime” and other societal pathologies. This change in perception of public space led to ordinances that increasingly pushed “social activities” off of the sidewalks and out of public space. 3:22 Loukaitou-Sideris says, many of these social activities then began moving into privately built and managed public spaces—like shopping malls and corporate plazas—that “attract the public but…have a lot of rules and regulations”. “Not everyone is welcome,” she says, “You would not see skateboarders, bag ladies, poor people, underdressed people”. At the same time, she says, we see the development of gated communities, where streets and sidewalks are private. And this overall phenomenon of increasingly private public space is called “the privatization of public space”. 3:55 Next, Loukaitou Sideris talks about the importance of public space. 8:40 She says there is danger to loosing public space because public space “is the spatial manifestation of the public realm, and the public realm is where…you can express your views, you can come together as a public, you can demonstrate, you can celebrate.” “And we need to have these spaces in our everyday lives,” she says, because “otherwise, we become completely isolated…and we only get what’s happening in public life through television, the media, etc.” Loukaitou Sideris mentions Tahrir Square in Cairo and the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong as recent, geographically diverse examples of the importance of public space. 9:17 Public space is also important, she says, in increasing citizens’ tolerance as it provides a place for people to interact with those who come from different backgrounds. 9:41 In relating the concept of privatization of public space to the Hollywood Sign, Professor Loukaitou-Sideris says: “I don’t see how you can deny, on a public street, the right of a citizen to use a public space to go see a city landmark.” However, she does see a “middle road” where the city could deny access to the park at night for public safety. 11:00 Professor Loukaitou Sideris also relates the Hollywood Sign issue to the controversy over access to the Beach in Malibu. 13:35 Moving on to solutions, Professor Loukaitou Sideris says that the idea of requiring developers to provide public space on top of new high-rise buildings in Hollywood (that could act as viewing decks for the Hollywood Sign) could work. This idea has been proposed by many stakeholders in the sign issue as a potential solution to the tourism problems plaguing the communities below the sign. She says this idea is more generally called “linkage” in planning terms and it has been applied successfully in San Francisco and Boston. 15:10 However, she also says that linkage can be problematic if public space is required to be on top of a private residential building because developers and building managers may attempt to conceal or block access to the public space. She says it can be more effective to require developers to donate funds for building new public space at a different location. 16:48
Decoding AI with RAND’s Bill Welser
An in-depth interview on artificial intelligence with Bill Welser from the RAND Corporation. We already interact with Artificial Intelligence every day. From our Facebook newsfeeds to Tinder swipes, loan approvals, high-frequency trading, the judicial system, and more: Artificial Intelligence is in the wild. But what are the promises and dangers of this technology? The RAND Corporation’s Bill Welser takes viewers through the complex world of artificial intelligence, covering concerns about sentient robots, job loss, and more. He also outlines ways that artificial intelligence can make our lives better, from helping doctors diagnose patients more accurately to empowering individuals to do more with the limited amounted of time in the day. Bill Welser is Director of the RAND Corporation’s Engineering and Applied Sciences Department. See Bill’s Work on AI here: RAND: http://www.rand.org/about/people/w/welser_iv_william.html Twitter: https://twitter.com/williamwelseriv?lang=en The RAND Corporation is a multi-disciplinary think tank located just outside Los Angeles in Santa Monica, CA. RAND is one of the most respected think tanks in the United States and is one of just a few think tanks located on the West Coast. RAND is particularly active in the defense and technology spaces. Further reading: Letter on AI from Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and other tech leaders https://futureoflife.org/ai-open-letter/ Open AI Website https://openai.com/jobs/ Pro Publica Report on AI in the judicial system: https://www.propublica.org/article/machine-bias-risk-assessments-in-criminal-sentencing
Christine O'Brien: Save the Hollywoodland Gifted Park
35-year Beachwood Canyon resident Christine O’Brien introduces the Hollywoodland Gifted Park, offering both historical and environmental reasons for why Hollywood Sign tourism should be redirected away from her neighborhood. See Christine's website at: http://www.hollywoodlandgiftedpark.com/the-history-of-hollywoodland/ When Beachwood Canyon was first developed roughly a century ago, the new upscale neighborhood was called Hollywoodland. In fact, the Hollywood Sign originally read Hollywoodland and was built as an advertisement for this new development. According to Christine, the primary developer behind Hollywoodland was the Sherman Company. The Sherman Company, she says, also owned 444 acres of open space surrounding the original Hollywoodland development, which included the Hollywood Sign. However, during World War II, the Sherman Company divested of this land and donated it to the city. The city then integrated this 444-acres of open space into Griffith Park. Christine calls this 444-acre portion of the Griffith Park the Hollywoodland Gifted Park. As a result of this gift, Christine asserts, the Hollywoodland Gifted Park has a unique historical connection to the Hollywoodland neighborhood and should be managed in a way that protects the neighborhood’s present day residents—rather than aggravating them with a constant onslaught of Hollywood Sign tourist traffic. Christine also says that the Hollywoodland Gifted Park is a microclimate with unique plant and animal life. Perhaps the most famous inhabitant of this microclimate is P22—Griffith Park’s beloved mountain lion. Unregulated use of the park by tourists, she says, could damage the area’s unique environment. In answering questions about whether area residents are working to shut off access to the park, Christine says that these residents are simply asking the city to enforce legal and “proper” entrances into the park. “The end of Beachwood is not a proper opening”, she says. “The only official opening in this area is over in Bronson Canyon.” Christine goes on to speak about issues created by high volumes of Hollywood Sign tourist traffic, citing high liability for the city as well as public urination and public defecation in residents’ yards. In looking for solutions to the ongoing Hollywood Sign problem, Christine says “all the unofficial openings” into the park from Hollywoodland “must be closed down”. She then suggests that the city move the sign, potentially renting it out to Universal Studios or Warner Brothers. She also says that the city could “build a mock up of the sign” in another area. Finally, in reference to whether people should be able to see the sign up close, Christine says, “there may not be a solution for people to see it, the city may have to recreate a solution in a safer and less sensitive environment”—citing tourism’s negative impact on both the unique Hollywoodland Gifted Parkland environment and the surrounding Hollywoodland neighborhood. She also expresses concern that hiking the sign could pose a security risk to the city because the city’s “main communications tower” sits next to the sign. Credits: Shot by Jack Mayer Color Post by POST Video Produced and Edited by Andrew Murphy Davis
Reagan and the Future of the Republican Party - Part 1 - Intro
Going back to Reagan is the bedrock of every 2016 Republican Presidential campaign. From Trump, to Rubio and Cruz, they are all mimicking Reagan’s rhetoric, using Reagan’s ideas, and trying to rebuild the Reagan Coalition. But does the GOP's obsession with recreating Reagan really make sense almost 30 years after he left office? Music: centron - Funk Me https://soundcloud.com/centronmusic Shot by: Jacob Hurwitz-Goodman http://jacobhg.com/ Produced, written, and edited by Andrew Davis
What we get wrong on trade
There is a misconception in American politics that trade has killed the American manufacturing industry. However, American manufacturing is larger now than ever before, and it is growing. Instead, it is manufacturing jobs that are in decline, but this decline in jobs is fueled by technology rather than trade. Since the 1970s, automation, robotics, IT systems, and—most recently—the Internet of Things have all become integrated into the production process, allowing American manufacturers to produce more goods with fewer people. As a result, it is unlikely that Donald Trump will be able to bring traditional, blue-collar manufacturing jobs back to the United States by getting tough on trade with China and Mexico. Reports Mentioned in Video: The Myth and Reality of Manufacturing in America – Ball State University http://projects.cberdata.org/reports/MfgReality.pdf Note: The video incorrectly states that this report claims 5.2 million manufacturing jobs were lost in the US from 2000-2010. The correct number is 5.6 million jobs. How Robots Will Redefine Competitiveness – Boston Consulting Group https://www.bcgperspectives.com/content/articles/lean-manufacturing-innovation-robots-redefine-competitiveness/ Further Reading: Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/dec677c0-b7e6-11e6-ba85-95d1533d9a62 Brookings: https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/u-s-manufacturing-may-depend-on-automation-to-survive-and-prosper/ Foreign Affairs: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2016-06-13/truth-about-trade MIT: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602869/manufacturing-jobs-arent-coming-back/ FED: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/OUTMS
Dan Koeppel: Pedestrians will save your neighborhood, not destroy it
Dan Koeppel, a writer and pedestrian advocate, explains how welcoming walkers into Beachwood Canyon can help preserve the neighborhood and increase quality of life for residents. Dan Koeppel Twitter: https://twitter.com/soulbarn?lang=en Shot, edited, and produced by Andrew Murphy Davis Interview begins: 2:04 Dan introduces himself and talks about The Big Parade LA, a free event he organizes every year that leads thousands of people on a daylong walk through Los Angeles. “I don’t buy into the idea that LA is not walkable and not livable. I’ve always thought LA was walkable and livable from the day I got here, and I just want to show that to other people.” Turning to the Hollywood Sign, Dan says the sign is an “amazing place to walk” with a “great neighborhood underneath” that has “wonderful public stairways” and “beautiful architecture”. But he also says he doesn’t understand why pedestrians are being vilified by Beachwood Canyon residents. “It just dismays me totally that somehow pedestrians are being vilified and made to look like we’re harming something. We’re here for Los Angeles, to love Los Angeles, to share it, and what is more sharable on foot than the Hollywood Sign?” 2:54 Dan shares his favorite walking route to the Hollywood Sign. 3:20 “I like coming through the neighborhood and apparently some people in the neighborhood don’t like the idea of peaceful, well-meaning pedestrians mingling with them.” 3:50 Dan says that the Hollywood Sign issue is tied into larger issues of public space in Los Angeles. “We have to remember that the definition of public is truly public… Once you start narrowing that, [if] you make it…people who own homes in a certain neighborhood, if they are the public and the rest of us are an other public, than we have totally destroyed what makes us a city.” 4:45 Dan explains his perspective on the Hollywood Sign issue. 5:04 “There’s no question that there’s too much traffic in that neighborhood.” Dan also says there are too many tour buses in Hollywood and that Beachwood Canyon residents “have every right to want to restrict commercial traffic on residential streets.” 5:20 However, he takes issue with the notion that this traffic issue also justifies restricting pedestrian access to Beachwood Canyon and the Hollywood sign. “That somehow this has been lumped into restricting all access…this idea that somehow this neighborhood is meant to be private, it’s just crazy. And I think people have gone a little nuts. They’ve decided it’s all or nothing.” 5:36 Dan talks about his love for LA’s vibrant urban sprawl and the opportunity it creates to “explore” and “connect” the city’s many “distinct” neighborhoods, but also says Angelenos tend to “exclude” each other “economically” and “socially”. 6:53 “I think we’ve forgotten that the way to be a true city is to include not to exclude.” 7:41 Dan also says that, for the first two years of the Big Parade, he ended the walk with a hike to the Hollywood Sign. However, residents have since stopped welcoming the Big Parade LA to Beachwood Canyon. 7:59 In response to a question about whether pedestrians are peeing on lawns and destroying the neighborhood, Dan says that, by and large, these assertions are “total crap”. Dan says that, while some incidents have probably occurred from “bad apples”, it is not the norm and it could be avoided if residents would allow bathroom facilities to be installed in the neighborhood. 8:58 Dan says welcoming pedestrians into Beachwood Canyon is a solution to the neighborhood’s tourist problems, presenting pedestrians as a much better alternative to tour buses and car traffic. 11:20 “No matter how much you--as a resident of Beachwood Canyon--hate the idea of people walking, remember that we are your allies. We are not there destroying your neighborhood... People on foot are a benefit…People on foot get to know you, know where you are, and that will preserve your neighborhood.” 11:28 “Get off your high horse. Accept that some people that you don’t want to see on a Saturday morning are going to be there... [because] we are the alternative to the tour buses.” 12:14
Jeff Meyer: David Ryu Turned On Our Small Businesses
Jeff Meyer, owner of Hollywoodland Antiques and a 20 year resident of Beachwood Canyon, talks about how Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu turned his back on the neighborhood’s small businesses when he capitulated to demands from a minority of residents to expand permit parking into the neighborhood’s historic commercial village. This video is part of a series about the larger battle over Hollywood Sign tourist traffic in Beachwood Canyon. Credits: Shot by Jack Mayer Produced and Edited by Andrew Murphy Davis Jeff’s interview is summarized below: The Transformation of Beachwood Canyon (2:08) Jeff begins his interview by explaining that the revitalization of Hollywood has funneled an unprecedented number of tourists into Beachwood Canyon. He also says that this revitalization has spiked property values—pushing out the “bohemian” crowd that once inhabited the canyon and drawing in wealthier residents, some of whom want to make the canyon into an “exclusive neighborhood” As a small business owner, do you benefit from the tourism? (4:18) Jeff says that he benefits from tourism “far less than people assume”. According to Jeff, most tourists are “focused on getting to the sign” and, while they “certainly wander through” his store, they are often just looking for directions to the sign or to use his bathroom. Additionally, Jeff says hikers and tourists tend to take up all of the street parking—which hurts his business because the parking lot he shares with other local businesses is not large enough to accommodate all of the village’s customers. Businesses’ Agreement with Tom LaBonge on PPDs above Ledgewood Drive (7:17) Jeff explains that he has actually supported the implementation of permit parking—officially called Preferential Parking Districts (PPDs)—in the past when it was proposed by former City Councilmember Tom LaBonge. But the plan at that time, Jeff says, was to only implement permit parking above the intersection of Ledgewood Drive and Beachwood Drive (about .2 miles above the village), where the neighborhood’s streets become narrower and traffic congestion created by tourists could potentially prevent first responders from accessing residents’ homes (or the park) in an emergency. Jeff further says that, back then, Tom LaBonge also assured the businesses that the PPDs would never be expanded below Ledgewood without the businesses’ consent. However, current City Councilmember David Ryu—who now holds LaBonge’s seat—has chosen not to continue this policy. Permit Parking won’t solve the tourism issue (8:56) Jeff says that Councilmember David Ryu is using permit parking as a “short-term” solution, but does not have any “long-term” solution in mind to address the real problem in Beachwood Canyon—which “is a severe lack of infrastructure”. Jeff then points out that, even by taking away all of the street parking above the village, residents will still experience high volumes of walking and driving traffic because sign seeking tourists will come to Beachwood regardless of if they can park there. There just seems to be a lack of practical decision-making in Ryu’s office (12:02) For Jeff, it appears that “the City Council has been so bombarded” by Beachwood Canyon residents that “Councilman Ryu’s office is complying with them just to stop the noise”. Jeff is further perplexed by Ryu’s decision to “suddenly” deem the area south of Ledgewood unsafe and therefore in need of permit parking. Jeff offers one of his own proposed solutions to the tourist problem (13:40) Jeff’s disappointment with Councilmember David Ryu (17:28) Jeff says that in early discussions with Ryu’s office about the parking issue, the businesses were led to believe that their “concerns and opinions…would be part of the solution”, that the councilmember would be “as fair as possible”, and that “no one was going to be 100% happy”. However, Jeff says that when Ryu finally made his decision and expanded the permit parking down to the village, he effectively “appeased” the residents and gave the businesses “nothing”. Jeff then elaborates further on how Ryu’s office appeared to blow him off in later discussions, saying “I’ve never been told by one entity or one office: ‘oh we didn’t get that email, oh we never saw that, oh well we didn’t know that that’s what you felt’, and we have page after page of documents were we’ve voiced our concerns and sent it to everyone in their office…It just seems like that’s their tactic. A Divided Community (22:32) For Jeff, the city’s inaction has allowed a very solvable issue to fester and turn a “once tight knit community” against itself. Perhaps the most heartbreaking part of this infighting for Jeff was when he heard that some residents were “boycotting” his business because he didn’t support the expansion of permit parking. Jeff concludes by saying he ultimately hopes to “have real solutions”.
1: Washington and My Story
Through his own story, Andrew talks about The Millennial Project's mission, the coming millennial era, and why uncovering a millennial perspective is so crucial to jumpstarting American politics. Thanks to Production Assistant Dylan Moses.
2016 Intro: YouTube Launch and Welcome Back
Returning for 2016, it’s never politics as usual for The Millennial Project. Combining intrepid adventure with sharp millennial insight and vibrant youthful production, this groundbreaking documentary-news series takes viewers on a journey with 24-year-old host Andrew Davis as he works to uncover his generation’s unique political voice. Music: Case & Point - Paradigm https://soundcloud.com/caseandpoint/paradigm Shot by Jacob Hurwitz-Goodman http://jacobhg.com/ Produced, written, and edited by Andrew Davis
Will Repeal and Replace really fix any of Obamacare's problems?
Republicans just released their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. But does that plan really improve access to high quality and affordable healthcare for all Americans? Drawing on research from the Brookings Institution, Andrew takes a closer look at how Obamacare has faired since it was first implemented in 2014. In the vide, Andrew relays four major takeaways from the Brookings research: that healthcare is local, that Obamacare insurance markets are struggling because insurance providers underestimated the number of sick people who would seek coverage, that doctor choice is narrowing, and that hospital competition is a key factor in bringing down insurance costs for average Americans. Looking ahead, Andrew wonders whether the Republican repeal and replace plan will take these issues into account. Known as the American Healthcare Reform Act, will the Republican repeal and replace plan offer meaningful reform to Preisdent Obama's Affordable Care Act? Or, will it leave most of the nuts and bolts of Obamacare in place, cherry picking politically significant policies to change and then rebranding whatever results "Trumpcare"? Link to Brookings Report: https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/summary-report-final.pdf Link to Brookings Event where the report's authors talk about their work: Event Page: https://www.brookings.edu/events/what-worked-and-what-didnt-in-obamacare-insurance-markets/ Event Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beB5OzvrmHs&t=277s
Episode Teasers
It’s never politics as usual for The Millennial Project. Combining intrepid adventure with sharp millennial insight and vibrant youthful production, this groundbreaking documentary-news series takes viewers on a journey with 25-year-old host Andrew Davis as he works to uncover his generation’s unique political voice. No green-screens were used. Filming occurred across 17 states and many weeks as Andrew left his job on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC and traveled to Los Angeles in order to launch The Millennial Project. Special thanks to Production Assistant Taylor Hewes.
Sheila Irani: Hollywood Sign Needs Visitor’s Center
Sheila Irani proposes the creation of a visitor's center as a large-scale solution to the Hollywood Sign tourism issue. She says this solution would give tourists a more convenient option for seeing the sign, provide relief to area residents fed up with tourist traffic, and preserve public access into Griffith Park for local hikers. Irani is a 20-year resident of Lake Hollywood Estates and the President of the Lake Hollywood Homeowners Association. She founded a communications firm that specializes in helping cities implement solutions to traffic issues and ran for Los Angeles City Council in 2015. Situated just west of Beachwood Canyon, Lake Hollywood also sits below the Hollywood Sign and deals with high volumes of tourist traffic. Irani begins the interview (2:56) by telling viewers about her background and relaying familiar concerns (echoed in previous interviews) about Hollywood Sign tourist traffic: that the neighborhoods below the sign lack infrastructure to accommodate tourists, that visitors may cause fires while smoking (4:22), and that GPS technology has funneled an unprecedented number of tourist into her neighborhood in recent years (5:24). But Irani also attributes the unprecedented volume of Hollywood Sign tourist traffic to the larger tourism increase Los Angeles has seen in recent years (6:05). Los Angeles has broken tourism records for six years in a row, welcoming 47 million visitors in 2016 alone. Irani says the city should consider investing in a Hollywood Sign visitor’s center to accommodate this huge tourism increase. (7:10) “The fact is the sign is probably one of the few landmarks if [not] maybe the only landmark in the world that is surrounded by homes and there’s no management of it whatsoever. A lot of places have visitor’s centers and… I think the city needs to think about…putting a visitor’s center on Hollywood Boulevard that’s a straight shot to the sign. Offer a Ferris wheel, a platform, have celebrities come in for autographs, these are things that tourists are coming into LA for…make it easy for them so they don’t have to hike up these narrow hills.” In addition to providing a premiere viewing location for the sign, she also says the center could be a way of “making millions of dollars for the city”. Irani suggests that the center could provide an origin point for tour vans and a central location where vendors—selling things like Clippers tickets and souvenirs—could rent booths from the city. Irani already has a specific location in mind for the visitor’s center: the Florentine Gardens nightclub on Hollywood Boulevard. (8:30) In the short term, Irani says the neighborhoods below the sign need more enforcement of existing rules that prevent visitors from smoking and illegally parking their cars. This enforcement, Irani says, should ideally come from more Park Rangers—rather than LAPD or LADOT parking officers. (9:46) “What we need is enforcement and the excuse has been over and over and over is that the city doesn’t have enough money for Park Rangers…We don’t need somebody with a gun. We don’t need somebody to write $1000 tickets. We need somebody who’s basically the voice of reason, who’s standing up there and basically says, ‘Hey, can you move your car, could you please not smoke,’ and that kind of thing.” In order to raise enough money to pay for at least three rangers for the area, Irani suggests that the city should allow companies to pay to light the Hollywood Sign. (11:04) “When I worked for city council, we had offers as high as $1 million for the rights to light the sign for just one night.” Irani says that Swarovski Crystal and Moet & Chandon are two companies who have already offered to pay to light the sign. Irani explains that the barrier to implementing these solutions primarily comes from area residents who are only interested in one solution: shutting down park access (13:30). Irani explains, however, that this is not a realistic solution because cutting off access is a political “non-starter” (14:07) and it simply pushes the same tourism problem to adjacent neighborhoods. (15:40) Irani worked for former City Councilmember Tom LaBonge, and explains that—despite his unpopularity amongst some residents in the neighborhood—he worked to help mitigate the tourism problem in neighborhoods below the sign. (19:00) She concludes that the Hollywood Sign issue is made more difficult to solve by a minority of anti-access residents in Beachwood Canyon and Lake Hollywood. (21:55) “…unfortunately, there are a few people who are adamantly opposed to almost every solution except for the closure of the park… and they’re very loud. I think they’re in the minority, but they’re a very vocal minority.”
Reagan and the Future of the Republican Party - Part 2 - Reagan's Ideology
Going back to Reagan is the bedrock of every 2016 Republican Presidential campaign. From Trump, to Rubio and Cruz, they are all mimicking Reagan’s rhetoric, using Reagan’s ideas, and trying to rebuild the Reagan Coalition. But does this obsession with recreating Reagan really make sense almost 30 years after he left office? Interview with: Anthony Pennay Director Walter and Leonore Annenberg Presidential Learning Center The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation Music: Haywyre - Memory https://soundcloud.com/haywyre/memory Shot by: Jacob Hurwitz-Goodman http://jacobhg.com/ Produced, written, and edited by Andrew Davis
Sarajane Schwartz: Shutdown Beachwood Sign Access Now
40 year resident and determined local activist Sarajane Schwartz explains why she feels Hollywood Sign tourism is both dangerous and illegal in Beachwood Canyon. According to Sarajane, tourism has only become a problem in recent years. Before the advent of GPS technology, few tourists knew how to get to the Hollywood Sign and Beachwood Canyon was a quiet residential enclave much like any other in the Hollywood Hills. As a result, Sarajane says, Beachwood Canyon is not built to handle the high volume of pedestrian and vehicle traffic created by sign seeking tourists. The neighborhood has a confusing network of narrow, winding streets. It is also surrounded on three sides by "combustible parkland" making it a “very high fire hazard zone”. This lack of infrastructure and high risk of fire combine to make many residents like Sarajane worry that congestion created by tourist traffic will prevent emergency vehicles from reaching residents’ homes in the event of a major fire. Sarajane also reports that tourists frequently disregard Beachwood Canyon's strict no smoking laws, increasing the danger of fire even further. In order to address these public safety concerns, Sarajane advocates that all access to the Hollywood Sign through Beachwood Canyon be shut down immediately. However, she also offers solutions that she feels will preserve access to the sign for tourists and hikers. These solutions include alternative access to the same hiking trails from Bronson Canyon. Sarajane goes on to argue that, even if people disagree over whether tourism below the sign is dangerous, the Beachwood Drive trailhead leading into Griffith Park is still illegal and should be closed—as it was installed by former Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom Labonge “without any notification, any public hearing, [or] any process”. Sarajane closes the interview by talking about her experience organizing to help elect current Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu. She expresses some disappointment in his record to date. Credits: Shot by Jack Mayer Color Post by POST Video Produced and Edited by Andrew Murphy Davis
3: Morocco and The Clinton Foundation
Andrew takes viewers to Marrakech, Morocco for a unique look inside the Clinton Foundation. Music by Zanski: soundcloud.com/zanski
Alissa Walker: Hollywood Sign Access Should be Improved
Alissa Walker, a seasoned writer who has covered the Hollywood Sign issue since it first began, explains how residents have worked to shut off access to the sign and how she has organized Angelenos to help improve Hollywood Sign access. Alissa is currently Curbed’s Urbanism editor. Before Curbed, she wrote for Gizmodo. Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, LA Weekly, and many other publications. Alissa maintains a blog called “A Walker in LA”, where she has posted extensively about the Hollywood Sign. She also founded deLaB, an organization dedicated to celebrating creativity and design on the east side of LA. Alissa Walker Twitter: https://twitter.com/awalkerinLA Curbed: http://www.curbed.com/authors/alissa-walker Gizmodo: https://kinja.com/alissawalker A Walker in LA: http://www.awalkerinla.com/ Shot by Jack Meyer Produced and edited by Andrew Murphy Davis Interview begins: 2:55 Alissa explains that the roots of the sign issue lie in technology and a culture change surrounding urban life in Los Angeles. “LA is becoming more of a public city…Now everybody is trying to get out and be on foot and explore their city a little bit more. And technology has actually enabled that—thanks to our smart phones, and GPS, and apps, and Instagram. So now people, if they see an awesome picture of the Hollywood Sign, they want to go right exactly where it was taken.” 3:33 Alissa validates the concerns of residents who live below the sign, but says these concerns do not justify limiting pedestrian access to the sign. “I am definitely sympathetic, but I also think that these are public trails in a public park—one of the largest urban parks in the country—and there is no reason why there shouldn’t be complete access for anyone at anytime to walk and get up there.” 5:00 Alissa says that the problem in the neighborhoods below the sign is too many cars and a lack of wayfinding signage to help visitors safely get to the sign. 5:20 [Note: Since filming, Griffith Park has installed limited wayfinding signage. Also, while Google maps offers walking directions to the sign, cell phone service is not available in much of Griffith Park and Beachwood Canyon.] Alissa says that, over the years, Beachwood Canyon residents have tried to cut off access by illegally barricaded streets, putting up fake and misleading signage, and trying to close access to public hiking trails that lead to the Hollywood Sign. 6:09 “This is a public park, and access should be…improved.” 7:30 Alissa talks about organizing to solve the Hollywood Sign issue through “deLaB”, a non-profit she co-founded in 2013. The issue is important, Alissa says, because it’s “about guaranteeing pedestrian access to some of our most valuable landmarks and historical locations”. 8:42 Alissa also says that the city needs to do a better job informing visitors about how to see the sign, especially when it comes to dealing with automobile congestion created by tourists in the neighborhoods below the sign. “You’d think the city would really step up and ensure this is something that could be fixed… but several groups have purposefully suppressed information about where to go to see the Hollywood Sign, where you can go to take those awesome pictures, the fact that you can walk to a lot of these areas...So I think that the relationship of the city with the Hollywood Sign has to change…” (10:00) For solutions, Alissa says she would personally like to see the city create a National Parks style, “hop-on-hop-off” shuttle system offering easy, “car-free” access to the sign. She would also like to see more facilities and amenities—like bathrooms and water fountains--built on the west side of Griffith Park for visitors. To deal with tourism issues in neighborhoods below the sign, she is open to heavy parking restrictions that deter car traffic without closing public streets. 11:08 Alissa talks about the deLaB event she organized to help find solutions to the sign issue. 13:45 Alissa talks about her experience covering the Hollywood Sign issue, recalling how she was contacted by residents who wanted her to take down a blog post she wrote about how to see the Hollywood Sign. 15:00 Alissa talks about how the Hollywood Sign issue relates to larger questions about public space and inequality in Los Angeles. She says the Hollywood Sign issue is similar to the debate over the future of the LA River and the controversy over beach access in coastal communities like Malibu. 18:10 “It’s something that’s going to keep happening in a lot of places, especially LA where there’s powerful people who are trying to use parts of the city as their own backyards—which isn’t fair.” 20:08
Brian Lane: Let's Come Together and Workshop Solutions
Brian Lane, an architect and avid hiker who has lived in Beachwood Canyon for over 20 years, offers his solution to the Hollywood Sign issue. But instead of making one policy proposal, Brian suggests bringing community members together from all of the neighborhoods below the sign to workshop a broader, more inclusive solution to that works the best for the largest number of people. Interview shot by Jack Meyer B Roll shot by Andrew Murphy Davis Produced and edited by Andrew Murphy Davis Interview begins: 1:45 Brian introduces himself and talks about his appreciation for the Hollywood Sign. “…the fact that I’ve been lucky enough to live up here has just been the greatest thing.” 2:10 “It’s a visual resource. I think it’s actually a beautiful thing. Those letters, they mean a lot to a lot of people here.” 3:25 Brian explains his pro-access perspective on the Hollywood Sign issue. 4:50 “…everybody I know up here, they know that I’m for access. I like to keep things open. I feel like there are ways to mitigate problems. [It] may not solve everything for everybody, but [we] can solve it in the best way for the largest number of folks—whether you live here under this beautiful sign or whether you’re an Angeleno that really likes to hike up in the hills and take advantage of this open space…” 5:38 As an architect, Brian says that, instead of suggesting one solution to the sign issue, he would like to see the wider community come together and get a process going to workshop a larger set of mutually agreeable solutions. 7:18 “Being an architect, and as architects, we like to look for solutions… We also like to find a process that can foster the best solutions… It’s in our DNA, it’s in our training." 7:40 “The architecture firm that I’m apart of…, we do projects that are community-based. We do a lot of affordable housing projects. We do rec centers, parks, and all that where it’s the standard mode that there are a lot of stakeholders. There are many people that want to be informed, that want to feed in and be part of the process of crafting something. And to us,…we feed on that as architects to create unique and appropriate and inspired solutions for a given community or a given site.” 7:58 “So obviously, as an architect, and having seen the success of those processes, I feel deep down that that could work up here.” 9:12 Brian adds that the methods used in the community so far to deal with the problem—ex. infighting, drawing in Councilmember David Ryu’s office, and suing the city—are not ideal. 10:00 “It’s not healthy…We have mechanisms for suing the city…but every lawsuit that the city of LA gets is tax payer money paying for our city attorney to fight it, to get it in the system, and sometimes they end up doing payouts and it’s not a great process.” 12:10 Next, Brian explains that there is indeed a traffic and public safety issue in Beachwood Canyon. But Brian says these issues are easily manageable if the city applies more resources to Beachwood Canyon for parking enforcement, for “potentially building bathrooms”, and for creating “signage” that informs visitors not to smoke or “walk wide in the street”. 12:58 Brian continues talking about solutions (14:10), suggesting the city create a shuttle service that would allow people to park their cars in a more convenient location and then hop on a bus that would take them to Beachwood Canyon’s park entrances (15:30). Brian also suggests that the city work harder to inform people about the difficulty of the hike and the fact that there are no bathrooms or water fountains (15:55). Next, Brian mentions that, while most people outside of Beachwood Canyon only hear about anti-access residents in the press, there are also many pro-access neighbors like him in the area. 18:50 Brian concludes his interview by putting the Hollywood Sign issue in perspective. 19:42 “As a society, we probably have much greater problems to really worry about. I’d say, if you’ve got…the largest homeless population in the nation right now in Los Angeles sleeping under freeways or along the rivers and all that, these are much larger problems.” 19:42
Reagan and the Future of the Republican Party - Part 3 - Reagan's Presidency
Going back to Reagan is the bedrock of every 2016 Republican Presidential campaign. From Trump, to Rubio and Cruz, they are all mimicking Reagan’s rhetoric, using Reagan’s ideas, and trying to rebuild the Reagan Coalition. But does this obsession with recreating Reagan really make sense almost 30 years after he left office? Interview with: Anthony Pennay Director Walter and Leonore Annenberg Presidential Learning Center The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation Music: Stephen Walking - Shark City https://soundcloud.com/stephenwalking Shot by: Jacob Hurwitz-Goodman http://jacobhg.com/ Produced, written, and edited by Andrew Davis
2: Baltimore and Race
Six days after the riots, two friends have a revealing conversation about millennials and race on the rooftops of Baltimore. Shot by Jake Stern

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