LA Forwards & Backwards

By Genie Deez

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Description

Opening up on the conversation on the issues being debated in today’s Los Angeles. Featuring interviews with local social and environmental justice leaders, plus the kind of big-picture context you won’t find anywhere else. Hosted by David Levitus, Founder of LA Forward, and History Ph.D. with a focus on U.S. politics and urban studies.

Episode Date
California Power Politics, Net Neutrality, and more
57:41

Season 2 is here—thanks to the generosity of listeners like you! To kick things off, we welcome Sandra Fluke, California Director of Voices for Progress who gives us the inside scoop on how politics works in our state. From gerrymandering and term limits to corporate capture of certain Democrats, we get real talk about who wields power in Sacramento and how they do it. Then we discuss the fight for a strong "net neutrality" law and the abolition of "money bail," plus how you can get involved.

Jul 15, 2018
Intersections of Injustice
01:12:43

Rabeya Sen of Esperanza Community Housing joins us for a wide-ranging conversation about the connections between issues as diverse as domestic violence, immigration enforcement, the criminal justice system, and urban displacement and gentrification.

Jun 08, 2018
Urban Oil Drilling
01:02:31

Martha Dina Argüello talks with us about the STAND-LA coalition’s work to phase out the silent but deadly oil drilling that still exists near homes, schools, and hospitals across Los Angeles. A native of the neighborhood around Vista Hermosa Park and its plethora of oil wells, Martha shares her story and highlights the need to push for a just transition where disadvantaged communities and workers all benefit from the move from fossil fuels to clean energy.

Jun 01, 2018
Homeboy Electronics Recycling with Kabira Stokes
56:01

Kabira Stokes of Homeboy Electronics Recycling joins the podcast for our first live show which took place at the beautiful, historic Pico Union Project building. Kabira shares the fascinating story of how she came to establish and lead a social enterprise that employs formerly incarcerated folks, boosting the local economy, and fighting both toxic pollution and climate change in the process.

May 17, 2018
Youth Justice
01:00:13

Julio Marcial of the Liberty Hill Foundation talks with us about LHF's work to transform the youth justice system so it focuses on investing in young people, intervening with community-based solutions, and shutting down youth prisons. We discuss how youth of color are overpoliced and overincarcerated and survey the incredible work of grassroots organizations across LA County that has already cut youth incarceration in half.

Mar 20, 2018
Fighting Sexual Harassment and Violence
01:04:07

Maya Paley of NCJW-LA joins the show to discuss the fight against sexual harassment and violence beyond the headlines. After she shares the story, we dive into the data on the widespread nature of the problem, discuss this year's top policy priorities, and learn about NCJW-LA's "Talk Project" to engage teens in peer-to-peer trainings.

Mar 17, 2018
Climate Change
53:19

Bryn Lindblad of Climate Resolve joins us to discuss the unique challenges faced by our region as a result of climate change and what we can and should be doing in response. We discuss how critical it is to stop the construction of "High Desert Freeway," which will generate massive carbon emissions and destroy Joshua Tree-filled wilderness. We also chat about the importance of more trees and shade structures to make our streets walkable, as well as initiatives to combat the "urban heat island" effect through "cool roofs" and "cool streets." 

Mar 02, 2018
Planning For Equity
01:06:33

Laura Raymond of ACT-LA joins us to discuss recent successes of the "Transit-Oriented Communities" program, why the market can't solve all problems, and the importance of regional planing that integrates a racial equity approach from the start. We talk about work to expand equitable transit-oriented development across LA County and the need to build upon, not undermine, such work at the state level.

Feb 14, 2018
What Is Affordable Housing?
01:07:06

KeAndra Dodds of Enterprise Community Partners joins the show for a conversation about what "affordable housing" means, how the different types of affordable housing get built, and how local ballot initiatives like Measures H, HHH, and JJJ and recent state housing bills are part of this evolving landscape. If you've been affordable housing-confused or just affordable housing-curious, this is the episode for you.

Jan 08, 2018
Transportation
54:41

Jessica Meaney of Investing in Place talks with us about how she came to found a transportation advocacy organization, the often-ugly history of transportation in LA, and reasons for hope today. We discuss Measure M (the massive funding measure passed by LA County voters in November 2016), some of the good things it'll do, and where we need to keep pressing the Metro Board and the 88 city councils across the county.

Nov 03, 2017
Criminal Justice Reform
01:10:56

Zach Hoover of LA Voice joins the show for a discussion of spiritually-based organizing and the enduring legacy of white supremacy, including “The New Jim Crow” of mass incarceration and repressive policing. We discuss the generational challenges we must overcome to create a fair society and the work of multiracial coalitions in confronting today’s architecture of injustice.

Oct 03, 2017
Affordable Housing & Equitable Development
01:03:43

Mariana Huerta Jones of ACT-LA talks about their coalition's campaigns to create housing and transit that serve all Angelenos, including the backstory on Measure JJJ which City voters approved in November 2016, and how we can  ensure implementation is done right. Plus a bite-sized segment on the history of inequitable development in LA to help us understand the present moment.
 

Sep 23, 2017
Street Vending
46:17

For our inaugural podcast, we talk Street Vending and the campaign to decriminalize the immigrant entrepreneurs who keep our streets lively and well-fed with fresh fruit. Featuring an interview with Rudy Espinoza, ED of LURN, and a leader of the campaign. Plus a deep dive in the history of vending globally and in Los Angeles to give a context for the present day and where we go from here.

Sep 12, 2017