The survival of a city depends on at least three things:
- People who are willing to live and work together
- A reasonably healthy economy
- An effectively organized government
– Museum of London
Topics Covered in the Talk
- Is LA’s economy healthy?
- How did it get the way it is?
- What can we do about it?
- LA’s Economy: Scraping by in an Affluent City – Acute poverty is the most powerful predictor of homelessness.
- Changing of the Guard: The Problem of a migrating work force solved, new problems emerge.
- The Informal Economy is LA’s Economic Growth Engine.
How Can LA Improve its Economy? Use the modest tools of local government to consistently nudge the economy in the right direction:
- Understand and protect the region’s economic strengths
- Green technology industries
- Durable manufacturing
- Linkages between innovation and production
- Ensure that residents who work can lift their families out of poverty
- Adopt living wage ordinances
- Respect the value of unions
- Have a plan
- Understand the risks and payoffs from investing in different industries
- Develop community-specific plans that build on local opportunities and goals
- Use economic development, redevelopment and job training funds for these strategies
- Use our infrastructure and regulations to benefit local residents
- Leverage local jobs by adding value to goods moving through the ports
- Buy green products from local businesses – use green technology to create local jobs.
- Make land use decisions (zoning, permits) that support growth of a sustainable economy
- Eliminate predatory work conditions – curb the informal economy
- Enlist city and county prosecutors in collecting back wages from underground employers
- Enforce labor laws in partnership with immigrant rights organizations
- Whenever and where ever possible, help LA workers to upgrade their education and skill