EPISODE 71 – ALEX CONTRERAS FIGHTS FREEWAYS IN DOWNEY

In our 71st episode, we chat with Alexandria Contreras (@alexfordowney) (they/them), a queer, non-binary Latinx freeway-fighter in Downey. Alex and I have a magnetic conversation on the white and exclusionary origins of single-family housing in cities like Downey, and how local laws there continue preventing the construction of affordable housing for a new generation of residents. We also discuss how Alex took their experience growing up in the suburban community to launch a campaign for City Council there. Alex also describes forming the Happy City Coalition, a coalition of gateway cities in Southeast Los Angeles formed to stop Metro from displacing communities in the interest of more freeways. To keep up with their work, follow Alex on Twitter at @alexfordowney.

J.T.

red roses in bloom

Rehaciendo/ Remaking

Mucho se ha notado del amor
Que es el amor
Y a donde va el amor
Una vez que se ha ido
Si el amor alguna vez se ha ido de verdad.

Pero creo que es eterno
Que todo lo que se pierde
Será encontrado de nuevo
Cómo para cada uno lo suyo
El amor es eterno.

Para que nunca se pierda por completo,
Incluso una vez que refluye
Lento pero seguro,
Como la lluvia se convierte en aguaceros
Que se convierten en cielo nuevamente.

Cielo renovado en medio de luz renacida,
Sobre aire nuevo y resplandeciente,

Para que un nuevo amor vuelva a encontrar
La forma en que el amor es eterno.

/

Much has been made of love,
What love is
And where love goes,
Once love is gone,
If love is ever truly gone.

But I believe that it springs eternal,
That whatever is lost
Will be found again,
How for each their own
Love springs eternal.

So that it may never be fully lost,
Even once it ebbs,
Slowly but surely,
As rain turns to showers that turn into sky again.

Renewed sky amid reborn light,
Over new, resplendent air,
For a new love to find, again,
The way love springs eternal.

J.T.

EPISODE 70 – PLANNING FOR A ‘LIVED ENVIRONMENT’ WITH RICHARD AVILES

In our 70th episode, we chat with Jose Richard Aviles (@soylamasnalgona), a queer, Latinx planner and multimedia artist with the Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley. Originally an L.A. native from South-Central Los Angeles, Richard describes growing up as an activist in L.A., current efforts in advocacy for “the lived environment over the built environment,” a new course at UCLA in Spring 2022, and how dance is “movement-building,” especially for marginalized bodies. A rich conversation for urban planners, artists, and L.A. aficionados everywhere. You can also find Richard’s free “Monday de Movimiento” sessions on Instagram at @soynalgona.

J.T.

Register for the L.A. Street Vendor Campaign Report Launch this Wednesday, August 11th

This free presentation and discussion, held by Public Counsel and the UCLA School of Law Economic Development Clinic, is set for August 11th, 2021 at 10:00 AM Pacific Time. You can register for the event HERE.

“Despite the landmark effort to legalize sidewalk vending in California, little-known and poorly designed food laws still make it functionally illegal for most vendors to sell food. While non-food merchandise vendors now have a relatively clear path to legal vending, most sidewalk food vendors are still denied access to the formal economy by a potent combination of inaccessible permitting procedures, exorbitant costs, incompatible equipment and design standards, and punitive enforcement measures.”

“During the report launch we will hear from the authors of the report, advocates, and street vendors who are fighting for their right to work without harassment and criminalization.”

J.T.

EPISODE 69 – YOUTH HOMELESSNESS IN L.A. WITH ROBIN PETERING

In our 69th episode, we chat with Robin Petering (@robinpetering), the executive director of Lens. Co, a research and advocacy company committed to ending youth homelessness in Los Angeles. We speak with Robin about her journey from community-based clinics in Oregon as an undergrad student to her PHD program at USC, which she completed in 2017. Robin and I discuss the definition of “youth homelessness,” including what we do not know about youth experiencing housing insecurity given our current frameworks. We also shout out the Hello Dogtown podcast, a podcast by and for youth with lived experiences of homelessness. Hello Dogtown is produced by Lens Co in partnership with Safe Place for Youth and funded by the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health Innovations 2.

J.T.

EPISODE 68 – METRO’S NEXTGEN WITH KENNY UONG

In our 68th episode, we chat with Kenny Uong, a Junior undergraduate student studying Metro and Urban Planning at Cal State Northridge, and one of the most recognizable figures for the urban planning community in Los Angeles today. Kenny and I discuss the roots of his passion for all things Metro, the importance of bus-only lanes for transportation service, Metro’s NextGen rollout, and more. See if you can keep up with Kenny’s various adventures via public transpo on Twitter at @_KennyUong_.

J.T.

EPISODE 67 – HUGO SOTO-MARTINEZ FOR CD-13

In our 67th episode, we chat with Hugo Soto-Martinez. Hugo recently announced his candidacy for the office of the 13th Council District at L.A. City Hall. In this interview, he describes his background as the son of two immigrants who worked as street vendors through South Central Los Angeles, his experience organizing with domestic and service workers as a part of Unite Here Local 11, policy goals he’s interested in for CD-13, and how folks can get involved with his campaign. Learn more about Hugo at his new campaign website.

J.T.