EPISODE 60 – SCOTT FRAZIER, LA PODCAST

In our 60th episode, we’re joined by fellow L.A. writer and podcaster, Scott Frazier. Scott chats with us about none other than origins of the L.A. Podcast, the media landscape in Los Angeles today, upcoming elections for the city in 2022, whether he plans to run for the office of Council District 13, and more. We also learn that we need to pressure Hayes Davenport (@hayesdavenport) to leak the pilot episode of the LA Podcast from ‘back in the day,’ as well as Scott himself to leak audio of “It’s Our Time to Lead: Los Angeles’s New and Old Progressivism,” a special event put together during the electrifying battle for Council District 5 between Nythia Raman and David Ryu this past 2020.

J.T.

ORIGIN STORIES: JIMBO TIMES, J.T. THE L.A. STORYTELLER

It was the summer of 2014, and after graduating from school up north for a couple of years, I felt an enormous need to return to the city of Los Angeles for all the human reasons: to see my mother, as well as my old friends and teachers, and to enjoy the sunshine only Southern California offers. Returning was every bit as enriching as I had imagined it in my mind; it was once only a dream of mine to take hold of that priceless piece of paper, a degree from an American university, and yet there I was, “Home Again,” with one. After my graduation, our little familia was–even if just incrementally–in a better position for a better future together.

Then one evening, I found myself walking with mama through the “old” neighborhood when a vision took hold of me. Crossing shoulders with our fellow pedestrians, I was taken aback by all the families that could be our own. They looked and walked as we did, and put up their storefronts down the street no differently from mom and I at la caseta.

Their faces were filled with dignity, and as I heard them chatting and laughing charismatically with one another, I could feel the resilience and generosity of their character as warmly as the sunshine ebbing away in the distance.

The Ensenada Market at Virgil avenue and Burns street in 2015.

Then I looked at the whole boulevard, and its warm and brilliant lights under the vast sky filled me with a euphoric feeling. I fell hard. I saw myself in the city and its endless neighborhoods, and I haven’t been able to shake the vision ever since.

That fall, with the humbling support of the community, I fundraised for my first “(semi) professional” camera, a Canon Mark I, which I then used to develop “J.T.,” something I thought of as a “re-discovery” of the city I grew up in at every turn and photograph. To sustain the website and make other ends meet, I found work wherever they were hiring, landing a position at Vons as a cashier, then at Starbucks as a barista. After a couple of years in these roles, I accepted a position with the Inside Out Writers, a special nonprofit in Los Angeles working for juvenile justice, becoming a writing instructor with their organization. I also found a role with the Plus Me project, another organization doing storytelling at different middle and high schools across Los Angeles.

My time serving at each “gig” taught me a great deal about myself, but more than anything, it taught me how to manage my time, one second at a time, JIMBO TIMES style. Seven years later, I see JIMBO TIMES more than ever in the endless shades of brown masses streaming through L.A. Metro buses, subways, sidewalks, storefronts, and more.

I now strive 365 days a year for the website as a full-time editor-in-chief for the site, so as to ensure the world sees and hears from someone born and raised by the scale and scope of the megalopolis known as Los Angeles.

From the East to the South side, and from Central L.A. to the Valley, our communities are teeming with workers and dreamers, and J.T. the L.A. Storyteller is still committed to honoring every single one of them as much as scale and scope allow.  

For more of this story and those of our fellow L.A. storytellers, please RSVP to our special gathering online tonight at EastHollywood.Eventbrite.com.

And through it all, REMEMBER: J.T. remains committed to the tenacity of Los Angeles, tipping hats to the hustle and bustle of our familias all the time and everywhere we’re to be found.

J.T.

Dear Los Angeles, a new day has arrived

All it takes for evil to win is for good to do nothing.

Over the last 2+ years, I’ve enjoyed an immense amount of support for J.T., an ode to the city of L.A. Now it’s time to fly again.

There is no question about it: the election of a bigot to the nation’s highest office has drawn the lines of a new political landscape. In it, silence in the face of today’s bigotry is tantamount to complicity. Therefore, J.T. cannot afford to be silent; a new media project is born.

POC (for People of Color) Today is dedicated to people everywhere who are frightened, dismayed, or angered by a warmongering presidential administration that utterly fails to represent the values held by our nation. 

Whether our faces are black, brown, yellow or red, many us strive every day to stand against xenophobia, homophobia and transphobia, and the miserable racism that’s so deeply embedded in the veins of our country.

And it is our country. All around us it’s true: we are a world of one another, and we’ll either share it or lose it altogether, but the choice is ours.

POC Today chooses to find the moments we share, where the walls are broken and it is the people who are built up instead. Similarly to JIMBO TIMES, the emphasis at POC_T will be placed on storytelling, but unlike J.T., it will not just be yours truly.

The team is small, but it is a team in every shape and form nonetheless. And at the moment we do not yet have our official website, but our outreach is expanding week by week.

Together we stand in solidarity with our allies fighting for a better tomorrow everywhere, not completely certain of our victory for the day, but damn certain of our victory overall.

In the short term for POC_T, our goal is to find as many allies as we can through our media. In the long-term, it’s to translate our passion into action that affects change, even if only in miniscule ways. Thus, I leave it to the people of J.T.

If you can support us in this new venture, we welcome your support. If not, thank you for all your time up to this point.

We will need all the help we can get, not only for moral support, but also to expand the possibilities of our scope and range. Indeed, no matter how tempting it is to be cynical about the good that’s still possible with the challenges ahead, with POC Today the sky is just the beginning. And we are preparing for lift-off —

We are flying. Won’t you fly with us?

J.T.