EPISODE 86 – BRYANT ODEGA FOR COUNCIL DISTRICT 15

In our 86th episode, we connect with Bryant Odega (@BryantOdegaLA), a born and raised resident of the Harbor Gateway neighborhood of L.A.’s south side who is now running for council district 15, which includes the neighborhoods of San Pedro, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Wilmington, and Watts. Bryant and I discuss his upbringing as the child of a single-parent household, his study of the labor movement at UCLA, and his transformative experience as a part of the Sunrise Movement. Bryant also discusses disparities in quality of life rates for the areas of Watts and Wilmington and particular, including food apartheid in the former, and more than 2,700 oil and gas wells in the latter. Finally, Bryant shouts out legacy organizations such as the Watts Initiative, which continue to uplift the neighborhood despite ongoing disinvestment by the city of Los Angeles.

J.T.

EPISODE 85 – JIMMY BIBLARZ FOR COUNCIL DISTRICT 5

In our 85th episode, we connect on a call with Jimmy Biblarz (@jimmybiblarz), a queer life-long resident and sociologist from the Pico-Robertson area, or “Synagogue Row,” who is also running to represent Council District 5 this year. We discuss Jimmy’s struggle with being evicted from his home in his adolescent years, as well as ways that L.A. city government can better engage communities here, including by enfranchising “non-citizen” or “undocumented” residents, or permitting these groups to vote in local elections. We also discuss the Purple Line’s extension to UCLA, and why this should not mean adding more police to Metro to ensure student and commuter safety. Jimmy also notes the inspection of oil drills in Council District 5, repealing counterproductive ordinances for unhoused residents, and more.

J.T.

EPISODE 83 – SCOTT EPSTEIN FOR COUNCIL DISTRICT 5

In our 83rd episode, we sit down for a chat with Scott Epstein (@scottforla), a former chair of the Mid-City West Neighborhood Council and current candidate for Council District 5, which is home to–among other L.A. landmarks–the L.A. County Museum of Arts, UCLA, the Pico-Robertson area, and more of what makes up the “west-side” of Los Angeles. Scott and I discuss the growing number of unhoused residents in CD-5, including unhoused UCLA students, as well as his take on Mitch O’Farrell’s militaristic response to the unhoused crisis in Echo Park. Scott and I also consider the major discretionary powers of L.A. City Council members, and how Los Angeles is–with a few key exceptions–more of a City Council “town” and not that of a mayor’s. To learn more about Scott, find his campaign page at scottforla.com.

J.T.