Upcoming Speaking Engagements

On the off chance that (wise, wonderful, and brilliant, especially at salary determining time) Dean is reading this blog, I wanted to let people know that I am not just sitting around cluttering up the world:

So I’ve got a bunch of public events coming up.

April 14- 16, Loyola Marymount: Symposium on the Sustainable City Coddling Cars and Shortchanging Kids: The Environmental and Social Consequences of Contemporary Tax Aversion.

Thursday, April USC Center for Sustainable Cities Earth Day Event: Today’s Challenges in Environmental Policy and Planning

Monday-Tuesday, May 2 & 3, Center for Sustainable California High Speed Rail and Smart Growth. I will be speaking to the social equity questions.

What to do with the City of Vernon?

Posting has been light around here lately, as I have been fighting my way to the end of the school year. However just to keep the fires on here, I thought I’d post about a story in the LA Times about a bill to disband the city of Vernon:

The bill’s author, Assembly Speaker John Pérez (D-Los Angeles), urged support for dissolving Vernon’s municipal government, calling it “a city whose corruption is the worst we’ve seen in the state.” He said the city, which has fewer than 100 residents but has 1,800 businesses, has for decades been controlled by a small group of people who have run it as a personal fiefdom.

The side against the move argues taxes and jobs:

Dozens of members of the coalition voiced their opposition at the packed hearing, saying that the bill would cause job losses. Without the advantages that Vernon provides — low tax and utility rates among them — many business owners said they would be forced to leave the state.

“This is real,” said Matt Wenzel, director of operations at a uniform company in Vernon. “If this bill passes, I am going to have to lay people off.”

Vernon is an interesting place here in Los Angeles. We should know a couple of things about it, as we consider the proposal. First of all, Los Angeles is the biggest manufacturing center in North America. The manufacturing in LA occurs in the center of the regional; there are thousands of acres, splitting east from west LA.

Secondly, these are heavy injuries, and the city of Vernon arguably hasn’t governed them particularly well, from the company-town nature of the place to its less-than-cordial relationships with the surrounding city of Los Angeles.

What do you thinK?