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On Defending Boyle Heights

I’m writing to share my work and perspective on gentrification in Boyle Heights, especially in light of the recent public actions by Defend Boyle Heights, a collective of activists who are concerned about gentrification. This post is simply my perspective on gentrification and displacement; an issue that I’m deeply concerned about. After Defend Boyle Heights’ … Continued


3 Reasons to Attend LURN’s “Disrupting the City” event on June 10th

This is a repost from Investing in Place Sometimes I feel like I don’t have time to think; to relax a bit and think creatively about the problems we’re trying to address. Do you ever feel like that? Every year, LURN organizes an event called the Planning and Land-Use Strategies Summit (PLUS2). It’s an opportunity … Continued


“When Did Echo Park Become So Hip and Happening?”

A short glimpse of the trailer makes clear that, quite expectedly, this film completely masks over the (more often than not) devastating ways gentrification negatively affects longtime residents of neighborhoods like Highland Park, Boyle Heights and Echo Park. In fact, we can say with confidence that this film erases these residents almost entirely, with its swift ownership of the deeply rooted Echo Park community, all while simultaneously illustrating an otherwise “empty,” “new,” “hip, and happening” version of Echo Park.


We’re #1!

  Los Angeles – we did it! We’re number one…in traffic -__- According to this Los Angeles Times article, we earned this top spot by spending 81 hours, per person (in 2015), in traffic. But, before you start celebrating by listening to “We Are the Champions,” presumably from the inside of your car because you’re … Continued


Investing in Change: How Can Nonprofits Attract Huge Investors?

I’ve thought about money since I was a kid. Back then I wondered why other kids had things that I didn’t and now I wonder why community organizations who are doing amazing work are struggling to make ends meet.


Challenging What Leadership Looks Like

What does it mean to be a leader? What can we do to become effective leaders at work and in our communities?


Los Angeles and San Francisco: Reflections on the “New” Economy

Last month, I attended the book launch of Michael Storper’s The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies: Lessons from San Francisco and Los Angeles. Professor Storper presented his extensive research and findings to a small crowd of students, faculty and other urbanist nerds. Paired with an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times a few … Continued


“Rent-Seeking” Los Angeles

Does Los Angeles have a “rent seeking” problem? No, I’m not referring to the many, critical housing issues of Los Angeles. In this case, “rent,” refers to “economic rent,” which is income gained through fabricated conditions of exclusivity. For example, if a gardener is willing to work for $12 per hour, but makes $15 per … Continued


The Difference between My Taquero and Tory Burch

No matter what neighborhood you come from, you see entrepreneurs at work everywhere. From your mom selling those delicious tamales to your brother fixing cars at his own home; entrepreneurs surround us. So, what distinguishes the entrepreneurs we see from the Tory Burch’s of the world? In a recent article, “Entrepreneurs don’t have a special … Continued


What Luxury Clubs Taught Me about Small Business Development

When my career started a little over 12 years ago, everything was new to me. Nobody taught me how to tie a tie (except YouTube), how to appropriately participate in a meeting, how to have a good handshake, and how to act properly at fancy chicken dinners (I still think of Pretty Woman when I … Continued


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