Bedrosian Center

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Save the Date: Will Los Angeles Change Its City Elections?

February 27, 2015
by Jeremy Loudenback

Next Tuesday, Los Angeles will take to the polls to confront one of its enduring stereotypes.

Los Angeles, critics say, is a civic wasteland, a sprawling city still struggling to forge an identity for itself. Look no further than the last mayoral election, they might say. Only 20.8% of voters turned out for the Los Angeles mayoral primary election in March 2013, causing consternation from many commentators.

Two years after that dismal showing, Los Angeles voters must decide if changing the timing of city elections will provide the remedy to the civic problems that ail the city. Many of the city’s elected officials and pundits have forsworn the usual political palaver about the need for voter participation in favor of an initiative that hopes to create more robust voting in Los Angeles. (more…)

LA County’s Health Chief Dedicated to Providing Healthcare to All

February 26, 2015
by Justine Dodgen

Dr. Mitchell Katz

On March 3, the Bedrosian Center on Governance and the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics invite you to hear Dr. Mitchell Katz, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, speak about how policy work can impact issues such as needle exchange, changes in public health law related to HIV and STDs, and increasing access to healthcare through the Affordable Care Act.

This event is part of the Quintiles Seminar Series that features prominent academics, researchers, policy makers, and industry leaders to discuss prevalent and current themes in health, policy, and economics. As a Director of LA County’s Department of Health Services, Dr. Katz oversees one of largest health services departments in the nation. The department provides services to thousands of LA’s 10 million residents, over ten percent of whom were uninsured when he took the post in 2010. (more…)

Congratulations Dr. Schweitzer

lschweitThe Best Paper published in 2014 Journal of the American Planning Association has been chosen and the winning paper is by our own Lisa Schweitzer, Bedrosian Faculty and Associate Professor here at the Sol Price School of Public Policy:  “Planning and social media; A case study of public transit and stigma on Twitter.” The award will be presented at the 2015 Annual Conference of the American Planning Association in Seattle this coming April.

In the email announcement of the choice, JAPA Editor Sandi Rosenbloom said:

“The winning paper is one you have heard a lot about lately, “Planning and social media; A case study of public transit and stigma on Twitter,” by Lisa Schweitzer, Associate Professor at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California.  It was published in Vol. 80, issue 3, pp. 218-238.  Schweitzer’s analyses of 64,000 tweets about ten public transit systems, other public services, and some “villains” and “heroes” find that social media users describe transit planning and management in terms little better than those about maniacal dictators while also containing a large share of racist, sexist, classist, ageist, and homophobic slurs about riders.  Worried that these negative comments can affect the way voters and public officials think about additional support and spending on public transit, she finds that transit systems that engage individually with tweeters on social media can markedly improve the content and tone of tweeted comments, irrespective of the actual performance of the transit system.  As you may remember, the paper has been widely discussed in the media and on important urban blogs.”

Congratulations Dr. Schweitzer! This is a well-deserved honor.

See the USC Press Release here.

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