Bedrosian Center

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Open Season on Primaries

July 28, 2014
by Jeremy Loudenback

photo credit: Janne L via photopin cc

Will open primaries turn the tide of partisanship? photo credit: Janne L via photopin cc

The shock of the Representative Eric Cantor’s loss in the Virginia Republican primary earlier this summer has not quite subsided for some, including U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY).

According to a New York Times op-ed written by Schumer, Cantor’s loss to a small group of ideologically driven voters in the primary is the latest sign of an unhealthy primary system that is continuing the country’s already dire turn toward political polarization.

The remedy for the overwhelmingly tide of partisanship, according to Schumer, is to be found in California. He cites the state’s use of the open primary, or top-two, system as key factor in reducing gridlock. The idea is that during primary elections voters are free to choose any candidate, regardless of party. The top two vote getters advance to the general election even if it means two candidates from the same party are on the final ballot. (more…)

California Dreaming

July 21, 2014
by Jeremy Loudenback

Six Californias proposal from

If it were up to Timothy Draper, he would move all of Los Angeles County’s residents to a new state in the name of better government.

Draper, a Menlo Park venture capitalist, is behind a much-ballyhooed initiative that would divide California into six states. This week Draper gathered 1.3 million signatures, enough to put the Six States Proposal on the ballot, but not until 2016 election.

The Six States Proposal would separate the state into six smaller states based on geography. The northern-most counties of California—which, along with parts of southern Oregon, have hadprevious flirtations with statehood—would form Jefferson, while other new states would include North California, Silicon Valley, Central California, South California, and West California, home to Los Angeles County. (more…)

Park Equity Symposium Gathers Open Space Advocates

July 18, 2014
by Ariane Briski

size_550x415_1 LANLT logo clean-01The issue of park equity has long existed on the fringes of several research sectors.  It is an issue of poverty, but core concerns like hunger and housing typically garner more public attention.  The environmental justice movement, historically concerned with preventing unequal exposure to hazards, has only recently started to champion equal access to open space with similar fervor.   On July 10th The Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, in partnership with the Bedrosian Center, USC Dornsife, Community Health Councils, and California Natural Resources Agency, helped to bring the topic into the mainstream though a day long symposium. (more…)

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