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The Committee for Greater LA is a diverse group of Angelenos advancing a sweeping agenda for system change: an expansive blueprint and roadmap for transformation centered in racial equity. We aim to build a more equitable and inclusive L.A. for all. 

Our goal is to change the policies and institutions that were designed to oppress, exclude and marginalize people of color for centuries, using a new set of guiding principles and a policy roadmap to create a Greater LA. 

There can be no going back to an LA with broken, racist systems that left people of color disproportionately vulnerable to the pandemic and systemic inequality.

Q. Who is the Committee for Greater LA?

We came together to understand how COVID was impacting Angelenos. We were originally focused on addressing racial disparities in our systems revealed by the pandemic, and our focus expanded to a broader understanding of systemic racism—especially anti-black racism—in the wake of the George Floyd murder. 

We are business, philanthropy, community leaders laying out a shared set of facts and facilitating a new way to solve problems in our region: data-centered, outcomes-focused, with racial equity as the most important success measure.

We are guided by a sense of responsibility for those who are experiencing these systemic issues on a daily basis, and inspired by work that many of them are already doing. We are not relying on existing structures, systems and funding streams to determine how we solve problems

Q. What is the report and its purpose?

“No Going Back”  is a sweeping agenda for system change, a platform for a Greater LA. It’s an expansive blueprint and roadmap for transformation centered in racial equity.

The report and agenda by USC/UCLA and the Committee includes:

  • Data and context of how COVID lifted the veil of structural racism
  • Guiding principles to reinvent and reimagine a more equitable Los Angeles
  • Policy blueprint for system change – specific policies that will be necessary

Our goal is policy and structural change by equipping grassroots community power and organizing with data and resources to help build movements that drive change

Q. What’s the report calling for?

The report features 10 Guiding Principles and comprehensive policy recommendations for a more equitable and inclusive Los Angeles, starting with addressing anti-black racism in all its forms. Other principles cover economy and workforce, education, health and mental health, housing and homelessness, youth development and supporting the nonprofit sector.

Specific examples of recommendations include: 

  • High-speed Internet as a Civil Right — equal access and opportunity for all students to learn and workers to participate in the economy
  • California Citizenship equal access to services for all residents, regardless of immigration status
  • Housing for All — a regional strategy transforming governance and accountability for housing and homelessness in LA, reversing the legacy of anti-black racism in our systems

Q. How are you going to make this happen – what’s next? What are examples of some of the immediate next steps you are going to take to make this agenda a reality?

Reinventing LA is up to all of us, joining together to build a movement. The Committee invites the entire community, including policy makers and candidates for elected offices to join us in making the #NoGoingBackLA promise–a commitment to build a more equitable and inclusive Los Angeles–by signing up at nogoingback.la.

To realize such a massive overhaul of the status quo, the Committee’s next phase includes: 

  1. Building awareness and consensus, by engaging dozens of stakeholders in conversation about the report and the need for systemic outcome-driven change; 
  2. Research and prioritizing policies, including additional analysis to identify which recommendations to take on first, estimated costs, and who has the power to enact them; 
  3. Advocacy for change, by developing strategies and investing in an organizational infrastructure; 
  4. Amplifying and supporting community-based movements; and 
  5. Moving hearts and minds to build community empathy and the will for change, through artistic expression.

Q. What makes this moment different? Why do we believe that Los Angeles, at long last, is ready to attack these issues head-on?

  1. A national and local reckoning with racism – widespread recognition of structural racism as a central concern that affects EVERYONE
  2. An understanding of the power of mutuality – Recognition among policymakers that wealth and income inequality pose a threat to public health, as evidenced by the COVID-19 outbreak.
  3. Sophistication and expertise of LA’s non-profit infrastructure – their ability to lead, shape, and sustain these changes.

Q. Who is in charge of enacting this agenda?

The people who are the most in pain are too often the ones closest to the problem and the farthest away from power. We aim to change that by equipping the organizations with the expertise and organizing power with resources to push for change, and support the work they are already doing. 

L.A. wouldn’t need this committee if our local government wasn’t so decentralized and accountability and authority weren’t so diffuse. We need structures of authority and accountability to address racial and economic inequality — there must governmental structures with the responsibility to address these problems and the power to make the necessary meaningful changes.

Q. Will you price out what it would take to move this vision forward?

We were very intentional that this initial report would not be limited by existing revenue streams and structures. This is about changing the way we look at these issues. The next phase is collaborating with community organizations, government and academic partners to figure out how to do these things in real life. What new structures need to be created?

Homelessness is the best example. We’ve made major investments but we’re nowhere closer to solve the problem. We propose we look at the structure of what’s being done and accountability between cities, county, state and federal government so it’s much more outcome-driven and clear who should be held accountable for change.

Q. How does this relate to other calls for system change – Black Lives Matter, Reimagine LA, Alternatives to Incarceration, etc.?

All of these things are necessary. The status quo isn’t working, and we believe in supporting and building on each other, moving forward together. It’s all part of the solution. It will take all of us. 

Q. What are the 10 guiding principles of the report?

  1. Address anti‐Black racism in all its forms
  2. Build an economy that centers those who have been left behind and excluded in future strategies
  3. Enhance the physical and mental health systems that can support communities and individuals living with the trauma of systemic neglect and oppression
  4. Create housing for all and end unsheltered homelessness
  5. Ensure access, mobility, and voice for immigrants regardless of status
  6. Support education access for all children and all communities
  7. Celebrate and support youth leadership and empowerment
  8. Strengthen the non-profit sector as a key part of civil society
  9. Develop both community power and accompanying metrics to hold systems accountable
  10. Promote leadership and alignment for equity across business, community, philanthropy, and multiple levels of government

Who is the Committee for Greater LA?                                            

Volunteer Steering Committee

  • Miguel A. Santana, Chair; President and CEO, Fairplex
  • Fred Ali, President and CEO, Weingart Foundation
  • Raul Anaya, President, Bank of America – Greater Los Angeles
  • Monica Banken, Family and Children’s Deputy, Supervisor Kathryn Barger
  • Charisse Bremond-Weaver, President and CEO, LA Brotherhood Crusade
  • Cynthia Buiza, Executive Director, California Immigrant Policy Center
  • Lian Cheun, Executive Director, Khmer Girls in Action
  • Debra Duardo, Superintendent, Los Angeles County Office of Education
  • Sarah Dusseault, Chair, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Commission
  • Anna Hovasapian, Legislative Director, Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez
  • Gita Murthy Cugley, CEO, Gita Cugley & Associates
  • Matt Szabo, Deputy Chief of Staff, Mayor Eric Garcetti
  • Judith Vasquez, Senior Advisor to Supervisor Hilda L. Solis
  • April Verret, President, SEIU Local 2015
  • Jacqueline Waggoner, Vice President, Enterprise Community Partners

Academic Partners

  • Gary Segura, Dean, Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA
  • Manuel Pastor, Director,  USC Equity Research Institute
  • Rhonda Ortiz, Managing Director, Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, USC

Funders

  • Annenberg Foundation
  • Ballmer Group
  • The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
  • California Community Foundation
  • The California Endowment
  • The California Wellness Foundation
  • Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
  • The John Randolph Haynes Foundation
  • The Schmidt Foundation
  • Weingart Foundation