A series of six issue-specific conversations between Los Angeles’ top mayoral candidates and the city’s thought leaders will take place throughout 2012 and into 2013 in an effort to cut down on political spin and engage young voters, representatives with Cerrell Associates, USC and the Southwest Voter Education Registration Project announced today.
The Talking About Los Angeles series will kick off on Feb. 2, 2012 at UCLA with the topic of transportation, goods movement and infrastructure.
“We believe, at USC, that Angelenos deserve a broad and meaningful dialogue about the future of this city — a dialogue that goes beyond TV ads and text messages,” said Dan Schnur, director of USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics and a member of the Talking About Los Angeles Advisory Committee.
Candidates who raise enough money — $150,000 — to qualify for the city’s matching funds will be invited to participate in the conversations. So far, Councilwoman Jan Perry and former Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner are confirmed to participate, and Councilman Eric Garcetti and Controller Wendy Greuel are expected to join, according to organizers.
Attorney and talk radio host Kevin James is within $5,000 of qualifying for matching funds and will participate as well, a campaign consultant told The City Maven.
The conversations will be moderated by thought leaders and experts who have yet to be selected. Questions will come from the moderator, members of the public and the group’s advisory committee, which includes the Central Cities Association’s Carol Schatz, VICA’s Stuart Wladman, Cheryl Parisi with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and Tom Saenz with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Each session will last 90 minutes. Candidates will be allowed to give opening and closing remarks.
Time Warner will air the conversation series on its On Demand service. A website will also serve as a hub where the conversations will stream and members of the advisory committee can comment on the debates in real time.
The other conversations in the series will be:
- March 29, 2012 at CSUN (Topic: environment, green technology, resource protection and energy policies)
- May 19, 2012 at Harbor College (Topic: quality of life issues, public safety, neighborhoods, city services)
- Nov. 15, 2012 at Loyola Marymount University (Topic: business climate, job creation and the local economy)
- Jan. 17, 2013 at location to-be-determined (Topic: education and workforce development)
- Feb. 21, 2013 at USC (Topic: a general discussion about the future of Los Angeles)