Past Events

08/28/2013 (All day)

August 28, 2013, Sacramento, CA – The Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL) released a whitepaper today highlighting research from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs that revealed a core problem in Los Angeles County that is impacting quality of life for urban communities: the middle class is declining with the stagnation of income levels and job opportunities.

The UCLA data indicated that in Los Angeles County, certain areas are seeing growth in jobs and income, and others are experiencing job loss and a reduction in personal income. However, an alarming third trend has emerged: a significant part of Los Angeles is experiencing a growth in jobs – but those jobs are lower-wage and lower growth opportunities. As a result, the middle class is disproportionately shrinking.

For example, UCLA researchers found that over the period from 1990-2010, new jobs added to the metropolitan Los Angeles region were in industries that paid an average of $52,840 – replacing jobs lost in industries that paid an average wage of $76,003.

The report also found that Los Angeles lags behind in educational achievement. In addition to large discrepancies in economic recovery between regions, the greater metropolitan area is falling behind in developing an educated, well-trained workforce.

“A Tale of Three Cities” indicates that a strong metropolitan economy is the best antidote for community poverty and economic stagnation. The goal for the Los Angeles area must be economically healthy, robust, vital communities throughout the County, with middle income jobs that provide a high standard of living. Economic opportunity and stability are key factors associated with improved quality of life.

“It will take leadership, engagement and commitment to re-build the middle class and ensure there are opportunities for upward economic mobility for all Los Angeles County residents,” said Nolan Rollins, president of the Los Angeles Urban League.  “We look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature to develop policies and programs that support our businesses, train our workforce and bring high-wage jobs to the great state of California.”

The Los Angeles Urban League is calling on policymakers to take action to restore opportunities for economic parity, which will come from the implementation of state and local policies that support business development, create jobs, and restore economic vitality to the inner city communities. Specifically, LAUL recommends three immediate policy initiatives:

  • Remove the barriers: Re-examine state and local policies that are pushing middle-income jobs to other states and locations, and take immediate action to mitigate those impacts; 
  •  Train the workforce: Develop a blueprint for educational parity, including early childhood education and workforce training opportunities that align with growth industries;
  •  Bring the jobs: Establish certainty for companies that are currently operating or are seeking to operate in metropolitan areas by ensuring a competitive economic environment by stabilizing regulations and reforming our business climate to create stable jobs.

LAUL President Nolan Rollins presented findings from “A Tale of Three Cities” today at the State Capitol at a commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the March on Washington, D.C. hosted by Assemblymember Shirley Weber and the California Legislative Black Caucus.  

“This report raises critical questions about the two-tier economy arising from the disparity of our state’s economic recovery, especially in Los Angeles County, one of the biggest and most diverse counties in the nation,” said Rob Lapsley, President of the California Business Roundtable. “It shows that there is a significant need for state and local officials to consider why quality, middle class jobs are leaving the state and being replaced by lower wage jobs.” 

The Los Angeles Urban League, in partnership with the California Business Roundtable, commissioned UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs to examine California’s business climate to better understand the impact of a struggling economy on urban communities. After two community forums, the report is a product of the UCLA Luskin School analysis, the community’s engagement and input, and the Los Angeles Urban League’s call to action. 


07/19/2013 (All day)

A Dialogue with Business, Government, and Community


The Los Angeles Urban League, in partnership with the California Business Roundtable, has commissioned University of California, Los Angeles Luskin School of Public Affairs to examine California’s business climate to better understand the impact of a struggling economy on urban communities.


The analytical report will be released in three phases:

The Los Angeles Urban League will convene a dynamic cross-section of business leaders, nonprofit organizations, elected officials, community leaders and neighborhood stakeholders in a series of Community Forums.


Forum #1:

A View of the Region June 25, 2013; UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs

The presentation from this event is available online.


Forum #2:

Urban Communities Up-Close July, 19 2013; Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.


Forum #3:

Policy Solutions Late Summer/Fall, 2013; Sacramento: Details to follow.






05/22/2013 - 12:00pm

The Rishwain Award Ceremony

Join us for an inspiring lunchtime event celebrating Los Angeles social entrepreneurs.  


Wednesday, May 22nd

12-2 pm

Room 2343 Luskin School of Public Affairs

Lunch will be served.  RSVP required.  Register now


The event will feature a panel of leading social entrepreneurs who will share how they address social justice in innovative and creative ways:



We will also announce the 2013 Rishwain Award winners!  This year’s winners were selected from an outstanding pool of UCLA students who are actively addressing social justice issues such as foster youth, community organizing, language and literacy barriers, education, hunger, and criminal justice.



05/08/2013 - 12:00pm

WHO STOLE THE AMERICAN DREAM breaks deliberately with economists’ conventional  explanation for the demise of America's middle class - namely, that it is the victim of impersonal market forces of globalization and advancing technologies. This analysis is a misleading half truth. It ignores other causes for the gaping economic inequalities and starkly unequal democracy in American today.

Pulitzer Prize-winning and former New York Times journalist Hedrick Smith will join us for a lunchtime talk to discuss the major reasons why America’s middle class is stuck in a rut.

Copies of WHO STOLE will be available for purchase.

Room 2243 Luskin School of Public Affairs/337 Charles E. Young Drive/Los Angeles, CA 90095

Light Lunch will be served.  Seating is limited.  RSVP required by May 2nd:


04/30/2013 - 12:00pm

Please join us for a lunchtime talk:

3343 Public Affairs Building, 12 noon - 1:30 pm

Light lunch will be served. RSVP is required:

  • How do we make sense of governance in a fast-changing and complex world?
  • What are the main issues and components of, and for, good governance?
  • What governance innovations are taking place and what is their impact on policy?
  • And how can we measure governance capacity, performance and outcomes?

In The Governance Report 2013, experts assembled by the Hertie School of Governance (Berlin, Germany) offer an analysis of what governance means today and what implications might be drawn by and for policy makers. Focusing in part on challenges in financial and fiscal governance, particularly at the global and European levels, the Report highlights the trade-offs governance actors face in responding to crises and in putting in place policies and institutions that avoid such crises in the first place.

Helmut K. Anheier, Dean of the Hertie School and founder of the Center for Civil Society at UCLA, will present the Report’s findings at the Center in discussion with Nathan Gardels, Berggruen Institute on Governance.