Bulletin June 2015

Dear Friend -- 

We are so thrilled you were able to attend what turned out to be a very special evening for the future of the civic stewardship movement in Los Angeles. The goal of Future of Cities: Leading in LA is to create a new, local philanthropic support system for civic leadership in Los Angeles.  

The conversation was wide-ranging and has generated significant press coverage and debate.

The first step in this collective effort is conference on October 19that LACMA. Remaking the civic fabric of LA will require us to roll up our sleeves together, spurring one another on with the various ideas and initiatives we have to make LA great. 

Not only will this improve Los Angeles, but we also have the capacity to influence cities across the world with our unique blend of diversity, technology, venture capital, and media, as well as a lack of a hierarchical structure that can stifle ambition. 

As Disney/ABC Television Chief Ben Sherwood mentioned at our kickoff event last week, other cities have an unwritten "tax" on its most important citizens to engage in this way. As a still new city, we don't have a long history and culture to fall back on. And while we are leaders around the world, global obligations don't excuse us from local involvement.

So, let us come up with what the new history of a world-class Los Angeles will be.

Use the new notebooks you received to jot down your ideas, names of others, new efforts, and great leaders that can contribute to a new spirit of civic engagement in LA.  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and use #futureofcities and #LeadinginLA to join the conversation.  Be sure to check our website where we'll be posting updates and information about our October 19th event.

Also ahead will be smaller salons to further our discussions about next steps for action, and creating some of the new structures we mentioned, including Municipal Art Society West, our online menu of LA leaders projects, and a surprise social media campaign. 

"…LA’s civic fabric has long been flimsy and fray: for many decades, the city has been far better at promoting, and enabling, individual than collective ambition.”—Christopher Hawthorne, LA Times (6/5/2015)

A few things we didn't fit in on Tuesday but we believe are integral to the conversation:

  • Technology is an incredibly important component of the future of Los Angeles. We want to acknowledge all the tech leaders who are participating in this initiative. Many of you were invited by Catherine Geanuracos, Founder of Campaigns and Hack for LA. She'll continue to serve as our digital campaign advisor and liaison to the technology community. 
  • Without good design, Los Angeles is doomed.  Well known landscape architect Lehrer will be one of our design guides.
  • The acclaimed Productions will be producing the October 19 conference. Having worked with both the Skoll and Omidiyar Forums, they are well-positioned to help us highlight a future of possibilities for cities and LA in an exciting and unique way.

We thank you again for joining us for our special reception to introduce Future of Cities: Leading in LA. We hope you’ll continue to stay engaged, place a save the date for our October 19th conference on your calendar, and consider online or using the donor cards you received to generously contribute to this cause. We are excited about this effort, and are counting on you to help it succeed.