L.A. Elite Tries to Restore Civic Pride

Da Vinci Fire (Nancy Yuille / Associated Press)
Nancy Yuille / Associated Press

Last week, Los Angeles civic leaders met to discuss an initiative called Future of Cities: Leading in L.A., sponsored by Community Partners, which is designed to rejuvenate civic pride in the city.

The initiative’s putative leader, political consultant Donna Bojarsky, founder of the leftist political salon Foreign Policy Roundtable, met with civic leaders at the home of Tony and Jeanne Pritzker to impel them to support her initiative, which is scheduled to convene its first public event October 19.

Some of the speakers invited to speak on October 19 include real estate expert Rick J. Caruso, Arianna Huffington, Monica Lozano, the chairwoman of the board for US Hispanic Media, and Janice Byung Min, co-president and CCO of Guggenheim Digital Media Entertainment.

Those attending the Pritzker event included Michael Govan, who runs the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Bob Ross, president and CEO of the California Endowment; Ben Sherwood, president of the Disney-ABC Television Group; Gregory Rodriguez, the originator of the Zocalo Public Square; and former Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, according to Variety.

Bojarsky reportedly said, “People are not better in other cities. They just have more social obligation to do things. So we need a little more push, a little more clash of civic elite, a little more civic competition, in order to make L.A. to really be the world class city we want it to be. Because I hate to tell you right now. We’d like to believe it is a world class city, but we are not quite there.”

According to Variety, Sherwood claimed that the city once displayed a greater sense of civic pride, and offered an explanation as to why members of Hollywood have not demonstrated an interest in exhibiting civic pride, asserting:

As it relates to Hollywood, I have one simple thesis, which is the reason that Hollywood has not participated necessarily in the city building of this community, is that the people who come to Hollywood aren’t from Los Angeles. They are from every place else in the world, and they come here, a beacon of creativity, a beacon of imagination…Eventually they identify as Angelenos, but they do not have that feeling that this is the place that they are from and they have a responsibility to build it.