It's summertime. The days are warm and long--the perfect opportunity to think about what's going to be hot in the future.
How do we recruit, train and retain the workforce of the future in government?
46% of the City's civilian workforce will be eligible for retirement in the next 18 months. That doesn't mean they'll all be retiring immediately, but it does mean the City will be facing a massive wave of retirement in the next few years.
During a series of Google Innovation Lab workshops that we are helping to lead, we're tackling these issues--and more. Using research, techniques and approaches developed by Google, representatives from the public and private sector are working together to address some of the most daunting challenges our City faces.
In addition to developing our workforce, we're also studying civic engagement, homelessness, emergency management and economic development.
To see more of our work, follow #AngelsLab on Twitter.
Our region thrives because entrepreneurs are starting new businesses every day. And local government has an opportunity and a responsibility to make it as easy as possible for them to grow.
Of course, local government depends on revenue we get from our businesses--but I've long been an advocate for cutting taxes for small and emerging businesses. This is especially relevant when, as we discovered, it sometimes costs more to assess those taxes compared to what is actually collected.
Last year we released an audit designed to stimulate the strategic sharing of tax data between city, county and state agencies. We offered various recommendations for how we can more fairly assess and collect from businesses, particularly as it relates to the business personal property tax--a tax on certain assets paid by businesses to the County and then distributed to the City.
We worked on this audit with County Assessor Jeff Prang, whose office determined "the cost of assessments under $5,000 exceed the revenue by more than $17 per bill." Businesses with personal property valued at less than $5,000 will now be exempt from the tax.
This is a win-win for everyone because it allows us to focus our collection resources more thoughtfully and to give a much-needed break to small businesses.
What will Los Angeles look like in 10 years? 20 years? How about in 100 years?
Some very talented students from Woodbury University's School of Architecture gave us all some idea of the answer. Their plan to re-purpose the Los Angeles City Mall in the Civic Center was honored at the 46th Annual Los Angeles Architectural Awards, hosted by the Los Angeles Business Council.
In total, 35 architectural and design projects were honored at the event. For those of us who attended, it was a special event--about much more than beautiful design. The awards reflect how design innovation can have a meaningful impact on the lives of Angelenos and help lead our city to a more sustainable, productive future.
Summer means college and graduate students have a break, and I'm proud that many of them choose to spend those breaks working as interns in my office. This summer, we welcome students from UCLA, Cal Poly Pomona and Loyola Marymount. During the school year they study economics, philsophy and political science. But during the summer, they're creating infographics, analyzing data related to homelessness, and learning how to use social media to communicate with constituents.
Come on out, bring a friend and bring your questions.
As Angelenos, we know homelessness is a crisis that demands our attention. There are a lot of programs and good will out there. And yet, this problem has gotten worse. As Controller, I believe that the most important first step in addressing solutions to homelessness is to study the data and better understand who, what, when, where and why. Only by examining the data can we begin to make better data-driven decisions about how to allocate resources. For our July Data of the Month, we've put together a brief animated infographic that summarizes the data about our local homeless population.