Thanksgiving gives us an opportunity to focus on all that we have to be grateful for.
I give thanks to you -- for the opportunity to serve and to do a job I love. I give thanks for the wonderful group of professionals in the Controller's Office. I give thanks for my husband Zach, for family, and friends. And I give thanks for living in our City of Angels.
Wishing you a happy and meaningful Thanksgiving.
Hot off the presses: Los Angeles just reclaimed the top spot in the Center for Digital Government's annual Digital Cities Survey. “This year’s top digital cities are using technology to ensure citizens can meaningfully interact with city government more easily than any other time in history,” said Todd Sander, executive director of the Center for Digital Government.
One reason we're number 1? Our "extensive open data portal," which you can access at LAController.org.
Here in Los Angeles, we use an average 560,000 acre feet of water annually. Of that, just 10,000 acre feet is recycled for agricultural and industrial purposes. (Each acre foot is enough to cover one acre of land to a depth of one foot.)
And yet, our population continues to grow even as we face the twin threats of climate change and persistent drought. Which is why my office has sought to understand our region's relationship with water and to make recommendations for the development of technologies that will enable us to tap more sustainable water sources.
Last week, I addressed these issues and presented the findings of our audit of the City's water recycling programs at the Coro Southern California Innovate x Water Conference.
Want to know more about how the City manages its water supplies? Visit UtilityPanel LA for performance metrics, interactive dashboards, checkbook data and more.
Our map and report on L.A.'s 9,000 City-owned parcels is being discussed in a variety of venues. The Council's Housing Committee also took action this month to match qualified developers to 12 City-owned properties for the creation of affordable housing developments, which will include permanent supportive housing for the homeless.
Of course, that's just the proverbial tip of the iceberg when it comes to maximizing the City's vast real estate holdings. Which is why I've been meeting with neighborhood councils and other civic groups during the last few weeks to get their input on how to capitalize on our portfolio. Your ideas and support for our call to create a new post of Chief Asset Manager have been tremendous.
Read more about PropertyPanel LA in The Planning Report.
They came. They coded. They competed. And when it was over, one of them won a job at City Hall.
In what many are saying is a first for the City of Los Angeles, my office awarded a six-month paid fellowship in his office to Mike Ludwig, who won the City’s first-ever “Iron Viz” competition.
Taking a cue from “Iron Chef,” our “Iron Viz” competition pitted contestants against each other in a time-pressure environment in which they had to create data visualizations using the software platform, Tableau. The idea of "Iron Viz" was to find a more nimble and innovative way for the City to attract the workforce of the future. Congratulations to Mike and everyone else who participated.
My office maintains five separate Data Panels with dozens of interactive dashboards, maps and infographics. And we couldn't do any of that without Juan Lopez, our Director of Tech and Innovation.
"I love my job because I feel like I'm making a difference every day," says Lopez. "I get to create these amazing products that really help people learn about and improve their city."
Not one to be confined to a cubicle, you'll often find Juan representing my office at events around town. In fact, he recently spoke on a panel at the L.A. World Affairs Council (pictured above) about the future of social entrepreneurship and how City Hall can influence non-profits, academia and civic tech to do more good in our communities. Juan discussed our office's latest work with open data and the importance of using open data to influence public policy.
You work hard and you're proud of what you've achieved. Don't risk it.
Learn how to protect your assets and accounts in the event of a natural disaster at our next Financial Planning Workshop.