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Go West, Young Internet Newspaper: Introducing HuffPost Los Angeles

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Today marks the rollout of our latest local section, HuffPost Los Angeles. In many ways, it's a homecoming. The initial idea for HuffPost was hatched in LA, five years ago this month. And LA has been my home base since 1997 (our founding editor, Roy Sekoff, has lived there since 1983). So LA is definitely part of HuffPost's DNA.

It's also one of the most dynamic and diverse cities in the world -- and, thanks to Hollywood, one of the most recognizable. From the Hollywood sign to Disneyland; from Malibu's beaches to the spotlights shining in front of the Kodak Theater on Oscar night; from the world champion Lakers playing at Staples Center to the Watts towers; from the movie and TV soundstages scattered across the town to the LA Coliseum, Los Angeles, like New York, is part of our collective consciousness.

HuffPost LA features our signature mix of up-to-the-minute news -- curated from the best local coverage -- and a group blog with some of the city's most compelling voices, ready to weigh in on everything from local politics to the area's fashion, food, entertainment, real estate, sports teams, and business trends.

As we've done in our other local sections, we have formed partnerships with a wide range of Los Angeles media outlets offering the best on-the-ground local reporting. And we will use our citizen journalism and social news tools to help make the HuffPost LA community a big part of the editorial mix -- suggesting and submitting stories, voting on polls, uploading pictures to slideshows, and using interactive maps to discover the location of the hot new gourmet taco truck, track up-to-date neighborhood crime statistics, find the least congested route home, and much more.

HuffPost LA is led by senior editor Willow Bay, who also makes her home here (click here to read her post introducing some of our new contributors), and edited by Billy Silverman, an LA native who most recently worked on special projects for Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer.

We intend to make HuffPost LA a must-click destination for engaged Angelenos looking to keep up with the latest on all things LA. And we'll share the stories of the people whose lives are affected by the issues in the news: foreclosed homeowners, families battling wildfires in their neighborhoods or water main breaks in their front yards, parents searching for the best schools, and small business owners driving the city's economic recovery.

This is going to be a very eventful year in the City of Angels, with a new police chief, a new conductor at the Phil, the Lakers looking to repeat, what could be broadcasting legend Vin Scully's last year as the voice of the Dodgers, a still volatile housing market, a wide-open governor's race, the ongoing budget crises at the state and municipal levels -- and the devastating effects they're having across the city.

As part of our coverage of these crises, HuffPost LA will collaborate with our Impact section to shine a spotlight on the people creating innovative solutions to the city's most pressing problems, including education, poverty, jobs creation, environmental reform and more. Los Angeles has a long history of activists working to shape policy and drive change -- and we'll highlight the individuals and organizations working in their communities to make a real difference in the lives of all Angelenos.

So check out HuffPost LA. And use the comments section below -- or email Billy and Willow -- to let us know what you think. We hope you'll turn this section into a digital meeting place, creating a community around the local stories that matter most to you and most impact your life. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/go-west-young-internet-ne_b_376756.html