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Joel Epstein
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Joel Epstein is a senior advisor to companies, law firms, foundations and public initiatives on communications strategy, corporate social responsibility (CSR), recruiting and outreach. His writing focuses on business, politics, public transportation/infrastructure, education and other critical urban issues. Named 2010 Best Online Columnist by L.A. Streetsblog, Joel trained as a lawyer and policy analyst. His experience includes running a foundation, creating a corporate employee giving program and serving as political director for an active Los Angeles donor. To learn more about what Joel can do for you or your business, visit his website or email him.

Entries by Joel Epstein

Westwood is for Bikes Too

(0) Comments | Posted July 31, 2015 | 3:50 PM

Dear Paul:

LA City Councilman Paul Koretz that is. Say it ain't so! How sobering to read in the LA Times and The Daily Bruin that you now not only oppose bike lanes on Westwood Blvd but also want to strike the planned lanes from the...

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Kayaking on the L.A. River, I'll Be Back

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2015 | 7:11 PM

"How was your weekend?" asked my sister calling from her car in the pouring rain on the East Coast. "Great. I went kayaking on the L.A. River."

"What? I thought the river was dry in the Summer."

Yes and no. With the state suffering through the most severe

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Name That Train

(0) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 4:21 PM

Who doesn't like a good challenge? Asking residents to improve our city by volunteering at a local school, participating in street tree plantings or logging on to MY LA 311 to report illegal dumping makes L.A. a better place to live. And sometimes, a challenge can be just...

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L.A.'s Human Face of Big Data

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 8:07 PM

Whereas. That's how my work day began. With a festive farewell breakfast and City of Los Angeles proclamation in the Mayor's Press Room for outgoing Deputy L.A. Mayor for Budget and Innovation Rick Cole. As Cole leaves us to take on a new role as Santa Monica City...

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CicLAvia Works

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2015 | 5:55 PM

It's hard to run a city like Los Angeles. It's a town with lots of competing perspectives on everything from the best taco truck and ramen place to the role of our streets and sidewalks. Tacos and ramen though are easy. Ask people about the streets and it can get...

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For a Better L.A., Be Disruptive

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2015 | 9:56 PM

To succeed in the startup space, be disruptive. That was the lesson of this morning's TechFire Ignite 2015 program at the Santa Monica Bay Woman's Club.

Disruptive in the way Uber and Lyft have been to the consumer-unfriendly and monopolistic taxi...

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A Road Trip for Public Transportation

(0) Comments | Posted May 18, 2015 | 10:58 PM

Sometimes I need a good road trip to think about public transportation. Last week I took a much needed working vacation by flying to Reno. A friend met me there and we started our adventure, by car, in the rapidly hipsterfying Midtown neighborhood. Aside from the slots everywhere and the...

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Parks, in Koreatown?

(0) Comments | Posted May 5, 2015 | 9:17 PM

Parks, in Koreatown?

I know, I know, but I couldn't resist. Park is a common Korean name. Who could?

But on to the reason for this post. Some good news to report for Koreatown.

According to Michael Bai, Assistant Chief Deputy for

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A Transit App for Los Angeles

(0) Comments | Posted May 4, 2015 | 7:04 PM

This is a true story. It's about the way many people get around Los Angeles and how more of us should navigate the City of Angels. Native Angelenos, new arrivals, older transplants like me, tourists and everyone in between.

Last Friday night I was at my usual spot, waiting for...

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The ABCs of Los Angeles Metro

(0) Comments | Posted April 26, 2015 | 2:20 PM

You think we have transportation problems? New York, our oft cited but nothing like us doppelganger to the east, is short $15 billion of the estimated $32 billion it needs to upgrade its public transportation system. The Metropolitan Transportation Agency (MTA) carried 1.75 billion riders last year. That...

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Making L.A. a Transportation Mecca

(2) Comments | Posted April 20, 2015 | 9:33 PM

This Wednesday there is an important meeting taking place at Union Station.

The meeting, organized by Move LA, is the non-profit transportation group's seventh annual Transportation Conference.

Move LA's mission is to build a broad constituency that advocates for the development of a comprehensive, diverse, robust,...

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My State of the City

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 11:37 PM

Watching Mayor Eric Garcetti give his eloquent State of the City address from the Valley Performing Acts Center at Cal State Northridge got me thinking about my own performance this past year when it comes to key indicator data like pubic safety,...

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Sustainable Business in LA: One Cup at a Time

(0) Comments | Posted April 13, 2015 | 11:01 AM

Last week's announcement by Mayor Eric Garcetti of the Sustainable City pLAn has gotten Angelenos' attention. Indeed many around the world seem to have noticed and are now looking to LA, yes Los Angeles, for leadership on large city sustainability.

The mayor's "roadmap for a Los Angeles that...

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April Is for Commuters

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 10:41 AM

It's still early in the month but already April is shaping up to be a great one for Los Angeles commuters. No, I am not talking about the relative calm of Easter weekend, though that was nice too.

The good news for commuters started with the opening Thursday of a...

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Cars Don't Shop

(1) Comments | Posted March 27, 2015 | 2:55 PM

"Cars don't shop" and "If you want a better city, build bike lanes. It's an economic development strategy."

Those were two of the takeaways from last night at the Hammer Museum in transit-friendly Westwood. The evening at the Hammer's Billy Wilder Theater featured former New York City Department...

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CicLAvia Means Business

(1) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 12:22 PM

There are lots of reasons to love CicLAvia. Just ask the tens of thousands of participants who thronged to Studio City, Universal City and North Hollywood to take advantage of the car-free streets this weekend. And be sure to ask a good many store owners as well.

CicLAvia...

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Not Your Parents' LADOT

(0) Comments | Posted March 20, 2015 | 6:27 PM

One of the nice things about shopping for food and eating in France is that the quality is assured by rigorous government regulation. While some boulangeries are better than others, in general consumers can find a good quality baguette in any bakery.

Refreshingly, the same might be said about the...

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How's (the Trash) Business in L.A.? Picking Up

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 2:37 AM

Today, we're talking garbage. That title is a riff on the punch line of a Borscht Belt joke about a rags bottles man (junk collector). But trash in L.A. is no laughing matter. In fact, it's so serious that a team led by City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana...

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LA Metro Picks Best Candidate for Top Job

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 3:26 PM

Back in January when I got word from a reliable source that Phil Washington of the Denver Regional Transportation District was a serious contender for the top job at LA Metro, I confirmed my intel and immediately went to press. I will probably never know whether anyone at Metro or...

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Movie Night in Downtown LA

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 1:18 AM

Tonight was movie night in downtown LA. And what a treat it was to find a seat near the front of the grand Million Dollar Theatre for Zócalo Public Square's free screening of the 1980 classic comedy, Airplane.

The theatre, opened by Sid Grauman in 1918,...

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