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Joel Epstein
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

The Subway Toward the Sea

(0) Comments | Posted November 2, 2015 | 8:51 PM

Last month, the Subway Toward the Sea came a bit closer to becoming a reality.

The cause for celebration arrived in the form of an appeals court ruling upholding the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Purple Line Extension.

If you haven't heard,...

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L.A. Can Be the Future of Cities

(0) Comments | Posted October 19, 2015 | 3:24 PM

I love L.A. and the smiles events like CicLAvia put on the faces of those lucky enough to participate. Like the tens of thousands of others at yesterday's miles-long block party in downtown L.A., Chinatown, Boyle Heights, the Arts District and Westlake, I had a blast. And I...

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Feel the Bern?

(8) Comments | Posted October 15, 2015 | 4:59 PM

Feel the Bern? I'm not sure. Here's my Bernie Sanders story.

In a former life, I was political director for one of those Los Angeles billionaires Bernie Sanders is so fond of slamming from the podium.

As part of my job, I would meet with and vet candidates for federal,...

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Transit Envy and Other Thoughts on Making L.A. the City It Can Be

(0) Comments | Posted October 13, 2015 | 4:16 PM

This week the world lost a close friend and a man who would have loved what is happening on L.A.'s streets, along the Los Angeles River and in terms of public transportation.

Al Selvin died while out on one of his regular weekend bike...

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Mexico City's Lessons for Los Angeles

(7) Comments | Posted September 28, 2015 | 9:48 PM

With Los Angeles in the midst of a major public transportation expansion and real estate boom, it is constructive to look at what other large cities are doing to meet their mass transit needs. A few years ago in Istanbul I witnessed that city's significant investment in bus rapid transit...

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Moving Los Angeles

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2015 | 1:00 AM

On the fiftieth anniversary of the Watts Riots, this piece is dedicated to the memory of those senselessly killed following the arrest and beating of an African American by the highway patrol. Though we have many miles to travel until this is a truly just city for all, we are...

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Westwood is for Bikes Too

(0) Comments | Posted July 31, 2015 | 4:50 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 | 8:11 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 | 5:21 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 | 9:07 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 | 6:55 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 | 10:56 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 | 11:58 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 | 10:17 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 | 8:04 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 | 3:20 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 | 10:33 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 16, 2015 | 12:37 AM

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 | 12:01 PM

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 | 11:41 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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