Wednesday, December 23, 2009

**Winter/Spring Internships with Los Angeles City Planning, Community Planning Division**

**Winter/Spring Internships with Los Angeles City Planning, Community
Planning Division**

The City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning is looking for
intern candidates for its Community Planning division. This non-paid
internship is available for Winter/Spring 2010 (late January through
May). Candidates are ideally available for 1-2 days per week, 8-16
hours/week, and 8 hours per week minimum. While this is an unpaid
internship, those selected will be working closely with professional
level planners on policy, research and community outreach efforts. The
internship offers an enriching experience for new planners or students
wishing to gain hands-on practice in urban planning.

Position Summary/Job Description:
The Department is working on a number of exciting and challenging
projects, including updates to several of its long-range Community
Plans, development of design overlays, updates to hillside development
regulations, and the review of new development projects. Our new
Community Plans include goals, policies, and programs related to land
use, mobility, urban design, and infrastructure. Interns' tasks may

- Issue-specific research and analysis
- Community meeting preparation and attendance
- Graphics creation using SketchUp, Photoshop, or Illustrator
- Policy development
- Assistance with powerpoint presentations
- Data entry and records management
- Various general support duties

- Experience or education in Urban/City Planning
- Word, Excel proficiency
- GIS, AutoCAD, SketchUp, Photoshop, Illustrator preferred, but not
- Available 8–20 hrs/week (Minimum of 8hrs/wk)

Ideal candidates are familiar with the City of Los Angeles, enjoy
problem-solving, and are highly motivated and detail-oriented.

To Apply:
Email your resume to Susan Robinson,, by
January 14th.

Contact Susan Robinson at

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Deputy Mayor Bud Ovrom to serve as General Manager of LADBS


Happy Holidays!

As an FYI, it has just been announced that Deputy Mayor Bud Ovrom will become the next General Manager at LADBS.  This is an excellent opportunity to adovicate our support for the 12 to 2 initiative and efforts to streamline the building permit process.

More info, here:

December 22, 2009 |  1:49 pm

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa continues to reshuffle his cabinet of top advisers, announcing today that his deputy mayor for economic development will move into the top job at the Department of Building and Safety.

Deputy Mayor Robert "Bud" Ovrom will replace Andrew Adelman, who stepped down as general manager of that department in September. Adelman resigned as police were investigating allegations that he had raped a woman at his apartment. That investigation ended with no arrests made or charges filed.

Ovrom has promised to restart the mayor's effort to streamline the building permit process, which has been in the proposal stage for years. "As a 'bricks and mortar' guy, supporting construction has always been my favorite part of my job," he said in a prepared statement.

The appointment must be confirmed by the City Council.

Since Villaraigosa started his second four-year term on July 1, he has announced the departures of his chief of staff, a deputy chief of staff and at least one deputy mayor -- Helmi Hisserich, who became the No. 2 official at the city's housing department. Villaraigosa also accepted the resignations of general managers at two major agencies -- the Community Redevelopment Agency and the Department of Water and Power.

This week, Villaraigosa also announced the hiring of a new deputy mayor for education: Joan Sullivan, the founder of the Bronx Academy of Letters High School in New York City. Sullivan is a member of the Urban Assembly, a nonprofit organization that focuses on new school development in the New York area.

-- David Zahniser at L.A. City Hall

Will Wright Director of Government & Public Affairs

AIA / los angeles
A Chapter of the American Institute of Architects

3780 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 800, Los Angeles, CA 90010
213.639.0777 phone | 213.639.0767 fax

Friday, December 18, 2009

New Data Shows Stimulus Spending on Transit Creates More Jobs than Highways, Released in Wake of House Jobs Bill

Latest jobs data show stimulus spending on public transportation produces more jobs, faster, than highways

The latest data on stimulus spending shows that funds spent on public transportation were a more effective job creator than stimulus funds spent on highways. In the 10 months since ARRA was signed, investing in public transportation produced twice as many jobs as investing in roads:

§       Every billion dollars spent on public transportation produced 16,400 job-months
§       Every billion dollars spent on projects funded under highway infrastructure programs produced 8,800 job-months.
(Because transportation projects are of different durations, a "job month" is a more accurate way of comparing quantities of employment created)

As Congress and the Administration discuss a possible jobs bill, the implication is clear: shifting available funds toward public transportation will create more jobs.

These figures are calculated from data provided by the states through October 31, and released by the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on
December 10th

President Obama has said he is concerned that the goal of quickly boosting employment with shovel-ready projects may conflict with making long-term investments in America's future. These results show that investing in public transportation produces the most return for the money in both categories:

§       it is a more effective job creator; and
§       it builds the transportation systems we need for the future. 

Investing in public transportation also:

§       helps get people to work today and tomorrow,
§       provides immediate support to state and local governments struggling to run public transportation systems.

Other findings

The result that public transportation funding produced more jobs per dollar held across states: every dollar spent on public transportation supports between 1.6x and 2.5x the number of jobs that a dollar spent on highways supports.

Public transportation projects produce so many more jobs per dollar that even in cases where public transportation dollars spent out more slowly, they created more net jobs than
the spending through highway projects.  

The speed at which states spent stimulus funds varied widely. Transit spending was faster than highway spending for projects and transit agencies in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois,
Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. This is in marked contrast to statements to the GAO
that only pavement projects can get the money out quickly.

Any further transportation  spending the goal of which is rapid job creation should include measures to accelerate spending, including technical assistance to strapped transportation agencies, and possibly sanctions
and rewards.

These job-creation results data are not directly comparable to previously published studies on job creation through infrastructure investment since these are all incomplete programs in various stages of obligation, contracting, initiation, and completion.

Policy implications

No matter what the economic conditions, we need investments to provide the maximum possible return.

We now have enough data on the impacts of ARRA spending to begin drawing conclusions about the effectiveness of spending under different parts of ARRA. The data so far show that spending through public
transportation programs is both the more effective job creator, and moves us towards the transportation system of the future. 

As Congress and the Administration debate future federal investments in transportation, they should look at the ARRA results to date from the dedicated transit funds and the Surface
Transportation Program. Congress and the Administration should note the direct economic benefits of different kinds of investment, and how each helps reduce the cost of living, provides
access to jobs, boosts manufacturing, and improves state of repair for all kinds of transportation assets.  

All future apportionments, whether from a jobs bill, a second stimulus, and/or the continuing SAFETEA
LU program, and whatever authorization replaces it, should be guided by a balanced
approach to transportation spending that produces the maximum return for the money.
Phineas Baxandall, Senior Analyst for Tax & Budget Policy, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), Cell: 857
2341328, Office: 6177474351,
William Schroeer, State Policy Director, Smart Growth America, p 612 308 7147, Scott Bernstein, Center for Neighborhood Technology, p 773


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Very truly yours,

Will Wright
Director of Government & Public Affairs
American Institute of Architects/Los Angeles | 3780 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 800, Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 639-0777 phone | (213) 639-0767 fax |

The AIA/LA Design Advocate.

The AIA/LA Design Advocate.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

The AIA/LA Design Advocate.

The AIA/LA Design Advocate.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

The AIA/ Design Advocate.

The AIA/ Design Advocate.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

The AIA/ Design Advocate.

The AIA/ Design Advocate.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Friday, December 4, 2009

December 2009 - AIA/LA Political Outreach Committee

Dear AIA/LA Political Outreach Committee:

As a reminder, we DO NOT have a POC meeting scheduled in December.  Therefore, there is NO POC meeting on Tuesday, December 8th.

Committee Co-Chairs Roger Sherman and Jim Favaro (as well as AIA/LA President-elect Paul Danna) are moving forward on the Alternative Project Delivery initiative and we will have a complete status update pertaining to their on-going efforts at our next POC meeting, which will be on Tuesday, January 12 (6pm).  

In the meantime, I would like to canvass the Committee's perspective on a couple of emerging issues.  Please let me know if, as a committee, you'd like for me to respond in any certain way (pro/con) with regards to the following pending matters at City Hall:

1.  LA City Code Amendment - Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) - As directed by State Regulations, City of LA Department of City Planning is currently developing policy with regards to ADU's and with your leadership and guidance we can help effect that policy (if so desired).  This ordinance is in the early stages and, hence, the chance to help shape public policy.

2.  Low Impact Development Ordinance - The Public Works Commission will be reviewing the proposed LID Ordinance on Friday, December 11.  After this hearing, the ordinance will also be heard at the City of LA Energy and Environment Committee and at the Planning and Land Use Management Committee.  If you have specific thoughts/reactions/ guidance on this proposed ordinance please share your thoughts with me ASAP.  You can access the draft ordinance by CLICKING HERE.

3.  Ideas for the theme and for the specific speakers for the 2010 AIA/LA Political Outreach Breakfast Series.  If you'd like to work with me on this, kindly contact me with your ideas and suggestions so that we can draft a proposal for consideration  by the AIA/LA Board's Public Outreach Portfolio leadership, which will be comprised of Board members Angie Brooks, Merry Norris, Roger Sherman, Carl Muhlstein and Deborah Weintraub.  (I'm attaching a copy of the 2010 AIA/LA Organization Chart to help explain this programming hierarchy)

4.  Lastly, if you are currently receiving this email, it's because I have you on the 2009 Committee Roster.  If you are no longer interested, please let me know so I can remove you from the list when I create the official 2010 committee roster of membership/ interest.

Thank you.

Very truly yours,

Will Wright
Director of Government & Public Affairs
American Institute of Architects/Los Angeles | 3780 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 800, Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 639-0777 phone | (213) 639-0767 fax |

Making the ‘Jobs’ Bill Work For Architects

Congress is moving quickly to develop legislation aimed at preserving American jobs and reducing unemployment. In fact, the House hopes to craft a bill by Christmas. With the Architecture Billing Index maintaining a negative score, indicating a reduction in demand for design services and architecture firms everywhere suffering the effects of the ongoing economic crisis, we need your help to ensure that this potential legislation is developed with provisions that work for architects.
The AIA has provided Congress with recommendations for policies that will bring about short- and long-term recovery to our economy and lay the groundwork for more vibrant and sustainable communities. Our plan is available at The design and construction industry is one of the cornerstones of our economy, accounting for one in ten dollars of gross domestic product and millions of well-paying jobs. As Congress works to produce legislation to stimulate job creation, we believe the best way to achieve this is to foster growth is through investments in our nation's infrastructure and expanding access to credit, especially for our nation's small businesses.
Congress can pursue these goals by adopting a few key proposals to:
  • Provide $11 billion for the modernization, renovation, and repair of our nation's schools
  • Allow the SBA to provide reduced loan fees and larger guarantees for its 504 and 7(a) programs and increasing lending limits for the 504 program
  • Enact the Small Business Financing and Investment Act (HR 3854)
  • Expand the authority of the Treasury Department to provide funding of new commercial and institutional real estate loans for worth, solidly underwritten projects that will create jobs, and revitalize communities.
  • Increase the value of the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction to $3.00 per square foot from its current $1.80 per square foot.
Congress will debate this bill in the coming weeks. You can help make sure that the plan helps the design and construction industry get back to work. Please ask your member of Congress to support these important provisions. Click here to connect with the AIA Advocacy Center.
Christine McEntee
Executive Vice President and CEO, AIA National