Recently on Town Hall Journal

"Innovative Health Care: Doing More with Less"

Health care – how to improve it, how to deliver it, how to pay for it – has been at the forefront of the nation’s conversation for the past several years. As debate over policy, technology and cost-efficiency rages on, those in the medical profession stay focused on one goal – patient care and how to make it better. Dr. Benjamin Chu, president of Kaiser Permanente Southern California, applauds recent advances in technology and efficiency, but warns they may have come at the cost of the doctor-patient relationship, which he feels is vital to life-long wellness. Long-term, preventive care, he says, will save more lives – and dollars – than piece-meal patch-ups, specialist visits and emergency-room treatment. But with insurance costs skyrocketing and the dream of universal health care becoming more elusive, how can Americans afford the medical care they need? Town Hall Speaker: Dr. Benjamin Chu, President, Kaiser Family Foundation, Southern California Town Hall Vault Speakers: Dr. Nancy Dickey, President, American Medical Association (1998) Dr. William Weil, Chairman, Los Angeles County Medical Association (1986)

"Bipartisan Budget: Impossible Dream?"

Feel like you’re drowning in debt? We all are - the U.S. deficit totaled about $1.3 trillion when the last fiscal year ended on September 30th, and debt held by the public now totals more than $9 trillion. Douglas Elmendorf, head of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, says there are ways to climb out of the depths – but they will take time, and they come at a cost. While cutting taxes and increasing spending could lead to a short-term economic boost and potential job growth, he says, such measures could also result in deepening our federal debt. It’s hard enough to get Congress to agree on economic policy during the best of times, and come January, the changing of the guard is bound to mean further tussling. According to the CBO, drastic measures are needed – but will both parties agree on them? Can Americans afford them? And when it comes to belt-tightening, who needs to make the biggest sacrifice?

"Football in Our Future: Making Room for the NFL"

An NFL team for Los Angeles? We’ve been tossing that ball around for a decade or so, and many have given up on the dream. But Tim Leiweke, head of AEG – the sports and entertainment giant that brought us LA Live and the Staples Center – says there’s good reason to keep it in play. His vision for a revitalized downtown includes an expanded convention center, doubling our hotel rooms, restaurants and retail, and a 78,000 seat, multipurpose stadium. This new playing field, says Leiweke, is bound to lure convention business, tourism and – most importantly - the NFL to the heart of Los Angeles. Of course, all of this expansion will have a price tag in the billions. But AEG is willing to gamble that investing in our urban core will reap big rewards for our economy. And that Angelenos will flock downtown to cheer their team on – whoever it may be. Town Hall Speaker: Timothy J. Leiweke, President and CEO of AEG Town Hall Vault Speaker: John Tuite, Head of the Community Redevelopment Agency (1987) Interviews: Eric Richardson, Publisher, Blogdowntown.com Andy Bales, CEO, Union Rescue Mission

"The Financial Crisis: Will We Ever Learn?"

The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, created in 2009, is a 10-member, bipartisan panel charged with the task of examining “the causes, domestic and global, of the current financial and economic crisis in the United States.” The commission conducted over 700 interviews and sifted through millions of documents in their search for the truth. What they found reads like a John Grisham novel – back room Wall Street dealings, bank executives treating mortgages like poker chips, financial products sliced and diced, bought and sold without regard to risk and all the while, government regulators turning a blind eye to the obvious red flags. This week on Town Hall Journal, the commission’s Chair, Phil Angelides, offers a peek into the economic shenanigans that led to what he calls “one of the greatest financial cataclysms of our times.” And warns that, if we don't learn from our economic history, we're doomed to bail out again. Town Hall Speaker: The Honorable Phil Angelides, Chairman, Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission In January, the FCIC will deliver its report to Congress, the President and the American people. Find out more at www.fcic.gov Town Hall Vault Speaker: James D. Robinson III, CEO, American Express (1991) Interview: Jason Yancey, Director, Operation Hope

"Breaking the Gang Cycle"

Part and parcel with the history of Los Angeles is the evolution of gangs in America. Many Angeleno gangs are international crime syndicates and experts purport the number of 'Gangbangers' in LA to be a quarter of a million. Violent crime in the City is more often than not a byproduct of thug life. Is this a problem that's too big to solve? Host Judy Muller, introduces listeners to those who diligently work to bring peace to the streets. Council Member Janice Hahn discusses the genesis of the Watts Gang Task Force and the costs of prosecuting gang murders. Interventionist Fabian Montes from Homeboy Industries discusses how best to reach the youth. Brian Center, Executive Director of A Better LA (USC Football Coach, Pete Carroll's nonprofit) and Dr. Greg Ridgeway of RAND discuss the resources required to stop the cycle. This week's Vault Segment highlights a 1990 TOWN HALL address by then LAPD Chief of Police, Darryl Gates, during which he proposes a radical solution for funding anti-gang programs. Lastly, listeners will hear from ex-gang members on the process of leaving gangs and finding alternative social groups. Don't miss this opportunity to learn what measures are taking place to break the gang cycle.
One’s a former Secretary of State, a Stanford Scholar, an accomplished pianist – and a Republican. The other’s a noted civil rights attorney, named one of California’s top ten most influential lawyers – and a Democrat. But they’re cousins, sharing a family history that dates back to slavery days, as well as a passion for social justice that transcends party lines. This week on Town Hall Journal, Condoleezza Rice discusses her new book, Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family, with her cousin, Constance Rice. In the book, Dr. Rice shares her childhood memories of growing up in the Jim Crow south, as well as the family experiences and values that shaped her journey to the White House. Don’t miss this lively, insightful and intimate conversation between two very extraordinary women.

"The Invisible Wounds of War"

Since October 2001, over 1.6 million U.S. troops have been deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of these veterans suffer from the so-called ‘invisible wounds of war,’ which include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, depression and homelessness. In fact, Los Angeles is home to the nation’s largest population of homeless veterans. Are we as a society doing enough to help our service men and women get back on their feet? Town Hall recently convened a panel of experts to discuss the challenges faced by 21st century veterans. Our Vault segment takes us back to World War II, when Americans were urged to help returning soldiers by creating prosperity at home. And we’ll hear from a former commander in Iraq who has found solace by helping others cope. Town Hall Speakers: Lt. Colonel Julian Bond, Battalian Commander, 40th Brigade Support Battalion, California National Guard Rocky J. Chavez, Undersecretary of Veterans Affairs, California Dept. of Veterans Affairs Jeremiah Michaels, Vocational Development Advisor, New Directions, Inc. Toni Reinis, Executive Director, New Directions, Inc. Terry Schell, Behavioral Scientist, RAND Corporation, and co-author, ‘Invisible Wounds of War’ “Destination Tomorrow,” narrated by Chet Huntley (CBS, 1944) A personal story: Colonel David Sutherland, former Commander of the American Combat Brigade in Iraq

"Early Education = K-12 Success"

Any kindergarten teacher can tell you that children who have had the benefit of preschool enter their classrooms ready – and eager – to learn, to interact, and to achieve. And studies show that students with the early education advantage are less likely to drop out, to need special education, to end up on welfare or even in prison. Those critical ‘First Five’ years lay the groundwork for a student’s entire future – and by extension, the future of our society. But in this country, there’s a wide gap between those who can afford preschool and those who can’t. Half of California’s low-income children arrive in kindergarten to find they’re already behind their peers – and unlikely to catch up. Why is it so difficult for us to give our children the head start they need? Town Hall Speakers: Molly Munger, Co-director, The Advancement Project Dr. Celia Ayala, CEO, Los Angeles Universal Preschool Maria Casillas, President, Families in Schools Tamika Lang, California Community Investor for Global Corporate Citizenship, The Boeing Company Richard Atlas, Co-founder and Trustee, The Atlas Foundation Dr. Gail Zellman, Senior Research Psychologist, The RAND Corporation Town Hall Vault Speaker: Rob Reiner, actor/director and early education advocate (1998, 2002) The students and teachers of Linda Vista Children’s Center, Pasadena
Our next governor faces many of the same issues that have plagued the state since the days of Pat Brown – jobs, education, health care, taxes, immigration, taxes, water conservation and – more taxes. What lessons can he or she take from days gone by? During their campaigns, many of California’s past governors came to Town Hall to lay out their priorities for the state. For this special pre-Election Day Town Hall Journal, we dug deep into the vault for the voices of governors past – and you might be surprised at what we’ve uncovered. What does the political rhetoric of the past tell us about the present – and the future – of California? TOWN HALL Speakers: Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, former Governor of California (1978) Jerry Brown, Governor of California (1978) George Deukmejian, Republican candidate for Governor (1981) Pete Wilson, Republican candidate for Governor (1990) Gray Davis, Democratic candidate for Governor (1997) INTERVIEW: Dan Walters, Political Columnist, The Sacramento Bee

"Journalism on the Rebound"

Far from causing the downfall of journalism, as some have predicted, the digital age has resulted in a wealth of information sources, from 24-hour cable channels to internet bloggers to iPhone alerts. This, in addition to traditional newspapers, TV and radio news, means we’re never more than seconds away from the latest headlines. But which new media are credible? Who do you trust for unbiased information? According to Jim Lehrer, host of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, anyone who cares about the issues now just has to work a little harder to get accurate news. And anyone who cares about the business of journalism has to embrace the changes – or risk being thrown out with yesterday’s papers. Speaker: Jim Lehrer, Executive Editor, ““The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” Town Hall Vault Speakers: Robert Klein, President, Klein & Company (1982) Joel Chaseman, President, Post-Newsweek Stations (1981) Jim Lehrer, Anchor, NewsHour (1998) Interview: Gabriel Kahn, Los Angeles Bureau Chief, The Wall Street Journal