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LA City’s Initiative For A More Honest, Less Whitewashed Relationship With Its History




In this screengrab on April 15, 2021, the Los Angeles Mayor's Office Civic Memory Working Group discuss its key recommendations in commemorating the city's history.
In this screengrab on April 15, 2021, the Los Angeles Mayor's Office Civic Memory Working Group discuss its key recommendations in commemorating the city's history.
MayorOfLA Twitter Account

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In 2019, Mayor Garcetti formed a panel of forty scholars, historians, architects and other cultural leaders to reassess its official relationship with its history - both the good and the bad. 

The subcommittees spanned from Indigenous Land Acknowledgement and the Work of Decolonization to Monuments and Markers

Last week, the group released a 166 page report with its recommendations, which include creating a City historian position, creating a monument to the people killed in the 1871 Chinese Massacre and considering the creation of a museum dedicated to the city.

We sit down with three members of the Mayor’s Office Civic Memory Working Group to discuss initiative, from its genesis to its recommendations. 

Guests: 

Eric Avila, professor of history and Chicano studies at UCLA; Los Angeles historian and author of the book “The Folklore of the Freeway: Race and Revolt in the Modernist City” (University of Minnesota Press, May 2014)

Ken Bernstein, principal city planner for the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, where he oversees the city’s Office of Historic Resources, which is responsible for L.A.’s historic preservation; he also leads the department’s Urban Design Studio, which works with private development projects and major civic investments; his recent book is “Preserving Los Angeles: How Historic Places Can Transform America's Cities” (Angel City Press, April 2021)

Leslie Ito, executive director of the Armory Center for the Arts