There are many reasons to be proud that Town Hall is celebrating 75 years of getting ideas and issues into our community conversation. One point of pride is that our member-only programs get us into places that are hardly at the top of our bucket list but they are truly a major part of our collective achievements. We are - even when we despair - a community.
WELCOME TO TOWN HALL LOS ANGELES
One of the Top 10 Leadership Forums in the nation, TOWN HALL Los Angeles has been a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization supported since 1937 by foundations, corporations and Angelenos who believe in open public discussion. Our mission is to help people be well informed on the most timely and compelling issues that impact their businesses, communities and personal interests. Town Hall is dedicated to promoting civic participation through public discussion of issues of regional, national and international significance.
Town Hall is comprised of a large, diverse cross-section of members from business, community, civic, and nonprofit organizations across the greater Los Angeles area who are seeking information from a trusted nonpartisan source. Members receive discounted and priority seating at events and can also access audio recordings and transcripts of Town Hall programs. Members also receive inside access to briefings and exclusive behind the scenes tours of Southern California’s revered institutions. Membership dues are tax deductible and also help to underwrite our American Heritage Student Program that provides funding for thousands of high school students and their teachers to attend Town Hall events.
To learn more about Town Hall Los Angeles membership, or to join or renew, visit our membership page here.
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Remember when letters were answered, calls were returned and invitations were acknowledged? It really did happen once...I swear. Then technology crept up on us and passive-aggressive behavior became the de facto standard. Just think about how easy it is to do nothing - treating modern communications as a screening tool or gating principle. This way, an invitation or email can be ignored because it's not as dangerous to the relationship or someone's self-interest by saying no or declining - and passive-aggressives can't do that anyhow. So we've all adopted their very successful m.o.
It's true and I admit it. I've been living under a rock. I thought this was a forthright, upstanding community. Oh well. When the Anti-Corruption Report Number 5, authored by Dick Simpson, et al., was published in February, 2012 under the title of "Chicago and Illinois, Leading the Pack in Corruption" I smiled knowingly. "Aha", said I to myself, "what a surprise". Been there, seen it, chose not to live there. Then I read the report. The first thing that jumps out is that this report is not a partisan screed. There is only one measure of corruption used: the conviction of a public official.
One of Los Angeles' greatest characteristics is the stunning optimism of its citizens. Certainly the remarkable climate has something to do with it - the eternal Spring that creates a spotless mind. But the downside of this great climate is that people usually love it when it rains since there's finally "weather". But there are far too few rainy days for our growing population. Can't drink the ocean (yet), can't pump enough, borrow enough or recycle enough (yet) to meet the needs of the millions of people who water lawns, wash clothes (don't forget the cars) and themselves.
At a recent gathering of formerly politically aware and engaged folks, I heard the following: "Did you hear the latest about the campaign?" "No, and don't tell me. If I hear one more word about politics, I'll melt down. I've even stopped listening to the news...only traffic reports." The repetition of the same old themes, the same old nuggets of news, the same old "gotcha" lines from the same old sources is getting, well, old. And the real fun hasn't even begun yet. So what's a cranky person to do?