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.

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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?

It was a really good year. Really it was. After all, we're still on the right side of the dirt - and that makes it a good year. As we clean out our files, resurrect our resolutions and prepare for all the fascinating things to come - we have a lot to remember and be thankful for. Happy holidays and Happy New Year to all who read these posts - and our very best wishes for a New Year that is at least as interesting as this one has been and that finds us all wishing each other well, once again! Jon Goodman, President

My mother used to say that some days crawled but the years always flew. I'd laugh and reply that from my vantage point, everything was moving at the speed of sound. Wrong again. Now that we approach the end of 2011 and with it the endless summations of the year's events and happenings, I realize that it all moves at the speed of light. Where did the year go? Happily, it went into providing some outstanding programming for all of us. We got a glimpse of the view from the top, a look into tomorrow's economy and visions of what is and what could be.

You might have missed it (bet you did), but the Senior Senator from California, Dianne Feinstein spoke at Town Hall Los Angeles today. She said important things - really important things - about water, the Iranian plot against the Saudi Ambassador to the US, about the jobs bill and how the Senate is working (or not) these days, about cloture and cabbages and kings.



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