The LA Podcast

Guests

Spike Friedman

Organizer

NolympicsLA

Twitter

Spike Friedman is the editor and co-founder of Knock LA, and organizer at Ground Game LA and NOlympics LA. NOlympics LA was launched by the Housing & Homelessness committee of the Los Angeles chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America in 2017. The coalition has since expanded to include over two dozen partner orgs based in LA and California, as well as a growing transnational movement with dozens of groups around the world.

Listen

Anna Scott

Reporter/Producer

KCRW

Twitter

Anna Scott is a reporter and producer for KCRW, focused on housing. She reported for KCRW’s podcast There Goes the Neighborhood: Los Angeles. Before that, she produced Madeleine Brand’s news program “Press Play,” and Warren Olney’s “To the Point” and “Which Way, LA?” Anna reports regularly on homelessness for NPR’s national programs. She’s previously written for Bloomberg Businessweek, the Los Angeles Times and various local publications.

Listen

Nithya Raman

City Council Candidate

Nithya for the City

Twitter

Nithya Raman is an urban planner, community advocate, and mother of two. Prior to life in Los Angeles, Nithya started Transparent Chennai in India. The organization worked with residents of slums to create data that strengthened their advocacy for resources like running water and basic sanitation.

In 2014, she worked for the City Administrative Officer of Los Angeles. In her time there, Nithya wrote a report detailing how the city was spending over $100 million on homelessness, the majority of which was spent on jailing our unhoused neighbors, rather than helping them into stable, permanent homes with access to services.

In response to a growing population of people experiencing homelessness in her own community, Nithya and a group of neighbors started SELAH Neighborhood Homeless Coalition in 2017. SELAH has organized regular outreach programs, and brought regular hot meals and showers to a region of the city severely lacking in such resources. The coalition has enabled hundreds of volunteers to get involved and educated about the growing homelessness crisis. Nithya also continues to serve as Co-Chair of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council’s Homelessness Committee, a position she has held since early 2017.

This past year, Nithya served as executive director of Time’s Up Entertainment, the women’s rights movement furthering equity and safety for women in the entertainment industry. Under Nithya’s leadership, the team launched a critics database, a mentorship program for the executive and producer pipeline, Know your Rights resources related to sexual misconduct in the workplace, and created regular opportunities to strengthen community building.

Nithya holds a Masters degree in urban planning from MIT and an undergraduate degree from Harvard. She lives in Silver Lake with her husband and twin preschoolers.

Listen

Aaron Mendelson

Data Reporter

KPCC

Twitter

I use data to power accountability journalism. That means digging through databases and public records to uncover stories about how your identity and zip code can affect the kind of justice you get in Southern California.

As a data reporter, my work spans different beats. I’ve covered the avalanche of outside money in local politics, spiking firearms sales, Los Angeles’ bicycle infrastructure, and police militarization. I helped build a unique database on police shootings in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties for KPCC’s Officer Involved project.

I attended Macalester College and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and got my start in journalism at KFAI Fresh Air Radio in Minneapolis.

Listen

Jessica Meaney

Executive Director

Investing in Place

investinginplace.org

Jessica Meaney is the Founder and Executive Director of Investing in Place, an organization committed to transportation investments that strengthen communities. Jessica moved to Los Angeles over 20 years ago and chose not to own a car. It was a choice she was privileged to make and continues to inspire her professional commitment to improve Greater Los Angeles County to become more safe, reliable, and accessible for all, especially for those with the least options. This passion pushed her to create Investing in Place in January 2015.

 

Listen

Haley Potiker

Senior Communications Specialist

LAANE

Twitter

Haley Potiker is a Communications Specialist at LAANE. Prior to joining LAANE in 2017, she worked on 2017’s ‘No on S’ and 2016’s ‘Yes on HHH’, as well as for a variety of other ballot measures, politicians, and nonprofits. Haley especially treasures her time spent with the communications offices of Senator Barbara Boxer’s 2010 re-election campaign and with then-city council president Eric Garcetti. Haley graduated from Occidental College in 2013 with a B.A. in Politics. Born in Long Beach and raised in Orange County, she has called the east side of LA home for the better part of a decade but still cheers for the Anaheim Angels.

 

Listen

Doug Smith

Senior Writer

Los Angeles Times

Twitter

Senior writer Doug Smith scouts Los Angeles for the ragged edges where public policy meets real people, combining data analysis and gumshoe reporting to tell L.A. stories through his 45 years of experience covering the city. As past database editor from 2004 through 2015, he hunted down and analyzed data for news and investigative projects. Besides “Grading the Teachers,” he contributed to investigations of construction abuse in the community college system and the rising toll of prescription drug overdoses. Smith has been at The Times since 1970, covering local and state government, criminal justice, politics and education. He was the lead writer for Times’ coverage of the infamous North Hollywood shootout, winner of a 1997 Pulitzer Prize. Between 2005 and 2008, Smith made five trips to Iraq on loan to our foreign desk.

 

Listen

BENJAMIN ORESKES

Staff Writer

Los Angles Times

Twitter

Benjamin Oreskes is a general assignment reporter in the California section. Previously, he wrote the Essential California newsletter. Before coming to The Times in February 2017, Oreskes covered foreign policy at Politico in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Northwestern University, and looks forward to seeing the Wildcats play in the Rose Bowl sometime soon.

 

Listen

Matt Tinoco

Housing and Homelessness Reporter

89.3 KPCC

Twitter

Matt Tinoco is a journalist who grew up in Los Angeles. His work on various Los Angeles-related subjects can be found in publications like Mother Jones, Politico Magazine, the Los Angeles Review of Books and Curbed Los Angeles.

 

Listen

Carolina Miranda

Staff Writer

Los Angeles Times

Twitter

Carolina A. Miranda is a Los Angeles Times staff writer covering a wide gamut of culture, including visual art, architecture and film, not to mention performance art cabaret divas. Her work often looks at how art intersects with politics, gender and race — from the ways in which artists are tackling the U.S.-Mexico border to the ways in which art intersects with development and gentrification. She is a regular contributor to KCRW’s “Press Play” and was a winner of the 2017 Rabkin Prize in Visual Arts Journalism.

 

Listen