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Lobbyist Report: October 2017
Monday, Oct 23, 2017 @ 05:42 PM

Hip-Hip-Hooray, Los Angeles will be hosting the Olympics in 2028! Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has succeeded in securing the games just eleven years from now. 2024, Garcetti’s original goal, was awarded to Paris.

Los Angeles first hosted the Olympics in 1932. William Garland, President of this very association founded in 1903, was instrumental in procuring, promoting, and producing the Olympics that year. If fact, you can occasionally find William Garland 1932 Olympics commemorative coins on eBay.

The second time for Los Angeles was in 1984. Though Los Angeles still had not opened a single rail line (the Blue Line, Los Angeles to Long Beach, opened in 1990). Only busses trolled the streets spewing noxious diesel fumes. No train lines existed. Even so, the leaders of Los Angeles, especially Mayor Tom Bradley, recognized this possible gridlocking problem, and created a transportation plan that, to my recollection, all Angelenos followed.

Deliveries were restricted to early morning hours, taking thousands of delivery trucks off the streets during the day. How many times have you been behind a UPS truck that suddenly parks in a lane, shuffles through the truck, then makes a leisurely stroll to the delivery address? Daily? Well, back in 1984, that was prohibited and it worked!!! Businesses had to adjust their delivery hours to comply, and it worked! Commuters were asked to carpool, take a vacation, ride a bike, or just stay at home, and it worked! The streets were amazingly clear and open for all the visitors from around the world.

Additionally, many residents saw the opportunity to provide housing for the visitors by providing what is now known as “short-term rentals”, and the sky didn’t fall.

Now, with Lyft/Uber, Airbnb/VRBO, six train lines, and more coming, as well as Metrolink, internet connectivity (not even cell phones back in 1984), 

and much of the infrastructure for events in place or under construction (Inglewood stadium, etc.), the Los Angeles games of 2028 should be another moment of great pride in the continuing growth of Los Angeles as a world-class city.

We have a long way to go to be prepared. The housing crisis will continue until our elected leaders (local, State, & Federal…with emphasis on local elected officials) grow some spine and allow the height and density that creates the urban landspace of a world-class city. We need housing for all those now living on the streets. We need housing for the workers who are the lifeblood of our daily lives (grocery, retail, office, medical, administrative, construction, food service, and pretty much everyone we come in contact with on a daily basis. Workforce housing has disappeared from our area, due the lack of supply, both in ownership and rental opportunities. Only the well-paid workers can afford to live in the area.

Creating more housing opportunities must go hand-in-hand with the Olympics preparations. No more hand-wringing symposiums on possible solutions, it’s time for our elected officials to encourage housing production, instead of devising ways to stifle production by adding the fear of stricter rent control, higher fees, and building less then zoning allows.

Let’s be ready to welcome the 2028 Olympics by actually making a difference in the housing shortage. Time to stop dithering and get to building.

To read more about our industry in Los Angeles, find this article and many more in "Shaping LA," our online magazine. Click Here to read more. 

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