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Jane Paul on Sustainable Economy in Los Angeles

Jane Paul, >Teaching Faculty and Head of the undergraduate concentration Urban Studies as well as Teaching (and founding) Faculty in the Masters in Urban Sustainability program, has published a series of articles in Dollars & Sense, an online economics publication. The series is titled, “A Sustainable Economy Rises in Los Angeles.” Each installment addresses an important aspect of Los Angeles’ economy in terms of historical context, present circumstances, and potential for future improvement.

The first article, “Financing an Equitable Economy in Los Angeles,” discusses financial lending in the city, focusing on loans for small businesses and families. The second, “Workplace Solidarity in the Equitable Economy,” talks about business collectives and worker-owned cooperatives. “Hope for Housing in California’s Equitable Economy,” delves into the pressing need for housing solutions in LA and outlines some examples of successful housing-model alternatives. The series is informed, realistic, and hopeful. Paul’s introduction states: In response to the needs of our communities, individuals and working families, an alternative equitable economy is emerging, orchestrated by a growing army of change-makers who are building viable options for a Los Angeles that is ready to construct and cultivate equity. These contributors are versed in worker ownership, microfinance, community wealth building, shared equity models and principles of economic democracy.

When asked about her motivation for writing the articles, Paul responded: “As a teacher, longtime activist and practitioner in economic justice, it has become important to me to write about these emerging activities in Los Angeles as I learn more about both the deep economic struggles of most people in Southern California and the wildly inspiring possibilities for an alternative economy— an economy that offers opportunity for financial stability, safe housing, and workplace dignity, that raises up the people’s voice, that creates a democratic platform, and that strengthens the way we interact together in our communities. We may occasionally need a reminder of how well we can and do work together.”

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