The New Los Angeles
Produced and Directed by Lyn Goldfarb
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. In 2005, with the support of a diverse citywide coalition, Antonio Villaraigosa became the first Latino Mayor of Los Angeles since 1872. Before his election he was a Los Angeles City Councilman, California State Assemblyman and Speaker of the California State Assembly.
Mayor Tom Bradley. Mayor of Los Angeles for an unprecedented five terms. From 1973-1993 he guided Los Angeles in becoming a major American city. Bradley was the first African American Mayor elected in a major U.S. city without an African American majority. Bradley was elected through the efforts of a citywide racial, religious and ethnic coalition that formed around his candidacy.
Phil Depoian. At age 19, Depoian joined Tom Bradley's 1969 mayoral campaign and served as an Assistant to Mayor Bradley for all five terms. Depoian is currently Deputy Director of Los Angeles World Airports.
Raphael Sonenshein. Professor of Political Science and Public Administration at California State University, Fullerton; political commentator; and author of two books that detail LA's political history over the last fifty years. Sonenshein also served as Executive Director of the Los Angeles Charter Reform Commission, which provided the first successful and comprehensive update to the city's 1925 charter.
Kerman Maddox. From 1984 to 1988, Maddox served as Police Liaison and Special Assistant to Mayor Tom Bradley. He is now a principal in Dakota Communications, a Los Angeles-based public affairs consulting firm, and is a political commentator for KCAL Television.
Mayor Sam Yorty. Mayor of Los Angeles from 1961 to 1973, Mayor Yorty was a conservative Democrat who in 1969 defeated challenger Tom Bradley in a mayoral campaign known for its divisiveness and racism. In 1973, he was defeated by Tom Bradley.
Cesar Chavez. Cesar Chavez (along with Dolores Huerta) founded the United Farm Workers Union in 1962, and launched a national movement that focused attention on rights, respect and union recognition for the nation’s farm workers. Using non-violent tactics of boycotts, picketing and strikes, California’s primarily Latino migrant workers became the new civil rights movement.
Miguel Contreras. Head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor from 1996 until his death in 2005, Contreras was responsible for transforming the Los Angeles labor movement into a political force by mobilizing the immigrant workforce. Born into a family of farm workers, he started his career in labor as an activist and organizer for the United Farm Workers Union.
Harold Meyerson. Executive Editor and Political Editor of the LA Weekly from 1989 to 2001, Meyerson is considered one of the most astute commentators on Los Angeles politics. Meyerson is Editor at Large of The American Prospect, an op-ed columnist for the Washington Post, and continues as Editor At Large for the LA Weekly.
Maria Elena Durazo. As Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Durazo is the first woman ever to lead the country’s largest labor council. She was President of UNITE HERE! Local 11 from 1989-2006, representing more than 440,000 hotel and restaurant workers in Los Angeles. Under Durazo’s leadership, Local 11 has become a vital force in the life of Los Angeles and in the debate over the city's future. Maria Elena is a lawyer, an activist in the immigrant movement, and grew up in a family of migratory farm workers in California's Central Valley.
Karen Bass. Assembly Member Karen Bass was elected in 2004 to represent California's 47th Assembly District. She has been a longtime community activist, and was Executive Director of the Community Coalition, a grassroots community-based organization, which she founded in 1990, to change public policy and improve the quality of life in South Los Angeles.
Bong Hwan Kim. Former Executive Director of the Korean Youth and Community Center and the MultiCultural Collaborative, and co-chair of the Black-Korean Alliance, Kim has been actively involved in advancing social, political and economic development in communities of color for over 25 years. He is currently Executive Director of Pasadena Neighborhood Housing Services.
Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr. Considered to be one of the leading architects of the Civil Rights movement and a personal tutor on nonviolence to Martin Luther King, Rev. Lawson served as President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for 14 years. He is Pastor Emeritus of the Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles, where he served as Pastor from 1975 to 1999. He is the Chair of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), working to promote economic justice, community diversity and solidarity.
Mayor Richard Riordan. Elected to succeed long-term Mayor Tom Bradley in 1993, Richard Riordan, a successful attorney and businessman and a liberal Republican, served as Mayor of Los Angeles for two terms until 2001.
Jackie Goldberg. Two-term State Assemblywoman representing the 45 th District in Los Angeles, Goldberg served on the Los Angeles City Council for two terms, where she authored Los Angeles’ nationally-recognized Living Wage Ordinance. She was a classroom teacher until 1983 and a Los Angeles Unified School Board member from 1983-1991.
Madeline Janis-Aparicio. As Co-Founder and Executive Director of LAANE (Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy), Madeline Janis-Aparicio led the historic campaign to pass LA's Living Wage Ordinance. Under her stewardship, LAANE has become an influential voice for the working poor and has spearheaded numerous campaigns to improve wages, benefits and working conditions in Los Angeles.
Fernando Guerra. Director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University since 1996, Guerra is also an Associate Professor at LMU in the departments of Chicano studies and Political Science, and has authored numerous publications that focus on politics and issues of ethnicity in California.
Carol Schatz. The first woman to serve as President and CEO of the Central City Association, a coalition of 450 property owners in LA's Downtown core, Schatz is known for her efforts to reinvigorate Downtown Los Angeles. She also serves on the Los Angeles Convention and Exhibition Center Authority.
Antonia Hernandez. President and CEO of the California Community Foundation since 2004 and a trustee for the Rockefeller Foundation, Hernández was previously President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where she spearheaded the successful legal challenge to Proposition 187.
Roxana Tynan. As Economic Development Deputy to former Los Angeles Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg, Tynan was instrumental in shaping LA's Living Wage Ordinance. She is currently the Accountable Development Director at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy.
David Malmuth. With 20 years experience developing high-profile projects nationally, including New York’s development of 42nd Street, Malmuth is the developer who created Hollywood and Highland, the entertainment, retail and hotel complex which helped revitalize Hollywood. He worked with then City Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg and LAANE to create a groundbreaking community benefits agreements.
Rosa Rivera. Rivera has worked as a room attendant at the Wilshire Grand Hotel for the last 18 years. She has worked in the hotel industry for over 30 years, has led delegations and organized workers ready to strike on the 2004 contract fight. She is currently undergoing further organizing training to be a more effective leader. Rivera is from Michoacan, Mexico and is married with three children.
Victoria Vergara. Vergara has worked as a housekeeper in the Bonaventure Hotel for 17 years, and has been a union leader with UNITE HERE! Local 11 for 8 years. She is a single mother with two daughters, who have helped her to mobilize for many political campaigns. Victoria has performed civil disobedience demanding a better future and was one of the courageous people who went on the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride.
Amanda Escobar. Escobar has worked as a room attendant in the Bel Air Hotel for the last 13 years. She represents her co-workers in the Housekeeping Department and organized a non-union department of gardeners to be part of the bargaining union. She has been arrested several times to save the jobs of hundreds of workers, and has been trained in political campaigning. She is a single mother from El Salvador with two children.
Maria Mijangos. Mijangos has worked as a housekeeper at the Biltmore Hotel for the last 11 years, selling cosmetics to supplement her income. As Shop Steward of the Biltmore, Maria represents and organizes her co-workers in the housekeeping department to assert their rights and engage in collective bargaining. She has been arrested 5 times, most recently during the contract fight. Maria is a single mother of 4 from Guatemala.