Urban Planners, geek out! Michelle Rivera, of UCLA’s Masters in Urban and Regional Planning program, connects with us to talk about her journey towards this esteemed graduate program. Shout outs and discussion items include Michelle and I’s coming out of UC Davis (go Aggies!), the importance of nonprofit work for learning the how-tos of community organizing, Michelle’s time with Chancee Martorell of the Thai Community Development Center in East Hollywood, her work with L.A. City Hall’s recent decision to codify the Al Fresco program, and of course, her fundraising efforts to get to Paris, France this fall, where she’ll continue her studies for three months at Sciences Po University. Please find her fundraiser for this HERE, and follow her journey via Instagram at @mujer.de.epazote.

Also, remember to submit your voicemail to the new J.T. Weather Report!

Here are the four easy steps to take when calling into the hotline:

I. Choose an interesting nickname for yourself to keep your anonymity.

II. Tell me which side of The City (or County) you’re calling from.

III. Tell me how you’re liking the weather, or if you’ve seen anything interesting through it like a downed power line, fallen tree, a pack of opossums, etc.

IV. Keep it under a minute! This helps us tune in to more reports rather than less.

***And if you’d like to keep your number anonymous as well, did you know that pressing *67 before you dial a number keeps your number blocked? That’s right!

Submit your voicemail to the J.T. Weather Report at (213) 458-5042.

For more of these updates and then some, follow J.T. the L.A. Storyteller on Apple or Spotify, then rate and review us!

And if you’d like to tune into the show from elsewhere, please see our RSS feed here: https://jmbtms.com/category/podcast/feed/


four colourful houses

Here is The City’s new Plan to House L.A. from 2023 – 2029

According to the L.A. City Planning department:

“On June 14, 2022, the full City Council adopted the targeted amendments. The Housing Element will guide the creation and implementation of the City’s housing policy from 2021 to 2029. On June 29 [2022], the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) informed the City of Los Angeles that its 2021-2029 Housing Element was in full compliance with State law.” The plan is said to begin implementation as early as this February 2023

From the Executive Summary of this report, according to former Mayor Garcetti in his 2021 State of the City address:

“Loving Los Angeles means facing the bitter truth about our past that maps of our city were drawn to protect the wealth of white people and destroy the wealth of Black people and other people of color. Redlining and exclusionary zoning resulted in a city where today Black and Mexican origin families hold 1/90th of the wealth of white families on average, it’s a city where Black people are overrepresented among those experiencing homelessness by a factor of four, and where Latino homelessness accounts for the greatest jump of newly homeless Angelenos.”

You can also learn more about this document via L.A. City Planning’s FAQ page.



In our 71st episode, we chat with Alexandria Contreras (@alexfordowney) (they/them pronouns), a queer, non-binary Latinx freeway-fighter in Downey. Alex and I have a magnetic conversation on the white and exclusionary origins of single-family housing in cities like Downey, and how local laws there continue preventing the construction of affordable housing for a new generation of residents. We also discuss how Alex took their experience growing up in the suburban community to launch a campaign for Downey’s City Council. Alex also describes forming the Happy City Coalition, a coalition of gateway cities in Southeast Los Angeles formed to stop Metro from displacing communities in the interest of more freeways. To keep up with their work, follow Alex on Twitter at @alexfordowney.