City at a Crossroads: Poverty, Jobs and the Future of Los Angeles


A rapidly shrinking middle class. Millions living in or near poverty. A growing population without adequate health care, housing and nutrition. Los Angeles is at a crossroads. One of the world’s great metropolises, Los Angeles exerts global influence and has the potential to become a model for 21st Century urban innovation.

This brief explores the economic upheaval that threatens the stability of the region, its impact on all residents, and the important role local government can play in restoring good jobs and economic opportunity to Los Angeles. Rising deprivation and inequality are not merely moral dilemmas—they jeopardize the aspirations of all Angelenos to live in security and prosperity.

Every sector—government, business, labor, community—must respond. In particular, city leaders across metropolitan Los Angeles have a crucial role to play in shaping the region’s economy and in tackling urban poverty. By undertaking this challenge, Los Angeles will not only help secure its own future, it will serve as a model for metropolitan areas across the country.