Originally Posted at MariaShriver.com.
Standing on the field during the opening ceremony of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, there was a palpable energy that ran through the stadium. There was this sense of optimism – of hope and excitement. A sense that everyone there was a part of something bigger than themselves. It wasn’t about competition, it was about community. It wasn’t about nationalism, it was about a global family.
As Los Angeles kicked off the Special Olympics last weekend, we brought together over 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches from 177 countries. And we welcomed 500,000 spectators from across the globe to cheer on their friends or family, and route for complete strangers. When we did that, we put a spotlight not only on the values of the Special Olympics – the values of hope, opportunity, and inclusion – we put a spotlight on the City of Los Angeles. A city that shares those core values and is proud to host the largest humanitarian and sporting event anywhere in the world in 2015.
As the fiscal year comes to an end, I wanted to share what we have accomplished over the past year. When I took office just over two years ago, I said we would bring City Hall back to basics so that as a city, we could address and improve key services that our citizens need. I am proud to say that after two years, the record shows that we have accomplished just that: we are strengthening the economy, building a sustainable city, and making our municipal government work more effectively and efficiently.
Here's a look at Year 2:
A few weeks ago, over 500 Angelenos gathered at our city’s Department of Water and Power at 8am on a Saturday morning. This is not the typical scene you see at one of our public utilities, but this was not a typical weekend. Saturday and Sunday, June 6-7, was the National Day of Civic Hacking, a 100+ city event organized by the White House where residents offered to give up a day or their whole weekend to use their skills to make their cities better.
The Los Angeles event was organized by the city’s flagship civic technology organization, Hack for LA, and in partnership with the city and chiefly DWP, they organized the largest civic hacking event in the country that weekend. The hundreds of residents who participated spent their weekend not just meeting new friends, or networking; but instead, they were building. They were using their technology, design, and policy expertise to develop solution on three key areas of focus: the drought, community engagement, and transportation -- three areas that all Angelenos can area are priorities.
After the Supreme Court's 5-4 historic decision, Mayor Eric Garcetti stated that "today’s historic Supreme Court ruling is a testament that bias has no place in our laws. I'm proud that Los Angeles has long championed marriage equality. This is not only a victory for freedom, inclusion and love but for the union of a nation founded on the principle that all Americans deserve to be treated equally." As we celebrate love, freedom, and equality today and all days moving forward, let's remember #LGBTheroes that have lead the way so that we could follow and whose fight became our fight.
Bus shelters are one of those city fixtures that we hardly notice until we need them. I know I'm always grateful for the shade and seat a shelter provides while I'm waiting for my ride. Until now, these shelters have dutifully performed their job: give people a place to recharge until they move to their next destination.
But imaginative people in the City of Los Angeles and at Outfront/JCDecaux Street Furniture are seeing the greater potential of bus shelters as technological service providers. The modest shelter can also be a place to recharge, literally, with USB charging stations for your mobile devices. A shelter can also be a source of light with low-energy LED lighting powered by the sun.
Imagine you have a friend that does everything for you: cooks, cleans, and even keeps you alive. What's more, this friend travels hundreds of miles every time you need it.
Water is that friend.
We are now in the fourth consecutive year of drought in California. If we want our friend to be there for us in the future, we need to get creative about how we save water.
Start with some simple steps, like taking shorter showers and fixing leaky faucets. You can make a big difference by switching out water-thirsty lawns for beautiful, California-friendly landscaping. The city will even pay you $3.75 per square foot of lawn you replace.
Let's do this. Let's pledge to use our friend wisely and spread the word on ways to save water.
Water might not be able to speak for itself, but everyone and everything that depends on our friend will appreciate every drop that we save. Thank you for all you do.
Here's a challenge for the digital age: take a multitude of websites published by government agencies and departments across the City of Los Angeles and turn them into a connected experience using as little money as possible and without a centralized marketing group.
Do it without running over brands and visual identities and do it quickly. Make sure everything is touch-responsive, ensure that everything is ADA and 508-compliant, and, most importantly, do NOT require extensive re-engineering or re-hosting of existing websites.
The answer: put a global navigation bar across the top of the existing websites using HTML5 and a very simple (elegant) design using the 110-year-old Los Angeles city seal.
“Our city only succeeds if everyone has an equal shot at success. For too long, our women and girls have been left behind and counted out, and I want Los Angeles to lead in employing and empowering women. This first-of-its-kind report provides us with important information that will help us develop a plan of attack to address gender inequality and the issues impacting women in our city.” - Mayor Eric Garcetti
Read the full report, here.
Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the LAFD's deployment of PulsePoint, a free mobile app that registers people trained in CPR who get alerted when someone nearby needs help, potentially dramatically reducing the time when CPR begins and saving lives when seconds count.
"This app connects trained lifesavers who may already be on scene with people who need immediate help, when seconds count the most," Mayor Garcetti said. "My back to basics agenda is focused on implementing technologies that can make a difference in ways that are most important to our residents, and there is no greater priority than emergency response. I want to see this app activate an army of civilian first responders across Los Angeles," Mayor Garcetti said.