Somewhere near and dear to my heart: Los Angeles


For those of you living in LA, I’m sure by now a lot of you have heard about the upcoming election for the Mayor of LA — an election where your vote actually counts. I hope you’ll join me in supporting Eric Garcetti, and encouraging friends and family to do so also.

Looking from the outside in, it’s been incredibly hard for me to justify moving back to LA after college. I am constantly told by mentors both in and outside of Los Angeles to try NYC and San Francisco first – then come to LA, because it’s not a good place to start a career. People are listening –

  • 4 of 5 of my peers at Harvard will choose the Bay Area over Los Angeles
  • 7 of 8 Stanford Grads will choose the Bay Area over LA – (1.5x more graduates will choose New York!)

I use these two schools only because it shows that LA has failed to curry favor with graduates outside of the city. It all seems so counter-intuitive when you’re living in the second most populous city in the country and  one of the most ethnically diverse.

That’s why I feel so strongly about Eric Garcetti’s campaign. If you’re not familiar:

This is about jobs in LA. One of his core agenda items is promoting the Tech community in LA.  Becoming Tech-friendly means improving the job eco-system in Los Angeles, creating jobs through new companies, and hopefully preventing the outflow to San Francisco, Boston, and NYC by companies who see more promising opportunities there. As many of you know, my dad was subject to this when his division of an investment company he worked for moved to Boston in the early 2000’s —it’s not just the Tech community experiencing this. This affects everyone.

I would love for the decision to move back to LA to be easy. But it isn’t. Los Angeles is by no means a professional oasis. If you’re not interested in Real Estate, Fashion, or Media, it’s hard to conceive of a professional track — the tech industry is, in many ways, struggling to identify itself as an industry independent of these three.  Time and time again, I have seen new companies choose the Bay Area over LA, where there’s more engineers. I have seen great potential in Silicon Beach, but we need the support of local leaders to move forward. We can’t afford to miss an opportunity like this, to be led by someone who understands the importance of technology.

This is about education in LA. We all have nieces and nephews, cousins, or children currently in LA public schools. My own family has had 10 new additions in the last three years. Garcetti is the only candidate who believes in adding computer programming languages to the school curriculum. I can’t stress to you enough the importance of this skill set in the future job market. Harvard’s largest class right now (over 1000 students) is Introduction to Computer Science — and for good reason.  The US is falling behind on this — Los Angeles doesn’t need to.

If you want to learn more, check out his website. Wendy Gruel has resorted to smear tactics and ridiculous propositions — which is both pathetic, and not the kind of politics I want representing me (politics is dirty. It doesn’t need to be that dirty). Make sure you’re registered to vote, and spread the word!