connect / 2020

Making L.A. a Friendlier City

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Mighty Companions

Instead of people being on devices while waiting for a movie to start, on line in a market, or drinking coffee at Starbucks, it will get people connecting with each other, person to person. This project will create a wave of friendliness washing over the city, enhancing the attraction of L.A. as a place to visit and to live. Making L.A. a Friendlier City will burst into reality when we are out of lockdown, helping us come together as one city let alone as one humanity.

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • City of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Pilot project or new program

If you are submitting a collaborative proposal, please describe the specific role of partner organizations in the project.

Although at this time there are no collaborators, I want to answer this question because my project will be heavily dependent on collaboration. I will recruit widely for organizations in Los Angeles to be collaborators who get the word about the project out to their constituents.

What is the need you’re responding to?

This project was sparked by my awareness that when I’m in small towns it feels different, like I’m welcome and I feel the warmth, whereas in L.A., wherever I go people are closed off, separated, and indifferent to one another. It’s a tenet of my beliefs that community and oneness is what we were designed for and for many years all the projects and events I‘ve produced have been to foster connection and coming to care about each other as much as we care about ourselves. Before the virus hit, this project came to me as what could change the vibe in L.A., and the value of it for when we emerge as an interactive society has only increased with the experience of everyone in it together that we are having now.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?

For many years, I’ve been producing projects and events to raise consciousness – early on at an individual level and moving more and more into looking at the collective consciousness and how mired it is in oppositional thinking where what we need, for all of our good, is to be cooperative. Also, I have a history of doing things related to play, having discovered early on that it was a useful modality to get people loosened up and engaged. This project has some of that spirit! Here’s some history on the things I’ve done:

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?

Direct impact
Indirect impact

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

When I worked on this, before the virus hit, I thought it would produce massive change in the ambiance in L.A., and that expectation has only been enhanced by the current situation. It would provide impetus to ride the wave of connection and caring that has come from our crisis, where, when we emerge from quarantine, it would help us to not go back to the level of alienation and competition that we were in. Working together, caring about the good of the whole, is the ticket to success. As Buckminster Fuller prophetically said, “We have enough resources to house, clothe and feed everybody on the planet,” but we just lack the will. Moving us to a camaraderie where we would work together is the greatest impact the project could have.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

The project would result in people engaging in movie theaters and at plays, on lines, at sports events, in markets, anywhere they rub elbows with others, people would be enrolling each other. In fact, we would get such a friendly spirit going that people wouldn’t even need to be recruited in our formal project to be friendly to each other.

We will notice our fellow Angelinos in a level of engagement that never has been before. One way to measure our success will be sign-ups on the website for updates, bearing in mind that the numbers of people who will be involved will be larger than the sign-ups. Another measure will be how many buttons get circulated and worn.

Which of the connect metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Public arts and cultural events
  • Neighborhood council participation
  • Volunteerism

Are there any other LA2050 goal categories that your proposal will impact?

  • LA is the best place to LEARN
  • LA is the best place to CREATE
  • LA is the best place to PLAY
  • LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?

  • Access to the LA2050 community
  • Communications support
  • Strategy assistance and implementation