The podcast version of the California Planning & Development Report (www.cp-dr.com), the leading independent source of news and analysis for the urban planning community in California. Covering policy, housing, transportation, finance, trends and more. Featuring Editor Bill Fulton, Contributing Edit… read more
Elected to the Los Angeles City Council in November, Nithya Raman ran on an explicitly urbanist platform. Her slogan: "Nithya for the city." Raman had previously worked in the City Administrator's Office analyzing funding for homelessness initiatives and, more recently, led a nonprofit that advocates for women in the entertainment industry. Initially, though, Raman arrived at public service via urban planning. She earned her master's in urban planning from MIT and spend several years working her in native India, advocating for impoverished populations in Delhi and Chennai.
Raman's council district, District 4, spans both sides of the Hollywood Hills, including wealthy, homeowner-dominated neighborhoods like Larchmont Village and Sherman Oaks as well as denser, lower-income neighborhoods like Van Nuys and Hollywood. Raman's city council platform includes several planks related to progressive land use and attention to disadvantaged populations, including rent forgiveness, subsidized housing, and vastly increased services and housing options for unhoused people. Raman is the second urban planner to serve on the Los Angeles City Council and the first to serve since Ed Reyes was termed out in 2013. In unseating former councilmember David Ryu, Raman became the first challenger to win a council seat in 17 years.
CP&DR's Josh Stephens spoke with Raman on February 18.
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