About

Cities are now recognized as the most important laboratory for a successfully organized society, and ground zero for creative ambition. Los Angeles is an important hub with powerful symbolic value. Yet, it is often overlooked for the role it plays in the world both financially and culturally. We are hindered by a traditionally weak civic fabric. LA is a segmented urban network lacking a dynamic, engaged and representative leadership cadre. Furthermore, we have precious limited infrastructure to foster the rise of a new generation dedicated to a sustainable world-class metropolis.

There is glorious LA history to be built upon, and change is happening. This is the perfect time to promote a new kind of civic stewardship representative of today's Los Angeles – a region of unparalleled diversity, technology, entertainment, media, venture capital, environmental consciousness, and creative capital. Accomplishing this here would not only benefit our own community, but also have an impact far beyond our coast.

Future of Cities: Leading in LA is a civic initiative and project of Community Partners that aims to reinvigorate the involvement of civic leaders in creating a vibrant, cutting edge future for Los Angeles. Our goal is to marry vision, leadership and results to fulfill LA's ambitions and achieve our potential. 

Our efforts combine academic study with public engagement, blending innovative collaborations and special events to bring together a cross section of accomplished civic, business, philanthropic, cultural and community leaders.


 

The Team:

The Caspian Agency

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The Caspian Agency is a strategic events consultancy founded in 2005 to create high impact events that connect their clients with their targeted audiences. Caspian is full service and high touch, managing from big picture down to the smallest particulars for large foundations, Fortune 1000 companies or high net-worth individual clients. They are especially adept at planning events that unite bottom line and social impact. Their client list includes the Skoll Forum, Omidyar and Code for America. Caspian is located in Los Angeles, with staff in San Francisco, Sydney, London and around the U.S. For more information, visit their website at: http://www.caspianagency.com/

LaMont Digital

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LaMont Digital is a specialized social media strategy and management firm. With 15 years combined experience, they offer unique insight into social and digital environments. Their work is forward-looking, innovative and practical, and results in highly engaged online communities. LaMont Digital provides daily execution of social channels, community management, content creation, event marketing, a newsletter program and social media advertising. Their client list includes the California Endowment, KPCC and SXSW. For more information, visit their website at: http://lamont.digital/

Hershey Cause Communications

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Hershey Cause Communications helps purpose-driven organizations amplify their impact through best-in-class counsel on strategic communications, fundraising and advocacy. Hershey Cause Communications takes a holistic approach to communications and provides a range of services to augment client communications capacity, including branding, robust social media campaigns, event marketing, graphic design and creative services. Clients include the California Wellness Foundation, Southern California Grantmakers and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. For more information, visit their website at: http://www.hersheycause.com/

The Huntington-USC Institute on California & The West (ICW)

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ICW is a collaboration between the Huntington Library and the University of Southern California. Founded in 2004, ICW exists to further the study of the history and culture of California and the American West and to bring the fruits of that study to the widest possible audience. Through sponsorship of scholarship and research, ICW draws on the resources of the University of Southern California and The Huntington Library to build an innovative and unique collaboration between a research university and a research library. For more information, visit their website at: http://dornsife.usc.edu/icw

Donna Bojarsky, Founder & President

Donna Bojarsky is a second generation Angeleno who believes deeply in the potential of her frontier hometown. She has dedicated her life to forms of advocacy and causes, having worked for Mayor Tom Bradley, President Bill Clinton and the Honorable Richard Katz. She has managed the philanthropy of Richard Dreyfuss and Norm Pattiz, and serves as contributing editor to Los Angeles magazine.  Founder of the New Leaders Project of the LA Jewish Federation, the Foreign Policy Roundtable and co-founder of LA Works, LA's premiere volunteer action center, Donna also serves as an appointee to California Volunteers (recently a recipient of the Trailblazer of Service Award) and the LA County Human Relations Commission.

Shawn Landres, Senior Advisor

Shawn Landres is a social entrepreneur and independent scholar known primarily for applied research related to faith-based social innovation and community development. As the co-founder of Jumpstart, a nonprofit philanthropic research organization,he has worked with the White House on Jewish affairs and issues related to faith-based social enterprise. Landres currently chairs the City of Santa Monica’s Social Services Commission, and the Los Angeles County’s Productivity Investment Board. UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs appointed him as a Civil Society Fellow in 2015. He also chairs the board of Impact Hub Los Angeles, part of the global network of co-working centers supporting social entrepreneurship. Landres graduated from Columbia University and received a Master’s degree from Oxford in Social Anthropology and the University of California, Santa Barbara, in Religious Studies, as well as a Doctorate in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Tracy Austin, Fundraising Consultant

Tracy Austin has fifteen years of experience in politics and government, on the national, state and local level. She has been a fundraising consultant at Austin Egoscue Development for the past five years. Prior to that she was Finance Director for Governor Gray Davis' recall election and a member of the Finance team that raised an unprecedented $68 million dollars for Governor Davis' reelection campaign. Tracy worked in Governor Davis' administration and in President Clinton's administration. Tracy earned her B.A. in History from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas in 1995 and now lives in Los Angeles with her husband Ben and daughters Fiona and Eloise. 

Stephanie Avedon, Chief of Staff

Stephanie Avedon is a nonprofit, project management and organizational development specialist with 20 years of experience in nonprofits, fiscal sponsorship, and the private sector. Stephanie has served many nonprofits in the LA area including Beit T’Shuvah, IKAR, The Giving Back Fund, and Jumpstart Labs. She earned her BA at University of Missouri and lives in Venice with her husband, Joshua, children, Elias, Navi, and Sarit, and rescue dog extraordinaire, Oogie. 

 


 

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