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How Gig Work Has Evolved Almost Two Years Into The Pandemic

Published February 17, 2022 at 9:33 AM PST
A protestor wears a face mask and gloves as Uber and Lyft drivers with Rideshare Drivers United and the Transport Workers Union of America conduct a ‘caravan protest’ outside the California Labor Commissioner’s office amidst the coronavirus pandemic on April 16, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
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Getty Images North America
A protestor wears a face mask and gloves as Uber and Lyft drivers with Rideshare Drivers United and the Transport Workers Union of America conduct a ‘caravan protest’ outside the California Labor Commissioner’s office amidst the coronavirus pandemic on April 16, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

From A “Megadrought” To Rising Seas: Twin Studies Point To California’s Climate Future

MEGADROUGHT AND SEA LEVEL RISE 2.17.22

Two major studies released this week depict startling realities about the state of Southern California’s climate emergency. One study, led by UCLA, detailed the severity of California’s drought. Through tree-ring patterns, researchers found our current ‘megadrought’ is the driest in at least 1,200 years. The other study, known as the 2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report, found sea levels are projected to rise 10-12 inches in the next 30 years, accompanied by an increase in moderate flooding. Today on AirTalk, Larry rounds up these major climate stories with two of the lead scientists on the research: associate professor of Geology at UCLA Park Williams and Postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Thomas Frederikse.

The Deadline To Enter The LA Mayor’s Race Has Passed -- Exploring The Field Of Candidates And The Issues Most Important To Angelenos

Mayor's Race Check In 2.17.22

Last weekend was the deadline to enter the race for Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, and after months of speculation on whether he’d make a run, local businessman and developer Rick Caruso announced his entry into the race. But Caruso is just the latest entrant into a crowded field that also includes U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass, L.A. City Councilmembers Kevin de León and Joe Buscaino and L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer, just to name a few. And while a new L.A. Times/Berkeley IGS poll shows Congresswoman Bass taking an early lead over her competitors, it also showed that it’s still early in the process, and many of those surveyed weren’t familiar enough with the different candidates yet to have made up their minds.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll check in with Loyola Marymount Professor and Center for the Study of Los Angeles Director Fernando Guerra on the final field of candidates and the problems like, homelessness, crime and housing affordability that they’ll be trying to convince voters in the coming months that they could address if elected.

How Gig Work Has Evolved Almost Two Years Into The Pandemic

Evolution Of Gig Work 2.17.22

It’s been a mixed bag for the gig economy through the coronavirus pandemic. Some sectors have had opportunities to thrive in terms of business demand, like app-based delivery services who saw an uptick in business thanks to an increased demand for contactless delivery of take-out food, groceries and other everyday items. But many of those same kinds of platforms have struggled -- like ridesharing services, which have seen demand for business go down as fewer people go out. And gig workers across Southern California’s entertainment industry lost work when productions shut down early on in the pandemic. So, how has gig work and the gig economy evolved in the time since the pandemic took effect?

Today on AirTalk, we’re joined by UCLA Labor Center Research Director Saba Waheed, who has been following changes in the gig economy throughout the pandemic and will share some of the trends she’s witnessed as gig work has evolved.

COVID-19 AMA: L.A. County Surpasses 30,000 Deaths, Cases Plummet Across The Country, And More

COVID Update 2.17.22

In our continuing series looking at the latest medical research and news on COVID-19, Larry Mantle speaks with Dr. Timothy Brewer, epidemiologist and professor of medicine at UCLA’s school of public health. 

Topics today include:

Is It Time To Update California’s Master Plan For Higher Education?

THE 10TH UC 2.17.22

California has what could be considered a good problem: a lot of undergraduates who qualify for one of the state’s four-year public universities. But there aren’t enough spots for all those worthy students. The Master Plan for Higher Education in California – approved in 1959 – was intended to provide a place “for every person” as the state prepared for an onslaught of students from the baby boom generation. That Master Plan resulted in the UC, CSU, and community college system we have today. However, in the years since the Master Plan’s adoption, competition for admission has become extremely intense: the nonprofit College Futures Foundation estimated in a 2019 study that California’s four-year colleges and universities would be short some 144,000 seats for qualified students by 2030. Right now, students who graduate in the top 9% of their class, or in the top 9% of all California graduates are guaranteed a spot at the University of California. If they’re not admitted to their campus of choice, they get offered a spot “if and where there is space available.” Since 2014, space has only been available for these students at UC Merced. So, is it time to build another UC campus? If so, where should it go? Or is the better option to increase capacity at the campuses we already have to admit more students? Today on AirTalk, we look at California’s Master Plan for Higher Education – and consider whether it’s time for an update. Larry speaks with KPCC and LAist reporters Julia Barajas and Jill Replogle, Audrey Dow, senior vice president of the nonprofit Campaign for College Opportunity, and Lande Ajose, vice president and senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. 

With files from LAist. You can read Julia’s piece about the history of California’s public universities here; you can read Jill’s piece about the future of California’s public universities here.    

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