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United States Saw Close To 43,000 Road Deaths In 2021, Its Highest Total In 16 Years

Published May 18, 2022 at 10:02 AM PDT
An officer drives his cruiser to a car accident involving a drunk driver on Broadway, in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on May 14, 2022.
An officer drives his cruiser to a car accident involving a drunk driver on Broadway, in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on May 14, 2022.

Finding Housing Becoming Even More Difficult In Los Angeles, Inland Empire As Rents Skyrocket, Limited Units Available

VGP Equitable Economies Renters 5.18.22

The primary election is less than three weeks away, and most voters have received their mail-in ballots. Here at KPCC and LAist, we’re shifting the focus of our political coverage away from politicians and toward voters. To that end, we asked listeners and readers to tell us what’s important to you this election season, and the questions and comments we received fell largely into four key topics, what we’re calling “destiny issues”: housing and homelessness, systemic racism, equitable economies, and education. So here on AirTalk, we’re spending the month before the primary drilling down on each of those four areas.

Today on the show, we’re focused on equitable economies, and how housing remains one of the major concerns for residents in Los Angeles and across the Inland Empire. Renting a home or apartment is becoming even more challenging – and competitive – as monthly rents continue to rise and demand for housing remains well above available units. We’ll talk to Joe Donlin, deputy director of Strategic Actions for a Just Economy, a nonprofit that focuses on economic justice in housing and development, and director of the UC Riverside Center for Economic Forecasting and Development Christopher Thornberg, as well as and Saba Mwine, managing director of USC’s Homlessness Policy Research Institute, to discuss the extent of the housing crisis and rising rents across Southern California.

And our newsroom is getting you ready for the primary with the “Voter Game Plan,” a comprehensive guide on that will help ensure you’re prepared to vote and give you in-depth information about the candidates and issues.

United States Saw Close To 43,000 Road Deaths In 2021, Its Highest Total In 16 Years

Traffic Deaths 5.18.22

Nearly 43,000 people were killed on U.S. roads last year, the highest number in 16 years as Americans returned to the roads after pandemic restrictions. A new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that last year, multi-vehicle crashes increased 16%, and pedestrian deaths rose 13%, showing that roads across the country are looking less safe.

Today on AirTalk we discuss these numbers with Washington Post transportation reporter Michael Laris and Leah Shahum, founder & director of the Vision Zero Network.

With files from the Associated Press

LA Public School Enrollment Could Drop 30% Over The Next 10 Years

LAUSD Enrollment 5.18.22

The future of Los Angelespublic schools looks bleak after the Board of Education outlined predictions that enrollment could drop by nearly 30% over the next decade. The drop could mean campus closures, cut programs and a precarious outlook for jobs. According to the L.A. Times, the enrollment concerns come as LAUSD is considering contract negotiations. The teachers union is asking for a 20% raise over the next couple of years. LAUSD enrollment has been slowly declining over the last couple decades, but the pandemic made things worse. Pedro Noguera, dean of the USC Rossier School of Education, and Kyle Stokes, KPCC & LAist senior reporter covering K-12 education joins AirTalk to discuss some of the factors that play into this trend and what it could mean for the future.

American Schools, Including In LAUSD, Remain Highly Segregated According To New Index

School Segregation 5.18.22

Researchers at USC and Stanford have created a new tool to track neighborhood and school segregation across the United States. The results are alarming. According to the Segregation Index, schools are highly racially and economically segregated. White and Black segregation in schools that are part of large districts increased 35% over the past three decades. That percentage increases to 47% when looking at segregation between poor and non-poor students. Ann Owens, one of the creators of the Segregation Index and professor of sociology and public policy at USC and Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA and author of the new book “The Walls Around Opportunity: The Failure of Colorblind Policy for Education,” join to discuss the latest findings and potential solutions.

The Circus Is Back In Town! Ringling Returns Minus The Animal Acts

Open Phones Circus Returns 5.18.22

Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is making its grand return to the big top. The company announced its coming back after it shut down about five years ago due to lagging sales and public outcry over acts including animals like lions and tigers. The circus shuttered after nearly 150 years of performances. This time around, the show won’t contain any animal acts. The company credits an outdated business model to their demise, according to the New York Times, not disdain for animal acts. Still, some question whether the revived show will garner enough support without those acts. We talk with listeners about their favorite (and least favorite) memories of the circus, as well as from current and past circus professionals about the industry.

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