Skip to main content

New public policy briefing asks “We Are L.A.?”

September 08, 2008

No American metropolis has been more loved or hated than Los Angeles. Witness how for 25 years Phoenix’s mantra has been “We are not L.A.”

Unfortunately, that mantra has not produced an agenda for making Phoenix a better place. “Are nots” and “don’t wants” never turn into action, even when there is agreement on what that action should be. “We Are L.A.?,” the second issue in Morrison Institute’s policy briefing series Forum 411: Engaging Arizona’s Leaders, looks at how smog, congestion, and density havedefined the two places. The briefing provides an overview of the two metro regions and howthey compare on several important measures. The report not only challenges the myth that Phoenix has become too much “like L.A.,” but also proposes a new way of thinking about what it means to be Phoenix. “We Are L.A,?” argues that metro Phoenix must come up its own homegrown identity more powerful than simply “not L.A.”

Sponsored by Westcor, Forum 411 is a quarterly briefing series offering policy, business, and community leaders information on Arizona’s critical issues. Forum 411 refers to Morrison Institute for Public Policy’s location at the ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus at 411 North Central. In addition to each issue briefing, additional information on Forum 411 topics may be found at