use for public access shows? Why not have community technology centers in city schools or community centers that would train kids how to make their own products that we would require the cable stations to support and show?
We need to understand our strengths and expectations, and then figure out technology as the piece that comes after. I would say our strengths are threefold: We're the creative, diversity and entrepreneurial capital of the world.
What are some of your goals for the city, and how can technology support them?
Garcetti: Transportation and traffic is by far the No. 1 issue across geographical, race and class lines in the city. We need to figure out a better way to get around physically.
Our real-time traffic information system is one of the best in the country. We're working hard this year on resynchronizing all of our traffic lights, which should improve traffic 7 percent to 10 percent by itself. That's a huge improvement for the amount of money involved.
LAX [Los Angeles International Airport] needs to be modernized, but people who live around the airport don't want any more pollution and air traffic. We own land in Palmdale where we could build a great airport that would essentially be a hub for the West Coast. But we need high-speed rail to move people in and out of there.
At the Port of Los Angeles, one-third of the pollution in the L.A. area comes from container ships idling on diesel fuel. They could plug in electrically like Navy ships do. We're trying to build the technological infrastructure for that through the city Department of Water and Power.
Housing and homelessness is another key issue. Technology really can help change the debate from "not in my back yard" to realizing that we have to plan for growth and accommodate it. How do we use technology to get people away from playing defense about what they're against and to picture what their neighborhoods could look like? Technology tools like GIS let us do workshops that let folks see their streets with many different possibilities -- so they could see that density might be something extremely attractive.
Public safety is the last piece. Police Chief William Bratton and the city government have brought crime down to 1956 levels. We've done that by pushing our people really hard. But you can only stretch that rubber band so far, so we're looking in the next couple of years at building our technology as a way of continuing to drive crime further down.
Our CompStat system, which Chief Bratton first used in New York, has been a great way of seeing what the human eye doesn't pick up. Our PODDS [Portable Officer Data Device System] automates the capture of incident information for officers in the field. Technology in police cars now scans license plates and automatically runs them while an officer is driving, which makes it easier for the LAPD to catch folks who have warrants out for their arrest.
Another thing I would overlay with all of that is using technology to help create open, accessible and caring government.
It doesn't take a lot to blow people's socks off when it comes to customer service in government, because expectations are so low. Whether that's through the 311 call system, or being able to call in to see what happened in a police incident and have that well tracked and not lost in the bureaucracy -- openness and accessibility is the core of all these things.
The city's 311 system has been around for a few years and is expanding. How do you use it?
Garcetti: My 14 City Council colleagues and I use 311 as our preferred constituent services method. Most of us