As we barrel toward the New Year, it’s time to look back on 2018 and assess what happened and where we find ourselves.
Trying to pick out themes and important threads in a year defined by a deluge of news is a daunting task. Each day seemed to bring a fresh crisis, some new worry or concern that, in the moment, sought to overwhelm.
The Los Angeles community of business was stalwart, however.
Downtown towers continued to rise unperturbed by the stock market’s recent turbulence and the political circus in Washington, D.C.
Los Angeles International Airport began its ambitious makeover with billions of dollars in contracts doled out to contractors.
Developments in Chinatown, Hollywood, the Arts District and along the Sunset Strip showed the diversity of the city’s physical transformation.
A build out of the Metro rail lines continued, laying a path to connect the disparate edges of the ever-sprawling city.
Ships came and went from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, setting records for cargo volume, even as a trade war between the United States and China loomed.
LeBron James arrival in Purple and Gold set off a new basketball frenzy in Los Angeles, that, somehow, has been almost matched in the NBA’s early going by an upstart Clippers team that has challenged for the league’s best record.
Not everything was rosy, however.
There were the Dodgers, once again losers on baseball’s biggest stage.
The #MeToo movement continued to reveal an ugly side of human nature, long present in the business community, which is just now beginning to reckon with these demons.
Maybe the greatest disappointment was Los Angeles’ struggle to find substantive solutions to the city’s long-term homelessness crisis.
Yes, some dollars began to flow in, and Mayor Eric Garcetti devoted the occasional public appearance to a plaintive defense of his administration’s efforts to come up with a plan, but overall, little progress was made.
And maybe that’s a reality that must be faced: homelessness – and particularly the root causes of substance abuse and mental illness – are not scourges that are defeated in a year or even a decade. It’s a difficult road but one the community of business should continue to champion for as long as it takes to find a solution.
After all, downtown wasn’t built in a day. This is a lesson we’d all do well to remember as we head into 2019 and beyond.
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