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Saturday, May 21, 2022

LABJ Insider: Metro’s Washington Is in Transition

Phillip Washington, who already has a big job on his hands as chief executive of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority, has added another impressive role to his portfolio.

The Metro chief has been named to the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris transition team, where he’ll lead a group of 18 transportation experts who will evaluate the Department of Transportation, National Transportation Safety Board, Amtrak and the Federal Maritime Commission for the incoming administration.

Washington, who has led Metro since 2015, has continued to expand the agency during his tenure. He now manages a $7 billion budget and oversees 11,000 employees. The agency’s rail, highway, and bus lines and projects affect every corner of L.A. County, from LAX to downtown and beyond.

Washington is likely just the first of many prominent Angelenos from both the public and private sectors who figure to get a call from the new administration. Local names being bandied about for potential roles in Washington, D.C., include Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Rep. Karen Bass.  
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Tough times lead to creative solutions. Witness the pitch from the city of Santa Monica last week, courting production companies on behalf on the Santa Monica Pier’s iconic Ferris wheel. 

The Pacific Wheel remains off limits to locals and tourists alike due to pandemic restrictions, but that doesn’t mean film and TV producers can’t take advantage of the ride and the seaside location for shoots.

With income at Pacific Park in a holding pattern, kudos to management for putting in the extra effort. The Pacific Wheel, by the way, has been featured in productions ranging from “Modern Family” to “Iron Man 2,” so it’s no stranger to the bright lights.
And for any Hollywood types considering a shoot at the pier, know that the Ferris wheel will never throw a tantrum, storm off the set or try to rewrite perfectly good lines.
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Props to downtown law firm Greenberg Glusker, which recently donated a total of $250,000 to four local community organizations to help ease their burden during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Focusing on the issues of hunger, social justice, homelessness and personal protective equipment, Greenburg Glusker handed out $75,000 each to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, homeless support organization PATH and the Equal Justice Initiative. The firm also awarded $25,000 to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

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