A community forum and panel discussion with George Kieffer, Robin M. Kramer, Geneva Overholser, Kevin Roderick, Joel Sappell, Brady Westwater and David Lauter, LA Times Editor.
George Kieffer is Partner, Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, LLP.
In 2000, Mr. Kieffer was named by the San Francisco Daily Journal and the Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the 100 most influential attorneys in California, for, among other accomplishments, successfully chairing the commission charged with rewriting the Los Angeles City Charter.
He chairs the Los Angeles Civic Alliance. Mr. Kieffer is a former Chair of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles Mayor's Council of Economic Advisors.
Robin M. Kramer, Chief of Staff to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, has been an effective leader in Los Angeles for three decades, with extensive experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.
Kramer became Chief of Staff in 1995, after serving as Deputy Mayor for Communications and Community Affairs in former Mayor Richard Riordan's administration.
Previously, she served as Chief Deputy for Councilmember Richard Alatorre and Councilmember Bob Ronka. Kramer also spent time as director of the Democratic Party of Southern California
David Lauter first joined the LA Times 21 years ago as a reporter in the Washington bureau.
He covered the 1988 and 1992 presidential campaigns and the White House under the elder George Bush and Bill Clinton and also reported for the Times from Czechoslovakia and Romania after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
In 1995, he moved to Los Angeles for his first stint as an editor, running the coverage of the 1996 presidential campaign. Since then, he has served as the paper's Specialist editor, overseeing coverage of science, medicine, the environment, education and legal affairs; deputy metro editor, where he ran coverage of the 2003 recall election and helped direct coverage of that fall's wildfires for which the paper won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news; and deputy foreign editor, where a major part of his work involved overseeing the paper's Baghdad bureau.
In October, he became California editor, running the Times' largest department and directing coverage of the city, the region and the state.
Geneva Overholser holds the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Reporting, for the Missouri School of Journalism, in its Washington, D.C., bureau. She is a frequent print and broadcast media critic, and is currently co-editing a book, The Press as an Institution of Democracy. Overholser was editor of The Des Moines Register from 1988 to 1995. She has also been a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group, ombudsman of The Washington Post and a columnist for the Columbia Journalism Review. She has been a member of the editorial board of The New York Times, deputy editorial page editor and editorial writer for The Des Moines Register and reporter for the Colorado Springs Sun. Overholser was a Nieman fellow at Harvard and a congressional fellow with the American Political Science Association. She was named Editor of the Year by the National Press Foundation. Under her leadership, the Register won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service. In 2002, she received the Anvil of Freedom Award.
Born in Paris, France, raised in New York City, Kit Rachlis has served as Arts Editor of the Boston Phoenix, Executive Editor of The Village Voice, Editor-in-chief of the L.A. Weekly and Senior Projects Editor at the Los Angeles Times.
In June 2000, he became Editor-in-chief of Los Angeles magazine.
In the past five years, Los Angeles magazine has been nominated for six National Magazine Awards and won more City and Regional Magazine awards than any other magazine in the last seven years.
Kevin Roderick is a journalist, editor, blogger and author living in Los Angeles. He is the creator and publisher of LA Observed, a widely cited news website that Forbes rated as Best of the Web.
He is a Contributing Writer on politics and media at Los Angeles magazine, an award-winning radio commentator, and is often asked by the media to talk about Southern California issues.
Currently, he is director of the UCLA Newsroom at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Joel Sappell, a 26 year L.A. Times veteran, now serves as Deputy for Special Projects to L.A. County supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.
Sappell joined the Times staff in 1981 as a staff writer. From that post, he was promoted to a variety of positions, including city editor, metro projects editor, senior entertainment editor, and executive editor of LAtimes.com. During his career there, he oversaw award-winning coverage of the O.J. Simpson murder trial, and two Pulitzer Prize-winning projects in 1992 and 1994.
Brady Westwater is a community activist, and chairman of the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council.
He manages the LA Cowboy blog, where he writes about the myriad issues affecting Downtown LA.