Author: Ray Bramson (Ray Bramson)

Bramson: Housing, race and professional responsibility

For most of my career, I’ve worked on issues related to affordable housing and homelessness. It was never a pursuit that I dreamed of growing up, but coming from a family that struggled with poverty and housing insecurity at times, I’ve been close to these topics one way or another for most of my life....

Bramson: How to help vulnerable families survive COVID-19

In the 1930s, with the Great Depression blanketing the country, countless families faced the heartbreaking uncertainties of how to pay the bills, what to eat for each meal and even where to sleep the next night. With staggering unemployment, Americans were displaced at record numbers, shocked, dejected and hopeless. Then, perhaps not so different from...

Bramson: When a virus needs a home

What would it be like if we responded to homelessness like a disaster? I’ve heard this question many times over the years. The implication being that while the word “crisis” is thrown around pretty liberally these days when we talk about the conditions for people on our streets, we rarely act with the same mobilized...

Bramson: Why the deepest affordability matters the most

The recent defeat of SB 50 – a controversial bill authored by Sen. Scott Wiener which ostensibly sought to increase residential density near transit corridors and job-rich areas – brought forth a somewhat troubling new dimension to an already complicated housing conversation. Not only was the bill opposed by the typical cavalcade of single-family homeowners,...

Bramson: Homelessness trumps manners

Over the holidays, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to blast California for its homelessness problem. It’s not news to anyone that there’s a big crisis here and these tweets – coupled with a threat to somehow intervene if our state doesn’t get moving – have actually been a pretty regular overture from the leader...

Bramson: There’s no place like home for the holidays

As the giving season approaches, I find myself thinking about the curious custom of gift wrapping. Going way back to ancient China where paper was first invented, putting presents in packages for others has been going on for centuries. There’s both a psychological and tangible effect about containing an object and creating a sense of...

Bramson: An open door for those who have served

My stepfather joined the Navy around the time of the Korean War. He enlisted the summer after graduating from high school, serving aboard a minesweeper as a radioman. After four years on the sea, he was honorably discharged and came back to sunny California. He went to Long Beach State on the GI Bill, earned...

Bramson: Home is where the health is

Recently, on a trip down to LA, I found myself in a cab talking to the driver about homelessness. This happens to me a lot, but in Los Angeles, home to nearly 60,000 unhoused residents, almost every person you meet has come into some sort of contact with the crisis. A personal experience, an opinion...

Bramson: The high price of growing up

The construction of new high-rise buildings has long been a key indicator of progress and promise for the modern city. Architectural marvels that rise to the heavens and offer to meet the rapidly growing demands of a prospering metropolis. With each new tower, the skyline forever changes, heralding the arrival of the density which is...

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