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2022 Mayoral Forum: Rick Caruso
May 26 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PDTFree
2022 Mayoral Forum: Rick Caruso
This is a FREE virtual event.
AIA Los Angeles is hosting series of candid discussions with the leading Mayoral Candidates for the City of Los Angeles. The series of forums will serve as an opportunity for the A+D community and general public to learn more about each candidate’s vision for the city.
At this forum, moderated by Frances Anderton, AIALA will be asking Rick Caruso specific questions centered on his vision for a great city and his specific implementation strategies for how to most effectively address the ongoing challenges of housing, climate, and racial equality crisis.
Great cities serve all their people and require visionary institutions, beautiful streets and civic spaces, and robust political leadership.
Our next mayor must have great ambition matched with acute technical knowledge of how our city works in order govern Los Angeles as the world class city transform effectively. Who will our next mayor be?
Rick Caruso, Businessman
Growing up, Rick attended Good Shepherd Grammar School, served as an altar boy and graduated from Harvard High. He received his bachelor’s degree from USC in 1980 and a law degree from Pepperdine in 1983, where he was later named Alumnus of the Year. Rick and his wife Tina have been married for 35 years and are the proud parents of four children: Alex, Gregory, Justin, and Gianna.
Dubbed by Forbes Magazine the “Walt Disney Of Real Estate,” Rick founded Caruso in 1987, created tens of thousands of jobs and built some of Southern California’s most beloved community centers, including The Grove, which attracts more visitors per year than the Great Wall of China or Disneyland. Rick also built California’s first LEED Certified Gold business district project, Palisades Village. He has been named one of the most influential people in real estate six different times by the LA Business Journal and was named “Master Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst and Young.
True to his grandmother’s instructions, Rick has shared his success generously with Los Angeles. The Carusos donated over $130 million to various charitable causes, and his foundation is recognized as one of LA’s most impactful charities. Caruso donates 20 percent of his company’s profits to the community and gives millions annually to organizations providing healthcare and quality education to children in LA’s poorest neighborhoods, including homeless kids on Skid Row. Rick and Tina also established the Caruso Loan Forgiveness Fund which covers the school loan payments for ten years for low-income and other underserved students.
Rick served two stints on the Department of Water and Power Commission where he saved the Department from financial ruin and led the first initiative to embrace renewable energy. When he was first appointed in 1985 by Mayor Tom Bradley, he was the youngest Commissioner in history. When he was appointed again in 1997 and came back as President, the Department was in dire financial straits. Caruso saved the Department from financial ruin, slashing billions in debt and cutting wasteful spending. He also oversaw the first initiative in Department history aimed at moving the DWP from fossil fuels to renewable energy generation, launched a rate relief program for low-income customers and helped end the nearly century-old “Water War” in the Owens Valley.
As President of the Police Commission, Rick cut crime, fought corruption and stood up to political pressure to force real reform. He came to the presidency at a time of great turmoil for the LAPD with the Department operating under a federal consent decree. Caruso restored public trust in the LAPD, especially among Black, Asian and Latino Angelenos. Rick oversaw a 30 percent reduction in crime and overhauled police disciplinary procedures. He fought for community policing and police accountability and stood up to political pressure when he hired Chief William Bratton, who is remembered as the most transformational figure in the history of policing in the City of Los Angeles.
Caruso served on bi-partisan task forces by both the White House and Governor Gavin Newsom to help businesses and jobs recover during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Frances Anderton, Hon. AIALA – Design and Architecture Writer and Producer
Frances Anderton covers Los Angeles design and architecture in print, podcasts and public events. She is currently writing a book, “Common Ground: Multifamily Housing in Los Angeles,” for Angel City Press. Anderton also programs talks, exhibitions and events at Helms Bakery District; these included Low Rise, Mid Rise, High Rise: Housing in L.A. Today, a pop-up exhibition displayed in June 2021. For many years Anderton hosted DnA: Design and Architecture radio show, which told stories about the design and the built environment from the vantage point of designers, critics and users. Metropolis magazine named Anderton the “voice of the city.” Anderton got her start at KCRW producing Warren Olney’s current affairs shows Which Way, LA? And To The Point, two brilliant programs that gave voice to multiple stakeholders and diverse opinions on pressing issues. She produced and co-hosted the radio series Wasted: Neat Solutions to the Dirty Problem of Waste, aired in early 2021 on KCRW’s Greater LA. In 2015 she curated Sink Or Swim: Designing For a Sea Change, about resilient architecture, shown at the Annenberg Space for Photography. Honors include the 2020 ICON Award from the Los Angeles Design Festival and the 2010 Esther McCoy Award for her work in educating the public about architecture and urbanism, bestowed by the Architectural Guild of USC School of Architecture.