Tuesday, January 31, 2006

How do you capture 250,000 stories? One story at a time.

Last Thursday I delivered the annual State of Hollywood address (full
text, pdf link
) to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in the Blossom Room
at the Roosevelt Hotel, the site of the first Academy Awards. It gave me the chance to highlight last year's achievements, and to challenge Hollywood's movers and shakers to keep Tinseltown's renaissance going strong.

This year, I brought in six special guests whose stories reflect where
Hollywood has come from, where it's going, and its true potential. I'll
introduce each of these extraordinary individuals to you in the following few blog posts, but for the moment let me again extend my thanks to each of them for allowing me to share their stories.

At the end of every year's speech I used to give Hollywood a grade. After bestowing an "A" in 2005, this year I dispensed with grades entirely, because Hollywood is no longer "in school" (if it ever really was). Instead, I tried to say that, just as I've taken on a leadership role as City Council president, it was time for Hollywood to lead Los Angeles: to take the lessons
we've learned here about solving the housing crisis, easing transportation, and making Los Angeles the second-safest big city in America, and to apply them to all of Los Angeles.

Hollywood has seen a lot of progress in the last few years, but the real test will be our ability to make it a lasting progress, and to use the momentum we've gathered to bring about even more positive change in Hollywood and all of L.A. I'll expand on this as I tell you about my six guests.