Thursday, January 25, 2007

Amongst the Stars

I presented my annual State of Hollywood Address to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce today. It's an honor to be given such a great platform every year to go over the challenges we've faced, the challenges we will face, and the challenges we must not shrink from.

I won't reproduce the whole speech here—please read the whole thing on the Chamber's website or on my Speeches page. However, let me share one observation I made while drafting the speech that I didn't manage to fold into it.

We talk a lot about the golden age of Hollywood, and people who lived through its serious decline often refer back to the 1950s as a kind of "golden age". And there was a lot more business in Hollywood then, as well as more radio and television production than we've had until recently.

But the stars themselves haven't actually lived in Hollywood since probably as far back as the 1920s. That's changing, especially with the adaptive reuse projects that are going in on the various corners of Hollywood and Vine.

With our menu of music, food, movies, live entertainment, and our burgeoning office and general day-life presence, it's as golden an age as we've ever had. Hollywood's done much more than come back.

Teaser excerpt after the jump...

In 2007, as we assess the state of Hollywood and the city beyond, we also stand at a uniquely bright moment in our history.

We have the lowest crime we’ve known since 1956.

We have the lowest unemployment rate since 1976.

And we are in the strongest financial shape of any big city in the country.

Taken together, these three things are the foundation for our prosperity.

But what will we do with that prosperity?

Who are we?

Who do we want to be?

And while Father Juan Crespi’s Los Angeles Mission was never built brick by brick, we now ask how will we build our mission, block by block.